Saturday, January 23, 2021

NPA rebel killed in Agusan clash

From Tempo (Jan 23, 2021): NPA rebel killed in Agusan clash 

A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed while several others were wounded in a fierce gunbattle with soldiers in Barangay Segunda, Esperanzan, Agusan del Sur last Wednesday.

Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer Lt. Cecille C. Tappa of the 26th Infantry Battalion (26th IB) said
two high-powered firearms, an M16 with an M203 grenade launcher, four M203 ammunition, three long magazines, assorted live ammunition, subversive documents, and personal belongings were recovered by troops of the 26th IB after the encounter with about 20 heavily armed NPA while conducting combat operations in Barangay Segunda .

The identity of the slain rebel was not immediately known but he was believed to be a member of RSDG COMPAQ of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).

“His fellow wounded NPA comrades abandoned his body while withdrawing from the encounter site. The cadaver was turned over to the Municipal Police Station (MPS) of Esperanza for proper disposition,” the 26th IB CMO officer said.

The encounter erupted 2 p.m. and the firefight lasted for 20 minutes.

“The 26th IB conducted focused military operations (FMO) in the area as a response to the reports of some concerned citizens that members of the NPA were seen roaming in the area and were planning to conduct atrocities against the government,” Tappa added. (Mike Crismundo)

Soldier killed in clash with NPA rebels in Ilocos Sur

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 23, 2021): Soldier killed in clash with NPA rebels in Ilocos Sur (By: Armand Galang)

The Army’s 7th Infantry Division is mourning the death of a soldier who was killed on Friday (Jan. 22) during an encounter with fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay (village) Lamag, Quirino town in Ilocos Sur.

In a statement, the Army command expressed its condolences to the family of Private Shame Reyes, who was killed in the 40-minute firefight.

“His gallantry to protect the people of Ilocos Sur will serve as an inspiration to all of us to crush the remaining NPA terrorists in our area of responsibility and continue protecting the people from [their] influence,” according to the statement.

Reyes was the second soldier from the 7ID’s 71st Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) to have been killed in combat against the NPA this month.

Earlier, the 72DRC lost 2Lt. Zaldy Lapis, Jr. in an encounter with 40 communist rebels in Abra.

Japan Becomes Latest Nation to Contest Beijing’s Claims in the South China Sea

Posted to Radio Free Asia (Jan 22, 2021): Japan Becomes Latest Nation to Contest Beijing’s Claims in the South China Sea (By Zachary Haver)

Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan speaks virtually during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2020. Photo: RFA

Japan has joined a growing list of countries that are challenging China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.

On Tuesday, Japan presented a one-page diplomatic note to the United Nations rejecting China’s baseline claims and denouncing its efforts to limit the freedom of navigation and overflight.

Japan’s note is the latest in series of recent criticisms of China’s position, joining submissions to the U.N. from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the United States.

This backlash suggests that China’s excessive claims and its assertive behavior are setting off alarm bells in in a growing number of capitals—both in Southeast Asia and beyond.

“By joining the United States and several European and Asian nations in formally protesting China's claims, Japan is joining a diplomatic (and maybe operational) effort to reject specific elements of China's South China Sea claims,” said Isaac Kardon, an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

In its submission, Japan explicitly rejects China’s claim that the “drawing of territorial sea baselines by China on relevant islands and reefs in the South China Sea conforms to UNCLOS and general international law.”

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is an international treaty that covers maritime jurisdictions, the use of sea resources, and the freedom of navigation and overflight. Baselines are imaginary lines on a map connecting the outermost points of the features of an archipelago and are meant to circumscribe the territory that belongs to it.

Japanese Ground Home Defence Forces Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) maneouver along the beach of a Philippine navy training center facing the South China Sea in annual U.S.-Philippine marines exercises. San Antonio town, Zambales province, Oct. 6, 2018.

Deeper Southeast Asia ties

Although Japan is not among the claimants in the South China Sea, this is not its first foray into those turbulent waters.

Japan has deepened security ties with several of the Southeast Asian claimant nations in recent years, and in October 2020 carried out anti-submarine exercises in the South China Sea.

Japanese companies have signed onto joint offshore energy projects with Vietnam, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently set a defense export agreement with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Similarly, the Philippines has acquired coast guard vessels and radar systems from Japan. And Japanese vessels have participated in exercises in the South China Sea with forces from the United States and the Philippines.

Japan’s decision to challenge China’s position in the South China Sea is also likely related to its dispute with China over the Japanese-occupied Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

“The timing of the note is crucial,” Pooja Bhatt, a PhD candidate at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said, “as it was released a few hours prior to a reportedly high-level consultation on maritime issues between China and Japan where the latter lodged a diplomatic protest over increasing Chinese belligerence near the Senkaku Islands.”

More broadly, Bhatt said Japan’s action reflected a trend of non-claimant states that “seek safety and freedom of trade and navigation” and hope to “uphold the rule of law and internationally accepted norms in the high seas of the South China Sea just like any other global commons.”

Because “the waters of the South China Sea beyond the territorial sea are high seas that impact global peace and security,” Bhatt explained, claimant and non-claimant states “are increasingly vocal to register their concern through diplomatic notes to the United Nations at the multilateral level.”

At odds with UNCLOS

For example, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom submitted joint notes to the United Nations in September 2020. They contended that China’s baseline claims and historic rights claims were inconsistent with UNCLOS.

China claims straight baselines around the Paracel Islands, an area in the northern South China Sea disputed by Vietnam, China, and Taiwan. Assessments of these claims have long concluded that China’s baselines in the Paracels are at odds with UNCLOS requirements. China has not yet claimed baselines around the Spratly Islands, the site of overlapping claims between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

In July 2016, an UNCLOS tribunal ruled that China “is constituted principally by territory on the mainland of Asia and cannot meet the definition of an archipelagic State,” which means that any future straight baseline claims around the Spratly Islands will not find any support under international law. The arbitral award also invalidated China’s historic rights claims within its so-called “nine-dash line.”

The UNCLOS tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued this arbitral award in response to a legal challenge brought against China in 2013 by the Philippines. China refused to participate in the arbitration, rejected the PCA’s ruling, and has continued to defend its baseline claims.

In the years since the UNCLOS tribunal ruling, the legal battle over China’s South China Sea claims has continued. According to Kardon, Japan’s recent note to the U.N. is part of “a series of such diplomatic notes that began with Malaysia's December 2019 submission of extended continental shelf claims to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.”

China responded by asking the Commission to “not consider” Malaysia’s submission. “This provided another target for claimants and other interested parties to voice formal objections to specific aspects of China's claims,” Kardon said.

Japan’s note to the United Nations is a response to China’s retort to the joint notes that France, Germany, and the United Kingdom submitted in September 2020.

Japan’s note also expresses concern about China’s position on freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea – specifically over what are called “low-tide elevations,” features exposed at low tide but submerged at high tide that do not generate a territorial sea.

Japan specifically accuses China of protesting “the overflight of Japanese aircraft in the airspace surrounding Mischief Reef” – a low-tide elevation in the Spratly Islands that China transformed into a major outpost through land reclamation.

Philippines inks $940 million deal with China to link Subic Bay and Clark Air Base by rail

Posted to the Stars & Stripes (Jan 22, 2021): Philippines inks $940 million deal with China to link Subic Bay and Clark Air Base by rail (By SETH ROBSON)

A Philippine Air Force OV-10A/C Bronco parks on the flight line at Clark Air Base, Philippines, May 8, 2018. JAVIER ALVAREZ/U.S. AIR FORCE

China and the Philippines have agreed to build a railway linking a pair of former American military facilities on the island of Luzon that are still used by visiting U.S. forces.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian trumpeted the $940 million deal to link Subic Bay and Clark Air Base — which comprised America’s largest overseas military community before the installations closed following the 1991 eruption of nearby Mount Pinotubo — in a Facebook post Saturday.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported the same day that negotiations between the two countries over a loan to finance the project would soon begin.

"Once completed, the railway will build a resilient linkage between ports, railways, and airports along the Subic-Clark corridor, which will improve the logistic efficiency, trim the transportation cost and support the potential demand for freight services and economic activities in the region," the Chinese Embassy said according to the agency.

The 44-mile railway is the most expensive government-to-government project involving the two countries and the flagship of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program, Huang said in his post.

A Dec. 29 notice awarding the contract to the China Harbor Engineering Co., is posted on the Philippines Department of Transportation website. The firm, which is a subsidiary of the state-owned China Communications Construction Co., was accused of transferring funds to a Sri Lankan politician’s election campaign while engaging in a number of construction projects there in 2018, according to the New York Times.

Construction on the Subic-Clark project is estimated to last 42 months, Huang said.

The railway would have limited impact on U.S. forces visiting the facilities, although it could become an issue if the U.S. seeks a greater presence in the region, Ian Chong, an associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, said in an email Wednesday.

Chinese commercial investments overseas are watched warily by U.S. military strategists.

In 2015, as U.S. Marines were building a rotational presence in Australia’s Northern Territory, the government granted a 99-year lease for the Port of Darwin to a Chinese firm.

That same year a Chinese company acquired a 99-year lease on a failing Sri Lankan port near Indian Ocean shipping lanes that had been financed with Chinese loans that were defaulted on.

Duterte, since assuming office in 2016, has sought closer relations and infrastructure investment from Beijing, muting his criticism of China’s occupation of his country’s territory in the South China Sea.

However, he hasn’t followed through on threats to expel U.S. Special Forces battling Islamic extremists in the south or withdraw from a visiting forces agreement that facilitates large-scale bilateral exercises, U.S. port calls at Subic or U.S. Air Force operations out of Clark.

A pair of Chinese companies signaled interest in a financially troubled Subic Bay shipyard in 2019, but there is speculation that the facility may be taken over by Australian shipbuilder Austal and U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Philippine officials recently said that a Chinese firm is not in the running to assume control of the shipyard, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Oct. 3.

“[Subic is] not going to be a U.S. naval base like it was, but it would be a US/Australian company doing business to support both the U.S. and Philippine navies as well as countries in the region,” Austal’s customer affairs and business development director, Lawrence Ryder, told Stars and Stripes in a telephone interview last spring.

A Philippines expert at the University of Hawaii, Patricio Abinales, described the Clark-Subic rail announcement as a nice advertisement but all words.

“I do not think this will pull through,” he said.

Only about $926 million of $9 billion worth of infrastructure loans and grants promised to the Philippines by China in 2016 had been provided, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 26.

Chong added: “What may be worth looking out for in the future is whether changes to the US-Philippines mutual defense treaty and visiting forces agreement follow this development, if there are limitations or conditions placed on US military calls on these facilities, or if some exchange regarding the US military forces operating in and around areas claimed by the Philippines occur.”

BARMM in dialogue with 2 BIFF groups for peace and order, says Ebrahim

Posted to GMA News Online (Jan 22, 2021): BARMM in dialogue with 2 BIFF groups for peace and order, says Ebrahim (By ANNA FELICIA BAJO, GMA News)

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is having a dialogue with two of the three groups of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters as it aims to end atrocities in the region.

At a virtual press conference Friday, Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim was asked about the attacks being perpetrated in Maguindanao province.

"Actually these are perpetrated by some group of the BIFF. The BIFF is now split into three groups, we are in dialogue with two of the three groups and it was quite progressive as I've said, some members from this group who expressed their willingness to rejoin the MILF," Ebrahim said.

He said one of the three BIFF groups was "not responding positively in the dialogue." This means addressing the security concerns in the region could take some time as some are still "trying to sabotage the peace process," Ebrahim noted.

Aside from having a dialogue, Ebrahim said the BARMM is also aiming to dismantle the private armies in the region.

"We will disband the private armies in the area because we know that private armies, the existence of the private armies is one factor that is contributing to the peace and order situation in the area," Ebrahim said.

The BARMM will also create joint peace and security teams, together with the police and military, to prevent atrocities in the area.—LDF, GMA News

Opinion: CPP -- Just a matter of time

Opinion piece posted to The Manila Times (Jan 22, 2021): CPP: Just a matter of time (By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.)

THE Supreme Court hearing on the 37 petitions by various groups and individuals against the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL) should be an interesting development to watch. The arguments being raised so far by the petitioners are all anchored on the presumption that with the ATL, the state will have tremendous powers to be abused, i.e., to trample on the rights and liberties of citizens. These groups continue to believe their own propaganda that there is a state policy to disregard human rights and that the law will only embolden the security sector in committing more violations in the exercise of its powers to protect citizens from terrorists.

At the risk of violating the rule on sub judice, I would like to expound on these assertions and analyze why these militant groups are saying this. Offhand I can confidently say that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is feeling the heat, and its leaders and members know that very soon the organization will crumble, thanks to the passage of the ATL.

From the very beginning, during the deliberations of the bill proposing the ATL, it was over-emphasized that the law would not curtail the civil liberties of our people. The Constitution no less protects freedom of expression, of dissent, and peaceful assembly, and the ATL reiterates these important foundations of our democracy. But militants and their supporters insist that activism is the main target of this law rather than terrorism. This is because Jose Ma. Sison laced the youth’s delicate minds with that poison called “communism” and offered his utopian world as an alternative to our chaotic democratic system. But did he say he is going to destroy democracy with it? No, he used his dual revolutionary tactics, creating organizations that appeared to advance democratic and liberal principles, and tagged them as his progressive allies.

The Makabayan bloc in the House (which many now call Kamatayan bloc) is at the forefront of these opposition against the ATL. If we recall, these are the same individuals who have been complaining of being red-tagged, which led to the Senate inquiry on the issue. But just like their argument in the Senate hearings, they refuse to admit that they are subversives and deny their ties with the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA). Sison himself has also labeled them as Reds for being part of his solidarity network in the International League of Peoples Struggles ( But what is more damning is the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) website, which identifies all these underground organizations running the “legal” front organizations (

If you don’t understand what I am talking about, go to the website and make a quick check of all the member organizations of the NDFP and see for yourself those organizations in crimson red logos and insignias, typical of the revolutionary organizations during the Bolshevik era.

Very prominent in the group is the Bagong Hukbong Bayan (NPA), which is responsible for all these ambushes, assassinations, arson and murder of Indigenous Peoples leaders opposing the communists’ encroachment in their ancestral domain. What has this group to do with the Kamatayan bloc? Everything, and this is the reason why they are frantic and delirious now that there is a law that penalizes preparatory acts of terrorism.

Section 6 of the ATL provides that planning, training, preparing and facilitating acts of terror makes one accountable under the law. Attempting or conspiring to commit a terror act (Section 7), proposal to commit a terrorist act (Section 8) and inciting to commit a terrorist act (Section 9) are all clearly defined in this law. Finally, there is Section 10, recruitment and membership to these terror groups, and Section 12, providing material support to terrorist groups. Now aren’t these the very same acts which our resource persons in the Senate defense and security committee hearing have said about the organizations they used to belong to? Do the members of the Kamatayan bloc have an alibi? Yes, but it remains an alibi.

Let us go through some of these organizations (there are a hundred of them) to explain this intricate network of dubious organizations created by Sison.

The NDFP is the shield that protects the party (CPP) and the army (NPA). It is established in such a way that they build on from the basic alliances comprising youth, women, peasant/labor sectors. From here are born such organizations as Anakbayan, Kabataan, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, League of Filipino Students, etc. from the youth sector; Gabriela, Gabriela-Youth, Amihan for the women; and the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakpawis and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas for the peasant, farmer and labor sector. Are these organizations terrorist organizations? Yes and no. These organizations, although classified as open mass organizations (aboveground), are run by party groups or cells of the CPP, hence they will have to be watched while doing their operation underground.

Going back to, it identifies the red cells operating Kabataan, LFS and CEGP as Kabataang Makabayan (KM), while Makibaka, another NDFP organization is the underground cell of the CPP that is running Gabriela and Gabriela-Youth. Says who? Well, ask those who have been inside the organization Iike Ambassador Bobi Tiglao, Roberto Bobby Garcia, Ruben Guevarra (former central committee member) and recently, Joy James Saquino@Amihan, Noel Legaspi@Efren, or Jeffry Celis@Eric.

The list of organizations created by the CPP and those infiltrated is long but for our purposes now we are only touching on KM and Makibaka since the two have provided the most number of recruits to the CPP-NPA in recent years. I did not want to belabor readers too much on this, but it is important that we understand the interplay of these aboveground and underground organizations, especially in light of this controversy on the ATL and now the abrogation of the University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense accord.

The CPP has managed to perpetuate and orchestrate violence through its massive and extensive propaganda machinery embedded and run by all these “progressive” alliances of Sison. Lies and deceit have been mastered by these organizations in order to maintain their cover as “legal” fronts. But clearly though, the KM of Anakbayan and Kabataan, and the Makibaka of Gabriela are organizations running parallel to the BHB (NPA) — the terrorist organization that the Kamatayan bloc calls its friends. They are ahead in propaganda by a thousand miles but the the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-Elcac is quickly catching up. It’s only a matter of time.

Hundreds of BIFF fighters 'willing to rejoin' MILF, work with gov't

From CNN Philippines (Jan 22, 2021): Hundreds of BIFF fighters 'willing to rejoin' MILF, work with gov't (By Eimor Santos, CNN Philippines)

Two of three factions of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a breakaway group from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are in talks with the transitional government for possible cooperation, an official said Friday.

Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said more than 900 BIFF members "already pronounced that they are willing to rejoin the MILF."

Following decades of negotiations with the Philippine government, the MILF is now leading the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. The 80-member body serves as the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region until 2022 unless its term is extended by a new law.

It's been two years since the region was created through the Bangsamoro Organic Law. In a media briefing, Ebrahim said some BIFF members were supposed to join the MILF in time for the Bangsamoro region's second anniversary celebration on Thursday.

"We met some challenges because some of the commanders facing warrants of arrest will have to work out first these warrants before they can come out and rejoin the MILF," Ebrahim said.

"There's another group that's not part of the dialogue, it's not responding positively to the dialogue," he added.

The Philippine National Police recently filed complaints against BIFF leaders Salahudin "Salah" Hasan and Animbang "Commander Karialan" Indong, and dozens of other members for the attack on a police station and military detachment in Datu Piang, Maguindanao in December.

Ebrahim said the transitional government is engaging the BIFF in dialogue while beefing up security as well.

"Kapag hindi nakaya sa dialogue (If it is not resolved through dialogue), then the security arm of the government will be the final option," he said.

Under the law, the Philippine National Police will also organize, maintain, and supervise a Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro, which can be joined by members of the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front.

Ebrahim said this needs further discussion. In the meantime, the Joint Peace and Security Team will maintain order, composed of PNP and Armed Forces personnel, as well as MILF members who have not been decommissioned.

Bangsamoro officials are now asking Congress to extend the transition period for three more years, or until 2025, to ensure a successful implementation of the peace agreement.

Cops blame rebels for slay of 3 villagers

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 23, 2021): Cops blame rebels for slay of 3 villagers

At least three persons were killed after 15 villagers were abducted by suspected communist rebels in Aroroy town, Masbate province, on Tuesday, police said.

Reports from the Masbate police said Victorino Bravo III, a councilman of Cabas-an, and Arnel Retanan, a watchman, were shot and killed when
at least 30 armed men, believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, rounded up the villagers.

Another man, identified as Norberto Buri, was also confirmed to have been killed by the group, police said.

The village chief, Aniano Capinig, 62, managed to escape, but his companion, a village watchman named Alden Javier, 30, was wounded, police said.

Police Col. Joriz Cantoria, provincial police director, said Buri was not a resident of Cabas-an but was mistaken by the abductors for a rebel returnee. Buri, he said, was a truck helper of a construction company transporting coconut lumber in the area.


Cantoria said police investigators were not able to reach Cabas-an immediately due to its remote location and security concerns.

Police said an NPA unit led by one “Ka Cris” and one “Ka Aris” carried out the abduction and killing in Cabas-an.

A police pursuit on Wednesday in the towns of Baleno and Mandaon resulted in a firefight with rebels. A still unidentified rebel was killed while several firearms were recovered in one of the clash sites, police said.

Two suspected rebels were arrested at a checkpoint set up by the police in Masbate City.

Marcelo Alvarez, 39, and Roy Rosas Jr., 27, were on board an unregistered motorcycle when they were flagged down at Barangay Usab in Masbate City on Wednesday.

Police Maj. Steve dela Rosa, Masbate City police chief, said the checkpoint was set up as part of police actions to block the possible escape routes of rebels who had clashed with government forces in the village of Bat-ongan of Mandaon and in Eastern Capsay in Baleno town that morning.

Dela Rosa said Alvarez yielded two handguns and a loaded magazine.

He said the two were believed to be part of an NPA unit led by “Ka Star,” which operates in Masbate City and the towns of Balud, Mandaon, Baleno and Aroroy.

AFP-CRS: Maguindanao Town Residents Stand vs. BIFF in Peace Rally

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jan 23, 2021): Maguindanao Town Residents Stand vs. BIFF in Peace Rally

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH | Residents of a town in Maguindanao frequently harassed by the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) stood up against the group’s terror activities.

AFP-CRS: Addressing the Root Causes of Insurgency via Whole-of-Nation Approach

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jan 23, 2021): Addressing the Root Causes of Insurgency via Whole-of-Nation Approach

Addressing root cause of insurgency through Light an IP Community Project

Alakdan Troopers #AFPyoucanTRUST|

AFP-CRS: Kapatiran ng mga Dating Rebelde, Inilunsad sa Palawan

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jan 23, 2021): Kapatiran ng mga Dating Rebelde, Inilunsad sa Palawan

BROTHERHOOD OF REBELDS | Successfully launched the Brotherhood of Former Rebels or FRONT in Palawan through a program held at Hotel Centro in Princess City, Palawan.

The organization's goal is to help Former Rebels transform with their families and have effective relationships to fill the gap and provide appropriate government assistance.
#AFPyoucanTRUST |

WESTMINCOM: Zamboanga del Sur halfway house inaugurated

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 23, 2021): Zamboanga del Sur halfway house inaugurated

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- January 21, 2021

Zamboanga del Sur is now better equipped to cater to former rebels with the inauguration of the halfway house in Barangay Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on Friday, January 21, 2021. 

The simple inauguration ceremony was graced by Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista.

In his message, Lt. Gen. Vinluan said, “In the past decades, we have been in conflict with our fellow countrymen but with our convergence of efforts, we have facilitated peaceful means to help our brothers and sisters return to the folds of the law.”

“With the opening of this halfway house which is intended to all those who wish to return to the mainstream society, we hope that more will be enlightened and encouraged to surrender,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added. 

The more or less 4M worth halfway house was realized through the convergence of government agencies and sectors in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur. It is part of the whole-of-nation approach of the government to end local communist armed conflict in the province.

Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, the Commanding Officer of the 53rd Infantry Battalion said the halfway house will be the temporary shelter and processing center of the former rebels. It will serve as a venue for the conduct of rehabilitation and skills training activities for them to become productive citizens of the community.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Sur Governor Victor Yu said, “I am very happy that this project has been realized. Rest assured that we will continue to actively support the government’s campaign to end the decades-long conflict in the province”.

During the inauguration, Governor Yu and Secretary Bautista led the ribbon-cutting while Reverend Father Anthony Mark Tampus officiated the blessing of the building.

In his message, Secretary Bautista said the halfway house is a beautiful manifestation of good governance and strong interagency collaboration.

Also present during the inauguration ceremony were the members of the TF-ELCAC and the former rebels.

WESTMINCOM: Drug personality/former ASG neutralized in Tawi-Tawi

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 23, 2021): Drug personality/former ASG neutralized in Tawi-Tawi

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City - January 21, 2021

Security forces neutralized a former member of the Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-for-ransom group (ASG/KFRG) who is now a known drug pusher in Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi on January 21, Thursday.
“Riyadzkan Maulana, a.k.a. Tamyang died in the buy-bust operation conducted by the troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team and Sapa-Sapa Municipal Police Station in Barangay Poblacion, Sapa-Sapa at around 11 a.m.,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“Based on the report from the ground, Maulana was a former member of the ASG/KFRG under Salip Murah Asgali and Majan Sahijuan, a.k.a. Apo Mike. He already surrendered to Sapa-Sapa MPS last February 20, 2019, but continued with his illegal drug trade,” Lt. Gn. Vinluan, Jr. added.

The subject is also said to be one of the cuddlers of the ASG/KFRG who transited on the island of Tawi-Tawi. He accordingly supported the perpetrators of the January 16, 2020 kidnapping incident in Tambisan Island, Lahad Datu, Sabah.

He escaped the focused military operation conducted by the military which resulted in four body counts and recovery of several firearms and ammunition on January 19, 2020. 

After the incident, Maulana surrendered on April 2020 due to fear, but still pursued his lawless activities including drug pushing, indiscriminate firing, and intimidating the barangay captain of Lakit Lakit, Sapa-Sapa.

According to Lt. Col. Noel Calendatas, Commanding Officer of the MBLT6, Maulana was monitored conducting illegal drug transactions earlier in the morning Thursday (January 21, 2021).

“In coordination with our police counterparts, we immediately conducted a drug buy-bust operation in the area. Sensing the troops, Maulana drew a hand grenade forcing the former to retaliate,” Lt. Col. Calendatas added.

“The subject sustained one gunshot wound on his head and two on his chest which caused his instantaneous death,” the CO further stated. 

Recovered at the scene are one hand grenade, one lighter, one motorized boat (jungkung type), seven heat-sealed plastic containing white crystalline substances believed to be Shabu, six aluminum foils, one improvised toter (water pipe type), and one PhP500.00 marked money.

“Rest assured that we will continue to provide support to law enforcement operations to curb lawlessness and violence in the beautiful province of Tawi-Tawi,” said Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, Commander of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.

Kalinaw News: Hinterland barangays in Cagayan De Oro benefit from 4th Infantry Division outreach program

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 23, 2021): Hinterland barangays in Cagayan De Oro benefit from 4th Infantry Division outreach program

CAMP EVANGELISTA, PATAG, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Close to 2,000 families from two hinterland barangays in the city benefited from an outreach program held at Barangay Tignapoloan covered court, Cagayan de Oro City, today, January 23, 2021.

The activity was a convergence effort of the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This, as part of the division’s upcoming celebration of its 51st founding anniversary on February 1.

Food packs and clothing were distributed to more than 1,300 households in Barangay Tignapoloan, while another 300 families in Barangay Besigan also received the same package.

Barangay Tignapoloan Chairwoman Nancy Aban expressed her gratitude towards the 4ID and DSWD as the gifts are already of great help to the people who are much affected by the pandemic brought by the coronavirus disease.

Major General Andres Centino, 4ID commander, said that the outreach program was a way of giving back to the people for their support to the division over the years.

It can be recalled that Barangay Tignapoloan was a pilot barangay where the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the city was launched last year.

He further encouraged the people to continue supporting the programs and projects of the government and withdraw their support to Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) through not giving in to extortion activities and stop the insurgency problem of the country.

Moreover, before the outreach program, a tree planting activity was also held which was participated in by the Diamond troopers, PNP personnel and barangay officials and staff.

[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: Bridging Gaps: Government helps the families of Active NPAs in MisOr

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 23, 2021): Bridging Gaps: Government helps the families of Active NPAs in MisOr

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – The 58th Infantry Dimalulupig Battalion conducted a Peaceful Family Oriented Approach at Lagonglong and Balingasag from January 21 to 22, 2021.

The activity was made successfully in coordination with the Local Government Units of the said municipalities for the family members and relatives of active NPA rebels.

The activity was attended by the residents of Barangay Banglay and Umagos in Lagonglong and the residents of Barangay Rosario, Quezon, Kibanban, Camuayan, and Samay in Balingasag. The purpose of the said activity is to inform the families about the programs created by the government for those who want to surrender and go back to the folds of the law and be aware that there is Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) that exists. The activity also aims to empower families of an active Communist Terrorist group to encourage them to surrender; for many benefits and a promising new life with their family awaits them, once they submit themselves to the government wholeheartedly.

Part of the program was an open forum where residents were able to raise their issues and concerns in terms of livelihood assistance, road, infrastructural, and water system projects. Personal questions have also been addressed by the members of Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) members of Balingasag spearheaded by Hon. Mayor Alexis Quina and other Department Heads.

In his speech, Hon. Mayor Alexis S. Quina said, “We only have one life. It cannot be exchanged nor be replaced. But it can be changed. The same with our current situation. The fight against NPA has been going on for 52 long years now. We have been fighting and wanting an end to this, but is wanting and dreaming enough? Do we have that urgency in our hearts to be active contributors of change? As responsible citizens of Balingasag, I only want you to be courageous. Be brave. If we let fear prevail in us, nothing will happen. All the aide from the government are just secondary. Change starts with you. Ang dalan sa kalipay kay kalinaw. Ug walay kalinaw, walay kalipay.”

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion, said that “Achieving our mission thru peaceful means is the dream. We are taking the call to peace-building in a whole different level now and our intention is clear. We want you to live a normal, happy life with your families. We will not hesitate going to your communities and inform you of the good news of hope for you and your loved ones, and not miss the chance of a lifetime. Return to the folds of the law now. Stop chasing the wrong ideology. Choose life. Choose your family.”

[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: Defense Secretary Lorenzana meets with ASG surrenderees in Sulu

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 22, 2021): Defense Secretary Lorenzana meets with ASG surrenderees in Sulu

January 22, 2021, Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista, Jolo, Sulu – Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana meets with Abu Sayyaf Group surrenderees at the 11th Infantry Division headquarters in Jolo, Sulu.

Afternoon of January 22, 2021, Secretary Lorenzana met with twenty-five (25) former ASG members from the municipalities of Patikul, Indanan, Talipao, and Parang all of Sulu.

11th Infantry Division Commander MGen William N Gonzales with 1101st Infantry Brigade Commander Col Antonio I Bautista Jr and Governor Abdusakur M Tan presented the former rebels to the secretary, explaining why they have joined the terror group and how their surrender is taking a toll on the ASG’s manpower, logistics, and morale.

Arsad T Hajihil, 60 years old, one of the surrenderee is a former commander of Mindanao ASG Central Committee way back 1990s. He was a member of the terrorist group for 25 years who surrendered just last January 9, 2021.

Hajihil told Secretary Lorenzana that he is grateful for and encouraged by the opportunity and assistance provided to him by government, particularly the Department of National Defense, the LGU, and the troops of the Joint Task Force-Sulu.

He also vowed to make use of the second chance given to him by leading a more peaceful and productive life.

In his speech, the defense secretary said that the series of surrenders signifies the waning strength of the ASG and emphasizes the effectiveness of the government’s programs against terrorism and radicalism. “It is my utmost hope that we ultimately defeat the ASG and surely, with the concerted and sustained efforts of our troops, local government units here in Sulu, we will attain peace in the region.

To our brothers here who surrendered, you have made the right and best decision. Help the others (ASG members) change for the better. You will not be neglected, you will not be left alone. You will be taken care of by our governmnt,” he said in the vernacular.

For his part, MGen Gonzales fully agreed with Secretary Lorenzana. “Each individual’s change of heart for the love of their family contributes to our internal security and brings about our solidarity as a nation.”

Secretary Lorenzana, who also had a meeting with the security sector in Sulu, came to the province to accompany President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his engagement with the troops of Joint Task Force-Sulu.

[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: Agusan del Norte town villagers denounce, abandon NPA terrorists

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 23, 2021): Agusan del Norte town villagers denounce, abandon NPA terrorists

BUENAVISTA Agusan del Norte – Members of the Milisya ng Bayan (MB) and Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) in Las Nieves town in Agusan del Norte have withdrawn their support from the Communist New People’s Army (NPA) Terrorists (CNTs) and pledged their allegiance to the government. The withdrawal of support to the CNT movement was done during the mass surrender ceremony conducted on Thursday, January 21, 2020, in Barangay Casiklan, Las Nieves.

The MB and UGMO members decided to abandon the cause of the CNT and return to the fold of the law after the series of peace consultation and dialogues made by the troopers of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) with the support of the local government unit (LGU) and different line agencies of the government.

The series of dialogues started on December 12, 2020, where residents were asked to ventilate the main issues in their communities, especially on the concerns of peace and order and the presence and recruitment of the CNT members in their communities.

Five (5) members of MB and 448 CNT mass supporters under the existing UGMO in Barangay Casiklan have withdrawn their support to the communist movement and pledged allegiance to the government of the Republic of the Philippines during the activity on Thursday. The residents said they could no longer endure and stomach the harassment, extortion, and recruitment of the CNT members in their community.

Aside from the daily dose of terrorism, the residents said the CNTs block the development programs and projects of the government that resulted in the underdevelopment of their community. The absence of development initiatives, they said, caused privations and poverty among the residents.

Alias “Berto”, a former rebel who hails from Casiklan shared his experiences and difficulties when he was still supporting fully the communist movement. “Nag sige ko og balhin ug puy-anan ug kanunay nagdagan dagan ug tago tungod sa kahadlok nga madakpan sa mga kasundalohan.

Mao pag abot sa mga sundalo diri sa barangay, nag desisyon gyod ko nga mag surrender na sa sabakan sa atong gobyerno. Dako ang akong kalipay nga ang atong gobyernmo nia na mitabang pagsulbad sa kalisod sa atong barangay. Mao nga magtinabay ug maningkamot kita sa pagsalikway sa mga dautang binuhatan sa mga NPA kay dako kaayo ang kahasol nga ilang gidala sa atong komunidad,” Berto said.

Rey Cueva, the provincial director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Agusan del Norte (TESDA-ADN) also witnessed the mass surrender on Thursday and extended his complements to the residents for reaching such a decision.

Cueva said TESDA, in partnership with the 23IB and the LGU provide support to the residents in the area, particularly in the field of honing their technical skills for increased productivity.

“Part of our mandate is to develop self-reliant, resilient, productive, and sustainable communities through the implementation of harmonized and culturally responsive development training programs. TESDA, as the head office on Poverty Reduction Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), in partnership with LGU of Las Nieves and the 23IB, commits several livelihood training in your barangay to uplift the lives of the residents,” Cueva said.

Las Nieves Mayor Avelina S. Rosales cited the courage of the residents of Casiklan in condemning the CNT and making a turn to the right path for the good future of their community.

“As you chose to start living a new life, I am sure that you will never regret the decisions you made today because in the coming years, you will reap the good fruits of progress and development not only in your family but including your whole community and our nation. You were just victims of the CNTs who destroyed your future and your families. No one will be responsible for solving our own problems, we need to make a move in order to get away from poverty,” Rosales said.

Jerry S. Laurito, the provincial administrator of Agusan del Norte who represented Gov. Dale B. Corvera during the activity also recognized the bravery and resolve of the residents to cut their ties from the terrorist movement and embrace new lives with the government.

“This activity is not only for the AFP, PNP, the LGU, and the line government agencies. This activity is designed for you, for the people of this barangay, who wished to live normally and peacefully. Armed conflict is a hindrance to development and progress because it disturbs our daily livelihood activities,” Laurito said.

He added that the government is always ready to find solutions to the problems of barangays through the provisions of programs and services.

“With the help of TESDA, who works with the 23IB and the LGU, we will develop livelihood projects in your barangay, especially in agricultural production in order for you to have sustainable livelihood and help our government in recovering the status of our economic system. Kay kung walay kalinaw, walay kalambuan,” Laurito said

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the commander of 23IB thanked the members of the council of Casiklan for the trust and cooperation they bestowed to the Army and the line agencies of the government. He also commended the local residents for their help in ending the local communist armed conflicts in Casiklan.

“For over 52 years, thousands of villagers were seduced by and recruited by the NPA. But what accomplishment or contributions, especially in terms of economic development, the NPA brought and implemented in Casiklan? Nothing. Wala sila’y naitabang kaninyo sulod sa pipila ka tuig nga pasalig ug pagpangilad,” Paulo said.

He emphasized that the 23IB is thankful that finally, the people of Casiklan realized the grand deceit and trickery of the NPA movement.

“Dako ang among pasalamat kay gisalikway na ninyo ang mga teroristang NPA ug boluntaryong mibalik sa sabakan sa panggamhanan,” Paulo said.

The mass surrender of the residents of Casiklan will also push the NPA movement in the area down given that they have lost a community where they extort support for food and finances.

“The NPA will suffer more from hunger and exhaustion as the people will no longer welcome them in this community. They can no longer extort money and ask food supplies to support their daily needs,” Paulo said.

Without the support of the local populace, politicians, business owners, and other supporters, the CNT will eventually die in Agusan del Norte, Paulo emphasized.

[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:]

CPP/NDF-KM-Bicol: Tindig ng KM-Bikol at KAGUMA-Bikol sa pagkakansela ng UP-DND Accord

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 23, 2021): Tindig ng KM-Bikol at KAGUMA-Bikol sa pagkakansela ng UP-DND Accord


JANUARY 23, 2021

Hindi mapipigilan ng uhaw-na-dugong sandatahan ng rehimeng US-Duterte ang paglalim ng kamulatan ng mamamayan hinggil sa kronikong krisis sa lipunan. Sa bawat kanto, tahanan, komunidad at iba pang lugar matatagpuan ang mga obhetibong kondisyong nagtutulak at higit na nagbibigay ng katwiran para lumaban at mag-armas.

Sa pagkakansela ng Sotto-Enrile Accord, pinatunayan lamang ni Duterte at ng kanilang mga alipures na linalamon sila ng takot sa harap ng mga mag-aaral at gurong nagtataguyod at nagpapalaganap ng kritikal na pagsusuri. Ito ang tiyak na magiging mitsa ng kanilang rehimen at hudyat ng tagumpay ng matapang na pagharap ng mamamayang Pilipino para sa katarungan at kalayaan.

CPP/NPA-Surigao del Norte: Isang magsasaka, patay sa pinagsanib na operasyon ng PNP-Surigao del Norte

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 23, 2021): Isang magsasaka, patay sa pinagsanib na operasyon ng PNP-Surigao del Norte


JANUARY 23, 2021

Binaril at napatay ng mga pulis si Silvester “Cecel” Nunez, 54 taong gulang at magsasaka sa P2. Brgy. Trinidad, Surigao City noong Enero 20, 2021. Ala una ng madaling araw, may kumatok sa kanilang pintuan at binuksan ito ng asawa ni Nunez. Tinutukan ng baril ng pulis ang kanyang asawa at pinalabas ng bahay ang buong pamilya, habang naiwan sa loob si Cecel. Nakita ng kanyang asawa na tinadyakan sa likod at pinosasan ng mga pulis si Cecel. Pinatay ang ilaw sa bahay at narinig na lamang ng pamilya ang putok ng baril. Matapos ang ilang sandali, dumating ang SOCO at kinuha ang bangkay ng biktima.

Si Nunez ang ikaanim (6) na magsasaka ng Surigao del Norte na naging biktima ng pamamaslang ng mga berdugong kapulisan at killer batalyon ng militar. Magmula sa pagpatay kay Jojie Udtohan, Tay Budoy Leyson Sr at kay Lalo Calang sa Sison, kay Tukoy Arevalo ng Surigao City at kay Lezer Cerra ng Gigaquit, wala pa ni isang imbestigasyon ang nagbunga at wala pa ring nananagot sa pagpatay sa mga sibilyang ito.

Mahigpit na kinukundena ng BHB-Surigao del Norte ang pagpatay kay Nunez at sa iba pang biktima ng karahasan ng berdugong kapulisan at ng mga killer batalyon ng military sa AFP. Mariin din naming pinasinungalingan na myembro ang mga biktimang ito ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan, dahil ang katotohanan ay mga ordinaryong magsasaka lamang sila, na mapapatunayan ng kanilang mga pamilya, kapitbahay, at upisyal ng kanilang mga baryo.

Sa katunayan, nakakasawa na ang paulit-ulit na kasinungalingan ng mga berdugong kapulisan at kasundaluhan sa AFP na ang mga biktima diumano ay nanlaban matapos iabot sa kanila ang warrant, nakuhanan ng Granada at 38 revolver at iba pang “ebidensyang” malinaw na tinanim lamang ng mga berdugo. Nagsabwatan ang mga berdugong kapulisan, SOCO at piskalya upang magmukhang totoo ang kanilang akusasyon sa mga biktima sa pamamagitan ng pagsampa ng gawa-gawang kaso at ng bigyang katwiran sa kanilang mga pagpatay.

Aasahan ng mamamayan na makakamit natin ang hustisya para sa mga biktima ng mga paglabag sa karapatang-tao sa pamamagitan ng pagsulong sa demokratikong rebolusyon ng bayan!

Hustisya para kay Cecel Nunez!

Hustisya para sa lahat ng biktima ng ekstrahudisyal na pagpatay!

Panagutin ang berdugo at killer na kapulisan ng Surigao del Norte!

Parusahan ang lahat ng kriminal sa PNP at AFP!

CPP/NPA-South Central Negros: Kontra-atake batok sa mga RCSP kag combat troops sang AFP ginlunsar sang MCC-NPA!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 23, 2021): Kontra-atake batok sa mga RCSP kag combat troops sang AFP ginlunsar sang MCC-NPA!


JANUARY 23, 2021

Apat ka sunod-sunod nga aksyong militar ang natigayon nga nalunsar sining ulihi nga kwarto sang 2020 sa mga yunit sang NPA idalum sa Mt. Cansermon Command (MCC) batok sa mga naga-operasyon nga tropa sang AFP sa bukirong bahin sa South Central Negros.

Oktubre 14, mga alas 4 sang hapon gi-haras sa isa ka team sang pulang hangaway ang mga nagapahulay halin sa ila operasyon nga tropa sang 94th IB sa Sityo Sibukao, Brgy. Buenavista Himamaylan City. Bangud sa grabe nga kahadlok kag surpresa sang kaaway nagdinalagan sa lain-lain nga direksyon ang mga militar.

Nobyembre 9 sang udto, ginharas sang team sang NPA ang isa ka platun nga tropa sang 94th IB sa Sityo Madaha, Brgy. Buenavista Himamaylan City. Ini nga mga tropa nagapamilit nga pahalinon ang mga tawo sa ila panimalay kag uma kag ginapasalhin sa Sityo proper para mag-menoro (hamletting). Ginareklamo sang mga mangunguma ang ini nga patakaran bangud sa pagkadislokar sa ila palangabuhian.

Nobyembre 10 sang alas 2 sang hapon sang gin-isnayp sa team sang NPA ang naga-istar nga tropa sang militar nga nagaserbi sa ila Retooled Community Support Program o RCSP sa Sityo Cantupa, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City.

Nobyembre 19 sang gab-e liwat ginpalupkan sang mga NPA ang nagapahubog kag nagamaoy nga tropa sang AFP sa Sityo Cantupa. Malawig na ini nga demanda sa mga pumuluyo kag sa mga kasikbit nga Sityo bangud sa ila pagtuga sang kakugmat sa mga sibilyan labina sa panahon nga nagapahubog kag nagapalupok sa ila armas bisan ara lang sa sulod sa balay kag eskwelahan.

Indi magnubo sa pulo ka tropa sang militar ang kaswalti sa sini nga sunod-sunod nga punitibong aksyon sang MCC-NPA. Sabat ini sa halos apat na ka bulan nga pokus nga operasyong militar kag sa ila mapaniplang nga operasyon sa tabon sang RCSP.

Magluwas nga pagduging sang mga anti-sosyal nga aktibidades kaangay sang pagpanahor, pagpamulang kag pagpahubog, malawig na nga ginademanda sa pumuluyo ang wala puas nga pagpanghalit, pagpamahug nga patyon ukon dakpon, pagpangdakop sa inosenteng mangunguma, pagdumili nga magkadto sa ila uma, pugos nga paghamlet ukon pagmenoro, pagpamugos nga magsurender nga katapo sa NPA para kuno madula na ang pending nga mga kaso kag iban pa nga pagpanglapas sa tawhanon kinamatarung.

Nagapanawagan ang MCC-NPA sa pumuluyong Negrosanon labi na sa sakop sa South Central Negros nga mag-isa para sukton kag pasabton si Duterte sa iya indi na maisip nga rekord sang krimen kag paglapas sa tawhanong kinamatarung. Pirmi nga handa ang MCC-NPA nga pabayaron ang pasistang militar sa ila madinuguon nga gyera batok sa pumuluyo. ###

Samahan ng mga dating rebelde, inilunsad sa Palawan

From the Palawan News (Jan 23, 2021): Samahan ng mga dating rebelde, inilunsad sa Palawan (By Orlan Jabagat)

Isinagawa ito sa isang hotel sa Puerto Princesa kung saan dinaluhan ito ng 38 indibidwal na kinabibilangan ng mga dating rebelde o Former Rebels (FRs) at dating mga miyembro ng Militia ng Bayan na ngayon ay nasa panig na ng pamahalaan.

Ang mga dating rebelde na ngayon ay miyembro na ng 'Kapatiran ng mga Dating Rebelde o KADRE' habang nanunumpa sa kani-kanilang mga katungkulan sa paglulunsad ng nasabing organisasyon kamakailan. | Larawan mula sa 6CRG, WESCOM

Isang organisasyon na tinaguriang KADRE o Kapatiran ng mga Dating Rebelde ang inilunsad sa Palawan nitong Enero 18 upang palakasin ang kampanya ng lokal na pamahalaan laban sa mga rebelde.

Isinagawa ito sa isang hotel sa Puerto Princesa kung saan dinaluhan ito ng 38 indibidwal na kinabibilangan ng mga dating rebelde o Former Rebels (FRs) at dating mga miyembro ng Militia ng Bayan na ngayon ay nasa panig na ng pamahalaan.

Ang organisasyon na may adhikain na “pagtutulungan sa pamamagitan ng mahigpit na kapatiran” ay nabuo sa tulong ng Palawan Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) upang mapalakas ang kampanya ng pamahalaan tungo sa hangarin na maging rebel-free na ang lalawigan.

Ang KADRE ay binubuo ng tatlong cluster: ang north, central at south cluster na pinamumunuan nina Jevy del Valle, Jenesis del Valle at Jerick B. Avila. Samantala si Jerwin Castigador naman ang nahirang bilang over-all President ng nasabing samahan.

Isa pa rin sa layunin ng organisasyon ay matulungan sa patuloy na pagbabagong-buhay ang mga dating rebelde sa pamamagitan ng pag-alalay ng PTF ELCAC.

Sina Atty. Teodoro Jose S. Matta, director ng Peace and Order Program ng pamahalaang panlalawigan ng Palawan at si retired colonel Glenn B. Destriza ang tumatayong adviser ng KADRE.

Ang paglulunsad ng KADRE ay sinaksihan naman nina Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Palawan provincial director Virgilio Tagle, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Abigail Ablaña, at iba pang miyembro ng PTF ELCAC. (PIA-MIMAROPA, Palawan)

13 killed, including a cop, in dawn service of warrants in Sultan Kudarat town

From MindaNews (Jan 23, 2021): 13 killed, including a cop, in dawn service of warrants in Sultan Kudarat town (By FERDINANDH B. CABRERA)

A police operation to arrest a barangay captain and followers at 3 a.m. on Saturday turned bloody after the subjects of the arrest warrant resisted, resulting to a five-hour firefight that killed 13 persons including a police officer.

Reports from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said that at about 3 a.m. Saturday, while they were about to serve the warrant of arrest against Barangay Limbo chair Pendatun Kato Talusan and his brothers Datu Abdullah Kato Talusan and Bembi Talusan and their followers, a volley of fire greeted them, hitting the neck of a police officer who later expired. Three other police officers were wounded and rushed to the Cotabato Sanitarium here.

The three Talusans were also killed, along with nine of their followers.

Troops from Special Action Forces launch assault against armed suspects in a law enforcement operation in Barangay Limbo, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Saturday, 23 January 2021. Thirteen persons were killed, among them a police officer. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

Due to the armed resistance, additional troops and tanks later were deployed to reinforce and surround the Talusans who had snipers ready for the assault team.

At around 7 a.m., rapid bursts of gunfire could be heard when an assault team, aided by tanks firing .50 caliber machine guns and a blocking force, managed to penetrate the target house less than 50 meters from the national highway.

A woman and a child rushed out of the house, seemingly in trauma, while an old man came out handcuffed and assisted by a policeman.

When the smoke cleared, a dozen of men inside the target house of the Talusans were seen lying on the ground, dead.

The exchange of gunfire was heard not only in Sultan Kudarat town but also in Cotabato City, forcing residents to stay home.

A portion of the national highway connecting Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat was temporarily closed due its proximity to the battle area.

In a report shared by CIDG to reporters, the dawn operation was dubbed as Oplan Pagtutugis, Oplan Salikop and Paglalansag Omega.

Armed with warrant of arrest and search warrant from the local courts, the police mounted the operation to arrest the Talusans who were facing charges of double frustrated murder, robbery and homicide.

The arrest warrant was signed by Judge Kasan Abdulrakman of the Retional Trial Court Branch 27 in Cotabato City and the search warrant for violating RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, was issued by Judge Edwin Boncavil, Acting Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 19 in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province.

Troops from Special Action Forces launch assault against armed suspects in a law enforcement operation in Barangay Limbo, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Saturday, 23 January 2021. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

The CIDG report said the Talusan group’s sub-leader Abdullah Talusan and its followers are a notorious group involved in a series of shooting incidents in Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City, allegedly targeting police and army personnel.

The group is also said to be engaged in illegal drugs trading, carnappping, robbery and extortion.

The family of the slain suspects has not issued a statement to the media on the allegations. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)

Police serving arrest warrants kill 12 in fierce fighting

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jan 23, 2021): Police serving arrest warrants kill 12 in fierce fighting

Over a dozen people were killed in fierce fighting Saturday between security forces and gunmen in the troubled Muslim province of Maguindanao, officials said.

Police photos show members of the Special Action Force and gunmen killed in battle in the restive province of Maguindanao on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Police commandos also recovered assorted weapons from the slain gunmen.

Officials said policemen, backed by soldiers, were trying to arrest Pendatun Talusan, a former village chieftain in Limbo in Sultan Kudarat town, and several of his followers.

Talusan and his group engaged security in battle for 5 hours until he and 12 of his armed followers were slain.
One policeman, Staff Sergeant Elenel Pido, was also killed and four others wounded in the fighting – Captain Ronillo Daligdig Jr, Patrolmen Cayl Jun Gonzales and John-Ryan Aquino, and Corporal Gyvard Bando – all members of the Special Action Force.

Colonel Donald Madamba, the provincial police chief, said Talusan and some of his followers were facing a string of criminal charges. He said security forces recovered assorted weapons from Talusan’s house.

Brigadier General Samuel Rodriguez, the regional police chief, reported to National Police Chief Debold Sinas that Talusan was facing charges of carnapping, robbery with homicide, and double frustrated murder. He said Talusan’s brother Abdullah and Bembi were also killed in the battle.

Sinas condoled with the family of the slain policeman. “Police Staff Sergeant Elenel Pido unfortunately died during battle. I extend the deepest sympathy of the PNP to his orphaned family whom we assure of all the benefits and support,” he said, and commended those involved in the operation for “their gallant efforts to overcome the onslaught of attack.” (Rhoderick Beñez)

President Duterte honors soldiers fighting Islamic militants in Sulu

From the Philippine information Agency (Jan 23, 2021): President Duterte honors soldiers fighting Islamic militants in Sulu (By PND) 

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte hailed the heroism Friday of soldiers fighting Islamist extremists in Sulu, promising them of his government’s full support to ensure their welfare and the well-being of their families.

“Today, I am deeply honored to join you in recognizing the extraordinary heroism of the officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who showed exemplary heroism in the face of danger,” President Duterte said in a speech during a visit at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu.

“They will be conferred with the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kamagi, which I hope will further inspire the rest of our men and women in the AFP to continue serving our country no matter the cost.”

The President also commended the personnel of the Joint Task Force Sulu and the 11th Infantry Division for their recent gains against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), saying their determination has greatly reduced the ASG’s strength in the past year.

And as the country marks the second year of the bombing of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on January 27, he said the government’s presence is an assurance that “we will not just honor those who have perished in this tragedy".

“We will also do everything in our power to prevent similar acts of cowardice and violence so that our people will never experience them again,” he noted.

The insurgency and terrorism that have been hounding the country for several decades hindered the nation’s growth, the President said, adding it’s the reason why he has high praises and respect for all those who risk their lives to maintain peace in the country.

“As we march onwards this new year, I am hopeful that we will continue to eliminate these terrorist groups in Sulu for good. With your support, I remain confident that we will prevail over the challenges that confront us,” he said.

“Be assured that the entire Filipino people is behind you as you secure genuine and lasting change for our motherland.”

And as the government gears towards mass vaccinating its citizens, President Duterte assured the members of the security forces that they will get the first COVID-19 jab as well as their families.

Aside from leading the conferment of the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kamagi on 23 soldiers in Jolo, the President also witnessed the ceremonial distribution of food packs, and turned over a cheque to Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay.

Accompanying the President were Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (PND)