Friday, January 15, 2021

11 NPAs surrender in Nueva Ecija

From the Manila Bulletin (Jan 16, 2021): 11 NPAs surrender in Nueva Ecija (By Ariel Fernandez)

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – A female rebel was among 11 guerillas who surrendered to police and military authorities in separate instances in San Jose City, and Bongabon town on Thursday, and Friday, respectively.

Photo courtesy of police MFPC /via Ariel P. Avendaño

Nueva Ecija Police Director Marvin Joe Saro identified those who surrendered as Ka Jerryy, who is also known as Ben, Carding or Manny, 55, squad supply leader of Kilusang Larangang Guerilla – Sierra Madre, and the Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda (SYP), and organizer of Semi Legal Team in Bongabon town; a certain Ka Diway, 44, squad leader of Larangang Girilya Yunit (LGY) – Aurora Province; Ka Dondon 28, a political guide of Front 88, 4A and 4B; Ka Jeng, 34, member of Sentro De Gravedad-Pampanga; Ka Renz, 41, a member of Sentro De Gravedad, Baler, Aurora; Ka Amang, member of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon-Gapas, Nueva Ecija and Bayan Muna; and three others, including a female rebel, whose names have yet to be disclosed following a debriefing process.

The surrenderers yielded an M-14 rifle, a Blackwater M-16 armalite rifle, three caliber .38 revolvers, 30 rounds of M-14 rifle ammunitions, an M-14 magazine with nine rounds of ammunition, subversive documents and books, including the “12-Puntong Programa ng Pambansang Demokratikong Prente ng Pilipinas”, bandoliers and food supplies.

They voluntarily gave up to the First Provincial Mobile Force Company (1st PMFC) under P/Lt. Col. Alexander Aurelio in Barangay Tugatog in Bongabon town on Friday.

Meanwhile, two other guerillas, identified as alias Ka Resty, 53, political guide of Samahang Yunit Propaganda; and alias Ka Asin, who were both members of the Josefino Corpuz Command, surrendered to the Second Provincial Mobile Company (2nd PMFC) in San Jose City on Thursday afternoon.

Saro disclosed that statistics from January up to December 31, 2020 showed that a total of 120 rebels and 266 mass supporters have turned themselves as a result of the government’s campaign to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC).

Is PH ready to build its own warships? A local company thinks so

From CNN Philippines (Jan 15, 2021): Is PH ready to build its own warships? A local company thinks so (By David Santos)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) -- As the Philippine Navy eyes foreign shipbuilders to acquire additional multi-mission vessels, including warships and submarines, as part of its long-term modernization program, a local company wants to get a share of the country's defense spending on maritime assets. But it admits the ambitious plan could not be carried out without challenges.

Propmech Corporation, a Manila-based boatbuilder and engine repair company said it is "absolutely 100%" sure it wants to work with the government to develop larger naval assets that could be deployed to the country's territorial waters for long-haul patrol and security.

"The Navy, the government, is an important partner of ours, an important client," Propmech Director Glenn Tong told defense reporters during a virtual conference on Friday. "We are definitely interested and we look forward to, if given the opportunity in the future."

Since its establishment in 1991, the company has sold P7-B worth of maritime vessels to the government, including landing craft utility ships for the Navy, high speed tactical watercraft boats for the Philippine National Police, and aluminum rescue boats for the Philippine Coast Guard.

Propmech's projects include the 12 units of the Navy's multi-purpose attack craft or MPACs, which have now evolved into four variations and were built from 2007 to 2019.

The MPACs play a key role in some of the Navy's internal security and coastal defense operations.

The most notable was in early November last year, when Air Force and Naval operatives intercepted and clashed with the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group in the Sulu Sea, killing all 7 bandits onboard a speedboat. While the Air Force provided aerial support, the Navy used one of its MPAC units to pursue the gunmen at high sea.

Propmech cited the MPAC's "effective ballistic armor" that protected the soldiers while coming under heavy fire from the armed group.

The government, in recent years, has acquired big-ticket items for the Navy abroad, including its first-ever missile-capable frigates from South Korea and two warships from Indonesia. Defense and Navy officials have also expressed interest on patrol vessels from Israel and Australia, as part of the country's continuing efforts to strengthen its naval fleet.

Tong said while Propmech is keen on collaborating with the Navy to design and build bigger ships for territorial defense, he admits local shipbuilders will need more than just the capacity to build and maintain the vessels, but also acquire expertise on "additional electronics, navigation, and certain special capabilities" that their clients will require.

"I think, in terms of the ability to build vessels, the Philippines can actually do a lot. We have some large-sized shipyards. We have some medium-sized shipyards. A lot of the assets can potentially be built here. What we lack is probably the experience, the proven track record," Tong explained.

"It's one thing to be able to physically build the ship, another to have the experience to make a warship," he added.

On the upside, tapping local shipyards to build the Navy's warships can be good for the economy, particularly the labor sector.

Propmech alone currently has about 600 employees.

"One of our advantages (if Navy ships are built locally) is that we can do the maintenance without having to fly engineers from abroad. And we can keep the equipment in good running condition for a long time," Tong said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had previously said instead of outsourcing projects abroad, he favors Philippine-based shipbuilding companies to generate more jobs for Filipinos, both for the development and maintenance of Navy vessels.

Basilan mayor seeks safe return of residents who fled bombing

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 16, 2021): Basilan mayor seeks safe return of residents who fled bombing (By: Julie S. Alipala)

The mayor of Mohammad Ajul town in Basilan province has sought security assurance from government troops and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) so that some 200 families who fled Seronggon village can return to their homes.

Mayor Ibrahim Ballaho said the families evacuated to nearby villages and even as far as Lamitan City on Jan. 12 as government forces stormed their village around 5 a.m.

“Pregnant women, children and the elderly fled for safety, many went to Lamitan City. I really pity them. Many were hungry, it was dawn, they didn’t even take their breakfast,” he said.

Col. Domingo Gobway, commander of the Army’s Joint Task Force Basilan, confirmed there were “strike operations against the members of the Abu Sayyaf group” on Jan. 12 in Seronggon.

While the soldiers were en route to the area, Gobway said they were fired upon by unknown gunmen, prompting them to request for artillery fires. Except for the howitzers, the soldiers did not fire a single shot, Gobway added.

Philippine Commander: Suspected Indonesian Bomber Says Parents Forced Her to Join IS

From BenarNews (Jan 15, 2021): Philippine Commander: Suspected Indonesian Bomber Says Parents Forced Her to Join IS

Police examine the scene after a deadly bomb explosion outside a Roman Catholic church in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province in southern Philippines, Jan. 27, 2019. AP

A young Indonesian who was arrested in the southern Philippines on suspicion of preparing for a suicide bombing mission claimed that her now-dead parents had compelled her to join the Islamic State group, the region’s top military commander told BenarNews.

Rezky Fantasya Rullie (alias Cici and Nini Isarani) – who is believed to be in her teens or early twenties – was allowed to meet with Indonesian Consul-General Dicky Fabrian on Wednesday, said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, the chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command who attended the meeting.

“The meeting was private, in the confinement areas where Cici is being held,” Vinluan said Friday. “The suspect detailed her forced joining into the militant group.”

Rullie’s Indonesian parents both blew themselves up in a twin-bombing at a church on Jolo Island in the southern Philippines two years ago, according to Philippine authorities. Rullie herself was allegedly being groomed to become a suicide bomber, officials here said.

Last October, Philippine troops arrested Rullie with two Filipinas suspected of plotting suicide attacks and who were married to members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, a pro-Islamic State (IS) group based in the Philippine south.

Vinluan said Fabrian wanted to meet with Rullie to make sure “if she is really an Indonesian” by seeing her in person. The meeting took place at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group detention facility in southern Zamboanga city, where she is being held.

“Cici narrated that, at first, she was not aware and then there was this forced marriage to one of the suicide bombers,” Vinluan told BenarNews. He was referring to Andi Baso, a suspected Indonesian suicide bomber in training who is believed to have been slain by Philippine government troops in August 2020. However, his body has not been recovered.

Vinluan said the Indonesian diplomat was also accompanied by Indonesian police and military officials, but they were not permitted to talk to the suspect.

The discussion between Fabrian and Rullie delved into her personal life – “how she came here, and how many times she went to the mountains,” Vinluan said.

Her parents – Rullie Rian Zeke and Ulfah Handayani Saleh – killed themselves in a twin-bomb attack at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Jolo town during a Sunday Mass service in January 2019. The bombing killed 23 people in all.

Vinluan said the young militant was brought to Jolo by her parents, and that two of her siblings, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, remained somewhere in a mountainous area on Jolo Island. The military had earlier said that Rullie was in her teens or early twenties.

Rullie and Baso were believed to have been under the wing of Mundi Sawadjaan, a bomb-maker who masterminded another attack that killed 15 people near the same church last August, officials said.

Mundi is the nephew of Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, the IS commander in the Philippines and a senior Abu Sayyaf leader. The elder Sawadjaan is said to have been slain in a clash in Jolo, but his body has not been recovered and the military has also not confirmed such reports.

Vinluan said the Indonesian consul-general told him that Jakarta had committed to deploy more assets to safeguard the porous common frontier between the neighboring countries in the fight against terrorism.

Under a trilateral agreement, the Philippines and next-door neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia have been conducting joint patrols to secure their shared sea borders from militants and piracy.

Freed policemen ordered re-arrested

Meanwhile, a regional trial court in Jolo has ordered the re-arrest of nine police officers for their alleged involvement in killing four Army intelligence specialists who were hunting down suspected IS militants on the island last year.

The police officers, who were dismissed from the service on Jan. 1, were released from custody on a technicality on Tuesday because authorities could no longer hold them after the regional trial court had failed to issue arrest warrants for them.

“We urge the respondent police personnel to surrender – else the AFP, the PNP and other agencies of government will vigorously search, find, and deliver them to court without delay to face trial for multiple murder,” military spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement, referring to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

In late June, the four soldiers had been traveling in a vehicle, which the Jolo police force flagged down. Based on an initial investigation, the soldiers had clearly identified themselves but were still allegedly gunned down by the cops.

Attack in Lanao del Norte

Elsewhere in the volatile southern Philippines, military forces were searching for “unknown perpetrators” who killed a civilian and three Army soldiers in an attack in Lanao del Norte province, the Western Mindanao Command said Friday in a news release posted on Facebook.

“We are still establishing the circumstances and we do not have any other information at the moment,” Brig. Gen. Facundo Palafox, commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said in a statement.

“The fourth victim is a civilian and is yet to be identified while the names of the slain soldiers are withheld pending notification to their next of kin,” he said.

Jeoffrey Maitem and Mark Navales, and Froilan Gallardo and Richel V. Umel, contributed to this report from Cotabato City and Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.

CPP: Alab | April-September 2020

Propaganda publication posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 15, 2021): Alab | April-September 2020

Download the issue here

CPP/NDF-Negros Island: Pamatukan ang pakana nga Charter Change ni Duterte! Kolektibo nga paslawon ang iya handom nga maglawig sa poder!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 15, 2021): Pamatukan ang pakana nga Charter Change ni Duterte! Kolektibo nga paslawon ang iya handom nga maglawig sa poder!


JANUARY 15, 2021

Mabaskog nga ginapakamalaut sang National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF-Negros) ang tikang sang kongreso nga kontrolado ni Duterte angut sa pag-amyenda sa 1987 nga konstitusyon sa diin wala-huya nga ginagamit ang pandemya bilang tabon para sa ila wala katapusan nga ka sakon sa gahum, poder, manggad kag rekurso sang pungsod.

Kaangay sang idolo sini nga si Marcos, tuman nga nagalaway si Duterte nga maglawig sa gahum. Gani sa tunga sang malala nga igo sang pandemya, halit sang mga kalamidad kag sang neoliberal nga mga patakaran, pagbukas pa lang sang bag-ong tuig, charter change gilayon ang gina-una sini.

Nagapakita lamang ini sa desperasyon ni Duterte kag sang iya mga kahimbon nga iduso ang ila makina-ugalingon nga adyenda nga magpabilin sa gahum agud padayon nga ipundar ang korap kag pasista nga paghari kag gamiton ini nga instrumento agud indi makapanabat sa iya indi na maisip nga mga krimen nga natuga sa pumuluyo ilabi na nga nagahilapit na ang katapusan sang iya nga termino.

Nagapamatuod nga indi prayoridad sang gobyerno ni Duterte ang pumuluyo. Imbes nga hatagan sang nagaka-igo nga pagtamud ang pagbakal sang epektibo nga bakuna para sa mga pumuluyong Pilipino kag ayuda para sa mga pamilya nga apektado sang pandemya kag sunod-sunod nga igo sang kalamidad, mas gina-una sang rehimen nga tumanon ang pasista nga diktadurya nga handum. Dugang pa diri ang mga pakana nga nagaserbi sa kaugalingon nga interes sang nagahari nga sahi sang mga agalon mayduta, dumuluong nga mga komprador burgesya kag burukrata kapitalista-ang 100% nga pagpangawat kag pagpanag-iya sang manggad, rekurso kag patrimonya sang pungsod gamit ang pag-amyenda kuno sa mga probisyon pang-ekonomiya nga nakasaad sa 1987 konstitusyon.

Paagi sa ChaCha kaangay lamang nga ginahatag ang bilog nga pungsod Pilipinas sa dumuluong nga mga negosyante bangod pagakakason sini ang nabilin nga nagaprotekta nga probisyon sa 1987 nga kontistusyon sa diin labi nga magabukas sang lokal nga ekonomiya para sa dugang nga paghugakom kag kontrol sang mga dalagku nga mga dumuluong nga mga korporasyon.

Ginahatagan tum-ok sang NDF-Negros nga labi ini nga magpalala sang kawad-on sang duta, tuman nga paglansang sa manubo nga sweldo, gutom kag kapigaduhon sa malapad nga pumuluyo-tanan para sa benepisyo sang mga dumuluong nga kompanya kag korporasyon.

Nagapanawagan ang NDF-Negros sa tanan nga mga patriyotiko kag demokratiko nga pwersa nga pamatukan ang tanan nga pagpaninguha sang kongreso para ipatuman ang ChaCha. Kolektibo nga mag-isa kag manindugan agud paslawon ang handom sang rehimen nga magpabilin sa poder lampas sa iya nga termino.

Subongman, nagapanawagan ang NDF-Negros sa tanan nga mga mamalidha nga indi mangin kasangkapan sang pagpamigos kag korapsyon. Himu-a ang inyo nga mandato kag matuod-tuod nga alagaran ang interes sang malapad nga pumuluyo. Nagapanawagan ang NDF-Negros nga inyo itib-ong ang demokrasya, hustisya kag soberanya sang aton nga pungsod.

Ubos-kusog nga pamatukan ang ChaCha kag tiraniya! Isulong ang pungsodnon demokratiko nga rebolusyon sang pumuluyo agud maangkon ang pungsodnon nga kahilwayan kag demokrasya! ###

WESTMINCOM: WestMinCom holds Multi-Sector Governance Consultative Board Meeting

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 15, 2021): WestMinCom holds Multi-Sector Governance Consultative Board Meeting

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- January 15, 2021

The Western Mindanao Command held a Multi-Sector Governance Consultative Board (MSGCB) meeting at the Eisenhower Hall, Khadaffy Mansion, Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City on Friday morning, January 15, 2021.

The meeting was done purposely to discuss the adoption of the WestMinCom Transformation Roadmap-MSGCB constitution and by-laws, address the concerns of each member of the board, and give updates on the MSGC initiatives for the past year.

Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, the Chairperson, presided over the meeting and administered the oath-taking of the new members of the board, Ministers Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo and Dickson Hermoso of the Bangsamoro government.

Physically present during the meeting were WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Deputy Commander for Admin Brig. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, and the Command Staff; and the MSGCB members including Hon. Mujiv Hataman, Fr. Karel San Juan SJ, Rev. Carlos Gulane, Dr. Grace Rebollos, Prof. Ali Yacub, Commissioner Jose Suan, Edwin To, Roel Pareño, Raymond Domingo, Dominic Sanchez, Teofilo Garcia, Jr., Timothy Ijiran, Abdulwahid Lutian, RPh, and Engr. Mohammad Ali Urao.

Also, present through video teleconferencing (VTC) were Christopher Lawrence Arnuco, Edwin To, Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, and Minister Dickson Hermoso. 

In realizing its vision to become a world-class armed force by 2028, the WestMinCom formed the MSGCB, a diverse group of leaders from different stakeholders. They serve as advisers in the implementation of the WestMinCom Transformation Roadmap. 

Since its launch in 2019, the MSGCB has played a significant role that immensely contributed to the mission accomplishment of the command. 

The unit has been conferred with the Gold Trailblazer Award for two consecutive years (2019-2020).

In his message, Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. said, “the MSGCB has been instrumental in all our triumphs.”
“Let us continue to work in unison so that together we will achieve our common goal that is to bring lasting peace and sustainable development here in Mindanao,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added.

WESTMINCOM: Intensified operations compel 6 more NPA members to yield in South Cotabato

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 15, 2021): Intensified operations compel 6 more NPA members to yield in South Cotabato 

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- January 15, 2021 

Six more members of the Communist Terrorist Group yielded to the military troops in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat on the evening of January 13, 2021. 

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command said
the six members of the NPA, who are all residents of Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and members of the Platoon West (Samsung), Guerilla Front Musa, Far South Mindanao Region (FSMR), surrendered to the 37th Infantry Battalion stationed in Barangay Tibpuan, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat at around 8 p.m. Wednesday. 

“The six were identified as Tener Mantang Maquil, a.k.a. Buyo-Buyo, a supply officer; Anamie Maquil Bal-ot, a.k.a. Lyn-Lyn, a medic; and four more members namely, Allan Mistibo Samblang, a.k.a. Caesar; Tyron Asom Saligan; Timbangan Ganang Maquil, a.k.a. Kilohan; and Mike Ganang Maquil, a.k.a. Arnold,”
said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. 

“They handed over one 7.62mm M14 rifle, two 9mm sub-machine guns, and two Cal. 357 revolvers,”
the commander added. 

During the initial debriefing, the surrendered personalities said they realized that they are just wasting their lives for nothing. They are tired of getting involved in armed struggles against the government and they want peace to reign in their hometown. 

Lt. Col Allen Van Estrera, Commanding Officer of the 37IB said the successful surrender of the six communist terrorists was made possible through the concerted effort of his unit in coordination with the 38th Infantry Battalion and 5th Special Forces Battalion. 

“This is also attributed to the strong collaboration between the military and the barangay officials of Barangay Tibpuan particularly Mr. Sulpicio Bal-ot, the Barangay Tanod Team Leader,” said Lt. Col. Estrera. 

Meanwhile, 603rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Eduardo Gubat said the six are currently undergoing custodial debriefing. 

“Nonetheless, we welcome them back to the mainstream society and assure that they will be provided with the necessary assistance as they return to the fold of the law,” said Col. Gubat. 

In his message, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy commended the troops for their efforts to convince the terrorists to abandon the battleground and rebuild their lives. 

“The intensified operations, whether focused combat operations or civil-military operations, continue to bring positive results. Rest assured that we will continue to double our efforts for the peace that we are all longing for,” Maj. Gen. Uy added. 

Last year, a total of 75 members of GF Musa yielded to the military in central Mindanao.

Kalinaw News: Joint AFP-PNP arrests alleged SPARU coddler, IP leaders send warning

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 15, 2021): Joint AFP-PNP arrests alleged SPARU coddler, IP leaders send warning

Marihatag , Surigao del Sur (SDS) – Joint elements of the Surigao Del Sur Provincial Police Office (SDS-PPO) and 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) arrested Ernest Abenio Valdez, alias, ISTONG, 48 Y/O, male, married at his residence in Purok Camansi, Brgy Bayan, Marihatag, SDS today at around 2:40am. Said personality is a member of depensa/Milisyang Bayan (MB), liaison officer of SRC Southland and its Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) and the brother of Felizardo A Valdez, alias, ADU/PADUK, Secretary of Communist NPA Terrorists’ Sub-Regional Command (SRC) Southland.

The arrest was initiated by virtue of a search warrant NR: 2021-12 for violation R.A. 10591 for illegal possession of firearms issued by the 11th Judicial Region, RTC of Cantilan, SDS. The search was conducted at the residence of the subject personality at Purok Camansi, Brgy Bayan, Marihatag, SDS with the presence of his wife Rubelyn Felimon C Cuyno, barangay official and local media personnel.

Confiscated items were one (1) unit Pistol Cal .45 1911A with inserted magazine and six (6) live ammo, one (1) improvised marble gun and one (1) short magazine for m16 rifle. The subject was duly informed of his constitutional rights during the arrest.

The arrested personality and seized items are now in the custody of Marihatag MPS for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.

Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF GSC PA, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion said that the unit remains focused and steadfast on the campaign and mission to contribute in ending NPA terrorism in Surigao Del Sur and the effort was a counter-SPARU measure to preempt NPA–initiated violent activities.

The Local Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF-ELCAC) Peace Law Enforcement Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster composed of AFP, PNP and other uniformed personnel intensified its monitoring and security operations following the threats of communist NPA terrorist leader and founder Jose Maria Sison to employ its NPA terrorist liquidation squads in the urban areas.

“We are warning all those who coddle NPA Terrorists. Regardless of their status in life—civilian, politicians, name it. If we find out that you go against the law by protecting NPA Terrorists we will hit you hard using all legal means as provided by law,” Brigadier General Allan D Hambala AFP, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander, said.

“The IP leaders of Surigao Del Sur will be ready for the hunt of NPA terrorist liquidation squads. The death of our Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR), Datu Jumar S Bucales did not scare us at all. It only made us angrier and determined to track down NPA terrorists with the help of the AFP, “Datu Alexander Bucales, Lianga IPMR, said.

“We already accepted that our lives as IP leaders fighting the NPA terrorists are on the line. As IP leaders, we are ready to become heroes for our tribe even if it cost our lives. We are in for the fight. This is a stern warning that IPs under my watch are at war with NPA terrorists whom we declared persona-non grata. They better watch out,” Bucales added.

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

12 former Reds and mass supporters receive cash assistance from E-CLIP

From Panay News (Jan 15, 2021): 12 former Reds and mass supporters receive cash assistance from E-CLIP (By Orlan Jabagat)

Eight of them were former fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Palawan while the rest were mass supporters under the Militia ng Bayan.

The 12 FRs and former mass supporters received their cash assistance from ECLIP from WESCOM deputy commander for operations Brig. Gen. Sharon Gernale (1st from left), Provincial Social Welfare and Development officer Abigail Ablaña (2nd from left), and DILG-Palawan Provincial Director Virgilio Tagle (3rd from left). | Photo by Orlan Jabagat

Twelve former rebels in Palawan received financial assistance Tuesday from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) provided under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Eight of them were former fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Palawan while the rest were mass supporters under the Militia ng Bayan.

Two were unable to attend the awarding ceremony at the Provincial Capitol on January 12 because they live in distant island communities.

One of the FRs and ex-mass supporters also received financial aid from the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) of the provincial government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).

The awarding ceremony was led by DILG Palawan provincial director Virgilio Tagle, PSWDO chief Abigail Ablaña, and Brig. General Sharon Gernale, deputy commander for operations of the Western Command (WESCOM).

“Ang pagbalik-loob ninyo sa pamahalaan ay nangangahulugan lamang na tayo ay nasa tamang landas at sa part po ng government, isa po ito sa mga pinakikita ng pamahalaan na sinsero at tapat ang ating pamahalaan sa layunin na makamit ang kapayapaan,” Tagle said.

“Kung anuman ang ibibigay ng ating pamahalaan ay huwag nating tingnan sa halaga bagkus tingnan natin ito kung paano natin pagyayamanin kasi kahit gaano ito kaliit o kalaki kung ito ay pahahalagahan ‘yan ay makakatiyak ng panibagong buhay para sa inyo,” said Ablaña, on the other hand.

3 soldiers, motorcycle driver killed in ambush in Lanao del Norte

From MindaNews (Jan 15, 2021): 3 soldiers, motorcycle driver killed in ambush in Lanao del Norte (By FROILAN GALLARDO)

Three soldiers and a civilian on board a hired motorcycle were killed in an ambush by suspected Dawla Islamiyah fighters in Lanao del Norte on Thursday morning, police said.

A family on board a Toytota Hilux pick-up was caught in the crossfire, one of them injured.

Police Captain Francisco Sabud Jr., Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police Region 10 Information Office identified the victims as Corporals Albert Suara and Bryan Binayog; and Private First Class Albert Soriano, all members of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Brigade in Lanao del Norte.

Camilo Andog, the driver of the hired motorcycle, was also killed.

Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat in Lanao del Norte. Map courtesy of Google Maps

Sabud said the soldiers, who were in civilian clothes were bound for Balo-i town for marketing chores when the suspected militants ambushed them along the Radapan bridge in the boundary of Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat towns in Lanao del Norte at around 9 a.m.

He said the soldiers came from their detachment at the 43rd company of the 4th Mechanized Battalion.

Sabud identified the civilian injured in the Toyota Hilux as Hadji Amen Sumagumba, who suffered a bullet wound on his chin and was brought to a hospital in Iligan City.

He said the perpetrators are believed to be members of the Dawla Islamiyah, allegedly remnants of the Maute terror group that laid siege on Marawi City in 201, after authorities failed to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, believed to be the Emir of the ISIS in Southeast Asia.

“The group is now highly active again in these areas where they recruiting their new members,” he told Mindanews by phone.

Sabud said responding policemen found the soldiers and the civilian already dead on the highway. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

Former cadre attests to dwindling guerrilla fronts

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jan 15, 2021): Former cadre attests to dwindling guerrilla fronts (By Michael L. Uy) 

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 14 (PIA) - Dismantling of guerilla fronts becomes a trend in the New People’s Army (NPA), a former cadre said.

Joy James Saguino alias Ka Amihan, former secretary of Guerilla Front 20 and deputy secretary of Sub Regional Committee 1 (SRC 1) of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), stressed during the press conference on Wednesday, January 13, that the NPA troops have dwindled as evidenced by the dismantled guerilla fronts.

In 2020, three guerilla fronts operating in Davao Region have been dismantled: Guerilla Front Tala operating in Davao Occidental and Sarangani on October 2, Guerilla Front 56 in Bukidnon-Davao on December 16, and Guerilla Front 33 in Davao del Norte – Davao de Oro on December 17.

Saguino said that these developments debunked Jose Maria Sison’s declaration during the 52nd anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that they have an increasing number of troops and have established new guerilla fronts.

"Sa amoa na part, kabalo man mi ana nga matag tuig nga naa mi sa sulod. Gacelebrate mi matag tuig halos mao ra gyung tonoha, aron ipakita sa katawhan ug sa sulod nga mga miyembro niini nga wala nahuyang ang CPP-NPA-NDF. Pero sa mga recent nga mga nahitabo, mga insidente, klaro kaayo no nga naa gyuy dismantling of guerilla fronts." (On our part, we know every year that we are inside the organization. We celebrate every year, the tone is almost the same, to showcase to the people and to the members that CPP-NPA-NDF has not weakened. But on the recent events, incidents, it is very clear that there are dismantling of guerilla fronts.)

Saguino added that among the recent development, the dismantling of Guerilla Fronts is the most noteworthy to highlight, as 23 leaders and members of the front went back to the folds of the government.

"I-note lang pud no nga ang total na nagsurender is very historical. Kay never sa history sa CPP-NPA-NDF nga naa isa ka guerilla front nga nag surrender. Karon lang jud na panahon nga very unprecedented, sa karon lang gyud na panahon nga tibuok guerilla front nga gipanguluhan mismo sa secretary, commanding officer ug uban pang senior leader sa usa ka guerilla front. Ang pagsurender nagikan mismo sa leadership sa guerilla front."(It should be noted that the total surrenderees is very historical. Because never in the history of the CPP-NPA-NDF that a guerilla front surrendered. It is only in this time that it is very unprecedented that the whole guerilla front surrendered led by the secretary, the commanding officer and other senior leader of the guerilla front. And the surrender started in the leadership of the guerilla front itself.)

Christian Pastor alias Ka Khan, commanding officer of Guerilla Front 33, underscored that among the reasons of the dismantling of their front is their struggle with the higher command.

"Ang Guerilla Front 33 naa na siyay struggle sa hingtungdan nga sub region. Kay napasagdaan man among pamilya. Napasagdaan man mi sa organisasyon sa partido. Partikular sa pangkosumo, panggatas sa bata, ug kanang naay masakit nga mga anak namo, dili gyud na matagad sa organisasyon sa partido." (The Guerilla Front 33 has a struggle with the command in the sub region. Because they have neglected our families. The organization of the party has neglected us. Particularly for our consumption, for the milk of our children, and when our children are sick, these will not be noticed by the organization of the party.)

His statement was supported by his father and former secretary of the front, now head of the Sub Regional Peasant Bureau, Daniel Pastor alias Ka Kaloy; and the concurrent secretary before the surrender, Dino Kaisar aliad Ka Denden.

Kaisar also recalled that there was a time that his child was hospitalized, and the bill reached to around PhP 12,000.

"Nagka utang-utang pa ko. Dugay kaayo ang mag follow-up pero sila mismo nga naa sa taas sa organo sa amoa, murag paspas ang process sa ilaha. Kanang naay mga emergency sa ilang pamilya, dali ra nila matubag kay sila man gud ang nag manage." (I had to borrow money (for it). It took a long time to do follow-up but then, if they themselves in our higher organization, the process seems to be quick. If they have an emergency in their families, they can answer it immediately because they are the ones managing.)

The leaders said that the Community Support Program of the government has greatly affected their cause.

"Nakalatag na ang tropa sa kasundaluhan ug kapulisan sa among base. Dili nami makalihok-lihok pa ug makamaniobra sa among lugar. Kay ang masa diraa dili na modawat sa amoa, dili na magpasugo," alias Khan narrated. (The troops of the army and the police has spread out in our base. We can no longer maneuver in our place. Because the mass there will no longer accept us, they will no longer carry out the task we told them to do.)

Kaisar also said that they gradually lost their mass base because the government has already answered the needs of the community.

"Sa maneobra pud, kanang medyo nilambo na ang kanang mga barangay sulod sa amoang area of responsibility sa 33. Naa nay manokan, baboyan, mga gitabang sa goberno sa matag LGU sa barangay." (In our maneuvering, we saw that the barangays in our area of responsibility has already developed. They have their poultry, piggery, these are the assistance of the government, the LGU in our barangay.) (PIA11, Michael Uy)

Former, active rebels surrender in Nueva Ecija

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jan 15, 2021): Former, active rebels surrender in Nueva Ecija (By Gabriela Liana Barela) 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Jan. 15 (PIA) -- Two former and one active Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army members voluntarily surrendered to police in Nueva Ecija.

Police Regional Director PBGen. Valeriano De Leon
disclosed that “Ka Resty” is a resident of Lupao town. He was a former Squad Supply and Political Guide of Samahang Yunit Propaganda under Josefino Corpuz command from 1990 to 1994.

Moreover, "Ka Asin/Ka Kardo” is a resident of Pantabangan. He was a member of Militiang Bayan Kilusang Larangang Guerrilla Sierra Madre.

Two former and one active Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army members voluntarily surrendered to police in Nueva Ecija. (Police Regional Office 3)

And lastly, “Ka Jeme” is from Aliaga, Nueva Ecija.

De Leon noted that the police’s continuous Local Peace Engagement activities such as information dissemination and situational interviews became an eye-opener to former rebels to return to the government.

"More active and former members of Communist Terrorist Groups are becoming aware of their opportunity to change their lives and correct the mistakes they have committed due to deception and, at the same time enticed to avail of the government's programs made for them,” the official said. (CLJD/GLSB-PIA 3)

Mga empty canister ng 'Rocket Warheads' mula US natagpuan sa Claveria,Cagayan

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jan 15, 2021): Mga empty canister ng 'Rocket Warheads' mula US natagpuan sa Claveria,Cagayan (By Oliver T. Baccay) 

Featured Image

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Enero 14 (PIA) - Iniimbestigahan na ngayon ng mga otoridad kung papaano nakarating sa dalampasigan ng Claveria dito sa lalawigan ang dalawampu't apat na mga kahon na naglalaman ng empty canister ng rocket warheads o basyo ng mga pampasabog.

Nagpapatrolya umano ang mga kapulisan at mga kawani ng Philippine Coast Guard sa baybayin ng nasabing bayan nang lumapit ang tatlong mga mangingisda na nagturo sa kanilang mga nakitang palutang-lutang na mga hinihilang mga kargamento ng militar.

Agad namang sinuri ng Explosives and Ordinance Division ng PNP region 2 ang mga kargamento kung saan napag-alaman na hindi bababa sa 90 piraso ng empty canister ang laman ng mga kahon na gawa sa kahoy.

Pinaniniwalaang posibleng inihulog ito ng hindi pa natutukoy na banyagang sasakyan pandagat sa karagatan bahagi ng lalawigan.

Nasa pangangalaga na ng mga otoridad sa bayan ng Claveria ang nasabing mga kargamento at nakatakdang ipasakamay sa EOD para sa tamang disposisyon. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)

PRLEC sa Rizal, Cagayan

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jan 15, 2021): PRLEC sa Rizal, Cagayan (By 5th Infantry Division)

GAMU, Isabela, Enero 15 (PIA)- Inilunsad ng Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) ang proyektong TESDA Alay ay Liwanag at Asenso Gamit ang enerhiya ng Araw (TALAGA) sa Barangay Minanga, Rizal, Cagayan noong ika-13 ng Enero taong kasulukuyan.

Sasailalim sa labinlimang araw na pagsasanay ang nasa 27 na mga indibidwal sa ilalim ng proyektong TALAGA na pangungunahan ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority o TESDA katuwang ang 501st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division Philippine Army at iba pang mga miyembro ng PRLEC.

Layunin ng pagsasanay na turuan ang mga benepisyaryo sa paggawa ng Solar Panel na magbibigay ng elektrisidad sa naturang barangay at upang mabigyan din sila ng pangkabuhayan sa pamamagitan ng Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Installation.

Binigyang diin ni Josephine Cabrera ng TESDA ang kahalagahan ng naturang pagsasanay dahil makatutulong ito sa pagbibigay ng liwanag sa mga tahanan ganundin bilang hanap-buhay ng mga residente. Aniya, daan ito upang makamit ang asenso at progreso.

Sa naging pahayag naman ni Punong Barangay Elmer Echemane, malaki ang kanyang naging pasasalamat sa pagsisikap ng mga miyembro ng PRLEC na marating ang kanilang lugar at maipaabot sa mga residente ang kanilang proyekto.

“Matagal nang panahon na inabuso ng mga rebeldeng CPP-NPA ang aming barangay. Kaya mas lalong tumindi ang hirap ng kalagayan namin dito. Kaya nagpapasalamat kami sa TESDA, sa kasundaluhan, maging sa kapulisan at iba pang mga ahensya ng pamahalaan na patuloy na nagsusumikap upang maiparating ang mga proyekto at serbisyo publiko. Napakalaking tulong ng protektong ito upang magsimulang bumangon at umasenso ang bawat isa sa amin,” Dagdag ni Echemane.

Sinabi naman ni Col Steve D Crespillo INF (GSC) PA, commander ng 501st Infantry Brigade na hindi pababayaan ng kasundaluhan ang kanilang lugar.

11 former rebels get cash assistance under E-CLIP

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jan 16, 2021): 11 former rebels get cash assistance under E-CLIP (By Joyah Mae C. Quimoyog) 

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, Jan. 15 (PIA) - - Ten former members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB) in the province who recently surrendered to the authorities along with a former recipient were given financial assistance under the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Each former MB member received P15,000 Immediate Assistance
while the former E-CLIP recipient who used to be a former Cadre of the New People’s Army (NPA), received P50,000-worth of firearm remuneration in a ceremony held at the TESDA Ilocos Sur Provincial Office in Vigan City Thursday, January 14.

Administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Ilocos Sur, Reintegration Assistance was also given to the 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion of the Philippine Army
which is being used for the expenses of former rebels who have been placed under the protection of government troops while processing their other benefits under the E-CLIP.

E-CLIP AWARDING: Recipients of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) after the awarding ceremony held at the provincial office of TESDA-Ilocos Sur, Vigan City. (jmcq/pia)

In his message, 81st IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Mariñas, Jr., asked for the cooperation of the former rebels and supporters of CPP-NPA to help end local communist armed conflict not just in the province but in the whole country by supporting the government’s peace and development efforts.

"Magtulungan po tayo. Kasama ng COVID-19 na kinakaharap natin ngayon, may isa pang virus na matagal na nating nilalabanan – ito ay ang insurgency virus. For 52 years, alam nating lahat na perwisyo lang ang naidulot ng insurgency virus na ito. Takot lang ang dulot nito at perwisyo lang ang naibigay sa mga komunidad. Hamon ito sa atin ngayong 2021. Sana ma-engganyo natin ang iba na andun sa kabundokan na bumaba na at magbalik-loob na sa gobyerno. Kailangan namin ang inyong tulong para sa kapayapaan dito sa Ilocos Sur at sa buong Pilipinas," Lt. Col. Mariñas said.

Moreover, DILG Ilocos Sur Provincial Director Reggie Colisao lauded the former rebels for deciding to return to the fold of the law and assured the continuous assistance from the national government especially with the strengthened implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70.

“May second at third batch pa na makatatanggap ng assistance under E-CLIP this year. Tuloy-tuloy itong programa, hanggang sa may nagbabalik-loob, tuloy-tuloy ang mga assistance na binibigay ng gobyerno sa kanila,” she said.

Since 2015, DILG-Ilocos Sur has so far distributed a total of P4.12M worth of immediate and livelihood assistance and remuneration to 67 former rebels who surrendered to government forces deployed in Ilocos Sur.

Also present were Salcedo Mayor Leopoldo Gironella, Sta. Cruz Mayor Teresita Valle who was represented by SBM Renato Quilop along with heads and/or representatives from partner agencies namely: DILG, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Social Welfare and Development in Ilocos Sur, and the Philippine National Police.

Meanwhile, the youth in Southern Leyte are performing their role in putting an end to insurgency caused by the CPP-NPA-NDF, according to Youth for Peace Southern Leyte President Joy Fin Gesulga during the Laging Handa Network Briefing Thursday.

“For this year we will be focusing on putting an end to the CPP-NPA-NDF in Southern Leyte and in Leyte. Our programs will be on ending the problems brought about by these communist terrorist groups,” she said.

“In Southern Leyte we've conducted two peace camps and we still have 16 more municipalities where we will conduct these,” she added. (JCR/JMQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)

1,513 Eastern Visayas villages reject NPA

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): 1,513 Eastern Visayas villages reject NPA (By Sarwell Meniano)

DENOUNCING TERROR. Officials and residents of Logero village in Marabut, Samar during its declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA) as persona non-grata on Jan. 5, 2021. The Philippine Army on Friday (Jan. 15, 2021) reported that at least 1,513 villages in E. Visayas declared the CPP-NPA as persona non grata in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

At least 1,513 villages in Eastern Visayas have declared the New People’s Army (NPA) persona non-grata in 2020, the Philippine Army reported on Friday.

The number represents 34 percent of the region's 4,390 villages, said Philippine Army 8th Infantry Division chief of staff, Col. Perfecto Peñaredondo, in a press briefing.

"We want all villages to declare the NPA as persona non-grata this year for all our communities not to be influenced by the communist ideology," Peñaredondo said.

All of the region's six provinces, seven cities, and 136 towns have formally denounced the communist terrorist group in 2020.

The military official considers the support of local governments as a turning point in the battle against the NPA because the government has shifted from the military operations approach to whole-of-nation approach where all government agencies from national to local, including the private sector, work together to eradicate insurgency.

The declaration of local governments has contributed to the surrender of 2,754 NPA fighters and die-hard supporters in the region last year, according to the official.

"We also encourage villages in urban areas to pass a resolution declaring the NPA as persona non-grata since they are also the target for recruitment," Peñaredondo added.

The formal rejection of local governments is among the key accomplishment of the local task forces on ending local communist armed conflict in 2020.

The formation of the task force operationalizes Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 4, 2018.

The directive also institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an inclusive and sustainable peace.

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

NPA rebel wanted for murder nabbed in NegOcc

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): NPA rebel wanted for murder nabbed in NegOcc (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

ARRESTED. Ruffa “Ka Reniel” Baynosa (right), a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, wanted for murder and frustrated murder was arrested in a joint military and police operation at Hacienda Ambulog, Barangay San Fernando in Talisay City, Negros Occidental on Thursday (Jan. 14, 2021). Baynosa, 44, was one of the 20 NPA rebels who ambushed civilians onboard a utility truck at Sitio Toril, Barangay Salamanca in Toboso town on July 13, 2009, that killed three persons and injured three others. (Photo courtesy of 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

A member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) who is wanted for murder and frustrated murder was arrested in a joint military and police operation at Hacienda Ambulog, Barangay San Fernando in Talisay City, Negros Occidental on Thursday afternoon.

The suspect, identified as Ruffa “Ka Reniel” Baynosa, 44, was one of the 20 NPA rebels who ambushed civilians onboard a utility truck at Sitio Toril, Barangay Salamanca in Toboso town on July 13, 2009, that killed three persons and injured three others.

Baynosa’s arrest came after troops of the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion pursued members of the communist-terrorist group sighted in the area on Wednesday.

In a statement of Friday, Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, commanding officer of 79IB, acknowledged the efforts of the personnel of Talisay City Police Station headed by Maj. Jigger Gimeno that led to Baynosa’s arrest.

“Your Philippine Army and Philippine National Police will be unrelenting in the pursuit of peace and development for the populace of northern Negros. I encourage the public to stay vigilant and report the presence of the NPA in their area,” Alvaran said.

Baynosa has three warrants of arrest, including one for three counts of murder, one for three counts of frustrated murder, and another for a separate frustrated murder case, all issued by the late Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia, then presiding judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 58 in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

At 12:30 p.m., troops deployed to Hacienda Ambulog saw a suspicious person entering the house of villager Marilyn Dianton and held the said individual for questioning.

Later, they were able to identify her as Baynosa and the police confirmed that she has three warrants of arrest.

In the same area on Wednesday, troops of 79IB found a two-month-old baby boy in the house of Dianton left by suspected NPA rebel “Ka Jandy”, who fled with a comrade to evade the soldiers.

The infant was turned over by soldiers and policemen to the care of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Troops also recovered subversive documents, medical supplies, baby stuff, food items, three mobile phones, seven phone batteries, two cellular phone chargers, a power bank, and a gas stove with five butane fuel canisters.

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

Rebel killed, another captured in Surigao Norte clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): Rebel killed, another captured in Surigao Norte clash (By Alexander Lopez) 

SEIZED FIREARMS. A communist New People’s Army rebel is killed, and another one is wounded following a 30-minute firefight with government troops in the hinterlands of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 13, 2020). Government troopers recovered firearms, ammunition, and subversive documents from the encounter site. (Photo courtesy of 30IB)

A communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed and another was captured in an encounter Wednesday with government troops in the hinterlands of Gigaquit town, Surigao del Norte.

In a press statement Friday, Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, commander of the Army's 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB), identified the slain rebel as Danilyn S. Fabre, 25, a resident of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

Callanta said the wounded rebel, who was eventually captured, was Jocelyn Hiningcagan, 22, a Gigaquit resident.

The two belong to the Guerilla Front 16 of the NPA's Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

“The encounter took place when troops of 30IB were responding to a report from the civilians about the presence of more or less 30 NPA rebels extorting money from the royalty shares of the Indigenous People (IP) communities in the area,” Callanta said.

He said the NPA combatants fired upon the approaching soldiers, resulting in a 30-minute firefight that ended with the rebels retreating and leaving behind their dead and wounded comrades.

Callanta said government troops recovered high-power firearms, ammunition, and subversive documents at the encounter site.

“We responded to the call for help by the IP communities who were getting fed-up of the CNTs (Communist NPA Terrorist) extortions and whose desires are to live peacefully in their communities free from harassments, fear, and intimidation, deceit, and abuses by these terrorist NPAs,” Callanta said.

He said the slain rebel was handed over to her family while the wounded combatant was rushed to Butuan City for treatment.

On Thursday, the wounded rebel was transferred to Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City for further treatment, the Army official said.

"For the remaining NPA members, it is high time for them to choose to be with their families rather than to end up like what happened to their comrades by believing a Godless ideology and pointless struggle,” Callanta said.

NPA ‘liaison officer’ nabbed in Surigao Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): NPA ‘liaison officer’ nabbed in Surigao Sur (By Alexander Lopez)

NPA LIAISON. Government forces arrest Friday afternoon (Jan. 15, 2021) Ernest Abenio Valdez, 48, a liaison officer of the New People’s Army, at his residence in Barangay Bayan, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur. The suspect is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms. (Photo courtesy of 3SFBn)

Government forces arrested Friday afternoon an official of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Sur.

1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, civil-military operations officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn), identified the arrested rebel as Ernest Abenio Valdez, 48, allegedly the liaison officer between the NPA's North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee and its assassination unit, the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU).

Punsalan said Valdez was arrested by the Army and the Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office (SDSPPO) at his residence in Barangay Bayan, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur.

According to Punsalan, Valdez is also a member of the Militia ng Bayan in the locality and brother to Felizardo Abenio Valdez, a party secretary of a sub-regional committee of the NPA.

“He was arrested at his residence by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur,” the Army official said.

Valdez is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms.

Authorities also seized a .45-caliber pistol and ammunition, an improvised marble gun, and a short magazine for an M16 rifle from Valdez.

Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, 3SFBn commander, assured the Army unit remains " focused and steadfast" in its campaign and mission to "end NPA terrorism in Surigao del Sur".

In a separate statement, Brig. Gen. Allan D. Hambala, commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade (401Bde), warned those protecting NPA combatants in the area.

“We are warning all those who coddle NPA terrorists, regardless of their status in life, either civilians or politicians, name it. If we find out that you go against the law by protecting NPA terrorists, we will hit you hard using all legal means as provided by law,” Hambala said.

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

NTF ELCAC has legal standing to sue, Comelec on Gabriela's bid

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): NTF ELCAC has legal standing to sue, Comelec on Gabriela's bid (By Gigie Arcilla)

A copy of the 7-page order of Comelec Second Division Presiding Commissioner Socorro B. Inting dated January 13, 2021, denying Gabriela Women's Party motion that National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict no legal authority to sue them. (PNA photo)

Militant women’s party-list group Gabriela and two affiliate organizations failed to get the Commission on Elections (Comelec) nod to its motion for reconsideration claiming that the government’s anti-communist body has no legal authority to sue them.

In its seven-page order dated January 13, 2021, Comelec Second Division Presiding Commissioner Socorro B. Inting denied Gabriela Women's Party motion saying it has failed to provide new evidence and legal basis relative to a case filed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) in May 2019 that sought to cancel its registration in the party-list system for violations of the election law and the Constitution.

Inting’s order affirmed its Nov. 24, 2020 decision that NTF ELCAC has legal standing to file the case on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines.

It junked the arguments of Gabriela Women’s Party and two other respondents – Gabriela, Inc. and General Assembly of Women and Reforms – in its motion for reconsideration dated Dec. 2, 2020, as follows: (1) That the earlier order contradicts Section 2, Rule 5 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure. The NTF-ELCAC is not a juridical person imbued with the legal capacity to sue; (That being allegedly clothed with a "legal interest" to file the instant petition does not do 2) away with the requirement that an entity must have the capacity to sue; and (3) That assuming arguendo that the petitioner has capacity to sue, the subject order failed to consider that the petitioner has no capacity to sue on behalf of the Republic.

“In this case, Petitioner is able to allege substantial interest in filing the case, making the Petitioner clothed with legal interest to file this case. As stated in its Petition, NTF-ELCAC was created to provide a whole-of-nation approach in defeating the local communist terrorist groups and such other groups who advocate, use or support the use of violence or unlawful means to advance their goals,” the order read, adding that the petitioner, indeed, has the legal capacity to file the instant case.

“It is clear that any person permitted by the Comelec Rules and Procedure may be parties in any action or proceeding before the Commission. Petitioner, as permitted by Section 8, paragraph 32 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure can be a party to this action,” it added.

Untenable and erroneous

The instant proceeding, the order said, should be considered as having instituted by the Republic itself since it gave its consent when the Office of the Solicitor General voluntarily entered its appearance on behalf of the Republic.

“The argument of Respondent that the State cannot be dragged into a suit, either as a petitioner or respondent, without its consent is untenable and erroneous,” Inting said in the order. “The very essence of the Doctrine of State Immunity is that there can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the right depends. Thus, the state immunity only applies as a defense from suit.”

NTF ELCAC’s petition vs. Gabriela

Created in 2018 pursuant to Executive Order No. 70 providing for a whole-of-nation approach defeating local communist terrorist groups, and such other groups that advocate the use of violence or other unlawful means to advance their goals, NTF filed a case against the respondents seeking to cancel their registration and accreditation for receiving support from a foreign government.

The case stemmed from the document entitled “Overview of Non-Government Actors in the Philippines-Program 2017-2021,” shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium to Philippine delegates during a meeting in Brussels in February 2019.

The document, NTF ELCAC said, revealed that the Belgian Government, through its accredited non-government organizations (NGOs) particularly G3W, also known as Viva Salud, funded the respondents.

“Respondent’s act is a blatant and direct violation of the Constitution which prohibits, in no uncertain and equivocal trend and qualifications, political parties, coalitions of political parties or organizations from receiving support from any foreign government,” the NTF-ELCAC said, citing a report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, that from 2012 to 2016, the respondents received more or less PHP22.7 million.

The petition added that respondents are pursuing their goals through violence in violation of Section 8, (d), Rule 32 Comelec Rules of Procedure Section 6 (2) of Republic Act No. 7941, otherwise known as the “Partylist System Act and Section 61, Article VIII of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881 or the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).

It also cited the sworn statement of Edison Coloma Villanueva attesting that Gabriela party-list supports the outlawed advocacies and principle of the NPA (New People’s Army) and “utilizes its funds for the procurement of firearms and ammunition’s for the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA.”

Meanwhile, Comelec’s Second Division has set the pre-marking of all evidence on file with the records of the Commission through a video conference on Jan. 13 while the hearing of the case is scheduled on Jan. 14.

Court orders arrest of 9 dismissed cops in Jolo shooting

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): Court orders arrest of 9 dismissed cops in Jolo shooting (By Benjamin Pulta and Priam Nepomuceno)

Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB

A Sulu court has ordered the arrest of the nine dismissed police officers indicted for the fatal shooting of four Army intelligence operatives in Jolo in June last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday.

“Warrants were issued yesterday (Thursday),” Prosecutor Honey Delgado of the Office of the Prosecutor General told reporters.

She added that the court is currently hearing the motion for the issuance of hold departure orders against the accused, which would prevent them from leaving the country once it is issued.

State prosecutors have earlier found probable cause to charge the nine dismissed police officers -- Senior M/Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri; M/Sgt. Hanie Baddiri; S/Sgt. Iskandar Susulan; S/Sgt. Ernisar Sappal; Cpl. Sulki Andaki; Pat. Moh Nur Pasani; S/Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; Pat. Alkajal Mandangan; and Pat. Rajiv Putalan for four counts of murder and planting of evidence.

Surrender now

In a message to reporters, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said he is hoping that the accused would surrender immediately to authorities.

"Well, we presume that they are with their families (and that) they will make themselves available once the warrant of arrest is issued," he said in Filipino.

Usana added that PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas has ordered the monitoring of the movement of these former police officers.

Good news

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the military welcomes this development.

"Albeit issued belatedly, we are glad that the RTC (Regional Trial Court) Branch 3 of Jolo found probable cause to issue a warrant for the arrest of the nine suspects in the murder of four Army Intelligence personnel," he said in a message to reporters.

The arrest and subsequent detention of the suspects will be without bail indicating that the court considers that the evidence of their guilt is strong, Arevalo added.

"We urge the respondent police personnel to surrender—else the AFP, the PNP, and other agencies of government will vigorously search, find, and deliver them to court without delay to face trial for multiple murder," he added.

Meanwhile, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called the court's move "good news".

"That’s good news. Now the PNP (Philippine National Police) has (a) legal basis to arrest them. They were reportedly released because their discharge became effective and there was no arrest warrant," he said in a message to reporters.

The suspects were charged for the June 29, 2020 shooting incident that resulted in the death of Maj. Marvin A. Indammog, Capt. Irwin B. Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime M. Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula.

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

Oral arguments on anti-terror law reset to Feb. 2

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): Oral arguments on anti-terror law reset to Feb. 2 (By Benjamin Pulta)

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday said the oral arguments on the suits questioning the legality of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 has been rescheduled after personnel from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a notice sent to concerned parties, SC Clerk of Court Edgar O. Aricheta said the high court has reset the oral arguments to Feb. 2 "considering the meritorious request of Solicitor General Jose Calida that his Assistant Solicitor General and some staff who will attend the oral arguments have been tested positive for Covid 19".

The SC, in preparation for the oral arguments originally scheduled on January 19, has earlier issued strict health protocol ground rules including limiting media personnel to be allowed to stay at the ground floor lobby where a TV monitor will be set up.

They may record the proceedings through the monitor for purposes only of a later broadcast and the proceedings may not be aired live, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said.

Reporters covering the event are also required to submit a negative swab test result taken at least 72 hours before the oral arguments.

The ATA repeals Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007. It seeks the detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days with no warrant of arrest.

It also allows the police or the military to conduct 60-day surveillance with an allowable 30-day extension on suspected terrorists.

The law also imposes a 12-year jail term on a person who voluntarily or knowingly joins a terrorist organization.

PNP nabs 3 ranking Reds wanted for several raps

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 15, 2021): PNP nabs 3 ranking Reds wanted for several raps (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)  January 15, 2021, 6:53 pm

Police authorities have arrested three ranking communist terrorist leaders in Luzon and the Visayas wanted for several charges in separate operations on Thursday, the country's top cop said on Friday.

“The Warrants of Arrest were issued against wanted CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front) personalities and is pursuant to Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC),”
said Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, in a statement.

In Western Visayas, police
arrested Ruffa Baynosa on Thursday noon at Hacienda Ambulong, Barangay San Fernando, Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

Baynosa, who is a medical officer of the NPA unit operating in the towns of Calatrava and Toboso in Negros Occidental, is wanted for seven counts of frustrated murder.

In Southern Luzon, Amito Aballe alias 'Tomsky' was arrested in Barangay Poblacion, San Francisco, Quezon on charges of double murder and multiple attempted murder.

He will be presented before the sala of Judge Maria Chona E. Pulgar-Navarro of Calauag, Quezon Regional Trial Court Branch 63, which handles the charges against him.

In Isabela, police officers nabbed Rey Miguel Busania in Santiago City, who is wanted for charges of direct assault, murder, multiple frustrated murder, serious illegal detention, robbery, and carnapping.

He is now detained at the facility of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Santiago City.

From January to December 2020, the PNP arrested a total of 433 CPP-NPA-NDF personalities while 3,155 voluntarily surrendered.

“They must be held liable for the crimes that they have committed against the state and various individuals,” Sinas said.

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

Opinion: How communists gained control of UP Student Council, Philippine Collegian, and most campus organizations

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Jan 11, 2021): How communists gained control of UP Student Council, Philippine Collegian, and most campus organizations (By Rigoberto D. Tiglao)

THIS is the second of a three-part series on how the Maoists, starting in the early martial law years, succeeded in making our premier state educational institution, the University of the Philippines (UP), the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) intellectual and cultural base.

These narratives were published in a blog by Roberto “Beto” Reyes, who seems to have been a ranking CPP cadre in the late 1970s and 1980s and an eyewitness and participant in the communist conquest of UP.

We owe this account, certainly a testament to the adage “news are the first drafts of history,” to Mr. Reyes who took the effort and time to write down what could very well have been lost in people’s frangible memories. I also applaud The Manila Times’ editors, who agreed to publish such rather unusual content of an opinion column, making these narratives a solid resource material for future historians — as opposed to an internet blog that could be deleted permanently.

As I have narrated in previous columns, since the years described here the CPP has consolidated and expanded its control of the UP, which has continued to be its recruitment grounds, its de facto party school, and one of its most powerful propaganda machines. The UP’s bigger non-communist academic and student community have just looked away. There has been no ideological and cultural counter-force to the communists’ hegemony over the UP.

Reyes blog:

In the history of the Left movement in the University of the Philippines, 1975 was the year the Communist Party of the Philippines accepted that an explicit anti-martial law protest movement in the Diliman campus was feasible. Going for it were the underground and aboveground assets it had painstakingly developed in 1973 and especially in 1974. Besides, party leaders opined, the initial shock of the declaration had vanished.A usual UP happening: Not about tuition fees and the like but ‘various issues’ vs Duterte. ANC SCREENGRAB

It tried to incite protests in 1973, but these were quickly squelched by the police. In an astute move, the CPP settled down to secretly penetrate innocent-looking organizations, undertake subtle anti-dictatorship activities through these groups, recruit members and develop a mass base.

In 1975, the CPP determined that after all the spadework, it had enough warm bodies and a range of tactics to openly challenge martial law without inviting suppression and arrest. The party sensed that the Marcos regime was relaxing, albeit temporarily. The Left was willing to test the waters.

Hopes were high in the party ranks that the intended protest movement would approximate the intense rallies before martial law. However, quite a few CPP operatives in Diliman recognized the stifling effect of martial law on student activities. They were secretly lowering their expectations. Not a few, however, were convinced that the students could still be mobilized to demonstrate in droves, like they did before Proclamation 1081.

CPP organization

By 1975, the CPP had already laid out a decent network at UP made up of more than 80 cadres and members, and about thrice this number were “national-democratic” (ND) activists. The party branch was bombastically called “University Revolutionary Council,” or URC. Its executive committee was called Komiteng Tagapagpaganap or verbally, KT. The URC fell under the administrative supervision of the CPP’s District 2, or “D2” which covered Quezon City and Marikina.

D2, in turn, was under the guidance of the party’s Manila-Rizal (MR) Committee. MR’s leadership was then newly taken over by Filemon Lagman, who was known in underground circles as “Ka Popoy.” A tactical genius, Lagman this early was already hankering for a general uprising in Manila-Rizal, which he termed as a “sigwa” (storm).

(Popoy as MR secretary built up the dreaded Alex Boncayao Brigade to become a feared and deadly weapon of the metropolitan party organization. He led a sizeable group of top communists to break away from the CPP in 1991 to form a new communist party. He was assassinated purportedly on [Jose Maria] Sison’s orders in 2001, en route to a meeting at the Bahay ng Alumni at UP, allegedly as he was preparing to disclose the full details of how Sison’s inner core planned and executed the bombing of the Liberal Party rally at Plaza Miranda in 1971. — RDT)

Lagman’s influence on the party branch at UP was immense. Even his agitated speaking style and gesticulating body mannerisms were copied by the top cadres. Lagman contributed in no small measure to the UP party branch’s intense desire for an uprising in the university.

The URC’s organizational department (OD) was tasked with overall organizational maintenance and political guidance of the numerous party groups and national-democratic core groups. These were embedded in the various student organizations, in the newly elected Student Conference and in the Philippine Collegian.

Organizational maintenance basically meant keeping the groups together and consolidating them. Giving political guidance meant ensuring that the groups followed the policies and guidelines of the URC, which was also called “higher organ,” or informally “HO.”

It was the job of the OD to transmit the memos that emanated from the URC, and for these to be thoroughly discussed in the party and ND groups. The memos were usually typewritten on onion-skin paper and several pages long. Sometimes reading the memos was difficult because the URC production committee made too many copies in a single typing. Carrying the documents was extremely dangerous. Persons found by the military to be carrying them were adjudged CPP elements and were invariably arrested, tortured, or even “salvaged” (summarily executed).

The memos contained the national and campus political situation, the issues of the day, the tasks for a given period, and the political calls. The latter came in the form of stirring slogans, like “Struggle for an autonomous, democratic and representative Student Council!”

Corps of cadres

The memos were transmitted by a small corps of talented and dedicated cadres that individually headed the various party and ND core groups. A party or ND group leader had the authoritative and glamorous title of “sec” which was short for secretary. Being a “sec” gave an activist enormous admiration and respectability even in the purportedly egalitarian UP activist community.

Sometimes, if the sec was not capable enough, the OD dispatched a “political officer” or “PO” to assist him/her, especially in explaining and defending complex policies. Helping the OD in consolidating the underground groups was the URC’s education department (ED), which was a pool of CPP instructors who were adept at conducting Marxist and ND discussion groups. These leftist seminars were casually called “EDs.” They systematically followed a prescribed curriculum. They were held in private houses belonging to the UP students themselves, especially those whose parents were middle class or upper middle class.

For the ND activists, the course was called “basic mass course,” or “batayang kursong pangmasa.” A must reading for this course was CPP Chairman Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revolution, or PSR. For the party elements, the course was called “basic party course,” whose readings were contained in a pocket handbook titled “Guide for Cadres and Members of the Communist Party of the Philippines” or “Patnubay Para sa mga Kadre at Kasapi ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas,” or verbally, “Patnubay.” An added reading for party elements was Amado Guerrero’s just published article “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War.”

Both party and ND courses were preceded by a lengthy getting-to-know-you or “kilanlanan” portion, where each participant introduced him/herself by relating a short autobiography or “talambuhay.” The talambuhays ended on what led the activist into the movement, and how he/she came to embrace its program and ideology.

The URC also had a “propaganda commission” or “propcom.” It was the propcom’s job to distribute underground publications in the campus, like Ang Bayan, the CPP official publication, Liberation, which was the official paper of the National Democratic Front (NDF), and Taliba ng Bayan, a publication of the MR committee. Propcom published a paper of its own, called Rebel Collegian or RC. Propcom also gave direct tactical guidance to the party and ND core groups operating within the Philippine Collegian.

Building alliances

After satiating itself with low-key activities conducted by individual organizations in 1974, the CPP decided that in 1975, it was going to go for the dramatic. It decided to tackle bigger issues and for these to be bannered by groups or “alliances” of organizations. As well, belligerent indoor and outdoor rallies, abandoned in 1973 and 1974, were back on the planning table.

The first step in this bold direction was for the organizations to form alliances according to type or orientation e.g. academic, fraternity/sorority, varsitarian, civic, religious and cultural. Examples of alliances that were formed were the “UP Fraternity Alliance,” the “UP Alliance of Social Science Organizations” and the “UP Alliance of Natural Science Organizations.”

The alliances were usually formed in a meeting of representatives convened by a leading organization. An alliance was formalized through a written joint statement or declaration of principles which was signed by the organization heads. The CPP cadres saw to it that the declarations contained a commitment to “student rights and welfare,” and to “national freedom and democracy.”

“Student rights and welfare” covered issues relating to tuition fees, campus facilities, student loans, and the academic curriculum. “National freedom and democracy” was inclusive of US domination of the economy, civil liberties, human rights, restoration of the student council, and martial law. The inclusion of this catchphrase was notable, in that it was a first after three years of martial rule. It was the CPP’s trial balloon on how far student protests and mass actions could go, without inviting suppression.

Student rights

The next step was for the alliances to form a university-wide alliance of alliances. This aggrupation was formed in a large meeting in mid-1975 at the Student Conference room (Alcantara Hall) on the second floor of Vinzons Hall. The main agenda of the group was the restoration of the student council and the improvement of student facilities. Note: any national political issue was off the table for the time being.

(The UP Student Conference, whose members were first elected in1975, was the officially sanctioned replacement for the Student Council, which was abolished by martial law along with other such ‘student governments.’ It was transformed back as the Student Council in 1980, with communists continuing their control of such a student body. — RDT)

Although it already controlled the Student Conference and the Philippine Collegian, the CPP decided that it still needed a campus-wide organization like the SCSRW, which it completely controlled. Complete control meant being able to adapt a group’s name and tactics to any issue it wanted to pursue, and to the intensity level it wanted to pursue it.

Such flexibility was not present in the Student Conference and the Philippine Collegian, because after all, they still owed their existence to the UP administration, with the attendant rules of operation. Any rash action by either body could invite suspension or abolition. It would have been foolhardy for the CPP, for example, to let these institutions lead a street uprising, or call for armed struggle.

The CPP leadership was reserving the SCSRW for this kind of action, even though the latter was addressing student rights and welfare issues in the interim. When the SCSRW assumed an anti-dictatorship stance, the CPP planned to upgrade its harmless name to something combative.

These are typical ‘articles’ in the Philippine Collegian, financed by taxpayers’ money. Every propaganda line of the Communist Party, the Collegian disseminates, amplifies and even puts artistic touches on each.

Philippine Collegian

CPP control of the Student Conference and the Philippine Collegian in 1975 was essential to the success of its plans. These institutions were pivotal in sparking protest actions. Both were excellent CPP propaganda platforms, as they legally articulated any CPP analysis, call-to-action, and slogan.

They also enjoyed tremendous legitimacy, being administration-created and sanctioned. The institutional cover they provided to CPP cadres was formidable. Moreover, they provided solid provisions to the activists, in the form of office space, office supplies, two electric typewriters and two reliable mimeographing machines.

The party successfully fielded candidates in the Student Conference elections in mid-year, capturing most of the 20 or so seats. Even before the elections, CPP control of the new body was a foregone conclusion, because it controlled practically all the organizations that fielded candidates. Just the same, the party took advantage of the campaign to engage in propaganda and break new ground.

In the Philippine Collegian meanwhile, party elements managed to snatch important staff positions after the grueling editorial exams. They arduously prepared for it, even holding writing and lay-out workshops and a mock exam. They, however, failed to win the editor-in-chief position. The post was bagged by Abraham “Ditto” Sarmiento Jr., a nerdy and bespectacled law student who belonged to the moderate Alpha Phi Beta fraternity.

Surprisingly, Ditto Sarmiento proved to be very cooperative to the Left. In fact, he mostly let them have their way with the Collegian. With each issue, the Sarmiento Collegian escalated its attacks against the dictatorship. The most memorable issue under his editorship came in late 1975. It not so subtly called for an uprising against martial law. It had an imposing image of the Oblation on the entire front page, with “Kung hindi ngayon kailan pa (If not now when)?” emblazoned under it in red letters.

UP Women’s Home

The radicals also controlled a little known but vital UP institution, the UP Women’s Home, a cozy bungalow behind Vinzons Hall which became a veritable activist boarding and half-way house. The radicals also held meetings and consultations in its many small rooms, which were noticeably bereft of furniture. The rooms were nonetheless clean, carpeted, and sound-proof. CPP elements who were on the military’s wanted list often sneaked into these cubicles, and engaged in endless small talk with their less sought after friends.

The activists also patronized that timeless Vinzons Hall fixture, a cafe called The Grill. The leftist watering hole had more than its share of activist banter, courting, and debate. No doubt about it, the Marxists were attracted by the The Grill’’s proletarian prices. This University Food Service outlet had an endless supply of cheap coffee, spaghetti, hamburgers and cinnamon rolls.

With the Student Conference and the Philippine Collegian being likewise based at Vinzons Hall, this building, fronted by a defiant Andres Bonifacio statue, and which dominated a hill overlooking the UP Sunken Garden, became the effective UP Diliman leftist operations center.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao
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