Monday, March 29, 2021

5 alleged NPA rebels surrender in Laguna, Rizal, Quezon

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Mar 27, 2021): 5 alleged NPA rebels surrender in Laguna, Rizal, Quezon (By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr.)

Five alleged members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered with some of their firearms in Quezon, Laguna, and Rizal province, an Army official said Saturday.

Captain Jayrald Ternio, chief of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division public affairs office, in a press statement, said
two communist guerrillas, alias “Gio” and “Patrick,” surrendered to government forces in Barangay (village) Salipsip in the island town of Polilio in Quezon province on March 25.

The returnees surrendered one caliber .45 pistol with a magazine, a caliber .38 revolver, and one hand grenade, Ternio said.

On the same day, “JM,” also reportedly surrendered to the soldiers in Barangay Juan Santiago in Sta. Maria town in Laguna, carrying his M16 rifle.

Ternio said two other alleged NPA rebels, “Dexter” and “Joan,” also submitted themselves to government forces in Barangay Pinugay in Baraz, Rizal.

The duo, remnants of a rebel unit operating in the boundaries of Rizal and Laguna, brought with them one M1 carbine and bullets, Ternio reported.

Brigadier General Rommel Tello, 2nd ID acting commander, welcome the return of the NPA rebels to the folds of the law.

Tello described the surrender of the communist guerrillas as a “wise decision and marks a new beginning for you and your loved ones.”

“With your help, we shall build a better and safer country for our families and fellowmen while we ensure that you are secured from any terrorist’s acts of retaliation,” he said.

The 2nd ID is preparing the necessary assistance to the former rebels in their reintegration protocols under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip). E-Clip offers free medical treatments, education, housing, and legal aid to rebels who will surrender.

Each rebel can receive P700,000 in grants and benefits to help them and their families to start new lives, Ternio said.

The surrender happened just a few days before the NPA celebrates its 41st founding anniversary on March 29.

Additional Army brigade deployed to Maguindanao

From the Philippine Star (Mar 27, 2021): Additional Army brigade deployed to Maguindanao (By John Unson)

A brigade-size Army contingent from Luzon is arriving in central Mindanao to help the 6th Infantry Division neutralize the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the region.

The BIFF, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is tagged in all deadly bombings and other terror attacks in central Mindanao’s adjoining Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces since 2014.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Saturday the brigade’s advance party has arrived, its three battalions for deployment in areas vulnerable to BIFF attacks to follow soon.

The 6th ID covers the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat, parts of Lanao del Sur and North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Cotabato, Tacurong and Koronadal.

Around 10,000 families got displaced by recurring Army-BIFF clashes in Maguindanao since March 18, preceded by the surrender in batches of 81 of its members to the 6th ID from September 2020 to February this year.

“This group is trying to create the impression that it is still capable of perpetrating terror attacks after the surrender of so many members in recent months,” Uy told reporters Saturday.

Senior members of different municipal peace and order councils in Maguindanao said 14 BIFF terrorists perished in the recent hostilities in the province that started in Barangay Kitango in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town on March 18 and, subsequently, spilled over to nearby farming enclaves.

Local officials told reporters Saturday four more BIFF gunmen perished in an encounter with soldiers in Barangay Saniag in Ampatuan, Maguindanao last Thursday.

“We are guarding against possible retaliation by the BIFF for its heavy losses in its latest encounters with our troops,” Uy said.

He said a soldier was slightly wounded in the gunfight in Barangay Saniag, a highland area in Ampatuan town.

Uy said the 6th ID is now helping the Bangsamoro regional government provide relief interventions to thousands of evacuees from conflict-stricken areas in Maguindanao.

The Army brigade arriving anytime soon to support 6th ID’s peacekeeping missions shall come from Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, where personnel of its three battalions underwent a six-month retraining after a long assignment in Sulu.

“It will also participate in local peace-building programs in support of the peace efforts of the national government and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” Uy said.

The BIFF is not covered by all peace and security agreements between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front whose chairman, Hadji Murad Ebrahim, is BARMM’s appointed chief minister.

“Our main concern now is the return of thousands of evacuees to their homes, displaced by BIFF incursions. The brigade coming in will play a big role in securing areas prone to BIFF attacks,” Uy said.

Velasco: House fully supports Duterte’s amnesty program for Muslim, communist rebels

 From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 28, 2021): Velasco: House fully supports Duterte’s amnesty program for Muslim, communist rebels (By Hannah Torregoza)

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Sunday, March 28 assured that the House of Representatives is in full support of President Duterte’s amnesty program for Muslim and communist rebels who would choose to surrender to the government.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco (Lord Allan Velasco’s Office / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Velasco made the assurance after the House Committees on Justice and National Defense and Security approved, last Wednesday four resolutions concurring with the proclamations Duterte has signed granting amnesty to members of four major rebel groups.

Velasco led the filing of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) Numbers 12 to 15. According to the House leader, the granting of amnesty is “necessary for the general interest of the Philippines and the Filipino people” to achieve justice and long-term peace.

In February, Duterte issued Proclamation Nos. 1090 to 1093 granting amnesty to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB), and the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) who have committed crimes in “furtherance of their political beliefs.”

“The amnesty program is a huge step towards achieving just and lasting peace in the country and giving former rebels a path back into civilian life,” Velasco said.

Congress, he said, shares the President’s view on the need to declare amnesty to MNLF members to promote an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of a just, comprehensive and enduring equanimity.

“Both Houses of Congress recognize that transforming MNLF members from armed combatants to productive citizens and peace partners is necessary to achieve the paramount ends of the peace process—national unity, solidarity and progress for all Filipinos,” he said.

He also said the creation of the National Amnesty Commission and the grant of amnesty in favor of MILF would fulfill the government’s commitment under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, particularly the gradual normalization of the previously conflict-affected areas.

“The amnesty will also provide a meaningful and complete transformation and assimilation of the MILF decommissioned combatants into peaceful and progressive lives towards national reconciliation and healing in the Bangsamoro,” he said.

In the case of the amnesty granted to RPMP-RPA-ABB and CTG, the House leader said lawmakers are in agreement with the Duterte government in “nurturing a climate conducive for peace” and tackling the root causes of armed conflict by balancing the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected communities.

Duterte, in his proclamation, highlighted the need to reintegrate all rebels and insurgents into the mainstream society as soon as possible, including those who may have committed unlawful acts.

Under the proclamation, the amnesty will extinguish any criminal liability for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs and restore political and civil rights which were lost due to criminal conviction.

However, the amnesty excludes kidnappings for ransom, massacres, rape, terrorism, drug trafficking, and certain crimes the United Nations deemed ineligible for amnesty including genocide, crimes against humanity and torture.

Scores of NPA rebels killed, hurt in Misamis encounter

Posted to Tempo (Mar 29, 2021): Scores of NPA rebels killed, hurt in Misamis encounter (By MIKE U. CRISMUNDO)

WAR materials, medical paraphernalia, subversive documents and personal belongings were seized by government security forces after a fierce gunbattle with New People’s Army in the hinterland areas of Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, on Sunday, March 28. (Photo courtesy of 58th IB -CMO)

Scores of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were either killed or wounded in a fierce gunbattle with government troops in Barangay Samay, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental on Sunday, military reported Monday.

Two government troops also suffered minor injuries and were immediately brought to Camp Edilberto Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City. They are now in stable condition.

The gunfight broke out around 11 a.m. in Barangay Samay
while the troops of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion (58th IB) were responding to farmers’ complaint that a group of rebels was threatening them anew, 58th IB Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer 1st Lt. Jefferson M. Mariano said.

The heavy firefight lasted for about 30 minutes.

The soldiers recovered war materials including one M16 Armalite rifle, a short magazine for M16, four magazines for AK47, a Signus radio, one cellular phone with simcard, several rounds of 40mm live ammunition, assorted medical paraphernalia, and subversive documents.

More troops were deployed to augment the pursuing troops in the area.

The encounter took place as the NPA marked its 53 years of armed revolution.

The rebels usually conduct inhumane acts to highlight their celebration, said 58th IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Ricky L. Canatoy.

“However, their plan to create terroristic activities was disrupted when our peace and development team stopped their diabolic terroristic plan in that encounter yesterday,” the 58th IB commander said.

“The encounter is a result of the continuous effort and active steps to thwart enemy hostile activities,” he added.

Suspected NPA rebels gun down retired soldier in Masbate

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Mar 29, 2021): Suspected NPA rebels gun down retired soldier in Masbate (By: Mar S. Arguelles)

A retired soldier was shot and killed on Sunday afternoon, March 28, by alleged members of New People’s Army (NPA) in a village in Milagros town in Masbate province, a police report said Monday.

Benhur Almodal, 64, a resident of Barangay Poblacion East, was on his way home when he was attacked, according to Police Major Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Bicol police spokesperson.

Almodal was on board his motorcycle negotiating a road around 5:30 p.m. in Sitio (sub-village) Tubod in Barangay Jamorawon when suspected NPA rebels fired upon him, the report said.

Almodal suffered multiple bullet wounds and died on the spot. The attackers fled.

The police are investigating the case.

Opinion: 52 years of NPA

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Mar 29, 2021): 52 years of NPA (By Marit Stinus-Cabugon)

TODAY is the 52nd founding anniversary of the communist New People’s Army (NPA). More than half a century of “protracted war” in the Philippine countryside has brought nothing but loss of lives, destruction to land and property, and billions of pesos spent on ammunition and war materiel rather than on education, infrastructure, healthcare and other services needed by the people.

The killing by the NPA of five policemen in an ambush in Labo, Camarines Norte last March 19 was another tragic loss of lives. In the wake of the ambush, the Communist Party of the Philippines advised the police and the military to simply surrender when facing superior rebel forces.

Alas, on the very same day that the statement was released, 10 NPA combatants were slain in an encounter in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. This is the same barangay where youths — including members of Kabataang Makabayan — celebrated the CPP anniversary in December 2018 complete with banners and formation.

The Leonardo Panaligan Command (LPC)-NPA Central Negros is the most active and most lethal of the NPA commands in Negros — maybe in the entire Visayas — responsible for a long list of liquidations and ambushes, mostly in Guihulngan City, over the years. For instance, on July 21, 2017, the LPC killed six Guihulngan City policemen, including the chief of police, in an ambush. This year, the LPC has claimed responsibility for the murders of Cafgu member Mico Dinoy and former Cafgu Lander Garde.

Losing 11 fighters — 10 killed and one captured (from Trinidad, Guihulngan City, and nearby barangays in Canlaon City and Isabela) — and 11 pieces of high-powered fire arms in a single day was the biggest setback for the NPA in Negros in years. The troops from the 62nd Infantry Battalion, 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company and 16th Scout Ranger Company deserve to be congratulated for the successful operation. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of a time of peace and development for Central Negros in general, Guihulngan City in particular, and bring an end to insurgency for good.

On the murder of Antonio Cabanatan

The brutal double murder of Antonio Cabanatan, 74, and Florenda Yap, 65, in Iloilo City last December 2020 remains unsolved to this day. The two were strangled to death and bore marks on their bodies suggesting that they had been subjected to torture. The executive committee of the CPP central committee in a March 17 statement said that the elderly couple had been abducted sometime in October 2020, and tortured and murdered. The house where they were found was rented, but not by them. In fact, the neighbors didn’t even know that anyone lived there. A white van and a motorcycle were seen leaving sometime in late evening (of the day of their abduction). The CPP claims that the house is or was a safe house of the military or police.

The police did not immediately identify the victims. However, a number of IDs was found at the house, and since Cabanatan was a hunchback, identification should not have been difficult. The CPP said it “took time to confirm [the victims’] identities because of disruptions in communication lines [and] intense military operations,” among others, (March 17 statement).

Cabanatan and Yap were victims of a brutal crime for which there is no place in a civilized society. Whoever the victims were and whatever they may or may not have done — including participating in, planning or abetting NPA atrocities in the past — the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Cabanatan’s story is instructive in how the revolutionary movement works, how political education and awareness, organizing and warfare are fused, how each constitutes a part of a whole, one part meaningless without the other. Political understanding comes first as it provides the reason and goal for the armed struggle. This is how the CPP-NPA and the National Democratic Front work and why they are still around after half a decade. This is why guerrilla warfare training starts with political education.

Cabanatan “started his revolutionary work as a student-activist upon joining the Kabataang Makabayan in Cebu in 1967 . . . . He led in expanding the national democratic propaganda movement in Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Leyte, Samar up to Northern Mindanao. He led in establishing chapters of progressive organizations of the student-youth, workers, farmers, fisherfolk and other democratic sectors.” Cabanatan became a party member in 1971. Later he “led in expanding guerrilla warfare in [Samar]. The intensification of tactical offensives and expansion of the [NPA], spread of antifeudal campaigns and mass struggles, strengthening of propaganda work and political education,” among others, all contributed to the ouster of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.

The gruesome murder of Cabanatan and his wife, if not credibly solved with the perpetrators brought to justice, will — ironically — become a confirmation that the couple was justified in waging war on the government.

Opinion: Drilon wants govt to capitulate to communists

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Mar 29, 2021): Drilon wants govt to capitulate to communists (By Rigoberto D. Tiglao)

PERHAPS the pandemic lockdowns have gone to Sen. Franklin Drilon’s head or he has applied for membership with the Communist Party of the Philippines, but the bill he filed last week at the Senate just boggles the mind.

The Yellow Philippine Daily Inquirer headlined its report raving over Drilon’s bill, “Drilon bill to outlaw ‘red-tagging’ filed, cheered.” Cheered? Of course, no doubt by the communists, although the article quoted only one person doing so: Edre Olalia, the head of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL). Who is he?

Olalia officially has been the chief counsel of the National Democratic Front in all its negotiations with different administrations. He is also officially the personal counsel of Communist Party founder (and still its main strategist) Jose Maria Sison.

What is the NULP? The association of leftist lawyers that handled, wittingly or unwittingly, almost all legal cases of the Reds. It has been a member for nearly 10 years of Sison’s International League of People’s Struggles, which this megalomaniac thought would be kick off an international communist movement under his leadership.

Drilon’s bill (Senate Bill 2121 filed on March 21) has only one substantive section:

“Any state actor, such as a law enforcement agent, paramilitary or military personnel, who labels, vilifies, brands, names, accuses, harasses, persecutes, stereotypes, or caricatures individuals, groups or organizations as state enemies, left-leaning, subversives, communists or terrorists, shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of ten (10) years and perpetual absolute disqualification to hold public office.”


Remove the enumerations and it would read: “Any law enforcement agent, or military personnel who accuses as state enemies communists, or terrorists as part of a counter-insurgency or anti-terrorism program or strategy shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of ten years and perpetual absolute disqualification to hold public office.”

Now do you understand why I think Drilon has become either insane, or a full-fledged communist?

The bill is in effect saying the military and the police can no longer accuse as enemies of the state Sison or any New People’s Army Kumander Che or Kumander Procopio, who openly call all for the violent overthrow of government or who may have been arrested after losing a firefight with the military. Anyone who does would be tried in court, and the penalty, if found guilty under the “Drilon Law,” would be imprisonment for 10 years and permanent ban from ever holding public office. Drilon deliberately chose that length of imprisonment as penalty, since that means that someone accused of that “crime” can’t be bailed out.

So, how does Drilon propose that the military should address armed Maoists and jihadist terrorists? As “conscientious dissenters,” “communist-rule campaigners” or “Islamic state advocates”?

State enemies

Drilon has filed a bill that would in effect be asking government to capitulate to communists or terrorists, and desist from accusing them as state enemies.

Can you imagine if by some miracle Sison is hauled back to the country, is arrested and charged for the many murders that he ordered his people to do, and then Olalia and the NUPL files counter-charges against every member of the arresting unit and even the fiscal, threatening them with imprisonment for 10 years, invoking the Drilon Law?

I cannot fathom why Drilon — a lawyer who had been justice secretary and executive secretary, and a legislator for decades — would file a bill which at the very least shows him to be careless or mindless in proposing legislation, and at worst a protector of the violent communist insurgents.

The most rational explanation is that like most of the Yellows, Drilon has opportunistically allied himself with the Reds, and his filing of a bill that would prove to them his usefulness to them, and solicit their help for his political ends.


No one in the Senate has been as groveling with the Reds as Drilon has been with this bill — or has lost his wits. At least in the lower house, it has only been the Red agents like Sarah Elago and Carlos Zarate who have filed 15 resolutions condemning and asking for an investigation of such “red-tagging.”

The government’s “whole nation approach” to end this stupid but bloody insurgency, with its component of unmasking the fronts of the Communist Party, is hurting the communists as their fronts and masks are being unraveled for people to see their true faces as out to violently install their communist-party dictatorship. This is why they have been livid against this government campaign, and undertaking massive propaganda efforts to stop it, branding it as “red-tagging.”

I don’t think anyone in the Senate, not even Risa Hontiveros and Francisco Pangilinan who had flirted with the communists in their youth, will be joining Drilon in his stupidity and recklessness.

It should remind us though of one major reason why the communist insurgency has persisted since the 1970s: factions of the elite have opportunistically allied with or appeased them, thinking, to borrow a part of that old adage, they could ride the tiger.

It was Benigno Aquino Jr. and the Liberal Party that actively helped Sison’s party and army grow starting in the 1970s. They were then joined by the oligarchs who lost their riches for most of the Marcos martial law regime. After that strongman rule, Philippine presidents especially Aquino 3rd calculated that peace with the Reds would strengthen their administrations. Now, it is the slowly vanishing Yellow camp and other opposition groups who think that the tiger they have mounted will devour Duterte, and block a continuity of his regime.

To exploit that metaphor, however, I bet the tiger will soon reject Drilon, as too heavy, figuratively of course, to bear as a rider.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao
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WESTMINCOM: Government forces' campaign against terrorism in central Mindanao continues

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Mar 27, 2021): Government forces' campaign against terrorism in central Mindanao continues

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- March 28, 2021
Pursuit operations launched by the government forces are ongoing to thwart the terror plots of the threat groups in central Mindanao.

“While conducting clearing operations, personnel of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion discovered the abandoned lair of the Daulah Islamiyah-Hassan Group in Barangay Saniag, Ampatuan, Maguindanao on the morning of March 26, 2021,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“It was 100 meters away from the previous encounter site and was probably abandoned during the bomb run conducted by the troops of the Joint Task Force Central on March 25,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added.
According to 1SRB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Raymond Rapi, the said hideout has eight makeshift huts and a half-sized basketball court.
While scouring the area, operating troops seized three IED charge (1-1/8kg and 2-1/4 kg), eight blasting caps, seven 9V battery, one 12V battery, twelve IED switch (pressurized type), multiple electric wire, three solar panels (1-100wts, 1-150wts, and 1-25wts), one power supply inverter, three Baofeng commercial radio (unserviceable), one analog cellular phone, two smart cellular phones, one optic red dot (unserviceable), one binocular (damaged), forty kilos of rice, one dextrose, three upper uniforms (black and white), one lower uniform (black and white), one upper MILF uniform, one motorcycle (severely damaged), three hammock, assorted enemy belongings, and assorted foodstuff.
‘Our troops continue to scour the area and pursue the enemies,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, Commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade.

Meanwhile, at past 3 p.m. of March 26, combined elements of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion and 32nd Explosive Ordnance Division conducted a focused military operation in Barangay Salman of the same municipality which resulted in the recovery of one pull tension tripwire type IED with the following components: one blasting cap, one 9 volts battery, one empty bottle used as the container of the main charge, and pull tension tripwire type switch.
“The IED was placed under the custody of the EOD team for proper disposition,” said Lt. Col. Cresencio Sanchez, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

The Joint Task Force Central continued to bolster its offensives by deploying supplemental troops to conduct focused military operations in the different municipalities of Maguindanao.
According to 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Pedro Balisi, the troops of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion conducted a focused military operation in Sitio Bagorot Tuayan, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao at around 8 a.m., March 27.

This resulted in the recovery of two IEDs in the area.

“We immediately coordinated with the 33rd and 32nd EOD teams for the proper handling of the IEDs,” said Col. Omar Orozco, Commanding Officer of the 2Mech Bn.

Each IED was composed of one cartridge, 81mm high explosive; one Improvised Blasting Cap; one 9 volts battery; one Battery Clip; one Emylo as Frequency Receiver Expenditure; two time fuses; and one Bowl Disruptor.
The EOD teams immediately disrupted the recovered IEDs for everyone’s safety.
Also, combined elements of the 1st Mechanized and 33rd Infantry Battalions conducted a separate operation in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan at around 10 a.m., the same day which resulted in the recovery of another IED.
Operating troops immediately cordoned the area and secured the IED.

While troops continue to scour the area, they recovered one grenade launcher on the morning of March 28.
Clearing and pursuit operations are continuously being conducted.

Since the start of the intensified operations on March 25, the troops of the Joint Task Force Central were able to overrun two enemy strongholds and recover nine IEDs and several IED components.

“We are exhausting all available assets to neutralize the terrorists who are responsible for the conduct of atrocities in central Mindanao,” said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of the Joint Task Force Central.

With all these accomplishments, Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. extended his appreciation to the peace-loving people of Maguindanao who continue to provide vital information to the armed forces.

“The involvement of the civilians is very important in our security efforts. Rest assured, your soldiers will remain steadfast in keeping every community safe and in thwarting the hostile plans of the terrorists,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. stated.

WESTMINCOM: Extremist/Terrorist called to avail of the “Agila Haven” program

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Mar 27, 2021): Extremist/Terrorist called to avail of the “Agila Haven” program

601st Infantry Unifier Brigade

Extremist/Terrorist called to avail of the “Agila Haven” program

601st Infantry (Unifier) Brigade, Brgy. Kalandagan, Tacurong City- March 27, 2021

The 601st Infantry Brigade of the Joint Task Force Central currently spearheaded the continuously military offensive against the Daulah Islamiah-Hassan Group (DI-HG) under terrorist leader Salahuddin Hassan alias Abu Saif/Abu Salman/Orak at the mountainous and remote area of Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
For the past few days, the skirmish which was started last March 22, 2021 obtained decisive results in favor of government forces including four (4) terrorist killed; recoveries of improvised explosive device (IED), IED components & bomb-making area; terrorists personal belongings; and overrun of enemy fortified encampment.
Further, said combat operation was launched and acted upon the reports of the communities in the area relative to the frequent sightings and extortion activities of terrorists group who were responsible of extortion and bombing activities in some areas of Central Mindanao.

Meanwhile, it was then the provincial government of Maguindanao established the “Agila Haven” program, a comprehensive integration program intended for the local terrorist groups, including DI-HG in the province to further entice them to return to the mainstream society and avail the social and livelihood packages program of PLGU-Maguindanao to begin a peaceful living together with their respective families.

“We still consider peaceful resolution of this continuing conflict in Maguindanao. The 601st Infantry Brigade currently intensify our collaboration to local government of Maguindanao to convince our misguided brothers to avail the “Agila Haven” program and end-up these decade-long conflict. We still hope that the members of DI-HG will embrace peace and live their normal life”, Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of 601st Infantry Brigade said.

On the other hand, the Joint Task Force Central under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy will continue carry out the military offensive while we give equal importance to the implementation of “Agila Haven” program of the provincial government in order to generate pressure against these terror groups, protect the community and further continue establish a develop and secured environment of Maguindanao province.


WESTMINCOM: Abu Sayyaf Group supporter apprehended in Zamboanga City

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Mar 29, 2021): Abu Sayyaf Group supporter apprehended in Zamboanga City

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- March 29, 2021

An Abu Sayyaf Group supporter was apprehended by joint AFP-PNP personnel in Muti, Zamboanga City on Monday morning, March 29, 2021.

“While conducting joint law enforcement operation, troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-11 and 74th Infantry Battalion, both under the Joint Task Force Zamboanga, together with the personnel from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-9 apprehended a certain Merham Tulawi Nasalun, 22 years old, married, and a resident of Sitio Niyog-Niyog, Barangay Muti, this city,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

Nasalun, a known ASG supporter, was apprehended by virtue of a search warrant for violation of RA 10591, the Act providing for Comprehensive Law on Firearms and ammunition and providing penalties thereof.

According to Col. Randolph Rojas, Commander of the Joint Task Force Zamboanga, the operating troops were able to recover on the apprehended personality’s possession one caliber 45 pistol with magazine and seven rounds of live ammunition, one short magazine for M16 with 17 rounds of 5.56 live ammunition, and one blue bag with several identification cards.
Col. Rojas further stated that the successful operation is a result of the intense intelligence build-up operations conducted by the MBLT-11 and the strengthened interagency collaboration between the PNP and the JTF Zamboanga.
The apprehended personality was brought to CIDG Regional Field Unit-9 for documentation and proper disposition.

“My congratulations to the military and police troops for the relentless operations to prevent lawless armed elements from creating havoc in the communities,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

“Rest assured that the Western Mindanao Command together with other law enforcement agencies will never cease to employ aggressive measures to neutralize the terrorists, their supporters, and other lawless elements in the region,” the commander added.

Kalinaw News: Negros Oriental clash death toll rises to 10, two others apprehended

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 29, 2021): Negros Oriental clash death toll rises to 10, two others apprehended

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan Capiz –The death toll from the Guilhulngan City clash site is now at 10 following the discovery of two (2) more dead bodies of the CPP-NPA Terrorists while two (2) others were apprehended on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

The troops of the 62nd Infantry Battalion were scouring the area after an almost three-hour exchange of fires with the communist-terrorist group in Barangay Trinidad when they found the cadavers.

They also apprehended two individuals who were identified as Jojo Sanico, a wounded NPA, and Julio Rabot, the owner of the nearby house where the former was given first aid. The two were placed under police custody.

Prior to this, on Tuesday noon of March 23, the 62IB encountered more or less 40 combined armed members of SDG Platoon and SYP Platoon of CN1, Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (KR-NCBS) at the vicinity of Sitio Agit, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

Honorable Carlo Jorge Joan “Guido” Reyes, the City Mayor, commended the bravery of the government forces in preventing the heavily armed members of the NPA’s Leonardo Panaligan Command from casting terror.

“This incident displays how capable our government forces are in actual combat. It also shows the stark difference between the life of a rebel who continues to fight, and that of one who has surrendered to our Task Force ELCAC; one continues to live his life in peril, while the others are safe and sound and given full benefits,” Mayor Reyes said.

The unclaimed cadavers remain unidentified as of this writing.

For his part, Major General Eric Vinoya, Commander, 3rd Infantry Division, called on the CPP-NPA Terrorists in the area to identify their dead comrades for the family to claim and offer their last respects.

“They are human beings who have dignity and are just victims of your deceptive armed struggle. If you cannot give them a decent burial, you can still help by revealing their identity or informing their family and relatives about their death.”

Earlier, MGen Vinoya, urged the remaining communist-terrorists to surrender while they still have time. He warned them that the government forces will be unceasing in wiping the terrorists out of the Negrense communities; hence, it is the only option for them to avoid misfortune and death.

[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: High Powered firearm seized, Government troops foil atrocities in Misamis Oriental

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 29, 2021): High Powered firearm seized, Government troops foil atrocities in Misamis Oriental

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental- One firearm was recovered during a clash between the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) and troops under 58th Infantry Dimalulupig Battalion yesterday, March 28, 2021.

The said encounter happened at around 11 in the morning in the hinterlands of Barangay Samay in Gingoog City
while the troops responded to the information and complaint given by the poor farmers who are concerned about a group of CTGs who are threatening them anew.

The firefight lasted for about 30 minutes and troops recovered one M16 rifle, One short magazine for M16, Four magazine for AK47, One Signus radio, One Cellular Phone with simcard, Nine rounds 40mm ammunition, assorted medical paraphernalia, and subversive documents.
Two of the government forces also suffered minor injuries and are now recuperating at the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital.

It can be noted that 29 March marks the 53 years of wasteful armed revolution of the CTGs New Peoples Army where they conduct inhumane acts to highlight during the commemoration of their celebration.

Lieutenant Colonel Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion said that, “The encounter is a result of the continuous effort and active steps to thwart enemy hostile activities. We call on the remaining members of CTGs to lay down their arms and live a peaceful and normal life, and to avoid unnecessary waste of life. The Army will not hesitate and is always ready to use its force against peace spoilers and other threat groups who will continue to use terrorism.”

Lt. Col. Canatoy also extends his warm gratitude to the residents for cooperating with the government and also commended the bravery of two soldiers for their gallantry in actions to defend the nation.

[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:]

‘Anti-communist caskets’ seen in Metro Manila on eve of NPA anniversary

From Rappler (Mar 29, 2021): ‘Anti-communist caskets’ seen in Metro Manila on eve of NPA anniversary (By JAIRO BOLLEDO)

Caskets also feature an edited version of the face of Jose Maria 'Joma' Sison juxtaposed with a skull

Caskets with anti-communist propaganda were spotted in different parts of Metro Manila on the eve of the 52nd founding anniversary of the New People's Army (NPA).

Coincidentally, March 28 was also the eve of the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine – implemented for the second time this pandemic – in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

A casket with a tarpaulin containing the names and faces of students who allegedly became part of the NPA and died was placed in the Boy Scout Circle in Quezon City by unknown perpetrators.

Another one was seen on Guadalupe Bridge along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue.

AGAINST INSURGENCY. Another 'anti-communism casket' is also found on Guadalupe Bridge along EDSA. Rappler file photo

The caskets also featured an edited version of the face of Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison juxtaposed with a skull.

Philippine National Police spokesperson Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana said he is yet to refer the case to the National Capital Region Police Office.

ANTI-COMMUNIST. Casket with an edited version of Joma Sison's face juxtaposed with a skull. Rappler file photo

The same night the caskets were spotted, red-tagged labor leader Dandy Miguel was shot dead by unknown assailants while riding his motorcycle in Calamba, Laguna. He was the 10th progressive leader to be killed within the month of March alone.

Unending anti-insurgency war

The caskets tagged the CPP-NPA as terrorists even though the anti-subversion law in the country was repealed by former president Fidel V. Ramos in 1992. Under Ramos’ Republic Act 7636, subversion was no longer a crime, while sedition remained illegal.

Ahead of NPA anniversary, 8 communist rebels killed in Negros Oriental

With its more than 5 decades of existence, the CPP’s rebellion is considered the longest-running communist insurgency in the whole Asian region. For half a century, Philippine presidents have been countering the insurgency in the archipelago but none have been fully successful so far, although rebel strength and influence have diminished over time.

In 2018, to fulfill his campaign promise, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 70, which ordered a whole-of-nation campaign against insurgency. It created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which became the main machinery against communist rebels.

But for years, NTF-ELCAC had faced constant criticism for indiscriminate red-tagging of progressive individuals and even personalities.

PNP cautions personnel against possible attacks during NPA anniversary

From the Palawan News (Mar 29, 2021): PNP cautions personnel against possible attacks during NPA anniversary (By Arphil Ballarta)

Puerto Princesa City Police Office.

The city police leadership has warned its personnel of possible attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) as it celebrates its founding anniversary on March 29.

Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) spokesperson P/Maj. Mhardie Azares said their personnel should be extra cautious and alert in dealing with their work due to the 52nd NPA anniversary celebration.

He said that although there is no threat, they are still reminding their police personnel to take care against any possible atrocity that the members of the rebel group might perpetrate.

“Wala naman kaming threat sa ngayon from makakaliwang grupo, pero pinag-iingat natin ang marami, particularly ang ating uniformed personnel dahil five days before and after ng anniversary ng NPA ay nagsasagawa ang mga yan ng kanilang tactical offensive, katulad ng harassment, ambush, pati ang sparrow operations — yong mga pagpatay,” Azares said.

Meanwhile, since Saturday, March 27, police offices and stations in Puerto Princesa City and other municipalities like Taytay, El Nido, and Sofronio Española have observed tarps and posters hanging along roadsides expressing sharp criticisms against the NPA. In the center of the city, they were particularly spotted in Barangay San Manuel.

“Inaalam pa namin kung anong mga grupo ito. Parang naglalabas sila ng mga hinaing laban sa atrocities at mga ginagawang mali ng mga NPA” said Azares.

In Brgy. San Fernando in El Nido, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman Ricardo Carzon Jr. said their youth group Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT) in cooperation with the 4th Platoon of the 2nd Palawan Provincial Mobile Force Company was responsible for hanging the tarps against the NPA.

In Taytay, SK chairwoman Imelda Nangit said they do not know who hanged the tarps in the poblacion area. She said they were also surprised when they saw them.

“Inaalam pa po namin hanggang sa ngayon kung sino po ang naglagay ng mga posters dito sa poblacion kasi nagulat din talaga kami — nabigla na may mga ganyan na pong nakakabit sa mga ilang lugar dito sa bayan ng Taytay,” Nangit said.

Police, Army alert vs NPA ‘death squad’

From Panay News (Mar 29, 2021): Police, Army alert vs NPA ‘death squad’

MIRANDA (left). GORERO (right)

ILOILO City – The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) warned all police stations across the region to be careful of New People’s Army (NPA) “death squads”.

The NPA is marking its 52nd founding anniversary today, March 29.

PRO-6 director Police General Rolando Miranda said police personnel should be wary of the people they are dealing with because the rebels “usually launch atrocities and kill government forces through the death squad or sparrow unit.”

The PRO-6 intelligence division received information on the presence of the alleged death squad in the region, Miranda said.

“We don’t know our enemies because they are not wearing uniform like us, so we have to level up our security into full alert,” Mirada added.

In addition, the region’s top cop advised police personnel to be extra careful when responding to police calls. They must first verify calls from barangay officials and validate information from their informants.

He ordered to clear identified ambush sites and travel routes frequented by mobile patrol units from anti-personnel mines, and to closely monitor areas where mines could possibly be installed.

Proper coordination to other units and allied forces must be done prior every operation, he said.

The PRO-6 also deployed more personnel to the field and used all their available intelligence personnel to monitor.

On the other hand, Police Colonel Gilbert Gorero, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), already alerted his men, especially in “rebel-infested” towns.

“Expect strict conduct of checkpoints especially on motorcycles and other private vehicles as a security enhancement,” Gorero said.

In Iloilo province, towns with insurgency problems were told to be wary of strangers as these could be rebels.

These were San Joaquin, Guimbal, Miag-ao, Tubungan, Igbaras, Alimodian, Leon, Calinog, Maasin, and Bingawan.

Others were Badiangan, San Enrique, San Rafael, Lemery, and Passi City.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) already deployed their maximum soldiers to the field to beef up preparations.

Major Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), said hundreds of soldiers were dispatched to the areas threatened by the rebels.

“We have to protect the people from harm, that’s why we sent more soldiers. We will never allow the rebels to derail our peace efforts,” Pancito said.

The NPA’s sparrow unit was active in the 1980s during the dictatorship of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

The communist rebel group then created an urban guerrilla unit called the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB), which consists of hit squads that kill government officials and suspected government agents.

A profile at the armed group at the Encyclopedia Britannica stated that “the ABB, which operated independently of its parent organization, launched its first attack in May 1984.”

The ABB hitmen were then called “sparrow units” for their swift assassinations, and they often eluded arrest.

Calatrava, Toboso folks denounce NPA

From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 29, 2021): Calatrava, Toboso folks denounce NPA (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

About 210 villagers in Calatrava and Toboso towns, have strongly denounce the continued violence and atrocities perpetrated by the New People’s Army during two consecutive peace rallies held in Brgy. Cambayobo, Calatrava and Brgy. Bandila in Toboso, Negros Occidental.

This also developed as a self-confessed member of the New People’s Army identified as Unel Cantilla, alias Ka Harry, gave himself up to the 62nd Infantry Battalion and local police in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, and surrendered 357 and 38 caliber revolvers, according to Col. Michael Samson, acting commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade.

Samson said that Cantilla, 39, of Brgy. Buenavista, Guihulngan City, confessed that he is a Yunit Militia member of the NPA, while working as a “habal-habal (motorcycle)” driver, and later became the local president of Guihulngan United Habal-Habal Driver’s Association (GUHDA).

Meanwhile, the two consecutive peace rallies of villagers on March 25 and 26, led by their respective barangay captains, Dominador Jubahib of Brgy. Cambayobo, and Eulogio Julom of Brgy. Bandila, ended with the burning of CPP-NPA flags, that symbolizes their total denouncement of the NPA as a terrorist organization, Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, 79th Infantry Battalion commander,said.

Former rebel hitman, Ka Joross, who was among the speakers in peace rallies, exposed the lies and deceptions of the CPP-NPA, and exposed their tactics in recruiting minors to join the armed struggle, Alvaran said.

“I urge everyone not to get swayed by the deceptive communist propaganda and help us counter their activities,” Alvaran said, in his appeal to the peace rally participants.

Authorities arrest Top Most Wanted NPA member in Caraga

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 28, 2021): Authorities arrest Top Most Wanted NPA member in Caraga (By PIA Surigao del Sur)

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Norte, Mar. 28 (PIA) -- Authorities arrested the "Top Most Wanted" New People's Army (NPA) member in the Regional Priority Target in Brgy. Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City in a joint police-army operation conducted around 5:30 AM, on March 21, 2021.

By virtue of the warrant of arrest for murder under Criminal Case No. 2020-85 without bail bond, and multiple attempted murder under Criminal Case No. 2020-116 with bail bond fixed at Php120,000.00,
Renalyn G. Tejero a.k.a. "Tiray/Teray/Lyn", 25 years old, and resident Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur was captured by the authorities.

Based on the report, Tejero was one of the primary suspects of the killing of former rebels, Zaldy Acidillo Ybañez and Datu Bernandino Astudillo, in Sitio Inadan, Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel, of this province on March 19, 2020.

The intelligence report also bared that the arrested personality was the Secretary of Kabataang Makabayan, an underground Sectoral Youth Organization of the NPA; member of the Executive Committee, Regional United Front, Regional White Area Committee, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC); and a full-time member of Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad Southland, NEMRC.

Accordingly, Tejero was involved in organizing the youth/student to become NPA members in the guise of front organizations, actively participated in the underground movement of the NPA, and was implicated in numerous NPA-initiated atrocities.

In a statement, Police Brigadier General Romeo M. Caramat, Jr, Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 Director, affirmed that her apprehension was based on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by the local court. "With the help of the community, AFP, and all stakeholders, I believe that the days are numbered against those NPA members with warrants of arrest," he said.

PBGen. Caramat has vowed to keep the substantial gains of PRO-13 in ending local armed-conflict with the guidance of PNP Chief, Police General Debold M. Sinas. (with a report from PRO-13/PIA Surigao del Sur)

Army joins PRLEC in development program launching for IP community in Agusan Norte

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 29, 2021): Army joins PRLEC in development program launching for IP community in Agusan Norte

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, Mar. 29 -- The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB), Philippine Army joined the members of the Provincial Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) and the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of Agusan del Norte during the conduct of the mass graduation and the launching of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) in Sitio Bokbokon, Barangay Lawan-lawan in Las Nieves town.

The mass graduation and the launching of the BDP, led by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority of Agusan del Norte (TESDA-ADN) under the leadership of Provincial Director Rey M. Cueva was also in time with the conduct of the two-day immersion activity of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) of the province.

A total of 104 Indigenous Peoples (IPs) belonging to the Higaonon tribe received their Certificates of Training during the activity. Of the 104 IPs who graduated from the TESDA-ADN training, 50 have completed their Land Preparation for Organic Crop Production Training, 25 completed the Fishpond Preparation Training while 29 completed the Basic House Wiring Training.

During the graduation ceremony, Dir. Cueva urged the new graduates to apply what they have learned during the sets of training to help them improve their lives.

“We are now doubling our efforts to reach more communities in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas to ensure and promote sustainable livelihood for the people. May they use the skills taught to them in order for them to pull themselves out from poverty,” Cueva said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the commanding officer of 23IB, also witnessed the graduation of the IPs and expressed gladness over the milestone they achieved in their lives.

“Through the implementation of the Executive Order No. 70 (EO 70) institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach, the PTF-ELCAC and PRLEC in Agusan del Norte have provided different opportunities and the prioritization of the IP communities, especially those that need assistance and help them become productive citizens,” Paulo said.

He added that through the services and projects implemented by the government, residents, especially in remote areas, will have a chance to be given different sustainable livelihood programs to support their daily needs.

“These programs and services are implemented with the aim to end the insurgency. The Communist New People’s Army (NPA) Terrorists (CNTs) are using poverty issues in their propaganda to deceive people,” Paulo said.

He emphasized that by addressing the problems of poverty, the affected residents, particularly those in the countryside will be given the great opportunity to emancipate themselves and eventually defeat the insurgency. (1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang, CMO Officer, 23IB PA/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Talaingod former rebels to undergo chicken meat production training

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 29, 2021): Talaingod former rebels to undergo chicken meat production training (By Jan Vincent Leuterio) 

DAVAO DEL NORTE, March 25 (PIA) – Fifteen former members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Barangay Sto. Niño, Municipality of Talaingod are set to undergo eight days of skills training on broiler chicken meat production.

This after the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Davao del Norte and the 56th Infantry Battalion launched the 8-day Broiler Chicken Meat Production for the former rebels on March 24, 2021.

The chicken meat production is the second cycle of training after the “raise poultry chicken” skills training of the program.

According to TESDA Davao del Norte Facebook Page, the program started in December of 2020 and it aims to capacitate the former rebels on raising broiler chickens using organic farming techniques and practices.

As such, the beneficiaries will be formed into Peoples Organization (PO) for them to be able to continue the program on their own and generate profitable income through application of the skills they learned.

With chicken meat production being one of the main livelihood of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Talaingod, TESDA revealed that the IP communities of the beneficiary Sitios are now earning from their harvests.

On March 23, 2021, the Community Development Team (CDT) of 56IB assisted the People's Organizations (POs) of Sitio Guinobatan and Sitio Lambid of Brgy Sto Niño, Talaingod, during the harvest of Broiler Chicken Meat Production.

On March 15, 2021, the same team distributed thirty (30) heads of Free Range Chicken to the Peoples' Organization of Sitio Lumabag, Brgy Palma Gil and to the IP community of Sitio KM30, Brgy Dagohoy all of Talaingod, Davao Del Norte.

This Chicken Meat Production program is part of the sustainability program under the Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster of Executive Order No. 70 Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

It is implemented by the government namely the partnership of TESDA, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), LGU Talaingod, and Provincial Government Office of Davao del Norte. (Jan Vincent Leuterio/PIA-XI with reports from TESDA DavNor and 56IB)

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Former supporters reject CTG, swear allegiance to PH republic

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 29, 2021): Former supporters reject CTG, swear allegiance to PH republic (By Jaime S. Cabag)

ILOILO CITY, March 29 (PIA) – The third batch of AKAP KAPATID Program of the Regional Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict concluded on Friday, March 26, with the participants who are former supporters of the CPP-NPA-NDF, committed never to support the communist terrorist group and instead rally behind the Republic of the Philippines.

The five-day activity, which started last March 22, was participated in by 100 communist terrorist group supporters from the municipalities of Tapaz, Capiz and Calinog, Iloilo who swore allegiance to the government last January 8 of this year yet, according to Police Lt. Col. Joem J. Malong, Regional Public Information Officer of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 6.

They signified their vow to cease supporting the CTG on the Wall of Commitment during the culminating activity of the program.

The participants underwent a series of lectures pertaining to terrorism, anti-criminality, laws and the E-CLIP conducted by the different government agencies such as the PNP PRO-6, Philippine Army, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-6, Department of the Interior and Local Government and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, said Malong.

Meanwhile, the psychosocial intervention was given by the Department of Social Welfare and Development training team which made the participants aware of their roles by knowing themselves, their families and their community.

Malong said part of the program was the medical and service caravan rendered by the PNP-6, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), DILG, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), DSWD, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Passi Trade School, National Housing Authority (NHA), National Irrigation Administration, and the Local Government Units of Tapaz and Calinog.

During the service caravan, participants availed of dental, medical, haircut, manicure and pedicure services for free provided by the PNP and the Philippine Army.

Likewise, like the other previous two batches, all of the participants received relief supplies from DSWD, rice and gift packs from PRO6, health kits from Regional Health Service 6 and mountain bikes.

Present during the closing ceremony were PRO6 Regional Director Police Brig. Gen. Rolando F Miranda, DENR6 Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Livino V. Duran, DSWD-6 Disaster Response and Management Division chief Luna S. Moscoso, and Oton town Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Nathaniel Gentozon, who officiated the Eucharistic mass prior the closing ceremony.

Malong said AKAP KAPATID is a continuing program of the RTF-ELCAC spearheaded by Police Regional Office 6 which provides psychosocial support and intervention to insurgency-affected populace in the areas of Tapaz and Calinog.

The program is centered at regaining the participants’ trust and confidence on the government. The activity will also keep the participants informed aboout the government’s program and to educate them on the services provided by the different government agencies.

Negros Occ. communities decry CTG atrocities

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 29, 2021): Negros Occ. communities decry CTG atrocities (By Lorenzo O. Lambatin, Jr.) 

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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, March 29 (PIA)— Some 210 villagers in the municipalities of Calatrava and Toboso towns denounced the atrocities of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) during the consecutive peace rallies on March 25-26, a release from the 79th Infantry (Masaligan) Batallion said.

According to Civil-Military Operations Officer 1Lt. Dansan Camua, the activity started with a film-showing and information drive aimed to give awareness to the residents regarding insurgency, deception and recruitment strategies of the Communist Terrorist Group and to address the issues and concerns of the residents.

Former rebel "Ka Joross" shared his testimony about his worst and miserable experiences when he was still in the armed group and how the government helped him after he surrendered.

Participants of the activity, mostly youths and parents led by Brgy. Captain Dominador Jubahib of Brgy. Cambayobo, Calatrava and Brgy Captain Eulogio Julom of Brgy Bandila, Toboso, took their oath of commitment to reject the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in their communities, Camua noted.

This was followed by the burning of the CPP-NPA flag that symbolized their total denouncement of the terrorist organization as they hoisted banners and placards calling for an end to the terrorist activities, extortion, harassments and deceptions to civilians as well as recruitment of minors by the CTGs.

Simultaneous with the activity was the distribution of educational leaflets that contain information about the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Progran (E-CLIP) to encourage members of the CTG to return to the folds of the law.

Lt. Colonel Gerard Alvaran, 79th IB Commanding Officer, urged the participaints not to get swayed by the deceptive communist propaganda and to help counter the rebel’s activities.

“Armed struggle is not the key, but a big hindrance to attaining peace and development," he said.

"As your partner in this endeavor, the Masaligan troopers will continue to protect the public, especially the youth from any form of terrorist activities. Help us in encouraging our deceived and misled brothers and sisters to end their fake and senseless armed struggle. Let us convince them to come down and embrace the path to peace with their loved ones," Alvaran added. (79th IB PA/JSC/LOL/PIA6 Negros Occidental)

Youth group in Romblon holds indignation rally ahead of NPA anniversary

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 28, 2021): Youth group in Romblon holds indignation rally ahead of NPA anniversary (By Paul Jaysent Fos)

Different chapters of Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT) in Romblon province hold a simultaneous indignation rally on March 26, against the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF). (Photo Courtesy: KKDAT Magdiwang)

ODIONGAN, Romblon, Mar. 29 (PIA) -- Different chapters of Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT) in Romblon province hold simultaneous indignation rally on March 26 against the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

These were held three days before the 52nd founding anniversary of the communist group.

The young KKDAT members toured their respective towns carrying placards with written condemnations of the terrorists' actions.

KKDAT members also condemn the recent communist attack in Labo, Camarines Norte wherein five police officers were killed in an ambush.

Meanwhile, a youth leader in Odiongan town urged her fellow youth not to be influenced by the propaganda of the terrorists.

"Engaging into terrorism is the beginning of a collapsing future. It cannot give you a good life. It is wrong to put the law in our hands, and It is wrong that all mistakes we see around us need to result in violence in order to correct it. Why won't this be a challenge for us to study hard, and work hard?", Pastora Wenadel Joy M Atilano, KKDAT-Odiongan chapter president, told PIA-Romblon in an interview Sunday.

"We only live once. We will only pass through this world once so let us live what is right and right in the presence of man and God. It’s nice to think you’re moving into this world free, and happy," she added.

Atilano also praised the effort made by the government to curb terrorist groups.

On February 019, the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared Romblon province as an insurgency-free province, which means that the CPP-NPA-NDF and other rebel organizations no longer pose a threat to peace and order in the province. (PJF/PIA-Mimaropa)

PCOO premieres anti-terrorism documentary 'CTG' tonight

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 28, 2021): PCOO premieres anti-terrorism documentary 'CTG' tonight (By Susan G. De Leon)

Former NPA rebels turned over their rifles to the military in their desire to live normal lives away from the influence of communism. They surrendered to the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province, on Wednesday (March 10, 2021). (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CALOOCAN CITY, March 28 (PIA) -- The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is set to premiere an in-depth documentary focusing on the gains and challenges of our government in eradicating the New People’s Army (NPA) and their acts of terrorism against the Filipino people, on Sunday evening, March 28.

"Aside from the intensive campaign against illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has also strongly pushed for ending the communist armed conflict nationwide," PCOO Secretary Martin M. Andanar said.

Andanar also emphasized that the 52 years of existence of the armed terrorist group has been a major contributor to the disruption of peace and security in the whole country.

"As time goes by, the communist armed struggle has had extreme negative effects not only in the economy, but also in attaining peace and security for our country," he said.

"For decades, the Filipino people have experienced brutal abuses, fraud, and bloody violence that have hampered our collective development as a nation," Sec. Andanar added.

The full-length documentary explains the organizational structure of the movement as told by the former rebels who are now working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Viewers will also learn about the tragic stories of the victims of atrocities committed by the communist terrorist groups (CTGs).

Ka Ruben Guevarra, a former head of the military operations of the Communist Party of the Philippines, stated that he had to leave his loved ones and go to the mountains to serve the terrorist group.

According to Lola Agnes, a former rebel who was the first female commander of the NPA in the Bicol region, she once embraced the ideology of the terrorist group. Later on, she realized she was deceived. She recalled that they recruit by taking advantage of the poor people.

One of those who lost faith in the movement was Louie. He shared that the sacrifices he made while he was still a member of the NPA were all for naught.

Now, the former rebels only hope for one thing— that no one gets to be deceived by the NPA anymore.

The “CTG” documentary shows a group of former rebels in Bukidnon, trained to recruit back the people they once deceived and help them return to the folds of the government.

The documentary also follows the untold stories of our modern heroes—the valiant members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who are at the forefront of our battle against the terrorist group.

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Vice-Chair Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. shared that the over five decades of government intervention to dismantle the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democraftic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) has resulted in 113,000 casualties. On the other hand, there were 100,000 deaths recorded related to the CPP-NPA-NDF's terror attacks on civilians and uniformed personnel.

"Ang number one political security threat ay ang Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) dahil gusto nilang pataubin, patalsikin ang gobyerno, upang sila ang mamuno sa Pilipinas at ginagawa nila ito ng 52 years na [The number one political security threat is the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), because they want to topple the government, so they can assume leadership in the Philippines and they have been doing this for 52 years]," Sec. Esperon said.

Catch “CTG: An Anti-terrorism Documentary" on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 9:30 p.m. on PTV-4 and IBC-13. It will also be livestreamed on the Presidential Communications Operations Office and other government-affiliated social media pages.

The PCOO said media outlets are free to share and use their video materials and short documentaries. For inquiries, please send e-mail to (PIA NCR)

PH, US celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 29, 2021): PH, US celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations (By Jimmyley E. Guzman)

(Left to right) U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Sung Kim; Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez; and U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Atul Keshap at the launch of the yearlong celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and the United States on 26 March 2021 at the Philippine Embassy in the United States, Washington, D.C. (US Embassy in the Philippines photo)

PASIG CITY, March 29 (PIA) -- Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez and U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Sung Kim officially launched over the weekend a bilateral campaign to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America.

“Some say 75 years is indeed a long time to stay as friends, partners, and allies, but I believe this is an undeniable testament to the depth and quality of the bilateral relationship. Our ties have withstood the test of time and have served both our countries and peoples well,” Ambassador Romualdez said during a program held on the grounds of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Philippines and the United States established formal diplomatic relations on July 4, 1946 – the same day that the Philippines gained its status as an independent and sovereign republic. Since then, the two countries have expanded and deepened bilateral cooperation in many areas, most notably defense and security, trade and commerce, and culture and education. This year, the two countries are also marking the 70th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty that formalized our treaty alliance, which enables close security cooperation that enhances mutual peace and security. The Philippines is the United States’ oldest treaty ally in Asia.

“As you know, I served as Ambassador to the Philippines just recently and it’s a true privilege to see firsthand the strength of the bond between our two countries. Starting with the unbreakable friendship between Americans and Filipinos, of course, the robust military partnership that we have, and an equally strong economic partnership. I think what really impressed me the most was the potential for us to develop the relationship even further, even deeper, and again, I think that starts with the warmth, affection, and mutual respect between our two countries,” said Ambassador Sung Kim.

Central to the anniversary celebration are the unbreakable bonds between the Filipino and American people, who continue to strengthen bilateral relations. There are over four million U.S. citizens of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and under normal circumstances, more than 350,000 U.S. citizens living and traveling in the Philippines at any given time, with an estimated 650,000 U.S. citizens visiting the Philippines each year.

“Certainly, what truly binds our two countries together are our peoples, and it is for them that we are celebrating this momentous occasion. It also provides an opportunity for the Philippines and the United States to not just take stock of what we have achieved together throughout the years, but also to reaffirm our commitment to more robust ties and to a relationship that remains relevant in a world that will continue to face new and continuing challenges,” Ambassador Romualdez further stated.

The launch event marks the start of a yearlong commemoration through various activities and initiatives by the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in the United States, and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires John Law joined the celebration by video link, stating “Over these decades, our countries have accomplished so much together, and moving forward, we will accomplish even more thanks to the friendship, cooperation, and mutual support between Americans and Filipinos.”

The official logo of the 75th anniversary celebration highlights the common colors of the Philippine and American flags, which symbolize the two countries’ shared history, and the sun, stars, and stripes that represent hope for the future of this deep relationship. (PIA NCR)