Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Simulation exercise vs NPA Sparu units a success – TFD

 From the Mindanao Times (Mar 1, 2021): Simulation exercise vs NPA Sparu units a success – TFD (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

THE FIRST community exercise to prepare for the Special Partisan Unit (Sparu), the liquidation squad of the New People’s Army, was a success as Davaoeños called the dedicated hotline within four hours since the simulation started.

With the pronouncement of the NPA in reactivating the Sparu operations in Davao City,
the Task Force Davao recommended to Mayor Sara Duterte to address the threat by conducting another community exercise.

The city-wide community exercise was conducted last Feb. 26 and aimed at gauging the cooperation of the public in reporting suspicious individuals. It was part of the practice of the culture of security in their respective barangays which, in turn, helps in enhancing the security system of Davao City.

The TF Davao, Davao City Police Office, 1003rd Infantry Brigade, City Public Information Office, and Public Safety and Security Command Center laid out a comprehensive plan through a series of coordination meetings to design the simulation in five barangays.

All 20 “rabbits” were deployed at around 10 a.m. on Feb. 26.

At 10:30, four radio stations broadcast a public advisory, announcing to the public not to panic. The public was also told to be on the lookout for the “Sparu rabbits” who were acting “suspicious.”

– At 11:05 a.m., the first “Sparu rabbit” was neutralized in Brgy. 76-A, reported to the police by a barangay tanod who was doing surveillance in the barangay. All four rabbits were neutralized by barangay tanods and barangay employee of Barangay 76-A.

– In between 10:30-a.m and 02:38 p.m., four rabbits were neutralized 200 meters away from the barangay hall in Ma-a.

– From 11:46 a.m. to 1:13pm., four rabbits were neutralized near the barangay hall of Gov. Paciano Bangoy, Agdao District.

– At 2:25 p.m., all four rabbits deployed in Barangay Mandug were neutralized by the functionaries and was reported by the barangay secretary to the PNP Station 13.

– From 11:20 a.m. to 2:38 p.m., two rabbits were neutralized in the Barangay Hall of Catalunan Pequeño. The “Sparus” were identified by a barangay tanod at the store 50 meters from the barangay hall.

At the end of the exercise, only two “rabbits” were not spotted by the public, which translated to a 90% rating.

Col. Consolito Yecla, the Task Force Davao commander, cited the efforts of the actors and partner agencies for the success of the exercise.

“The purok leaders, barangay officials, and the whole community should start looking for suspicious individuals in their puroks and barangay to make Davao City safe and secure,” he said.

Prior to the simulation exercise, the TF Davao facilitated a seminar by inviting six former Sparu members as resource speakers. The workshop led to the crafting of steps to be undertaken by the individual target, by the community, by the barangay officials, and the security sector.

Slain rebel abandoned by comrades at clash site

 From the Mindanao Times (Mar 4, 2021): Slain rebel abandoned by comrades at clash site (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

A FEMALE rebel was killed while two high-powered firearms were seized during an encounter with the combined troops of the 58th Infantry Battalion and 42nd Division Reconnaissance Company in the hinterlands of Barangay Mantangale, Balingoan, Misamis Oriental on Monday.

1Lt. Jefferson Mariano, civil-military operations officer of the 58IB, said
the female rebel was believed to be a member of Sub-Regional Committee 1 of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC). Her identity was withheld prior to informing the family.

The female rebel was among the more or less 30 NPAs encountered by the troops around 4 p.m. after responding to the report on the presence of the armed men in the barangay.

They found her lifeless body on the site, abandoned by the retreating rebels.

The soldiers recovered two M16 rifles, three magazines for AK47, four magazines for M14, three rifle grenades, two-way radios, three cellular phones, three solar panels, assorted medicines, personal belongings, and 18 backpacks.

“We are very grateful for the swift response by the men in uniform in securing the area,” Balingoan Mayor Aaron Paul S. Unabia said.

“The LGU Balingoan will do its best to assist the Philippine Army and all other government agencies and instrumentalities in putting an end to the insurgency problem and bringing peace and prosperity to the area,” he said.

Lt. Col. Ricky L. Canatoy, commanding officer of 58IB said, “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of the killed female rebel. Another life was wasted and lost for fighting for the wrong ideologies of the NPA.”

Furthermore, Canatoy urged the remaining NPA fighters to abandon the armed struggle, return to the folds of the law, and avail of the programs of the government.

“I truly hope that more and more NPA rebels will surrender now and stop adhering to the lies and deceptions put inside your heads. Do this for the sake of your life and to avoid this unfortunate death. It is not yet too late,” he said.

“You are always welcome to surrender and come back to the folds of the law. We assure you that a good future awaits as we will assist you from the beginning until you can avail all the benefits under Enhanced Comprehensive and Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). Likewise, your Army will continue to work to ensure the safety and protection of every individual in the communities,” he further said.

Army cripples two NPA committees in the region

From the Mindanao Times (Mar 4, 2021): Army cripples two NPA committees in the region (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

ALMOST 2,000 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) either surrendered or killed in military offensives, as the 10th Infantry Division declared 71 barangays free from the grip of communist influence.

Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao, the commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said in his report that
they neutralized 1,920 rebels, captured 513 high- and low-powered firearms, and 156 improvised explosives.

The report was presented to the Multi-Sector Advisory and Action Group, chaired by Ednar Dayanghirang during its regular meeting through a video teleconference held at Camp General Manuel T. Yan Sr. in Barangay Tuboran, Mawab, Davao De Oro last Feb. 23.

“The 10th Infantry Division continues to champion peace and development as it brings livelihood, through peace initiatives uplifting lives together with local government units, line government agencies, and stakeholders throughout Davao Region and some parts of Sarangani, and Bukidnon area under its area of responsibility,” Basiao said.

Under the helm of the Whole-of-Nation Approach in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict, also known as Executive Order no 70, he said they have significantly reduced the capability of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee and Far Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, leaving only 45 barangays still influenced by their control.

Other accomplishments

In 2020, 402 people’s organizations were established by the Army, including 403 quick-impact projects that linked local government units and far-flung communities.

In addition, the Division bolstered the community’s defense system through the establishment of the Integrated Territorial Defense System that includes organizing the Bagani or Indigenous People’s forces as an integral part of ITDS in IP communities.

Moreover, the Division also provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in coordination with government agencies that benefited more than 16,000 persons, with five relief operations catering to 16,450 individuals.

The 10ID initiated relief operations in some parts of Davao Oriental, Surigao Sur, and Aguan Sur after experiencing flash floods.

The division commander highlighted the importance of the close ties of the Army and stakeholders in achieving the common goal as an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of Executive Order 70.

In ensuring the continues flow of progress, the Agila Division conducted critical infrastructure protection operations to secure vital government and private infrastructure projects.

From arms to farms, the Agila Division also received accreditation from the Department of Agriculture Agricultural Training Institute XI of the two community development learning sites located at the demo farm of the 10ID headquarters in Mawab, Davao De Oro, and the demo farm of the 72nd Infantry Battalion in Magpet, North Cotabato.

Basiao said that despite their accomplishments, there’s a lot of work to do in ending the five-decade-long insurgency affecting the lives of the vulnerable Indigenous People in the hinterlands while urging partner stakeholders to continue its support towards peace and development.

“These accomplishments and milestones were not only brought about by our dedication to our mandate in serving the people and securing the land but with the untiring support and whole-hearted commitment of our partner-stakeholders,” MGen Basiao said.

“However there is still a lot of work to be done especially in hastening the defeat of CPP-NPA terrorists. We urge our partner-stakeholders to continue supporting the endeavors in finally ending insurgency and creating an environment conducive to peace and development,” Basiao further said.

10th ID commander finishes tour of duty

From the Mindanao Times (Mar 4, 2021): 10th ID commander finishes tour of duty (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

THE 10TH Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao, thanked all the stakeholders for their trust and support as he bows out of the military service this Friday.

“Mam, Sirs, you are all part of the milestones and the testimonies of positive reforms that the Division established in the communities in the area of responsibility,” Basiao said in his message during the stakeholders night on Monday held at Camp Manuel Yan Sr., in Barangay Tuboran, Mawab, Davao de Oro.

“You have done your share for the whole area of 10ID. Thus you also shared the fruits of my accomplishments and of the division. For all the success of the Division, we owe you a lot,” he said.

He described the level of governance of local government units headed by their local chief executives, as “exceptionally mature.”

” I have seen how you shared your time, efforts, and resources with us. I have also witnessed how our relationship progressed from our initial collaboration to a matured partnership,” he further said.

“When I assumed command of the 10th ID, I never felt anxious about the vast responsibilities. I was truly confident that the experience in working with the various Stakeholders will ease my job, that the division will never be alone in carrying out tasks in establishing sustainable peace and development in our communities for I have the overwhelming support of the division’s stakeholders,” Basiao said.

Although, He said that the division also endured hardships and sacrifices before it achieved its success.

“Before I relinquish the command of the Agila Division and bow out from the military service, I want to personally pay tribute to all our stakeholders and partners for peace and development and I will take the opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all our stakeholders,” he further said.

He also emphasized the full support of the local government units in ending the communist rebellion.

“Government officials in the AOR (area of responsibility) have been one with the army to dismantle every single unit (NPAs) that operates in the area through the Executive number 70, or the Whole of Nation Approach,” he said.

“A few days from now, you may no longer see me in my military uniform but, for sure, we will still cross paths now in another attire. I assure you I am not yet signing off from Region XI. I will continue to pursue my advocacy on economic growth and development through community empowerment, in whatever opportunities offered to me,” he further said.

Basiao is a member of Philippine Military Academy Maringal Class of 1988. On March 5, he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56. Before he assumed as the 10th ID chief, he was the former 67th Infantry Battalion commander and 701st Infantry Brigade commander based in Mati City, Davao Oriental.

CPP/CIO: AFP’s ramped-up dirty war in Eastern Visayas disproves self-declared deadline vs. NPA

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 2, 2021): AFP’s ramped-up dirty war in Eastern Visayas disproves self-declared deadline vs. NPA


MARCH 02, 2021

Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III of the 8th Infantry Division-Philippine Army is just one of the many Army chiefs before him who declared they have “dismantled” the NPA’s guerrilla fronts or that they will defeat the NPA in Eastern Visayas. And like all his warmongering predecessors, who think that more troops, more bombs and bigger operations can help them realize their pipe-dream, his “deadline” of “dismantling three guerrilla fronts in 2021” and “ending the NPA in the region before 2022” is surely bound to fail.

Hell-bent to defeat the NPA in Eastern Visayas as one of the Duterte regime’s priority regions, it has dumped not less than 18 AFP-PNP combat battalions in the region as of January this year, aside from the CAFGU members belonging to 86 detachments, and the 226 newly-sent PNP-SAF commandos. The enemy plans to recruit more troops for counter-insurgency. The 8th ID-led Joint Task Force Storm is conducting focused military operations in the towns of Pambujan, Las Navas, Silvino Lobos in Northern Samar, in Matuguinao, Calbiga, Pinabacdao in Western Samar, and in Borongan City in Eastern Samar. Combat-intelligence-psywar operations guised as Retooled Community Support Program operations and “surrender campaigns” continue in all provinces, even in the purportedly “insurgency-free” Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran. Ten of the newly-delivered Black Hawk Sikorsky helicopters will reportedly be sent to the Philippine Air Force in Tacloban City. Aerial surveillance by drones and helicopter overflights continue to disturb the peasant masses.

This ramped-up rampage by the 8th ID against the NPA and all revolutionary forces is not proof of military superiority but of the innate futility of their counter-revolutionary war. This all-out war only shows that despite the enemy being far “stronger” and “bigger” with their more advanced weaponry, war budget, and military assistance from US imperialism, the NPA has withstood all of its attacks. The NPA, composed largely of poor, landless peasants, could not have persisted for 52 years in the face of such adversity had it not enjoyed the support of the broad masses who believe that only through armed revolution can the current rotten system be overthrown, and who embrace the NPA as their true army and defender. Because of this, the NPA is definitely the far stronger and bigger army and can thus never be completely defeated.

Diñoso’s dirty war against the NPA will not only fail, it will push throngs of downtrodden, abused, hungry, impoverished, discontented, wronged and enraged masses to take up arms to defeat the AFP and overthrow the Duterte regime. The AFP is merely hastening its own defeat.#

CPP/CIO: Actively defend the people and frustrate the AFP’s March offensives

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 1, 2021): Actively defend the people and frustrate the AFP’s March offensives


MARCH 01, 2021

The New People’s Army (NPA) will mark its 52nd anniversary this coming March 29. More than ever, the NPA is determined to ardently serve the Filipino people, defend them against the US-Duterte regime’s state terrorism, surmount the US-supported all-out offensives of the combined forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) and further advance the people’s war.

Another very costly nationwide March offensive is set to be mounted by the AFP and PNP. It will mobilize all its troops and assets in large-scale combat operations and aerial bombing campaigns against the NPA and against the peasant masses and minority people. Over the past few years, the AFP has been mounting intensified offensives during the March and December. Its vain hope is to prevent the revolutionary forces and people from celebrating the founding anniversaries of the Party and NPA.

The Party calls on all units of the NPA to stay ever alert, closely monitor movements of enemy troops and carefully avoid enemy detection. At the same time, it must plan to carry out tactical offensives against detached and isolated enemy units, remote tactical outposts, enemy supply lines and others. Military helicopters and other air assets of the AFP are prized targets for interdiction. The NPA must choose the most opportune place, time and circumstances for mounting tactical offensives. The NPA must rely on the widespread and deep support of the masses for surveillance and intelligence, for securing supplies and augmenting the NPA units in carrying out widespread guerrilla warfare.

Last December, the AFP’s nationwide offensive achieved very few successes, significantly less compared to March last year. Tactical offensives were mounted by the NPA by early January against isolated and tired enemy units before they went back to camp. The NPA is commendable for keeping the number of defensive battles low since the start of the year.

The people’s army has repeatedly frustrated the AFP and Duterte’s repeated declarations of crushing the NPA. The relentless psywar and propaganda campaign claiming massive “surrenders” have been exposed as a sham. The Duterte regime has imposed a reign of terror in rural villages in its desperation to separate the masses from the NPA by placing their villages under military garrison-like conditions where people’s movements, economic activity, commerce and everything else are controlled by the military.

The NPA continues to enjoy the deep and extensive support of the peasant masses in the rural villages because it helps them in their struggle for genuine land reform and against all forms of oppression and exploitation. The NPA continues to serve as guide and partner of the peasant masses as they wage agrarian reform struggles. It continues to perform its role in production and economic work, educational, medical, cultural and social affairs.

The Party calls on the NPA to continue to steel itself amid the AFP’s dirty war against the people, relentless aerial bombardment and large-scale ground operations. These conditions of war entail great sacrifices on the part of the people’s army. These are necessary in order to preserve the NPA’s forces, deepen the people’s support, defend the people’s organizations and expand the NPA’s area of operation. These sacrifices are necessary to advance the Filipino people’s cause for national democracy.

CPP/Eastern Visayas ROC: Army admits forced “surrenderers” simply go back to the NPA

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 28, 2021): Army admits forced “surrenderers” simply go back to the NPA


FEBRUARY 28, 2021

The New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today condemned the increasing number of forced “surrenders” in Matuguinao, Western Samar, as the 19th IB-Philippine Army and the PNP-Special Action Force intensify the Duterte regime’s counter-insurgency campaign and undeclared martial law in the said town.

The 19th IB recently presented some 353 residents who “surrendered” as NPA members and supporters, after Matuguinao mayor and military agent Aran Boller threatened them with pressing charges for violating the draconian Anti-Terror Law if they do not surrender before February 15.

But 19th IB commander Lt. Col. Jasper Pecson himself admitted that some of those whom they forced to “surrender” had simply gone back to joining the NPA again, proving the Duterte regime’s counter-insurgency campaign as a dismal failure.

“For as long as landlessness, poverty, hunger, oppression and exploitation persist, for as long as fascists such as the 19th IB, Boller, and their tyrannical chief Duterte remain, people will join the NPA and it will continue to grow in strength. It will wage armed revolution, and Duterte will be wasting away millions of the people’s money for futile military operations, ‘surrender ceremonies’ and ‘peace caravans,'” said Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson for the Efren Marties Command (NPA-EMC).

Troops of the 19th IB and the PNP-SAF have been conducting focused military operations in Matuguinao as well as in nearby Silvino Lobos, Pambujan, Las Navas, San Roque and Catubig since December 2020, the NPA-EMC reported, where it has listed at least five armed encounters with enemy troops.

Due to the intense military operations, residents from barangays Del Rosario, Ligaya, Carolina, San Roque, Inubod, Rizal and Mahayag have evacuated to the town proper out of fear of the soldiers’ presence.

Lt. Col. Pecson tried to reassure the residents to “not be afraid,” while admitting that they subjected at least 195 individuals to “tactical interrogation” and parading at least 118 of them as “surrenderers.”

“The military says they are there to deliver ‘economic development,’ but in the middle of the harvest season, their intensified combat operations have driven the peasants out of their land, disrupted their livelihood and brought the people more hardship,” Manuel said.

The people of Matuguinao also called out the AFP-PNP and Boller for the culture of impunity persisting in the municipality. They complain how criminal elements and goons for Boller’s death squads continue to roam the town unapprehended, with some even working as employees for the local government.

“Of course lawless elements especially Boller’s henchmen in the paramilitary groups Alsa Masa and Dos remain scot-free. For as long as they serve to kill, harass, arrest, interrogate and torture suspected NPA members and supporters as well as Boller’s political opponents, the AFP-PNP will make sure they are far from the prison cells as possible,” said Manuel.

Manuel saluted the people of Matuguinao for valiantly resisting the Duterte regime’s brutal counter-insurgency campaign and continuing to support the NPA in waging armed struggle against the fascist AFP-PNP troops. “They must remain steadfast and rely on their own strength to continue fighting for their rights and frustrating the enemy’s surrender campaign.

“The NPA-EMC also calls on all NPA units in Eastern Visayas to intensify their tactical offensives, to punish the most notorious rights violators among the fascist enemy troops, and to ensure the people attain revolutionary justice,” he ended.#

CPP/Cagayan Valley ROC: Patunay ng di-makatwirang taktika sa ilalim ng di-makatarungang digma ng AFP ang panibagong kaso ng paglapastangan nito sa patay

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 28, 2021): Patunay ng di-makatwirang taktika sa ilalim ng di-makatarungang digma ng AFP ang panibagong kaso ng paglapastangan nito sa patay


FEBRUARY 28, 2021

Maliban sa panggigipit at pandarahas sa mga di-armadong aktibista at iba pang tagapagtatanggol ng mga demokratikong karapatan, modus-operandi pa ng AFP ang pagbaling nila ng armas sa mga ‘di-armado’ at ‘wala nang buhay’ na katawan ng mga rebolusyonaryo. Dagdag ito sa itinuturing na mga makakatotohanang tagumpay ng militar. Kahit pa mistulang pananagumpay sa pamamagitan ng isang ‘di-makatwirang taktika ng paglapastangan sa karapatang-pantao’ ang nakakamit na pusisyon sa di-makatarungang digma nito.

Gamit ang asset na nagsilbing asong taga-amoy sa pagturo ng kinaroroonan ng libingan ni Ka Barney, nakapag-uwi na naman ng isang dagdag na “tropeyong bangkay” ang 17th Infantry Batallion at 5th Infantry Division. At sa pamamagitan ng solidong kasinungalin sa dahilan ng pagkamatay ng kasama, naglalaway na naman ngayon ang kanilang mga opisyal sa inaasahang mga gantimpala at puntos sa promosyon. Subalit kung sa tunay na larangan ng armadong digmaan, hindi sapat ang paggawad lamang ng isang medalyang bula sa mga opisyal nito. Kundi ang managot sila sa di-mabilang na krimeng ginawa sa ilalim ng internasyunal na makataong batas.

Dikta at pawang binalangkas na kasinungalingan lamang ng AFP ang kunwaring pagsasalita sa midya ng isang ‘dating rebelde’ sa dahilan ng pagkamatay ng kasama. Sa katunayan, isang hindi matatawarang prinsipyo at mahigpit na pinanghahawakan ng New People’s Army ang demokrasya ng mga pwersa. Mula sa boluntaryong pagsapi sa armadong kilusan hanggang sa pagpapasya sa paglabas sa organisasyon ay karapatan ng bawat isa. Nakapaloob ang prinsipyong ito sa demokrasya sa pulitika ng NPA o ang karapatang maglabas ng opinyon, mungkahi o nararamdaman ng bawat pwersa. Isa rin ang prinsipyong ito sa nagpapanatili sa malusog na relasyon sa pagitan ng mga pinuno at mga pinamumunuang mandirigma. Kaiba sa NPA, inspirado ng pera at kapangyarihan ang prinsipyo ng mga kumander ng AFP at PNP. Kagaya ng panloloko at pambubusabos nila MGen. Laurence Mina at Lt. Col Angelo Saguiguit sa sariling mga pwersa sa sapilitang pagpapasunod sa mga ito sa kanilang walang katuturang mga atas. Katulad ng paghuhukay ng isang bangkay mula sa maayos at payapa na pagkakahimlay nito.

Tulad pa ng ginawang pambabastos ng mga ito sa mga labi ni kasamang Justine Bautista, di rin maitatago ng kagaya ni MGen. Mina, Lt. Col Saguiguit at iba pang opisyal-militar ang pagiging mga diyablong uhaw-sa-gantimpala.

Di na nga sila marahil tinatablan ng isang simpleng kosmetiko at makikintab nilang uniporme. Kaya mga labi na lamang ng malaon nang namayapang mga kasama ang ginagamit ng mga militar na pampapogi sa publiko upang pansamantalang kuminang at maikubli ang inaagnas na nilang mga kaluluwa, mula sa kabi-kabilang krimeng nagawa at pagdami ng mamamayang namumuhi sa kanila.

Sa isang banda, nilalantad na nila mismo ang kanilang kawalang-respeto sa mga patay at kamag-anak ng mga namatay. Dagdag ito sa kanilang kabuktutan sa maraming beses na pangreredtag, ekstra-hudisyal na pagpatay, ilegal na pagdakip, tortyur, at iba pang mga krimen nila sa hanay ng mamamayang nagtataguyod ng mga demokratikong karapatan. Sila na ang nagsasapubliko ng kanilang tahasang mga paglabag sa Komprehensibong Kasunduan sa Pagrespeto sa Karapatang-Pantao at Internasyunal na Makataong Batas (CARHRIHL).

Isang pang dahilan ang katotohanang di naman talaga nakakapagkamit ng mga makabuluhang tagumpay sa tunay na larangan ng armadong labanan ang AFP, at maging sa makatotohanang suporta sa kanila ng mamamayan sa Cagayan Valley. Patunay rito ang mahigit 55 na mga pwersa nilang naging kaswalti bilang resulta ng iba’t ibang tipo ng armadong labanan sa pagitan nito at ng NPA sa rehiyon noong nakaraang taon. Kaya nagyayabang na lamang sila sa pamamagitan ng di-makataong mga operasyon laban sa mga di-armadong sibilyan, mga labi ng yumao, bihag-ng-digma, at iba pang wala nang kakayahang lumaban na mga rebolusyonaryo. Pagkatapos ay bobolahin ang publiko at sasabihing mga armadong NPA ang kanilang nakasagupa, o nakapagbigay ng disenteng libing sa mga nahukay na bangkay, o nakapaggamot ng isang bihag na NPA. Pero sa likod ng pag-aastang mayabang at malinis, sa katunayan ay pinagtatakpan lamang nila ang kanilang kaduwagan at kabulukan.

Bagama’t armado at sinuswelduhan ng mamamayan, nagpapakadalubhasa ang AFP sa mga estratehiya at taktika sa pagyurak sa mga karapatan ng taumbayan, kasabwat si Duterte at mga militaristang opisyal ng rehimen bilang mga kumander na katulad na pasista at hayok-sa-kapangyarihan. Dahil hindi ang mga imperyalistang China at US na nanghihimasok sa bansa ang itinuturing ng mga ito bilang kaaway, kundi ang mamamayang Pilipino mismo.###

CPP/NDF-Southern Mindanao: In Memory of Eduardo “Ka Choi” Arnado, Communist and humble servant of the people

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 27, 2021): In Memory of Eduardo “Ka Choi” Arnado, Communist and humble servant of the people


FEBRUARY 28, 2021

The Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao confers its highest revolutionary tribute to comrade Eduardo Arnado, who is more known to Red fighters and commanders, masses and allies as Ka Choi and Ka Edoy, on the occasion of his first death anniversary. His life and times are remembered as an exemplar of simple living and hard struggle and the implacable will to serve the people which have endeared him to all revolutionary forces in Davao del Sur, North Cotabato and Bukidnon.

Ka Choi was killed on February 28, 2020 by a joint operation of AFP and PNP forces in Sitio Lamurok, Brgy. Marapangi, Damulog in Bukidnon. At the time of his death in the hands of the fascists, he has been actively organizing and campaigning against the Chinese-funded South Pulangi Hydro-Electric Power Plant (SPHEPP) in the towns and villages straddling the Pulangi river, particularly those which will be affected by the construction of the dam. For several months prior to Ka Choi’s death, the 19th Infantry Battalion has positioned its troops in these villages, conducting combat operations, holding forums that force masses’ attendance and harassing village folk who are critical of the dam project.

The project, which is being aggressively steamrolled as part of the Duterte regime’s Build, Build, Build program, will adversely affect the lives and livelihood of 23 villages and an estimated 40,000 individuals. As a capitalist undertaking under neoliberal policy, it aims not to supply cheap electricity to households in Mindanao but to cater to the needs of big businesses, plantations and large-scale mining owned by foreign companies. The project has been stalled many times in the past due to the continuing unity and resistance of peasants and Lumad around Pulangi river.

The revolutionary affinity to the cause of the struggling masses has been engendered in Ka Choi very early on, having come from a family of poor peasant settlers in Saranggani, South Cotabato. Conscious of the need to fight the oppression and exploitation against the peasantry, he became a mass activist who helped lead agrarian campaigns. He became part of several successful peasant struggles, including against the destructive logging company Mindanao Timber Corporation that encroached in the Lumad domains in Mt. Sinaka in Arakan, against government negligence during the severe droughts that hit and severely affected the Lumad and farmers of North Cotabato in 1997 and 2016, and the more than 30-year peasant struggle in Arakan and Pres. Roxas in North Cotabato to reclaim the 4,000-hectare land reservation appropriated by the Cotabato Foundation College for Science and Technology – University of Southern Mindanao, which culminated in the Duterte regime being forced by the widespread mass movement to award titles to hundreds of farmers in the area. These peasant struggles, especially the resulting fascism that has become the knee jerk answer of reactionary regimes, have proven to the masses of the continuing need to wage revolution and which inspired them to become, like Ka Choi, Red fighters in the NPA.

Wherever Ka Choi was assigned, the masses had nothing but high praises for his revolutionary attitude. He was known to be the mild-mannered, big-built man who had no qualm about carrying out simple tasks like sweeping off litter and rubbish in the backyard early in the morning or washing dishes, doing laundry or helping in farm chores so that the masses can attend political discussions or meetings. He cherished the principled unity among the masses that, besides arbitrating land disputes between peasants or establishing collective economic programs, resolving even domestic spats and community problems have become part of his daily routine. It is in these very basic, very modest attributes that the masses have come to cherish Red fighters and commanders like Ka Choi, and starkly distinguish them from the paid pretensions of the fascist AFP and PNP.

This is why the Lumad and peasants themselves rage in indignation over the baseless and preposterous claim of the AFP that Ka Choi and the NPA were “extortionists” who bled the masses dry with revolutionary taxation. They courageously scoff at this downright lie during so-called meetings which AFP troops force them to participate in (that later turn out to be surrender programs), insisting that not only is it untrue that the NPA extorts them, it is even Red fighters that sometimes give them rice and other food. They denounce this shameless hypocrisy, especially with the rampant corruption hounding the AFP in the Duterte regime’s militarized approach to the Covid-19 pandemic and the NTF-ELCAC’s humongous graft-laden budget, among others.

Masses remember and sorely miss Ka Choi most dearly, especially in this time of the pandemic when their livelihood have turned for the worse, exacerbated by the Duterte regime’s insensitivity and negligence. Red fighters and commanders and comrades remember him as inspiration of humility, revolutionary optimism and as a Communist who has struck deep roots among the masses and embodied Comrade Mao Tse Tung’s legacy and immortal words: pay attention to the well-being of the masses.

CPP/Western Mindanao ROC: Duha ka misengkwentro sa han-ay sa 10th IB

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 27, 2021): Duha ka misengkwentro sa han-ay sa 10th IB


FEBRUARY 27, 2021

Adunay misengkwentro sa duha ka grupo sa army nga sakop sa 10th IB PA didto sa Brgy. Petianan, Don Victoriano, Misamis Occidental sa may alas dos sa hapon sa Enero 30. Usa (1) ang patay ug daghang mga samdon sa bahin sa 10th IB PA. Nahitabo kini nga engkwentro sa duha ka grupo sa 10th IB sa pagtuo nga BHB ang milabay sa ilang ambus posisyon kay wala nila kini maklaro kay baga ang gabon niadtong panahona.

Upat pud ang patay ug may mga samdon sa mga pwersa sa 10th IB PA sa nahitabong usa ka misengkwentro sa duha ka grupo sa 10th IB PA didto sa Brgy. Tonggo Tudela, Misamis Occidental kadtong Disyembre 28, 2020. Patay ang usa ka 2nd Lieutenant, usa ka Corporal ug duha ka laing sundalo (wala makuha ang mga ranggo ug wala makuha ang mga ngalan niini).

Ang 18 ka sundalong grupo sa 10th IB PA nga naka-ambus sa laing grupo sa mao gihapon nga batalyon nga dugay nagtago sa lasang, ayha nagreport sa ilang hedkwarter. Ang nagsuporta sa pagkaon sa nagtagong 18 ka sundalo nga naka-ambus mao ang nahaduol nga detatsment sa baryo.

Nahitabo ang engkwentro panahon sa ilang operasyon militar. Ang naambusan nga grupo sa army sa 10th IB PA mao ang nagkuha sa mga butang sa mga membro sa BHB. Napatyan sab kini og usa ka sundalo kay nahagbong sa taas nga pangpang. Kini nga grupo ang milabay sa nag-ambus nga 18 ka pwersa sa 10th IB PA, dala ang ilang patay. Tungod kay gabii sila nakalabay sa nag-ambus nga 18 ka pwersa sa 10th IB PA, nagtuo kini nga mga pwersa sa BHB ang milabay.

CPP?Western Mindanao ROC: Opensiba sa BHB-Misamis Occidental kontra sa 10th IB

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 27, 2021): Opensiba sa BHB-Misamis Occidental kontra sa 10th IB


FEBRUARY 27, 2021

Kapin kun kulang alas 12 sa udto sa Enero 30, gibirahan sa usa ka grupo sa BHB-Misamis Occidental ang pwersa sa army nga sakop sa 10th IB PA didto sa Brgy. Lampasan, Don Victoriano, Misamis Occidental. Lima (5) ang patay sa army diin ang 4 ka regular ug ang 1 membro sa CAA ug dunay mga samdon. Luwas nga nakaatras ang mga Pulang mangugubat. Human sa hitabo adunay naglupad dayon nga mga helicopter ug mga ayroplanong pangbomba nga gituohang nag-rescue sa mga kaswalti sa 10th IB PA.

CPP/CIO: Expose spate of AFP fake news

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 27, 2021): Expose spate of AFP fake news


FEBRUARY 27, 2021

There is a recent spate of fake news churned out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to cover up crimes and abuses committed by its units and hide embarrassing misencounters and battlefield losses. AFP fake news is sibling to AFP red-tagging. Waging psywar and promoting disinformation, the AFP has repeatedly proved itself to be a tainted source.

The AFP website “Kalinaw News” is a portal for false information that fall under the military’s department of psywar and disinformation. It routinely issues news stories claiming New People’s Army losses. They even provide photos of supposed materials left by the NPA from rifles to computers and cellphones to make it appear that the news is genuine.

The AFP has several objective in manufacturing fake news including:

a) to cover-up crimes of extrajudicial killings of peasant activists where victims are presented as NPA fighters killed in battle

b) to cover-up incidents of misencounters between AFP units or between AFP and PNP units

c) to claim successful combat operations for reporting to military higher headquarters

d) to demoralize, create confusion and cause anxiety among the the people and revolutionary forces by projecting false information about NPA losses in the battlefield.

The following are among the recent false reports churned out by the AFP fake news mill:

– 22nd IB claims a 5-minute firefight took place in Barangay Marinab, Bulan, Sorosogon on February 23. Soldiers presented a wounded “Red fighter” and an M16 rifle and explosive supposedly seized from the site. He is now under military custody and would be charged with trumped-up cases by the military. NPA field units reported no such encounter took place and that the wounded person is a resident in the area.

– 11th IB reports a 15-minute gun battle with Red fighters in Sitio Balaskan, Barangay Napacao, Siaton last February 14, 2021. Supposedly seized from the encounter are weapons, a laptop and other gadgets. NPA-Southeast Negros has reported that no encounter took place.

– 201st IBde claims three encounters happened on February 5 in boundary villages of Buenavista and Catanauan towns in Quezon. The provincial command of the NPA in Quezon reported that only one encounter took place on the said day, and that there was no NPA unit in the area where a Philippine Army lieutenant was reported killed.

– 30th IB claims an armed encounter with the NPA ensued in Sitio Barubangkaw, Barangay Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte last February 25. No such encounter took place, based on field reports.

– A joint military and police operation of the 90th Infantry Battalion, 72nd IB, and municipal and provincial forces of the Philippine National Police claims a firefight happened in Sitio Marinangao, Brgy. Sarayan in Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato, in the early hours of February 8. NDF-Southern Mindanao says what happened was summary execution of three farmer residents.

These are just recent cases of fake news. Circulating fake news has long been the practice of the AFP.

We would like to caution the public, the media, as well as revolutionary forces, against completely believing information being issued by the AFP. Extra effort and judiciousness must be exerted to know the truth.

CPP/NPA-Sorsogon: Makikipagtulungan kami sa CHR-Bicol

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 27, 2021): Makikipagtulungan kami sa CHR-Bicol


FEBRUARY 27, 2021

Nagpahay ang Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-Bicol kahapon, Pebrero 26, na iimbestigahan nito ang pagkakadamay umano ng ilang sibilyan sa pananambang ng NPA sa tropa ng 9th SAF sa Putiao, Pilar, Sorsogon noong Pebrero 22. Sa kanyang pahayag, binatikos ni CHR-Bicol Director Arlene Alangco ang nasabing ambus bilang isang “senseless violence.”

Handa ang NPA-Sorsogon na makipagtulungan sa imbestigasyon ng CHR-Bicol sa naturang usapin lalupa’t ang higit na ikabubuti ng masa ang aming hangad. Sa gayon ding batayan, ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan at ang mamamayan ng probinsya ay umaasa at naghihintay sa resulta ng pagsisiyasat ng CHR sa masaker sa Dolos, Bulan noong Mayo ng nakaraang taon at sa iba pang pang-aabuso ng mga armadong pwersa ng reaksyunaryong gobyerno na ibayong lumala sa ilalim ng RTF-ELCAC.

Naghahanap ng masusulingan ang masang Sorsoganon sa gitna ng mga pwersahang “pagpapasurender”, mga ekstrahudisyal na pagpatay at walang pakundangang red-tagging na ginagawa ng mga ahente ng estado sa mga sibilyang walang kalaban-laban. Masusi at totohanang imbestigasyon ang minimum na hinihiling nila sa mga may malasakit sa karapatang tao kabilang ang CHR. Naghihintay silang makita na nasasampahan ng kaso ang mga salarin.

Pero higit sa anumang pagsisiyasat at pagsasampa ng kaso, ang marapat na makamit nila ay hustisya. Bawat sandaling lumilipas na patuloy na nakalalaya imbes na maparusahan ang mga nang-aabuso sa masa ay dagdag na patunay ng kapabayaan at kainutilan ng mga ahensyang sana ay nagsisikap para magkaroon ng tunay na hustisya at ng reaksyunaryong sistemang hudisyal sa kabuuan.

Pinaninindigan ng NPA-Sorsogon na marapat parusahan ang mga pwersa ng RTF-ELCAC– ang AFP, PNP at mga death squad nila. Kailanman ay hindi masasabing walang saysay na karahasan ang mga lehitimong aksyon ng NPA laban sa kanila. Tungkulin ng Pulang hukbo na gawin ang gayong mga aksyon para bigyan ng hustisya ang inaaping mamamayan.

Anupamang pagsisikap na gagawin ng anumang ahensya o institusyon sa ikatatamo ng katarungan ay ikagagalak namin at ipagpapasalamat ng malawak na masa.

CPP/NPA-Southeast Negros: On the alleged Valentine’s day “encounter” in Siaton

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 26, 2021): On the alleged Valentine’s day “encounter” in Siaton


FEBRUARY 26, 2021

The RMPC today issued the following statement to rebutt the lies and fake news circulated by military propagandists, and to present the actual facts on what transpired in Sitio Balaskan, Barangay Napacao, Siaton last February 14, 2021.

The PR of 11th IB posted in its Facebook account the day after and the subsequent news articles that appeared based on military sources prated about an “armed encounter”, “NPA weapons, gadgets etc captured” and other overused template lines.


The reported 15-minute battle is simply rubbish and a work in fiction of military PR writers.

What happened was a shooting spree by trigger-happy soldiers on a small farm hut situated along Canaway River bank and a hot spring (“supli” as locals called it) on the basis of mere suspicion that said place had been frequented by NPAs.

At dawn of February 14, a platoon soldiers positioned in the elevated portion facing the hut. Then few minutes after sunrise they opened fire without any warning or provocation peppering it with bullets and severely damaging the utensils and other belongings. Fortunately, nobody was inside the hut at that time.

The residents of Balaskan could not helped by notice the absence of return fire.

The soldiers continued firing at their imaginary enemies squandering ammunition at taxpayers’ expense.

This spectacle was repeated four times before dusk ostensibly in order to pursue the “fleeing” NPAs they had engaged earlier.


It’s reminiscent of “nanlaban” tokhang victims planted with recycled rusty revolvers.

The laptop and smart phones were stolen by soldiers from the temporarily abandoned houses at the height of the shooting spree.

These uncalled for, unjustifiable and dastardly acts must be investigated and its perpetrators be held accountable.

We call on the CHR, human rights organizations and the Church sector to conduct an impartial probe and help the residents of Balaskan traumatized by the incident.###

Former rebels, supporters get assistance from DSWD XII

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 2, 2021): Former rebels, supporters get assistance from DSWD XII (By DSWD XII) 

DSWD XII Regional Director Cezario Joel Espejo hands over check to one of the beneficiaries of AICS. (Source: DSWD XII)

ALABEL, SARANGANI PROVINCE, Mar. 2 (PIA) – The central government has simultaneously released a financial assistance to more than two hundred individuals, mostly affected by armed insurgencies and former New People's Army rebels in the region, a senior official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office XII (DSWD FO XII) said.

In this town, 46 former rebels (FRs) who returned to the folds of the law and were affected by the global pandemic crisis received each P5,000 cash assistance under the agency’s assistance to individuals in crisis situations (AICS) at the town’s gymnasium.

Among the recipients, Amor Danway, 21, recalled that they were lured by their recruiters who promised them good life and free education, a factor that forced him to join the revolution since he wanted to get a degree in college.

“I was recruited in 2015 since they told us I can get free education. It never happened. Instead, we were taught how to use guns and sent to the front line,” said Danway after the distribution of assistance.

Danway said she was thankful nothing happened to her in a few actual armed confrontations she experienced with government forces in the mountains of Sarangani.

Meanwhile in the town of Banga, South Cotabato, around two hundred qualified residents were provided P3,000 cash and a box of family food packs each as part of the government’s support on the campaign to counter armed insurgencies in the region.

Sammy Imba, 44, a resident of Lam-apos village and father to seven children, said that he will use the money to buy groceries to cover their daily needs.

“I thank the government for bringing to us its services. This is a big help to us,” Imba said after he received assistance from a DSWD field worker.

Imba’s group set on fire the rebels’ flag as they condemned the atrocities the group perpetrated in the region, a turning point where they broke their allegiance to the communist underground movement and pledged their support to the government.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD 12 regional director who supervised the distribution, said the gesture shows that the government will not stop in encouraging the rebels to start a comfortable life.

“We are all for peace. And we will not stop until we achieve it,” Dir. Espejo said as he recognized partners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and local government units of Alabel.

The AICS, implemented by the department, supports the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 in a bid to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the EO 70, a landmark in the government’s ongoing campaign to end local communist insurgencies across the country.

Last year, the agency managed to provide life-saving support to less than 700 former rebels. (Reports from Yen Mangompit, Patrick Villas, and JBM/ DSWD)

Source: DSWD XII

'Militia ng Bayan' team leader surrenders to COCPO Lumbia station

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 2, 2021): 'Militia ng Bayan' team leader surrenders to COCPO Lumbia station (By Jasper Marie O. Rucat)

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 1 (PIA) - Militia Ng Bayan team leader alias “Always Wonder” surrendered to the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO)-Lumbia station last Feb, 24 after a successful negotiation conducted by COCPO mobile force team, according to P/Maj Aldren Baculio in a recent episode of CORDS X podcast with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Alias "Always Wonder" also gave up M1 grenade rifle, M16, K1 rifle, and steel magazine to the police.

Baculio said this group usually recruits in the hinterland areas of the city targeting those out-of-school youth to join them. "This group is usually based in Bukidnon but they come to Cagayan de Oro to recurit [new members]."

Meanwhile, COCPO continues its campaign against local communism and supports the mandate of the of the President to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

"Here in Cagayan De Oro, malinawon gihapon diri, continuous atong ELCAC activities in the hinterland barangays, kanunay naga hatag ta ug information against this terror groups,” he shared.

(Here in Cagayan de Oro, we remain peaceful as we continue ELCAC activities in the hinterland barangays. We always provide information against these terror groups.)

Through the City Police Community Relations Group, there is a scheduled weekly or monthly symposium, distribution of leaflets especially in the barangays where recruitments by CPP-NPA have been reported, urging the parents to protect their kids from being recruited to the movement.

“Unta dili mo magpadala ani nga mga tawhana. Wala gyud ni sila ikahatag nga kaayo sa ato. Tuyo nila nga maguba pa atong pamilya. Bantayan ang mga bata, mao man slang target, wala nag kulang ang LGU sa CDO sa paghatag serbisyo,” he shared as he advises parents to take care of their children.

(I hope you don’t get swayed by these people. They have nothing good to give to us. Their intention is to break our families. Guard your children always because they are the target. The local government of Cagayan de Oro has not missed anything in providing the service that you need.)

As to the strength of this group, Baculio said the surrender of alias “Always Wonder” would demoralize the group members that would lead their possible disintegration. (JMOR/PIA10)

New 2nd Mech Bde commander strengthens ties with DPWH

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 3, 2021): New 2nd Mech Bde commander strengthens ties with DPWH (By DPWH-Lanao del Norte District Engineering Office)

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ILIGAN CITY, Mar. 3 (PIA)--Newly installed commanding officer of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade Col. Rey Alemania made a courtesy call at the DPWH-Lanao del Norte District Engineering Office on March 2 to formally introduce himself to District Engineer Alykhan Ali.

“The Philippine Army plays a very important role in our ultimate goal of bringing lasting peace and sustainable development in this part of the country. Our solid partnership with the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade allows us to implement quality infrastructure projects even in remote communities within our area of responsibility," said District Engineer Alykhan Ali.

Alemania replaced BGen. Facundo Palafox Jr. who is now assigned as the Assistant Division Commander at the Mechanized Infantry Division in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac. Alemania is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Tanglaw-Diwa” Class of 1992.

In his previous assignment, Alemania was designated as the Assistant Chief of Staff for logistics in the Philippine Army. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration and Public Management.

“With our implementation of several farm-to-market roads, bridge widening, flood control projects, the continued maintenance of the Iligan-Bukidnon Road (IBR) network, plus many more projects located in far-flung areas, we rely on our military forces to ensure the safety of our personnel and equipment," added Ali.

DPWH-Lanao del Norte 2nd District Engineering Office has constructed several multi-purpose buildings within the headquarters of Magbalantay Brigade in Brgy. Maria Cristina, Iligan City. (VNL/DPWH-PIO)

TF ELCAC barangay residents air concerns on livelihood, connectivity, literacy

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 2, 2021): TF ELCAC barangay residents air concerns on livelihood, connectivity, literacy (By Ninfa Iluminada B. Quirante)

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BORONGAN CITY, March 1 (PIA) -- Rural residents of the hinterland barangays of Pinanag-an and Baras share their concerns as the Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) reached them last week.

The PRLE Cluster of the Provincial Task Force End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) sailed to the two distant baragays for hours to offer skills training and livelihood opportunities.

“Some of our people do not know how to read and write,” said Punong Barangay Nelly Andia, adding that if in the profiling forms will be filled up, she asked if there will there be paper works too in the skills training.

She said that these illiterates reached only the first grade and that through time they have not practiced the little learning they had.

“Nagdinidto naman la ini han ira uma, nanhingalimot na pag iskoyla. (They just worked in their farms, they forgot to go to school.)”

One relief though is they are sending their children to school, the village chief added.

Dr. Antonio Waniwan of TESDA understood the issue and said they can still join the training and will just use thumbmarks in the documents.

“What is important is they are willing to attend the duration of the training which lasts to 20 or more days.”

Brgy. Pinanag-an is a very remote barangay that can be reached through three hours of sailing through a motorized outrigger boat cruising the Suribao River.

Aside from the literacy challenge, locals have a few opportunities to earn, for food they depend on their upland rice, they have very low agriculture productivity, and that most only do menial and less paying jobs like copra making and quarrying.

“Pakabuhi, kinahanglan namon dinhi ha Baras,” said Punong Barangay Teresita Casimo in the Brgy. Baras leg of the consultation.

Like Pinanag-an, there is also the issue of connectivity, locals are worried that during rainy days, when the river swells they cannot reach the city proper to get food, milk for the young and medicines for the elderly.

The offer of TESDA who heads the PRLEC is a welcome event to the locals. They want to study dressmaking, swine production, poultry production, organic agriculture production and others.

With the skills training comes the learning and a daily allowance of P160, an internet allowance and a budget for health protocol like face mask and face shield.

The ‘allowance’ part gave the residents a chance for applause.

As to the DTI part, Ms Ruthelma Samonte offered assistance to budding entrepreneurs and technical assistance for product development.

The representatives of the Borongan City Government through Melba Casillano offered the ‘Dukwag Agrikultura’ services that offers financial assistance to farmers and fisherfolks.

The PRLEC headed by TESDA has done skills training in TF ELCAC focused barangays of Can-avid and Dolores towns last year. (nbq/PIA E. Samar)

803rd MC’s Focused Anti-Insurgency Campaign Leads to 3 CTG Members’ Surrender

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 2, 2021): 803rd MC’s Focused Anti-Insurgency Campaign Leads to 3 CTG Members’ Surrender (By: Leviresa A. Getigan)

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LAVEZARES, Northern Samar, March 2 - Three members of the Communist Terrorists Group (CTG) laid down their arms and voluntarily submitted themselves to the 803rd Maneuver Company of the 8th Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB8), Philippine National Police (PNP), yesterday, February 24, 2021.

The three former rebels identified as Ka Ningning; Ka Ingko/Diego, and Ka Kanor/Dimple; all members under SRC EMPORIUM, SRC SESSAME, and SRC LEVOX operating in Eastern Visayas, turned over one M16 with one magazine and four ammunitions, one Colt. 45 with one magazine and eight ammunitions, and one rifle grenade.

"I have long wanted to return to the folds of the law but we are looking for the right people to trust. Dimple and Diego are my sons-in-law. I don't want them to emulate my path that separated me from my family for a very long time. The life in the mountains is uncertain and returning to the government is the only thing I know for us to live peacefully”, Ka Ningning stated.

PCPT LESLIE R LALIC, Acting Company Commander, 803rd MC; accompanied by PLTCOL JOSE ROY M TORRECHILLA, Acting Force Commander, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8, presented the three Former Rebels (FRs) to PBGEN RONALDO F DE JESUS, Regional Director, PNP8.

"I commend my men for this laudable accomplishment by the whole unit in gaining trust and confidence of our brothers who were deceived by the enemies of the state as a result of the intensified focused Anti-Insurgency Campaign and Intel-driven Operations”, said Police Captain Lalic.

“I, together with the 803rd MC, am reaffirming our commitment to amplify our efforts to convince our brothers and sisters who are still struggling in the mountains to end their fight against the government. We assure your safety so that you may live peacefully with your loved ones”, Police Captain Lalic

3ID head slams CPP-NPA Terrorist for killing Tapaz village peace advocate

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 3, 2021): 3ID head slams CPP-NPA Terrorist for killing Tapaz village peace advocate (By Jemin B. Guillermo)

ILOILO CITY, March 2 (PIA) -- The Philippine Army strongly condemned the killing of a barangay Captain in Tapaz, Capiz which was perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) Terrorist.

Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division commander Major General Eric Vinoya expressed his strong condemnation to the strongest possible terms the cruelty of the CPP-NPA Terrorist against Roosevelt Punong Barangay Julie Catamin who was shot to death in the morning of February 28,2021.

“We are one with the people of Tapaz in condemning the cruelty of the CPP-NPA Terrorist against the active public servant and peace advocate in the town," Vinoya said in a press release from the 3ID’s Public Affairs Office.

He added that Catamin’s death is a strong evidence of the CPP-NPA’s blatant violation of human rights.

“Mercilessly killing an unarmed public servant is one of their violent ways; a desperate move that only the cold-blooded communist-terrorist groups can execute especially when they are losing the people’s trust and confidence,” Vinoya stressed.

He also slammed the communist-terrorists and their allied groups for quickly pointing their guilty fingers to the government forces as perpetrators.

“We are not new to this tricky tactic of the Communist-Terrorists. Blaming the government forces is their usual ploy every time a crime is committed by their members. They cannot fool the people of Tapaz through their fabricated stories for they are the ones who have solid motive to kill the pro-government village chairman,” added Vinoya.

Under the leadership of Catamin, the residents of Barangay Roosevelt took a bold step against the CPP-NPA Terrorist by declaring them as “persona-non-grata” last September 15, 2020.

He has been very supportive of the programs under the Executive Order No. 70 of the government in ending the local communist armed conflict.

The slain Punong Barangay has supported the Community Support Program of the Army in Panay and has been instrumental in the success of the said program in his barangay.

“Catamin’s reputable deeds that have greatly contributed to the success of the government’s peace campaign will help us bring these communist-terrorists to justice,” Vinoya said.

Vinoya added “He may be gone but his passing will not stop the people of Tapaz and your Army in pursuing the genuine peace by putting the senseless and destructive insurgency to its end.”

Earlier, Tapaz mayor Roberto Palomar has also condemned the cowardly act perpetrated by the criminals against village chief Catamin.

“I strongly condemn the cowardly act perpetrated by the criminals towards Barangay Captain Julie Catamin. I said cowardly because death advances their causes only by instilling fear and terror among us but they will not succeed,” Palomar said.

The mayor stressed that Catamin is a true public servant and among the barangay officials who advocated peace and development. (PIA6/3ID Public Affairs Office)

CPP-NPA members declared persona non grata in Tumauini

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 3, 2021): CPP-NPA members declared persona non grata in Tumauini (By Merlito G. Edale, Jr.)

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CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela, March 3 (PIA) - The Liga ng Mga Barangay (LMB) - Tumauini chapter has unanimously declared the Communist Party of the Philippines - New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) Persona-Non-Grata.

The declaration was recently signed by 46 barangay captains of the town which was witnessed by Mayor Arnold Bautista and military officials from 95IB.

Bautista acknowledged the efforts of the army, saying the whole officialdom of the town and the barangay officials are supporting the President’s Order.

“We support our government efforts and the military in ending the local communist armed conflict aimed at attaining lasting peace,” Baustista said.

He said the LMB declaration was also a show of support to the government’s ending of Local Communist Armed Conflict through President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70. (BME/MGE/PIA 2-Isabela)

AFP chief rallies troops in support of govt’s massive vaccination drive

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 3, 2021): AFP chief rallies troops in support of govt’s massive vaccination drive (By Jimmyley E. Guzman)

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines medical corps proudly show their shot in the arm against COVID-19 as they are joined by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Dr. Myrna C. Cabotaje from the Department of Health and other senior defense officials at the Tejeros Hall, Commissioned Officers Country on Tuesday, March 2.

PASIG CITY, March 3 (PIA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief on Tuesday called on all military personnel to support the government’s ongoing massive vaccination drive.

AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana on urged members of the military to fully support and trust for the nationwide vaccination rollout.

“As the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and in full confidence of our government’s pursuit of promoting the interests for our people, I urge our troops to wholeheartedly support our government’s vaccination program. Let us collectively show our strong resolve of support and trust to this very decisive initiative,” said Sobejana.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also witnessed the historic event held at the Tejeros Hall, Commissioned Officers Country Tuesday along with Dr. Myrna C. Cabotaje from the Department of Health and other senior defense officials.

“We in the AFP significantly figure in today’s symbolic vaccination program. We stand alongside our colleagues from the national agencies and local government units in a show of might and resolve in support of the National Vaccine Deployment Program,” said Sobejana.

Military doctor Colonel Maria Sheila P. Jardiolin, the Commanding Officer of Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Station Hospital headed the health services personnel in the facility’s vaccination rollout.

Likewise, the major service units of the AFP--Army, Air Force and Navy rolled out the vaccination program with their respective medical personnel.

The historic vaccination of 300,000 Filipinos, particularly healthcare workers, against COVID-19 began Monday after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte personally received the 600,000 doses of China-donated CoronaVac vaccines made by Sinovac Biotech pharmaceutical firm. (PIA NCR)

Sec. Lapeña says formers rebels are tapped as trainers

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 3, 2021): Sec. Lapeña says formers rebels are tapped as trainers (By Mark Djeron C. Tumabao)

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, March 3 (PIA) - Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapeña said former rebels (FRs) who are graduates of their skills trainings are also tapped to train new returnees.

This, according to him, is one of the best ways to encourage rebels still active with the CPP-NPA to return under the folds of the law as their former colleagues are now trainers and trainees of the agency at the same time.

“We continue to provide assistance to our former rebels, returnees and we do this in conjunction with our military,” said Lapeña.

“The good thing about tapping former rebels as trainers of [former] rebels is that they can communicate better because they speak their mother tongue,” he added.

FRs as part of the TESDA’s workforce

Employing former rebels to be part of the workforce of the agency is TESDA’s new direction according to Lapeña.

While at present, there are no former rebels employed as either job order or COS employee, the secretary bared that they are welcome to apply as long as they meet the minimum requirements of the position they are applying for.

“We hope that there will come a time na meron tayong ma-employ [na former rebel] to join the agency. If they will work with us, ibig sabihin na mas naging effective at maganda ang impact ng tulong ng gobyerno sa kanila sa proseso ng kanilang reintegration,” Lapeña added.

(We hope that there will come a time that we will be able to employ former rebels to join the agency. If they will work with us, it only means that the help poured to them during their reintegration was effective and left an impact.)

The TESDA amid pandemic, through its regional offices, has never stopped rolling out various activities in support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s advocacy in reintegrating rebel returnees, drug surrenderers, Indigenous Peoples (IPs), and other special clients back to the society by providing access to quality technical-vocational education and training. (MDCT/PIA-2)

Army kills 4 BIFF gunmen, foils bomb attack

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2021): Army kills 4 BIFF gunmen, foils bomb attack (By Edwin Fernandez)

DISARMING IMPROVISED BOMBS. A military bomb expert deactivates improvised bombs recovered by government forces in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao, following a three-hour firefight Sunday (Feb. 28, 2021) that left four terrorists killed and three others wounded. The retreating terror group members also torched down a house (inset) as a diversionary tactic to cover their escape. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

Soldiers killed four members of Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who tried to launch bombings in Maguindanao, the military here said Monday.

Lt. Col. Charlie Banaag, commander of the 6th Infantry Battalion (6IB), said
three other BIFF gunmen were wounded during the three-hour firefight involving 50 terrorists in the interiors of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town.

“Soldiers from the 6IB clashed with the BIFF under the Karialan faction who were setting ablaze houses in the community,” Banaag said.

Banaag said the firefight ensued after members of the BIFF fired at soldiers who responded to reports by civilians about the presence of gunmen in Sitio Gadong, Barangay Pagatin 1 on Sunday afternoon.

“While the fighting was raging, the BIFF succeeded in torching a semi-concrete house, Banaag said, adding that the terrorist group managed to carry their dead and wounded as they withdrew from the clash site.

Nobody was hurt on the government side.

Col. Pedro Balisi Jr., 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade commander, said that operating troops also recovered 10 improvised explosive devices. Army bomb experts quickly disarmed the IEDs at the clash site.

“These are trademarks of the BIFF,” Balisi said.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th Infantry Division (6ID) commander and head of the Joint Task Force Central, lauded the soldiers and the civilians for alerting government forces of the gunmen’s presence in their community.

Infighting drives 7 NPA rebels to yield in Agusan Norte

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2021): Infighting drives 7 NPA rebels to yield in Agusan Norte (By Alexander Lopez)

Photo grab from 23IB FB Page

Infighting drove seven members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender over the weekend in Agusan del Norte town of Buenavista, an Army official said Monday.

“Infightings have put into danger the lives of these former NPA members. They decided to cut their ties with the movement and go back to the government,” said Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, commander of the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB), in a statement.

Of the seven surrenderers who yielded on Sunday, four were NPA regulars, and three were members of the rebel movement's Milisya ng Bayan (MB).

Paulo identified the four NPA regulars only as Longlong, 20, a team leader of under the Caocao of Guerrilla Front (GF) 4A of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC); Mine, 18; Jack, 32; and Rogue, 26.

The three rebel militiamen are identified only as Dalas, 18; Willy, 28; and Jonie, 26. They worked under the NPA's Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) of GF4A.

Paulo said the surrenderers yielded several firearms, ammunition, and bomb-making materials.

“They told us that they are no longer secured within the NPA movement because of infighting and factions. Based on our experiences, NPA leaders cannot defend their members, especially during armed encounters. They cannot be trusted, and they only keep on feeding their members with false promises,” Paulo said.

According to Dalas, they were reassigned to the group of NPA sub-commanders Pag-asa and Tazar, whose group operates in the Pantaron Range of Barangay Sinakungan in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, after their former unit was disbanded.

Dalas said the rift started when their new commanders only prioritized the latter's original members, leaving him and his colleagues to fend for themselves.

“We decided to leave because of inequality within the group. Our leaders prioritized only those who are close to them. Internal strives are also visible among the members who put our lives in danger,” Dalas was quoted by the military as saying.

He added that he and his comrades had also grown tired of running and hiding following the intensified military operations in the area.

Paulo said the seven surrenderers would be enrolled in the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

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

2 ‘tired’ NPAs yield in S. Kudarat

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 2, 2021): 2 ‘tired’ NPAs yield in S. Kudarat (By Noel Punzalan)

WEARY REBELS. Two former NPA members, identified only as Ka Ricky and Ka Bogs, are flanked by officers of the Army’s 38th Infantry Battalion following their surrender in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat on Monday (March 1, 2021). The two, who said they were "tired" of constantly running away from soldiers, also yielded an M16 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun (inset) during their surrender. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

Tired of being always on the run, two members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to troops of the Army’s 38th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat Monday afternoon, the military here said Tuesday.

In a report to the 6th Infantry Division, Lt. Col. Anhouvic Atilano, newly-designated commander of the 38IB, said the two, identified only as Ka Ricky and Ka Bogs, decided to lay down their arms after being convinced by their former comrades who earlier availed of the government’s program for surrendering rebels.

“We are weary and we miss our families very much,” Ka Ricky, one of the surrenderers, told reporters in an interview.

Atilano said the two belonged to the Platoon Myphone of the New People's Army (NPA) Guerilla Front 73 operating in the peripheries of Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and South Cotabato provinces.

The two also yielded an M16 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun during their surrender in Sitio Compaq, Barangay Batang-Bagras.

“Both are eligible for the benefits under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for surrendering insurgents,” Atilano said.

Under the E-CLIP, the surrenderers will receive immediate assistance of PHP15,000 as firearm remuneration based on the type of surrendered firearms and PHP50,000 as livelihood aid.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6ID commander and concurrent head of Joint Task Force Central, lauded the communities in Palimbang for their continued support to the peace initiatives of the government to the point of even facilitating the turnover of surrendering rebels to authorities.

“I commend the support of the communities, particularly on their efforts in assisting the peaceful surrender of rebels who wanted to start a new life with their families,” he said.

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

P300-K bounty up for killers of Capiz peace advocate

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 2, 2021): P300-K bounty up for killers of Capiz peace advocate (By Perla Lena)

FALLEN PEACE ADVOCATE. Julie Catamin (right), the slain chairperson of Barangay Roosevelt, Tapaz town in Capiz province, is shown leading his constituents in declaring the CPP-NPA as persona non grata on Sept. 15, 2020. Catamin was killed by riding-in-tandem suspects while on his way home to Tapaz on Feb. 28. (PNA photo courtesy of 301st Brigade, PA)

A PHP300,000 reward will be given to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the suspects in the killing of a village chief in Tapaz town, Capiz province.

“I am offering this reward to those that can really lead to the arrest of the criminals who perpetrated this cowardly act,” Mayor Roberto Palomar said in a video released by the Tapaz Information Office on Monday.

Palomar made the commitment in a virtual meeting with the Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) and National Task Force to ELCAC spokesperson, Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, on March 1.

Julie Catamin, 45, chairperson of Barangay Roosevelt in the said town, was on board a motorcycle on his way home when shot by riding-in-tandem suspects in Barangay Malitbog, Calinog town in the morning of Feb. 28.

Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), in a phone interview, said Palomar confirmed during the meeting that Catamin indeed received death threats and asked that he be issued a firearm for self-defense.

Pancito said they were informed that the killing of Catamin was “perpetrated by the CPP-NPA" (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) contrary to the communist terrorist group’s (CTG) claim that the incident was government-initiated.

The CTG added that Catamin was brought to a hospital when the victim was still at the site of the killing at the time the statement was released.

“It was template. They knew that the incident was forthcoming so they were able to release (a statement),” Pancito said.

The Army’s statement released at almost 5 p.m. said they still have to verify the facts.

He clarified circulating information that Catamin did not show up when requested for a meeting by the 12th Infantry Battalion in Calinog, Iloilo. He said the victim had an “open line” with the Philippine Army from the brigade commander down to the lowest ranked soldier.

Catamin's condemnation of the Dec. 30, 2020 police operation in his barangay was not enough reason to stain his relationship with the Army, Pancito said.

Catamin even sent some of his constituents to participate in the pilot episode of the Akap-Kapatid program in Oton, Iloilo that was designed for rebel surrenderers and former CPP-NPA supporters affected by the operations, he said.

“He has been working with us for so long already. Roosevelt is part of the guerilla base of the CPP-NPA in Tapaz. Our community support program team was deployed as early as June of last year so the working relationship is already there,” he said.

It was under Catamin’s term that the CPP-NPA was declared as a persona non grata in his locality on Sept. 15, 2020.

Pancito said Catamin is a big loss noting of his huge help in the government fight against insurgency.

The Army, he said, will double their efforts, so that the objectives of programs and projects initiated by Catamin in Barangay Roosevelt would come to fruition.

Meanwhile, the Western Visayas RTF-ELCAC also condemned the killing of Catamin, who is considered as a peace advocate.

Associate Provincial Prosecutor Flosemer Chris I. Gonzales, chairperson of the Legal Cooperation Cluster (LCC) and spokesperson of the task force, said the slain village chief was a peace advocate “who made a stand against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA)".

“He has worked with the government to put an end to the local communist insurgency in Tapaz. At the heart of all these efforts of Hon. Julie Catamin is his desire for a genuine and lasting peace for his constituents in Barangay Roosevelt and for the people of Tapaz,” Gonzales said.

The task force, he said, will find the perpetrators and bring them to the bars of justice.

“Hon. Julie Catamin is a victim of a terroristic act. This, we strongly condemn. We denounce (in the strongest possible words) any and all form of violence against unarmed civilians especially against those who advocate for peace,” Gonzales said.

His death, according to the task force, “stands as testament to the terrorist activities of the CPP-NPA”.

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.

The task force also offered its sympathy to the family of the late barangay official.

Probe team

On the other hand, Capt. Genesis R. Roque, officer-in-charge of the Calinog Municipal Police Station, said in a phone interview Tuesday, said the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) was tasked by the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) to create a special investigation task group (SITG) that would focus on the case.

With the SITG, they expect to hasten the conduct of the investigation and look into all possible angles behind the death of Catamin.