Thursday, March 18, 2021

Former rebels elect officials for prov’l federation in SoLeyte (

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Former rebels elect officials for prov’l federation in SoLeyte (By Erna Sy-Gorne) 

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MAASIN CITY, March 17 (PIA) -- Former rebels who are now members of local associations successfully elected their officials and board of directors of the Southern Leyte – Tandayag Integrated Peace and Development Workers’ Federation conducted on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at the Municipal Covered Court of Bontoc, Southern Leyte.

Coming from five existing former rebel associations across the province, a certain Gevelyn Aloba, also known as “Ate Abeth,” was elected as president of the provincial federation during the first provincial assembly of former rebels’ associations.

Led by BGen. Zosimo Oliveros, commanding officer of the 14h IB, 8ID of the Philippine Army, five Integrated Peace and Development Workers Association were established in the towns of Sogod, Bontoc, St. Bernard, Hinunangan and Silago which ultimately comprises the Southern Leyte – Tandayag Integrated Peace and Development Worker’s Federation.

According to BGen Oliveros, the provincial federation will soon join in the regional federation of former rebel associations in Eastern Visayas.

Oliveros further explained that their organization came about with the directions of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through Executive 70 that calls for the whole-of-nation approach in ending the communist armed conflict that includes now the participation of other government instrumentalities in responding to the former rebels’ plights.

He assured to the group of fast government response as the Southern Leyte Provincial Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) is the most active in the region.

“The PTF ELCAC members are actively responding throughout Region 8 and Southern Leyte is the most active of them all,” BGen Oliveros said.

Government line agencies present such as DILG, DOLE, TESDA, DTI, DENR, and DAR all bared their programs and projects in response to their immediate needs presented beforehand.

DOLE Provincial Director Marites Vinas immediately facilitated for the registration of the mentioned associations to their office to be able to get accreditation and avail of their programs.

Newly elected federation president Ate Abeth, as she is fondly called, earlier shared the groups’ desires to establish cooperatives, raise poultry and livestock, get into trading copra, put up groceries for the different associations, among others.

The provincial federation officials, board of directors and business managers also took their oath of office during the same occasion by Provincial Administrator Jason Calva.

Calva also invited Ate Abeth to join in the Provincial Development Council and the PTF ELCAC- PRLEC meetings so that their plans will be incorporated in the provincial plans and get some funds, as well. (ldl/esg/PIA8 SoLeyte)

NPA couple killed in Kalinga encounter

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): NPA couple killed in Kalinga encounter (By Peter A. Balocnit)

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BALBALAN, Kalinga, March 18 (PIA) - - A New People’s Army (NPA) couple was found dead in an encounter with the military on March 15 at Sitio Babacong, Gawaan, this municipality.

Authorities identified the NPA cadres as Rudy Daguitan alyas “Pinpin” who died on the encounter site and his party wife, Nora Miguel alyas “Gemay”, whose body was seen in an abandoned hut at Sitio Fukong, Brgy. Gawa-an.

Daguitan was the Political Officer/Political Instructor of Komiteng Larangan Baggas of Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee (KLG-ICRC) and had P2.3 million bounty for his capture while Ka “Gemay” was the Medical Officer of KLG Baggas. The couple had three children

Daguitan, 58, reportedly joined the NPA movement after graduating Commerce in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Elements of the 50th Infantry Battalion were patrolling the mountain lair of the communist terrorist group at Sitio Babacong, barangay Gawaan when they were fired upon by about 20 NPAs headed by one alyas Mio of Platoon Guevara, KLG-ICRC, resulting to a firefight, the 5th Infantry Division reported.

When the firefight subsided, the military entered the NPA camp and found the body of a rebel identified as Ka Pinpin who was abandoned by his companions. A long firearm was also recovered at the abandoned camp.

In the subsequent clearing operations, the soldiers found Ka Gemay’s body in an abandoned hut at Sitio Fukong, also in Brgy Gawa-an. With the help of some civilians, 50th IB troopers brought down the body of Alyas Gemay.

The remains of the couple were later brought to the house of one of Rudy’s relatives in Bulanao, Tabuk City for their wake and burial.

503rd IB Commnader, Col. Santiago Enginco lauded his troops for the successful mission. “Malaking kawalan sa KLG Baggas ang pagkamatay ni alyas Pinpin. Mapipilay ang pag-iindoktrina at pagtuturo ng ideolohiyang komunismo sa kanilang mga kasapi at sa mga sumusuportang masa,” he said.

On the other hand, MGen. Laurence Mina. Commander of the 5 ID, said what happened to Ka Pinpin should serve as a lesson to the remnants of the CPP-NPA.

“Magsilbi sanang aral ang sinapit ni Rudy Daguitan alyas Pinpin sa mga nalalabi pang kasapi ng teroristang CPP-NPA. Ito ay isa na namang patunay na hindi pinapahalagahan ang mga miyenbro ng rebeldeng grupo,” he said.

Mina called on the remaining NPA rebels to surrender and join the main stream society before it’s too late. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)

5ID honors 21 soldiers for exemplary anti-insurgency campaigns feat

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): 5ID honors 21 soldiers for exemplary anti-insurgency campaigns feat (By Merlito G. Edale, Jr.)

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CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela, March 15 (PIA) - At least 21 soldiers of the 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army were honored by the Northern Luzon Command held last week.

Of the 21 awardees, six soldiers received Meritorious Achievement Medal, nine received Gawad Kaunlaran and six received Military Merit Award.

The awards were handed to the soldiers for the successful dismantling of Komiteng Larangan Guerrilla Quirino - Nueva Vizcaya in 2020 and resulted to the weakening of Communist Party of the Philippine - New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) in Cagayan Valley.

Army North Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Burgos led the awarding rites held at 502nd Infantry Brigade based in Echague, Isabela

He lauded the soldiers for showing sterling performance of duty in anti-insurgency campaigns and ensuring peace and stability in its area of operations.

Meanwhile, 5ID, PA Commander B/Gen. Laurence Mina thanked NOLCOM as he assured that the soldiers of 5ID, PA will continue to ensure peace and order and perform there sworn duty to defend its area of operations against invasion and any other forms of illegal activities. (BME/MGE - PIA-2/Isabela)

77 former rebels receive benefits under E-CLIP

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): 77 former rebels receive benefits under E-CLIP (By Merlito G. Edale, Jr.)

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CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela, March 17 (PIA) - At least 77 former rebels who surrendered to the folds of law have received their benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.

A total of P5.1 million - worth of benefits were handed to the 77 beneficiaries which include immediate cash and livelihood assistance, firearms remuneration, and reintegration program.

The Provincial Government of Isabela also extended one cavan of rice and health kits each to the former rebels who are under the custody of 95th and 86th Infantry Battalions of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army..

The handing of benefits was conducted on March 16, 2021 at San Mariano Isabela through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG -2 Director Jonathan Paul Leusen led the distribution of benefits to the former rebels and witnessed by officials from the Provincial Government of Isabela (PGI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), LGU officials of Benito Soliven and San Mariano towns respectively.

Leusen said said the benefits under the E-CLIP for the former rebels will be used to start a livelihood project for themselves and their families and lauded the FRs for surrendering, saying the benefits due to them under the E-CLIP would be given accordingly as a start up for their living.

Meanwhile, 5ID, PA Commander B/Gen. Laurence Mina has called on all CPP-NPA communist terrorist to surrender to get the same benefits under the E-CLIP and live a normal life. (BME/MGE/PIA 2-Isabela)

New 10th ID commander expects end of insurgency

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): New 10th ID commander expects end of insurgency (By Jeanevive Abangan)

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DAVAO DEL NORTE, 18 MARCH (PIA) - Newly installed commander of the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division, Major General Ernesto C. Torres Jr. is expected to end local communist armed conflict in his area of operation.

Commanding General of the Philippine Army (CGPA), Lt General Jose Faustino Jr spelled such task as his number one standing order for Torres who recently replaced Major General Rueben Basiao who had retired from service of the Philippine Army at the time he relinquished his post for Torres.

Faustino grounded his faith on Torres who had previous stints in Davao Region as the former commander of 1003rd Inf “Raptor” Brigade covering the municipality of Talaingod of Davao del Norte and Paquibato of Davao City which used to be highly influenced by the New People’s Army (NPA) armed rebels.

“I have faith and confidence in the ability of General Torres, a very good officer. He knows the in’s and out of insurgency here in this area,” he was referring to areas in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

“He will continue the, actually he was part; he started some of the programs here when he was the brigade commander, and that’s why he is coming back because my order really is to finish,” he told the media in an interview when he led the ground-breaking ceremony of the new command post of 56th Infantry Battalion.

He made a special pitch of this order for the Municipality of Talaingod, he referred as among the areas used to be “most disturbed ” by insurgency.

“That’s my number one order for him: Maintain the momentum and finish the fight, especially here in Davao del Norte where we have the upper hand and, hindi na makabalik yong kalaban dito (The enemy can no longer come back here),” he said.

Meanwhile, Faustino was optimistic that newly retired Major General Basiao would still be visible in serving the government having established a trail of good performance.

“General Basiao is very good at counter organizing, at people's organization; and of course, ang kanyang CSP. He is one of the proponents of CSP (community support program),” Faustino said.

I wish General Basiao the best for his retirement. Sayang yong talent n’ya. Im sure marami pang maghahabol sa kanya because of his talent (a number will go for him because of his talent),” Faustino added. (Jeanevive Duron Abangan/ PIA XI)

Uniformed women instrumental in ELCAC success

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Uniformed women instrumental in ELCAC success (By Jan Vincent Leuterio) 

DAVAO DEL NORTE, March 17 (PIA) – The presence of female military and police officers in the target communities have proven to enhance the implementation of Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

During Pakigsayod on March 17, 2021, 10th Infantry Division Gender and Development Office Chief, Major Davy E. Siao, said that the female soldiers are helpful in the conduct of Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP), a program that delivers basic government services to conflict-affected areas.

“Mas dali ang pagpa implementar knowing nga mas na feel nila nga safe sila in the presence nga naay babae (The implementation is eased up knowing that they [community] feel more safe in the presence of women),” she said.

She explained that women being the “most vulnerable sector” in the community, the presence of women soldiers encourage the feeling of safety to engage with the military.

“Mas mutaas ang kumpyansa sa atong komunidad kay nakakita sila ug babae nga andam mutabang ug mu address sa ilang issues (The trust of the community is heightened because they see women who help them address their issues),” she added.

Chief of Provincial Women and Children’s Desk of DNPPO (Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office) Police Major Leah Manabat.

10th Infantry Division Gender and Development Office Chief, Major Davy E. Siao

Similarly, for the Police, Provincial Women and Children’s Desk of DNPPO (Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office) Chief, Police Major Leah Manabat, said that presence of female police officers has encouraged the reporting of violence against women and children.

“Through the representation of female officers or PNP, tumaas yung recorded incidence natin when it comes to violations against women and children (the recorded incidence when it comes to violations against women and children increased),” she said.

In relation to the Revitalized Pulis sa Barangay (RPSB) program, Manabat revealed that the women’s sector in the People’s Organization were given the opportunity to be heard and opportunity to explore kinds of work that go beyond the traditional role of women in the household and community.

Just like the RCSP, the RPSB program aims to win the hearts of the people in the community by bringing government services and attending to the needs of the people.

Furthermore, in line with issue number 5 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), gender equality is among the issues tackled when deploying officers to Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA).

In the 10th Infantry Division, Major Siao said that through the Gender Mainstreaming program, gender sensitivity trainings are conducted to the military personnel which goes over laws that protect women.

This helps female soldiers know how to act in certain situations to protect themselves as well as how to give the best assistance to the women in the community that they are deployed to.

Likewise, Police Major Manabat said that both men and women in the police force are equipped to handle gender issues before being deployed. (Jan Vincent Leuterio/PIA-XI)

Tagalog News: Lima pang miyembro ng BIFF sumuko sa militar

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Tagalog News: Lima pang miyembro ng BIFF sumuko sa militar (By PIA Cotabato City)\


LUNGSOD NG COTABATO, Marso 18 (PIA) -- Isa pang bagong batch ng limang mga miyembro ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) na nag-ooperate sa Maguindanao ang nagbalik-loob sa pamahalaan kamakalawa.

Ito ay matapos silang sumuko sa headquarters ng 1st Mechanized Brigade sa Barangay Kamasi sa bayan ng Ampatuan.

Nabatid na ang mga sumukong rebelde ay kabilang sa Karialan Faction. Kasabay ng kanilang pagsuko ay itinurn-over ng mga ito isang M16A1, isang cal.30 garand, isang M79 GL, isang 7.62mm sniper rifle, at dalawang cal.50 barret rifle.

Ibinahagi naman ng isa sa mga sumukong rebelde ang kanyang naging karanasan sa grupo. Aniya, naranasan niya ang hirap sa bukirin, wala rin aniya silang kapanatagan sa isip dahil palagi silang tumatakbo at nagtatago sa tuwing nakakakita ng puwersa ng gobyerno.

Matatandaang kamakailan ay ilang miyembro din ng rebeldeng grupo ang sumuko at nagturn-over ng kanilang mga armas.

Samantala, sinabi ni 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division (6ID) at Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) Commander Major General Juvymax Uy na ang pagdami ng mga sumukong rebelde ay mai-uugnay sa sama-samang pagsisikap ng militar, mga lokal na pamahalaan, traditional leaders, at mamamayan ng Maguindanao.

Dagdag pa ni Uy na patuloy na isinasagawa ng tropa ng militar ang mas pinaigting na stakeholder engagement upang hikayatin ang mga natitirang rebelde na sumuko at makipagtulungan sa gobyerno. (LTBolongon-PIA Cotabato City/With reports from DPAO, 6ID).

8 Cordillera villages now communist-free

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): 8 Cordillera villages now communist-free (By Liza Agoot)

BAGUIO CITY – Eight communist terrorist groups-cleared villages in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will receive PHP20 million each for their development programs, or a total of PHP160 million allocation from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Trisha Marie Dogup, focal person of the Executive Order (70 program under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG in CAR, on Thursday said the eight were cleared of infestation by the terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) from 2016 to 2019.

They have already submitted the required documents, including proposals on how the funds will be utilized.

“The fund is under the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) of the NTF-ELCAC,” she said.

Among the proposed projects are farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation systems, rural electrification, housing, and medical, burial, transportation, food, cash-for-work, and educational assistance for indigent individuals or households.

Of the eight villages, six are in Abra (Barangays Bayabas, Buanao, Dulao, Duldulao, Ud-udiao in the municipality of Malibcong, and Barangay Naguilian in Salapadan town); Barangay Babalag East in Rizal, Kalinga; and Barangay Tamboan, Besao in Mountain Province.

The assistance to the said villages will not stop with the release of the PHP20 million, Dogup said.

“They are included among priority barangays because they still have programs, projects and activities that should be implemented and not just those covered by the PHP20M financial assistance,” she said.

Dogup said that for 2021, the Regional Task Force ELCAC has identified a total of 79 villages in CAR with programs, projects and activities proposed with national line agencies.

DILG-CAR officer-in charge Araceli San Jose said SBDP is the Duterte administration's flagship program for poverty alleviation and development which aims to address the root causes of insurgency.

“The program is geared towards reducing, if not stopping, communist recruitment by providing holistic development projects that bridge the gap between community needs and accessibility,” she said in a previous interview.

The European Union, through Council Decision 2011/70/CFSP dated January 11, 2011, designated the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA as a terrorist organization.

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

'Peace caravan' calls for BARMM transition extension

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): 'Peace caravan' calls for BARMM transition extension (By Noel Punzalan)

PEACE CARAVAN. The BARMM peace caravan route in the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato, calling for the region’s transition period extension from 2022 to 2025. The caravan, spearheaded by civil society groups in Mindanao, is expected to attract some 1,000 vehicles in joining the convoy’s route on Thursday (March 18, 2021). (Photos courtesy of Suara Mindanao)

A "peace caravan" composed of hundreds of vehicles kicked off from this city Thursday, aimed at drumbeating support for the transition extension period of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao from 2022 to 2025.

Amai Samrod, deputy executive director of Suara Mindanao and spokesperson for the daylong peace caravan, said the vehicle convoy will circle Maguindanao and the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato that have joined the BARMM in 2019.

“We expect more than 1,000 vehicles to join our convoy today (Thursday),” he said, adding the caravan participants consisted mostly of civil society groups.

Calls for the region’s extension for its transition period for another three years mounted due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

“Many programs have been hampered by the pandemic and an additional three years is a lot of help for these development packages to be implemented for the BARMM people,” Samrod said.

The League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Tawi-Tawi have earlier issued resolutions supporting calls for the extension period.

Last week, the Bangsamoro People’s Coalition also staged a rally in Manila urging the government to heed the call.

The BARMM covers the cities of Cotabato, Marawi, and Lamitan; the provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan; and the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato.

Nabbed Butuan teacher not held incommunicado: PNP-Caraga

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Nabbed Butuan teacher not held incommunicado: PNP-Caraga (By Alexander Lopez)

NOT INCOMMUNICADO. Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. (right), director of the Police Regional Office in Caraga, presents in a press conference Thursday (March 18, 2021) Rosanilla B. Consad (center), who is facing an attempted homicide case and is suspected to be a member of the communist rebellion's underground movement in the region. Also attending the press conference is Ka Eric Almendras (right), a former cadre of the communist New People’s Army, confirmed Consad's affiliation with the rebels. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)

A teacher arrested for attempted homicide has not been held incommunicado or not allowed to communicate with other people, the chief of the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13) assured Thursday.

In a press conference here, Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat, Jr. presented Rosanilla B. Consad to the public to disprove claims from left-leaning groups accusing the Philippine National Police (PNP) of preventing the suspect from communicating with anyone.

“We are presenting the arrested suspect now to disprove these false claims. Miss Consad is in good condition as she already had a medical check-up. Under the law, she is entitled to legal assistance of her choice,” Caramat said.

Police and military authorities arrested Consad, 54, at her residence in Rosewood Plains Subd., Villa Kananga here, by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Tubay-Santiago in Agusan del Norte.

Former New People's Army member "Ka Eric" Almendras, during a press conference, said Consosad is a member of the Katipunan ng Gurong Makabayan (Kaguma), one of the underground organizations under the National Democratic Front (NDF) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Almendras said Consad is also an active member of the Regional White Area Committee (RWAC) of the NPA's North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC.

Caramat said Consad is also the assistant principal of San Vicente National High School in this city and is a member of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the women’s group Gabriela.

Consad was involved in the shooting of Private Frist Class Junrel Cornelio and CAFGU Active Auxiliary Emiliano Sajol, Jr. in Barangay Poblacion 2, Santiago, Agusan del Norte, in November last year, he said.

According to Almendras, Consad's group, Kaguma, is tasked to recruit teachers both in public and private schools.

“Kaguma’s front organization is the ACT that openly recruits teachers to join their ranks. Eventually, ACT members are recruited to join the underground Kaguma in the armed struggle to topple the government,” Almendras said.

ACT, he said, considers Caraga Region as an "expansion area" of ACT, as the group is still recovering from the absence of full-timers to work in the recruitment and strengthening of the organization.

ACT has around 100 active members in the region with 20 to 30 active members now working under Kaguma, he added.

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.

Army, NPA clashes in Apayao kill 1 rebel, yield firearms

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Army, NPA clashes in Apayao kill 1 rebel, yield firearms (By Leilanie Adriano)

BUSTED. An undated photo shows the seized items during a previous Army and NPA clash in Flora, Apayao. Usual items seized include rifles, ammunition, mobile phones, personal belongings, and subversive documents. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

Another clash between the Philippine Army and an unspecified number of New People’s Army members was reported in remote Aurora village in Pudtol, Apayao province on Wednesday, the military said.

While on combat patrol at around 3:20 p.m. on March 17, government troops led by 1st Lt. Jheffrey Banuelos had an encounter with the communist rebels.

The firefight lasted for five minutes,
according to a report from the Army. There were no casualties on the government side.

The first clash took place in Barangay Mallig in neighboring Flora town on March 14 when a lair of the rebels with seized firearms and ammunition was discovered.

A pursuit operation took place at about 12:40 p.m. on the same day in Sitio Tawini, Upper Atok, also in Flora, with one casualty recovered from the rebel side.

All municipal police stations in Apayao have intensified their monitoring and validation on the movements of the enemy forces by establishing checkpoints in adjacent municipalities of Kabugao and Conner.

They were also directed to check on hospitals for injured patients while pursuit operations are ongoing.

The military said villagers tipped them off regarding the presence of rebels.

Army thwarts anew BIFF plot to sow terror in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Army thwarts anew BIFF plot to sow terror in Maguindanao (By Edwin Fernandez)

CLASH. A house burns in Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao following an encounter between government forces and BIFF terrorists on Thursday (March 18, 2021). Military armored personnel carriers (inset) maneuver on the middle of the highway in Kitango during the height of the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. clash in the area to shield fleeing villagers. (Photos courtesy of RMN – Cotabato and DXMS Radio Cotabato)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Government forces thwarted another attempt by the extremist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to sow terror in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, the military here reported Friday.

Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, speaking for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID), said the reporting of residents to military forces in Datu Saudi Ampatuan prevented
what could be a bloody attack by BIFF fighters against Joint Peace and Security Team outpost in Barangay Kitango.

A composite team from the Philippine Army, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and local police is manning the outpost and functions as peacekeeping forces in ensuring the security of residents within the six government-acknowledged MILF camps in Central Mindanao.

Baldomar said BIFF gunmen have been sighted in Kitango and repeatedly threatened to harm civilians if they refused to provide revolutionary tax to the terror group.

He said troopers from the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (1MIBde) encountered about 30 BIFF fighters in Barangay Kitango from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Col. Pedro Balisi, commander of 1MIBde, said upon receipt of verified reports from the residents, government forces immediately conducted clearing operations and encountered the BIFF fighters, triggering a running gun battle.

“Thanks to the help and cooperation of the residents by reporting the presence of armed men in their communities thus allowing our forces to preempt possible atrocities by the BIFF,” Balisi told reporters.
Balisi added that no casualty was reported on the government side but could also not determine if the BIFF sustained casualties.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of 6ID and concurrent chief of the Joint Task Force Central, assured residents of Maguindanao that they would continue to protect communities in the province against terror groups.

7 BIFF yield to Army in North Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): 7 BIFF yield to Army in North Cotabato (By Edwin Fernandez) 

SURRENDER. Military and town officials of Pikit, North Cotabato presented to the media the seven BIFF members who surrendered on Thursday (March 18, 2021). Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong (inset), commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, also inspected the firearms yielded by the surrendering BIFF batch. (Photos courtesy of 602Bde)

Seven combatants of the local terrorist group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) decided to surrender to the military in North Cotabato to live normal lives once more, officials said Thursday.

With the help of acting Mayor Muhyryn Sultan Casi of Pikit, North Cotabato the BIFF surrenderers laid down their arms and yielded on Thursday afternoon to the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade (602Bde) in Pikit, North Cotabato.

The BIFF batch turned in their rifles during surrender rites to Brigadier General Roberto Capulong, commander of 602Bde, and Lt. Col. Rommel Mundala, commanding officer of the 90th Infantry Battalion as witnessed by local officials.

The mayor has offered to provide initial cash assistance and livelihood packages to the former rebels so they can start a peaceful and normal life.

They surrendered three M14 rifles, one homemade KG-9 automatic pistol; one rocket-propelled grenade launcher; a 12-gauge shotgun; an M79 grenade launcher; an improvised explosive device with blasting cap; and assorted ammunition.

Capulong the surrenderers were involved in atrocities in Pikit, and against military forces in the so-called SPMS box composed of the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan (Pagatin), Mamasapano, and Datu Salibo.

“They all belonged to the BIFF Kagui Karialan faction and linked to highway robberies, hold-up, liquidation operations, and extortion activities in North Cotabato and Maguindanao,” Capulong said.

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th Infantry Division commander, has expressed hope other BIFF members will follow suit to also be reunited with the families. Since January this year, about 36 BIFF have surrendered to the 6ID, he said.

Gov't workers must be protected from Reds' exploitation: DND exec

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Gov't workers must be protected from Reds' exploitation: DND exec (By Priam Nepomuceno)

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The Department of the Interior and Local Government's (DILG) move to discourage its employees from joining groups suspected to be affiliated with the communist terrorist group only seeks to protect them from exploitation, a defense official said on Thursday.

"The directive from DILG Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Security Alexander Macario is intended to ensure that our public servants are not exploited or used to undermine the government and the stability of the Republic,"
Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu said in a press statement.

Mapagu, also head of E-CLIP and Amnesty (EAP) Cluster of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), said they strongly support Macario's move.

"Indeed, the move should not be construed as an infringement on the rights of employees to join associations," he added.

He noted that it is just a reminder for civil servants to remain loyal to the country and the Filipino people.

"The government, for its part, shall ensure that the Constitutional rights of every Filipino are protected, regardless of one's political affiliation. As we continue the hard work of dismantling the discord sown by the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) in various sectors of our society, we are hoping for the public's continued support in unmasking the duplicity of the communist terrorist group," Mapagu said.

On March 10, the DILG issued a memorandum directing its regional directors to identify who among its employees are members of two progressive groups -- the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), a network of workers’ unions in the government; and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the union of public school teachers.

Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite denounced the memorandum, describing it as “blatant terrorist-tagging” and “an unwarranted act of harassment and intimidation.”

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

Duterte vows protection for red-tagged Mandaluyong judge

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Duterte vows protection for red-tagged Mandaluyong judge (By Azer Parrocha)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte will provide protection for a judge who was allegedly red-tagged after freeing two activists and clearing them of charges.

This, after photos showed a tarpaulin at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Edsa "thanking" Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 209 Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio for her "speedy release” of “comrades.” The logo of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) appeared at the bottom of the tarpaulin.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque urged the public not to jump into conclusions that Ignacio was indeed red-tagged, stressing that “enemies” may have put up the tarpaulin to pin the blame on the Duterte administration.

“Let us not conclude na na-redtag nga si Judge Ignacio (that Judge Ignacio was red-tagged) and authorities are investigating already this incident,”
he said in a virtual press briefing.

He expressed confidence that available CCTV footage will help law enforcement determine who is responsible for putting up the tarpaulin.

“Iimbestigahin po natin ‘yan dahil pupuwedeng mga kalaban din ng gobyerno ang gumawa niyan para ibintang sa gobyerno. Hindi ko po sinasabi na ‘yan ang katotohanan pero antayin po natin ang imbestigasyon. (We will investigate that because it’s possible that enemies of the government are behind it to pin the blame on us. I am not saying that it’s the truth but let’s wait for results of the investigation),” he added.

Roque, however, assured that the President and his administration would provide protection for Ignacio if red-tagging allegations are true.

“Kung totoong na-redtag po si Judge Ignacio, ang Presidente po mismo magbibigay ng proteksyon kay Judge Ignacio kung kinakailangan. ‘Yan po ang assurance ng Presidente (If it’s true Judge Ignacio was red-tagged, the President himself will provide her with necessary protection. That’s the President’s assurance),” he said.

He said it is too early to make any conclusions since investigation is ongoing.

“Sa ngayon po (As of now), let us not make hasty conclusions dahil kahit sino po pupuwedeng magsabit ng tarpaulin na ‘yan (because anyone can just put up that tarpaulin),” he said.

Reports showed that Ignacio was reportedly red-tagged after dismissing the case filed against red-tagged journalist Lady Ann Salem and trade unionist Rodrigo Esparago.

She was allegedly red-tagged in the form of a tarpaulin with CPP logo that read “Maraming salamat Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio, RTC Branch 209, Mandaluyong City sa mabilis na paglaya ng kasamahan nating Lady Ann Salem at Rodrigo Esparago. Tuloy ang laban! Mabuhay (Thank you Judge Monique Quisumbing-Ignacio, RTC Branch 209, Mandaluyong City for the speedy release of our comrades Lady Ann Salem and Rodrigo Esparago. Continue the fight! Mabuhay)!”

Ignacio, in her Feb. 5 order, granted the motion to quash the search warrant issued by a Quezon City Court that led to the arrest of Salem and Esparago.

“There are not enough facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably direct and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched,” she said.

Human rights group Kapatid denounced the red-tagging of the judge warning that Independent, fair-minded judges are under attack.”

House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate urged the Supreme Court “to publicly condemn” and investigate the incident.

Communists achieve nothing: Duterte

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Communists achieve nothing: Duterte (By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday taunted the communist movement for achieving nothing since it launched a guerilla war against the government 50 years ago.

During the joint meeting of national task force (NTF) and regional task force (RTF) to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Tacloban City, Duterte said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was nothing but a failure.

“The communist has not achieved anything at all,” Duterte said. “Ngayon, 53 years after, wala akong nakitang na-achieve ng komunista. Wala akong nakitang progress sa kalihukan (Now, 53 years after, I haven’t any achievement made by the communists. I have not seen any progress in their movement). Rather, it has become a group of bandits solely.”

Duterte insisted that the communists’ ideology is already “dead.”

Reiterating his order to the military to kill armed rebels, Duterte expressed confidence that communist insurgents would not succeed in its fight against the government.

“Hindi naman talaga ninyo kaya ang gobyerno, not in a million years of fighting. Yet you persist fighting government na alam ninyo, one way or another but maybe a time there tatamaan ka, mamatay ka without seeing your family (You cannot defeat the government, not in a million years of fighting. Yet you persist fighting government despite knowing that, one way or another, you will die without seeing your family),” he said.

The peace talks between the national government and the CPP’s political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), have been intermittent since 1986.

Duterte held a series of peace negotiations with the NDF, but was forced to terminate the talks following the relentless attacks of CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), against government troops and civilians.

Duterte formally ended the peace dialogue with the NDF through Proclamation 360 signed on Nov. 23, 2017. The termination of peace talks was followed by the Dec. 5, 2017 signing of Proclamation 374 which brands the CPP-NPA as a terror organization.

Gov’t tried everything to talk peace

Duterte said his administration did its best to reach a peace agreement with CPP, but its founding chairperson, Jose Maria Sison, lacked sincerity.

“I cannot fathom the brain of Sison however you prick it, wala na eh (it’s gone). He has I don’t know if dementia or something. He keeps on transferring from one topic to another that finally I thought that peace through negotiation sa kanila, hindi puwede. So, nag-give up na ako (with them is impossible. So I gave up although) I tried everything,” he said.

Duterte also lamented that communist rebels continue to stay in the mountains to fight the government troops.

“You (communists) go into the mountains, you hide there and fight sporadic intermittent battle against government forces,” he said. “They never had any barangay to hold even for half a day. And yet, ngayon at this very late day, wala namay nakita nato na nganong naa pa mo diha (we can’t see any good reason why you’re still there).

Apart from the Philippines, the CPP-NPA has been listed as a terror group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

‘Giant leap’ to end communism

Despite the continuing insurgency in the country, Duterte was elated that his government, through the NTF and RTF ELCAC, made great strides in fighting the communists.

“We find ourselves facing the dangers that we have been trying to overcome for decades. Today we take a giant leap towards ending the threat of communist insurgency in our country once and for all,” he said.

Duterte also reiterated his vow to former rebels that they would continue to get support from the government.

He also expressed willingness to meet rebels who want to return to the fold of the law.

“I’m ready to talk to them. Kung kailangan magpunta ako sa kanila, magpupunta ako sa kanila. Walang problema. Patayin ninyo ako, anong makuha ninyo? What do you reap? Nothing. Mag-init lang lalo (If they want me to meet them, I will do that. I have no problem with that. If you kill me, what will you gain? What do you reap? Nothing. It will just create chaos),” Duterte said.

Multimillion housing projects await ex-rebels in E. Visayas

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 18. 2021): Multimillion housing projects await ex-rebels in E. Visayas (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

END INSURGENCY. Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario vows support worth PHP75 million for housing projects that will benefit former communist rebels in Eastern Visayas. He joined President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (March 18, 2021) in Tacloban City for the launch of the Barangay Development Program. (Screengrab from RTVM live stream)

Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario on Thursday vowed PHP75 million for the construction of housing projects for former communist rebels in the Eastern Visayas Region.

Del Rosario, also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security, made the assurance during the launch of the Barangay Development Program, a counter-insurgency plan aimed at delivering various government programs in conflict-afflicted and geographically isolated villages that have been considered "cleared" of the influence of rebels.

“The government is fully committed to addressing the issues of insurgency in the region, particularly in the areas infiltrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA),” he said in a speech.

On Thursday afternoon, members of the Joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Eastern Visayas (NTF-RTF-ELCAC Region 8) were with President Rodrigo Duterte in Tacloban City, Leyte.

At the event, del Rosario cited Duterte's strong political will and aggressive leadership to end insurgency in the country, resulting in the massive surrender of NPA rebels, particularly in the far-flung communities.

"Mr. President, this is the first time in our country’s history that we see all these happening because of your strong leadership, clear direction, and uncompromising political will as Chairman of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict in the whole country," he told Duterte.

"With strong political will from both the national and local leadership, the convergence of efforts by all stakeholders, we are confident that RTF-ELCAC 8 will be able to neutralize the CPP-NPA-NDF."

Persona non-grata

Del Rosario, who was assigned in Samar and Leyte while with the Philippine Army in the 1980s, lauded local executives in the Eastern Visayas for calling out the CPP-NPA for their atrocities and violence.

Some 3,395 out of 4,390 barangays, or 77 percent of barangay officials in the entire region, declared persona non-grata the members of communist terrorist groups.

All mayors and governors of the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar did the same, del Rosario added.

Based on del Rosario's report, the 8th Infantry Division has neutralized 71 rebels, who were either captured or killed. There were also 2,428 who surrendered and eight child warriors rescued through the implementation of Executive Order No. 70, which was signed by President Duterte in December 2018, creating the NTF-ELCAC that institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in obtaining exclusive and sustainable peace-giving us an effective solution against communist-terrorists.

Security forces have also recovered around 103 high-powered and 123 low-powered firearms from terrorist groups within Eastern Visayas and dismantled seven of 11 communist front organizations.

"The remaining CPP-NPA-NDF capability in Region 8 is continuously declining, hence, we are declaring today that our timeline to neutralize and diminish the influence and fighting capability of the communist terrorists is achievable and doable within the President’s term," del Rosario said.

He also cited the efforts of various national agencies to end local terrorism while pushing progressive economic developments within conflict-afflicted communities.

"This convergence of efforts and the practice of good governance will have a tremendous impact on the lives of our rural dwellers," he said. "With the convergence of all efforts toward ending insurgency problem in the area, the RTF-ELCAC8 sees the imminent defeat of the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front)."

He likewise lauded various agencies for implementing infrastructure projects, livelihood programs, and development assistance across Eastern Visayas.

Del Rosario noted that Eastern Visayas "has been deprived of economic gains, despite its huge potential, due to security issues."

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

Kalinaw News: NPA leader killed, 1 High-powered firearm seized in Misamis Oriental

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): NPA leader killed, 1 High-powered firearm seized in Misamis Oriental

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – A leader of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) was killed in action and one high-powered firearm was seized by the 58th Infantry Battalion during an encounter at the hinterlands of Sitio Mangelit, Brgy Bal-ason, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, thursday, March 18, 2021.

The encounter occurred at around 12 noon as the 58IB acted on a report of concerned citizens on the presence of armed rebels in their area.

The identity of the male cadaver is withheld until his family is informed. The troops recovered the male combatant who had been abandoned on a ravine and left to die on-site of the battle. The slained rebel was identified by his former comrades as a Terrorist leader of Sub Regional Sentro De Grabidad of the Subregional Command 1 of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee. The troops recovered one M16 rifle, two magazine for M16, four magazines for M14, three rifle grenade, assorted medicines, personal belongings, subversive documents and two backpacks.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Ricky Canatoy, Commanding Officer of the Army’s 58IB, offers his heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased NPA rebel. “Another life is lost in the war against the Communist NPA Terrorists’ (CNTs) failed ideology.”

He also expressed gratitude to concerned citizens who provided credible information in order to deter the CNTs from carrying out their terrorist activities. He also urged the remaining NPA fighters to give up their weapons, return to the folds of the law, and avail the government programs. “I sincerely hope that an increasing number of NPA rebels will now surrender and stop believing the lies and deceptions implanted in your minds. Do so for the sake of your own life and to escape an untimely death. It’s not too late yet. You may still surrender and return to the folds of the law. Similarly, your Army will continue to work to ensure the safety and security of all in the communities,” he concluded.

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

Kalinaw News: Government Troops thwarted Violent Extremists’ planned attack in Maguindanao

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): Government Troops thwarted Violent Extremists’ planned attack in Maguindanao

Camp Siongco, Maguindanao – Armed clashes between troops of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) and violent extremists belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) erupted around 10 o’clock in the morning and 3 o’clock in the afternoon of March 18, 2021 at Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Government forces conducted clearing operations in response to reports of local residents for the presence of armed BIFF members in the outskirts of their barangays who were planning to attack the Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) outpost located at Barangay Kitango in the said Municipality, forcing the residents to evacuate their communities.

The presence of the JPST Outpost is being manned by composite teams from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Philippine Army (PA), and Philippine National Police (PNP), who were deployed to function as peacekeeping forces to ensure the security of residents within the six government-acknowledged MILF camps.

Col. Pedro Balisi, the Brigade Commander of 1st Mechanized Brigade said that upon receipt of such reports from the local residents, government forces immediately conducted clearing operations and encountered more or less thirty (30) violent extremists belonging to the BIFF. “Thanks to the help and cooperation of the local residents by reporting the presence of armed men in their communities thus allowing our forces to preempt possible atrocities of the said group,” Col. Balisi said.

There were no casualties reported from the government forces while casualty from the BIFF is yet to be determined based on the bloodstains on the area as reported by the government forces on the ground. The clearing operation of the nearby barangays is still ongoing as of this reporting.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of JTFC and 6th Infantry Division lauded the troops of the 1st Mechanized Brigade for their dedication to protect our communities from the atrocities of the violent extremists. “We would like to assure the residents of the Province of Maguindanao that your soldiers from JTFC and 6ID are committed to serve the people and protect the communities of Maguindanao. We will not let our guards down and assures our fellow Filipinos that together we will address the threat presented by these violent extremist groups,” Maj. Gen. Uy added.

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

Kalinaw News: Miserable conditions forced 2 NPAs to surrender in Maasim, Sarangani Province

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): Miserable conditions forced 2 NPAs to surrender in Maasim, Sarangani Province

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Government forces from 38th Infantry ‘We Clear’ Battalion (38IB) and Maasim Municipal Police Station welcomed two (2) former communist rebels after abandoning their armed struggle and returned to the folds of the
law in Barangay Nomoh, Maasim, Sarangani Province.

They formally surrendered on March 15, 2021 through the efforts of the Local Government of Maasim, Sarangani Province through the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF ELCAC) of Maasim and the Community Support Program (CSP) Teams of 38IB. The former rebels turned-over one (1) shotgun and three (3) live ammunition during the simple turn-over ceremony held inside 38IB Headquarters. Lt. Col. Anhouvic Atilano, Commanding Officer of 38IB said that the former rebels were,exhausted and demoralized by the intensified military offensives against the Communist Terrorist Group.

According to one of the surrenderers, “mas lalong humirap ang aming kalagayan ng sumama kami sa kilusan ng komunista at sabik na kaming makita ang aming pamilya. Di na rin namin masikmura ang mga maling ginagawa ng mga kasamahan namin.” Col. Eduardo Gubat, the 603rd Infantry (Persuader) Brigade Commander, commended the partnership of the Local Government Unit of Maasim and the CSP Teams of 38IB for their concerted efforts to convince the two (2) former rebels to surrender.

[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: Top Communist underground leader in most wanted list arrested in Butuan City

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): Top Communist underground leader in most wanted list arrested in Butuan City

A top leader of the CPP NPA NDF underground organization, KAGUMA, listed as number 18 in the most wanted criminal in Northern Mindanao was arrested by joint elements of police and armed forces operatives in Montilla Blvd., Brgy. Rajah Humabon, Butuan City around 4:30 PM today, March 17, 2021.

POLICE BRIGADIER GENERAL ROMEO M. CARAMAT, JR, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 13 identified the arrested person as Rosanilla B. Consad a.k.a. Lai, 54 years old, a resident of Diamond St., B6, L22, Rosewood Plains Subd., Phase 2, Brgy. Villa Kananga, Butuan City, and the Assistant Principal of San Vicente National High School in Butuan City and Regional Chairman of KAGUMA, the underground organ of CPP in the academe sector. KAGUMA’s open mass organ is the ACT Teachers PL.

Armed with Warrant of Arrest issued by 10th Judicial Region, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Tubay-Santiago, Agusan del Norte for the crime of attempted homicide under Criminal Case Number 3197 dated March 15, 2021 with Php36,000.00 recommended bail bond, operating troops composed of Regional Intelligence Division 13, Regional Intelligence Unit 13, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) 10, and Butuan City Police Station 1 together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines implemented the arrest.

Consad was involved in the attack and shooting of Private First Corporal Junrel Cornelio and CAFGU Active Auxiliary Emiliano Sajol, Jr., both are members of 29th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army during the conduct of combat patrol operation in Sitio Manhupaw, Brgy. Poblacion 2, Santiago, Agusan del Norte on November 21, 2020.

She is the Head of the Regional Urban Committee (RUC), Regional White Area Committee (RWAC), Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and listed as top 18 in the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) Priority Target of PNP Caraga.

She is also a member of General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action (GABRIELA) and was vocally promoting NPA terrorism during protest actions in Butuan City on September 20, 2019, during the 47th Martial Law Commemoration, and on May 1, 2019, during the celebration of Labor Day.

Further, investigation reveals that Consad is involved in the recruitment of the youth and students to become NPA combatants.

“It is the guidance of our Chief, Philippine National Police, POLICE GENERAL DEBOLD M. SINAS, to enforce the law which includes the implementation of Warrant of Arrest issued by the court. Anyone who has standing Warrant of Arrest, regardless of their political and ideological belief, must face the court and answer the charges being filed against them,” PBGEN CARAMAT, JR emphasized.

The region’s top cop also stressed out that PNP Caraga in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines will continue to step-up efforts against insurgency and terrorism in support of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

[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: 13 Rebels surrender as NPA Anniversary draws near

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): 13 Rebels surrender as NPA Anniversary draws near

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – The New People’s Army (NPA) will be celebrating its founding anniversary on March 29, 2021, as it draws nearer, thirteen (13) NPA members voluntarily surrendered to the 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion Headquarters last March 15, 2021.

The surrender is the result of the joint efforts of the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development (PLED) Support Team Clusters of the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) in the municipalities of San Luis, Esperanza, La Paz and Talacogon, all of Agusan del Sur.

Twelve (12) of the surrenderers are members of the Guerilla Front (GF) 88 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) mainly operating in the said municipalities and one (1) is a member of the GF8 North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC). Their bad experiences and hardships while in the rank of the NPA terrorist group and the fear of being pursued by the Philippine Army troops fueled them to surrender.

After discrediting the armed group with their deceptive schemes, they also urged their comrades to abandon the armed struggle and they peacefully laid down 13 firearms which composed of two (2) M16A1, two (2) Carbine Rifle, two (2) Homemade shotgun, one (1) KG9, one (1) UZI Cobray, three (3) Cal. 45, one (1) Cal. 38 and one (1) Cal. 35 Revolver together with assorted ammunitions, magazines and other war materials.

“Dako akong pasalamat sa 26IB tungod kay gihatagan ako ug dakong kahigayonan diin ako magbag-o sa akong kaugalingon aron diin mahatagan ug maayong kaugmaon usab ang akong pamilya. Akong pag dasig sa akong mga kaubanan nga anaa sa kabukiran nga naog na kamu ug surrender kay sama namu mahatagan usab kamu ug higayon aron mag puyo nga malinawon uban inyong mga mahal sa kinabuhi.”, AKA Jamil, who served the armed group for 5 years, said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, Commanding Officer of 26IB applauded the latest surrenderers for their courage and eagerness in turning back to the folds of law. He also reminded the citizens, especially in conflict-affected areas, to be more cautious and vigilant because it is believed that the armed group will conduct atrocities and other terrorism related activities for their upcoming anniversary.

“The 26IB will always support peace agreement for those who are willing to go back to the main stream society but if you resist and continue terrorizing our countrymen, we will not hesitate to use our full capability to pin down each and every one of you.”, Lt. Col. Goce said.

The NPA is considered as the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) which was officially designated by the Philippine Government, United States and European Union as a Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).

“The five decades of armed struggle have brought senseless death and miseries to hundreds of thousands of our countrymen. We are offering the rebels a way out, to surrender and start a new. Let us work together to attain peace and preserve our country for the upcoming generations.”, Lt. Col. Goce added.

Currently, the unit of 26IB is conducting Custodial Debriefing to the surrenderees and they will be processed for the enrollment in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) benefits, a government program that aims to help the rebel members of CPP-NPA-NDF and MB to restore their allegiance to the Philippine government.

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

Kalinaw News: 5.5 Million worth of benefits awarded to 72 Former rebels in Misamis Oriental

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): 5.5 Million worth of benefits awarded to 72 Former rebels in Misamis Oriental

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – 72 Former Rebels received their benefits during the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee Meeting held at Headquarters 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion (H58IB) last March 17, 2021,

The E-CLIP Committee meeting was headed by E-CLIP Committee Chair, Hon. Yevgeny Vincente Emano, Provincial Governor of Misamis Oriental, represented by Hon. Dexter B. Yasay, Board Member.

The Committee meeting was also attended by Brig. Gen. Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the Armys 402nd Brigade, Police Col. Raniel M Valones the Provincial Director of Police Provincial Office in Misamis Oriental, Lt. Col. Ricky L Canatoy the Commanding Officer of 58IB, Engr Marisia C. Naybe the DILG Provincial Director and other head of offices of ECLIP committee.

The meeting was very fruitful, as various members and representatives gave updates on the status of their projects and proposed projects to help the FRs. Among the issues addressed during the meeting were housing, livelihood assistance, employment, and access to government services, including the processing of birth/marriage certificates and acquisition of government identification cards.

The E-CLIP meeting highlight is the awarding of benefits which include financial assistance, Livelihood assistance and Firearms remuneration. The DSWD region 10 also turned oved hygiene kits to the Frs.

72 beneficiaries received cash ranging from Php15,000.00 to Php624,000.00, which will certainly assist them in starting a small business or buying property to improve their ways of life and contribute to community and nation-building. The recipients shared their appreciation to the government for continuing to be sincere in supporting those who had been victims of communist terrorist groups’ lies and deceit.

Alias Lakay an FR who received a total of Php624,000.00 said, “Nagapasalamat ko kay Presidente Duterte kay tungod sa iyang sakto na pamaagi, dili lang ako ang natagaan ug maayo nga kaugmahon, apil ang akong mga kauban, natagaan. Sa akong mga kaigsoonan, ayaw na mo palabi diha sa kalihukan. Kabalo man mo diha wa tay sakto na kanoon ug pirme lang ta ginapalakaw. Wala nay hinungdan ang atong kinabuhi diha. Sa kalihukan wala tay ugma. Mamatay ra ta na walay pulos.”

Meanwhile, Board Member Yasay said, “To live life as free as a bird. That is what we want for you. Ang pakigbisog dili na solusyon. Dili pud ta musugot na dili ni mahuman na hangtod ang atong mga anak na walay sala ang mga bata na wala pa mapanganak mao ra gihapon ang problem na gina-atubang. Naningkamot mi magplano ug maghunahuna kami tanan diri sa E-CLIP unsay pwede ikaambag para sa kahinluan sa matag usa. Among isiguro na tanang benepisyo na para sa inyo ug ilabi na sa panginabuhi inyo nang madawat. You will receive what is due to you. Each and every one is very much important and has a role to play for the development and progress of the country. Mapobre man ta madato, ma engineer, ma sibilyan, ma sundalo man ka pulis man ka, kitang tanan adunay dako kaayo na responsibilidad para sa kalambuan ug kalinaw sa atong probinsya.”

“Ang kalinaw dili na trabaho sa pulis ug sundalo lang. Ang kalambuan dili lang bulhaton sa mandato sa mga departamento sa gobyerno. Kundili ang kahusay, kalinaw, kalambuan, atong obligasyon nang tanan. Kinanghanglan ipakita nato ang atong pinaagi sa pagpaningkamot. Ug kami magpadayon sa paningkamot. Kitang tanan magtinabangay. Salamat gayod subli sa inyong pagsalig,” he added.

In his message, Brig. Gen. Licudine commended activities such as this as he recalled that “These former rebels had many reasons why they joined the armed group. Majority is because they had needs that were not addressed back then. After they’ve seen and realized that the government is sincerely working and reaching out to address their issues and concerns, many are returning now to the folds of law and these 72 FRs are living testimony of the sincere and genuine approach of the government in ending insurgency. Now that they’ve surrendered, they will get a taste of the new hope the government is offering freely to them.”

In addition, Lt. Col. Canatoy said, “When our brothers in the mountains see that the government’s commitment to deliver E-CLIP benefits continues to pursue, the remaining members of the NPA will surely surrender. Furthermore, the Army will continue to collaborate with other government agencies to help promote and expedite the delivery of benefits to former rebels.”

[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: Top CPP-NPA leader in Cagayan Valley Region killed in an encounter in Isabela

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 18, 2021): Top CPP-NPA leader in Cagayan Valley Region killed in an encounter in Isabela

CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela – Commander of the Regional Operations Command (ROC) and the Regional Sentro De Gravidad, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley (KR-CV) of the terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was killed during an encounter in San Mariano Sur, San Guillermo, Isabela on March 15, 2021.

During the encounter, the NPA leader was fatally hit and his comrades brought him in Barangay Dingading, San Guillermo, Isabela in an attempt to hide him from the pursuing government troops. The fleeing NPAs buried him in a shallow grave in the hinterlands of the said barangay.

The pursuing troops were able to locate where they buried the NPA leader through the continuous information shared by the locals. In coordination with the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) and PNP San Guillermo, the government troops exhumed the cadaver on March 17, 2021. With the help of former rebels, they positively identified the corpse as Alias Yuni, the notorious commander of the terrorist CPP-NPA in the region.

According to the revelations of the former rebels and based from captured enemy documents, Alyas Yuni or Rosalio V Canlubas, a native of Calinan, Davao City was a cadre known as alias Dondie from the Regional Headquarters (RHQ), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) before he was directed by the Central Committee of the terrorist CPP-NPA to transfer to Region 02 to lead the ROC and establish the Komiteng Larangang Guerilla Quirino-Nueva Vizcaya (KLG Q-NV) of the KR-CV.

Additionally, Alyas Yuni led the burning of the million-worth heavy equipment and high-end utility vehicles of a mining firm in Barangay Dimaluadi, Dinapigue, Isabela on October 28, 2015. He also commanded the hundred-armed terrorist CPP-NPA members that attacked the Maddela Police Station in Quirino on the night of April 29, 2017 where they killed a policeman and seized police firearms and uniforms.

MGen Laurence E Mina PA, Commander of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army said that the death of alyas Yuni will eventually weaken the RSDG of KR-CV. “The death of Alias Yuni, the commander of ROC and RSDG of KR-CV is another big blow to the terrorist CPP-NPA. He is the second high-ranking personality of the terrorist CPP-NPA that was killed in a series of encounters that transpired in the AOR this week. These losses will eventually cripple the armed group and eventually weaken the terrorist organization caused by leadership vacuum. Again, we appeal to the remaining members of the NPA to lay down their arms and surrender… and the best time to do it, is now!”

[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:]

NDF/MSP-Cordillera: An open letter for fellow health workers: Remembering Dr. Lourdes D. Tangco on her first death anniversary

Posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Mar 16, 2021): An open letter for fellow health workers: Remembering Dr. Lourdes D. Tangco on her first death anniversary

Makabayang Samahang Pangkalusugan-Ilocos-Cordillera | Makabayang Samahang Pangkalusugan (MSP) | National Democratic Front of the Philippines March 13, 2021

One year after Dr. Lou Tangco’s death at the hands of the fascist AFP, there is much more to say…

Lou was one of us – a health worker. Like us she spent many nights poring over medical textbooks, trying to absorb so many facts about human anatomy, physiology and disease. Like us, she struggled to survive through the Philippine health education system patterned after the American system – this health education that confines us mostly to classrooms, laboratories and hospitals – detached from the realities of the semicolonial and semifeudal system that makes our patients sick.

Like us, Lou struggled to survive the seemingly-endless cycle of hospital duties – these hospital duties where we are overwhelmed by the many things we have to do for our many patients. Hospital duty at the Philippine General Hospital, and at most government hospitals in the Philippines, entails evaluating and monitoring patients, addressing any emergency conditions that arise, and performing a range of medical procedures including blood extractions, inserting urine catheters, suturing lacerations, assisting at major operations, delivering babies and rendering CPR to the dying.

During Lou’s (and every health worker’s) years of training, we render these services to hundreds and hundreds of patients, day in, day out. To us they become ‘Bed 6’, Case #10, or ‘that one with Carcinoma (cancer) Stage IV’ or ‘that one whose IV line needs reinsertion’. We cease to remember that our patients are people. The work load bombards us so we have no time to ponder why our patients flock to public hospitals or why they only come to us when it is too late, when they are already much too sick to be cured. Many times we forget to be kind. We forget that famous line that most of us answered when we were interviewed before being accepted into our health course: “I want to be a doctor (or nurse or medical technologist etc.) because I WANT TO SERVE PEOPLE.”

Lou was a doctor, and not just any doctor. She was a doctor with a pedigree. Her father Dr. Ambrosio Tangco was a renowned orthopedic surgeon and a former member of the UP Board of Regents. She was the niece of former professor Dr. Oscar Tangco of the UP College of Medicine and Dr. Francisco Tangco, a cardiologist. With that kind of pedigree, Lou could have easily gotten in to any hospital and residency training program she chose. She could just as easily have chosen to settle abroad.

But then Lou was not the typical doctor. Just a few months after graduating at the UP College of Medicine in 1977 she headed for Kalinga under the Rural Health Physicians Program of the reactionary government. She was an eye witness and a participant in the struggle of the tribes of Kalinga and the Mountain Province against the Chico River Dam Project being forced upon them by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The murder of Macliing Dulag, the leader of the Chico River struggle, at the hands of the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines made a huge impact on Lou. After that incident, it was not enough to be a doctor. It was not even enough to be a doctor rendering health services in a far-flung tribal community. She chose to be a doctor of a chronically ill semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, so Lou joined the New People’s Army (NPA).

Lou was not the typical NPA because of her class background. And yet Lou WAS the typical NPA because she strived to be a proletarian. She embraced the Communist dictum of ‘simple living and arduous struggle’. She dressed simply so that if you were not aware of her class background, you would never guess that this person was ‘anak ng mga diyos ng PGH”. She conversed easily with any comrade, always interested to hear their life stories along with their physical ailments. She seldom ran out of stories to tell about the many places she had been as a revolutionary – from Luzon to Mindanao and back again.

For Lou simple living also meant never wasting anything. Her bags were filled with plastic bags she had picked up here and there, some years old because ‘Sayang, puede pa naman’. She had learned as an NPA that plastic bags were not so easy to acquire in the countryside and that these had a multitude of practical uses for the guerilla, especially during the rainy season. During happy times when the comrades are able to bake bread for merienda, she would never eat her share in one sitting. When everybody else had long finished their bread, she would bring up half a moldy bun she had kept in her pocket and ask “Gusto niyo?”.

Lou was an excellent medic to the NPA and to the masses. She was very popular among the Kalinga masses who at that time never even saw a real doctor in their entire lives, because they could not afford to bring their sick to a hospital. The happiest years in her life were spent living with the peasants in the countryside, serving them fulltime as a medic, teacher, organizer, agriculturist and red fighter.

As Secretary of the Regional Medical Staff Unit, she was part of the collective that developed health training modules adapted to the guerilla setting in the Ilocos-Cordillera. She was a medical Kuya Kim (the popular weather forecaster and TV personality) who had an answer and a loooong explanation for every question that medics under her training would throw at her. She combined Marxist principles, the solid foundation of her modern medical education and the best of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yet she was humble enough to admit when she did not know something, when we had to teach her how to insert a venous catheter because this had not yet been invented when she was in medical school.

For a few years Lou was also an organizer among the workers of NCR and Southern Tagalog. She was happy to be among the workers, conversing with them about oppression and exploitation at the work place and their other difficulties in life. Her prowess at teaching was not confined to medical knowledge, she was also good at Party instruction work. She was part of a team that conducted the Basic Party Courses among the workers, elevating their practical knowledge and experience to the level of Marxist principles.

Lou eventually became a member of the Regional Party Committees in the guerilla zones where she served. These Regional Party Committees lead in ideological, political and organizational work. They lead the work of the New People’s Army among the masses: teaching the farmers and national minorities about the true roots of their poverty, organizing them to stand up for their rights and to stand up against exploitation at the hands of landlords and money-lenders. The Regional Party Committee also leads in military work – fighting side-by-side with the local militia and organized masses to defend against the reactionary state, and the landlords and big bourgeoisie who appropriate land and natural resources for their personal enrichment.

Lou was also a good proletarian mother to her beloved son. She made the painful decision to leave her son (at a very young age) in the care of close friends and colleagues, in order to continue her revolutionary work. Physical distance did not stop her from loving him though. Time and again, Lou would speak proudly about her son, always updating us about him. The masses and the NPA are forever grateful that Lou’s son shared his mother with us. The many mothers, fathers, sons and daughters in the revolutionary movement know the hardship and heartaches of families who cannot be together. Our families endure this particular sacrifice so that someday all Filipino families can be reunited, free from the shackles of exploitation and poverty.

Lou died just before Duterte declared the nationwide lockdown as a desperate and inutile attempt to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. The spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Communist Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) had the gall to tweet: “In times of crisis like COVID 19, Ma. Lourdes Dineros Tangco of the CPP Health Bureau …should be helping our affected communities BUT NO her warped ideological belief tells her that her services are exclusive for NPAs.”

The miniscule minds of the fascist military cannot fathom what the masses have long known – that the NPA, including Lou, has been conducting revolutionary health work long before the outbreak of Covid-19. The masses come to the NPA when they are ill. Sabi nga nila, mas mabisa ang gamot ng NPA kahit simpleng paracetamol lang iyan. NPA medicine is scientific – combining the best of modern medicine, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. NPA medicine is comprehensive – it spans the range from primary health care, to surgery and rehabilitation, to mental health care. It emphasizes prevention rather than cure. The NPA conducts health campaigns for better nutrition by organizing collective work to increase the production of rice and other food. Alongside these food production campaigns, the NPA also launches peasant campaigns against different forms of feudal exploitation in the hands of landlords, big business and the reactionary state, to improve the peasants’ working and living conditions.

First and foremost, NPA medicine is for the masses – always free of charge, delivered in the people’s homes and communities. It goes far beyond conducting medical, dental or circumcision missions. Revolutionary medicine explains to the people the root causes of their illness and works with the people to make sure they remain healthy as they fight against the exploitative ruling system. The NPA organizes and mobilizes the masses for the collective promotion of health and nutrition. In order to develop the capacity of the masses, Barrio Medical Groups (BMG) and Health Committees are trained to render primary health services to their community. These BMGs and Health Committees conduct campaigns for better hygiene and sanitation which involve the construction of toilets and safe water systems. There are campaigns against illegal drugs and other vices such as smoking and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks. Campaigns for the eradication of dangerous chemicals such as pesticides in farming and mercury and cyanide in small-scale mining are also implemented.

If Lou were still alive today, she would be amidst the NPA as we conduct revolutionary health work against Covid-19 nationwide. In contrast to the Duterte regime that seeks to sow panic and terror among the people, the NPA is educating the masses on the nature of the Covid-19 virus. The NPA explains how it is the massive destruction of the environment by the imperialists and capitalist agri-business practices that has brought about this pandemic. The Duterte regime seeks to keep us confined to our homes, isolated from each other. In contrast, revolutionary mass organizations, through their Barrio Medical Groups and Health Committees work together to monitor the health of their barriomates. They conduct mass mobilizations to fight for health services and resources from the reactionary state — including mass testing, personal-protective equipment, antiseptics and vaccines. The Duterte regime has failed to give any substantial economic support to the thousands whose livelihoods have suffered because of the prolonged lockdown. In contrast, the NPA and the masses are working together to increase food production so that everybody stays healthy against Covid-19.

If Lou were alive today, her heart would bleed for her colleagues in the health sector who have died of Covid-19 because they chose to be true to their calling to serve the people, even if it presented a clear and present danger to themselves.

If Lou were alive today, she would be angered that the Duterte regime chooses to prioritize its military and police henchmen instead of the health workers in its allocation of funds and health resources, especially vaccines against Covid-19. This regime has caused a long delay in the procurement of vaccines for health workers and yet Duterte secretly had his personal bodyguards in the Presidential Security Group and favorite minions vaccinated early on. He insists that we have ourselves vaccinated with the less-effective SinoVac because his Chinese imperialist masters have awarded him a huge kickback from its sales. Then he delivers the cheap excuse that he is a senior citizen and is therefore disqualified from receiving SinoVac himself.

While the health workers strive to save lives, Duterte orders his troops to KILL! KILL! KILL! Duterte chooses to spend billions of acquired foreign loans on military airplanes, helicopters, drones and bombs which he uses against the people. In the end it is the Filipino people who are obligated to pay back these loans through their taxes. Duterte imprisons those who dare to conduct rallies against his regime. He murders those who even just criticize him. A few months back, he castigated the health workers for making public their appeal for a break from the overwhelming number of Covid-19 cases they were attending to.

And then he slaughters our colleagues like Lou who chose to take up arms in defense of the people and her fellow health workers.

If Lou were alive today, she would stand with you and demand for just compensation and hazard pay for all health workers. She would stand with you, as we stand with you, in demanding that adequate government funds be allocated for personal protective equipment and vaccines. She would stand with you in demanding that you – the health professionals with scientific know-how, integrity and true concern for our fellow Filipinos – be placed at the forefront of the campaign against Covid-19, instead of Duterte’s generals and cronies whose only interest is to grab more power and money for themselves and their boss.

If Lou were alive today, she would explain how the structural changes we want to make in the Philippine health care system can only be possible through the national-democratic revolution and socialist construction. She would tell you that even today the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA, the organized masses and their allies are building this revolutionary health care system in guerilla bases all over the country. She would tell you about the doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, psychologists, dentists, hospital workers and barangay health workers who have joined the NPA and have become medics of the people.

If Lou were alive today, she would invite you, our fellow health workers – Come and join the NPA! Onward with our commitment to cure a sick society!