Friday, April 16, 2021

CPP/News: 52nd IB illegally arrests peasants in Eastern Samar

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 14, 2021): 52nd IB illegally arrests peasants in Eastern Samar

APRIL 14, 2021

Two peasants were illegally arrested in Dolores, Eastern Samar by elements of the 52nd Infantry Battalion in the last week of February.

Soldiers led by Lt. Ian Daniel Robianes arrested Erwin Ramirez Moratal, 21, and Pablito Lapesora Libanan, 32, both residents of Sitio Casapa, Barangay Dinigpian of the said town. No arrest warrants were presented by soldiers who wore civilian attires during the arrest.

Even when the barangay captain questioned the legality of the arrest, the two were still brought to 52nd IB’s camp in Barangay Dao, Oras. The military claimed they are members of the New People’s Army.

CPP/News: Masses collectively overcome RCSP ops in Samar

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 14, 2021): Masses collectively overcome RCSP ops in Samar

APRIL 14, 2021

The relentless year-long Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) operationsof the AFP in a town in Western Samar have failed to crush the unity of the peasant masses and stop their support for the revolution. The town was among the list of guerrilla fronts declared “dismantled” by the 8th Infantry Division.

During this period, soldiers repeatedly summoned peasants in their camps to force them to “surrender” and perform anti-people tasks like serving as military assets or spies. They are also forced to lie, pose as someone “who went down the mountains because of its hardships,” or “admit” to being a militia unit member, the local Party committee, or committee of the local Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid chapter.

In a vilage, residents decided that no one will heed the summons of soldiers as a way to fight the military’s fascist repression. But after this, police and military elements pretended to be civilians and repeatedly entered their village to search for those who have disobeyed them.

Residents complain of being unable to tend to their farms fearing police and military surveillance. Compared to the height of the lockdown, they experience worse hunger due to troubles caused by military operations.

To guard against AFP and PNP elements or assets entering the village, residents man outposts day and night. They also log anyone who enters and leaves the village. They placed logs on roads to block police and military vehicles and motorcyles from entering the village.

CPP/News: Antifeudal movement key to expand NPA mass base–CPP

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 13, 2021): Antifeudal movement key to expand NPA mass base–CPP

APRIL 13, 2021

A widespread antifeudal movement in the countryside is decisive in strengthening and expanding the mass base of the New People’s Army (NPA). This was the message of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in view of the armed revolution being waged by the NPA amid the Duterte regime’s intensified attacks.

In the April 7 editorial of Ang Bayan, the CPP said that of all the problems of peasants that the NPA looks into, the issue of production is the most crucial. The NPA must pay attention to how the masses “reap or are ripped off the wealth they have created,” said the CPP. Peasants must be aroused, organized and mobilized to a higher level of intensity and breadth, it added.

The CPP noted that its Revolutionary Guide to Land Reform (RGRL) contains programs to reduce land rent, raise wages of farmworkers, bring down interest rates on loans and raise farm gate prices. The NPA must exert all efforts to carry these forward to heed the peasants’ demand for genuine land reform and an end to worsening forms of oppression and exploitation.

The NPA implements the RGRL in partnership with the revolutionary peasant association Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid (PKM), benefiting millions of peasants from its programs. Villages where agrarian revolution is advanced serve as the mass base for the people’s war, as well as wellspring of NPA membership. These villages are bound to multiply as the NPA expands its area of operations.

Moreover, the CPP called for waging widespread struggles against the Rice Tariffication Law, the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, import liberalization of pork, poultry and other agricultural products and other laws and measures that oppress the peasant masses. It called for continued cooperation between the NPA and the masses in mounting campaigns for food production and taking care of people’s health. These need immediate attention due to the rising food prices and scarcity worsened by the regime’s anti-people measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Land grabbing by big landlords and big capitalists must also be vigorously opposed, as plantations, mining operations, energy, ecotourism and other projects have dispossessed peasants and minority people.

The CPP pointed out that to ensure consolidation of the mass base, PKM formations and other revolutionary mass organizations must function regularly and their links with territorial organs of the CPP and NPA commands be maintained. With this, it urged trainings to raise the capacity of local cadres and leaders to mobilize the peasant masses.

In conclusion, the CPP said that as the NPA’s area of operations expands, it can have more military initiative against the enemy. This will be combined with the right balance of mass work and political struggles aimed at mobilizing the peasant masses for the people’s democratic revolution.

CPP/News: NPA forces continue trainings amid focused military operations

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 12, 2021): NPA forces continue trainings amid focused military operations

APRIL 12, 2021

Red fighters in a guerilla front in Samar continue to perform revolutionary work despite relentless military operation in their area. In the April 3 issue of Larab, revolutionary publication in Eastern Visayas, it featured the recent successful level 2 medical training among NPA members and Basic Party Course discussion conducted with farmers in a barrio.

About 10 medical staff of the NPA completed the training while 28 barrio residents attended the discussion, helping further consolidate the revolutionary forces in Samar.

CPP/NPA-Northern Negros: Quarrying sanctioned, ISU agent ambushed in back-to-back NPA operations in North Negros

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 16, 2021): Quarrying sanctioned, ISU agent ambushed in back-to-back NPA operations in North Negros


APRIL 16, 2021

Operatives of the New People’s Army Roselyn Jean Pelle Command – Northern Negros Guerilla Front (RJPC-NPA) carried out back-to-back military operations on April 12 and 13, 2021 and punished members and agents of the local ruling elite, landlord class and fascist army who are notorious for inflicting harm to the masses.

On April 12, units of the RJPC-NPA carried out punitive action against the destructive quarry operations of Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew J. Golez. Three backhoes owned and operated by Golez were burned at the quarry site in Hacienda Vista Alegre, Barangay E. Lopez, Silay City. Checkpoints were also simultaneously set up by the RJPC-NPA along the Silay-Patag road.

This is in response to the people’s demand to punish large-scale quarrying operations in the area. Destructive quarrying and other so-called “development projects” of the ruling elite caused the series of flashfloods in Northern Negros which started on New Year’s Day. More than 70,000 people in E.B. Magalona town and the cities of Talisay, Silay, Victorias, Cadiz, Escalante, and San Carlos have been displaced by flooding since January.

On April 13, a team of the RJPC-NPA ambushed Elmer “Neneng” Ortencio, 45, of Hacienda Margarita, Barangay Consing, E.B. Magalona. Ortencio was an active case agent of the 7th Intelligence and Security Unit (ISU) of the Philippine Army based in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City. Ortencio’s status as a legitimate military target was further affirmed by identification cards and ISU mission orders which were seized by RJPC operatives in his possession. The NPA also confiscated a .38 caliber revolver with ammunition, a cellular phone, and a handheld radio. Aside from open membership in military-backed counter-revolutionary groups, Ortencio also gained notoriety as a double-dealing encargado and farm labor contractor working for some big landlords and arrendadors in EB Magalona and Victorias City.

These back-to-back actions are the RJPC’s answer to the people’s clamor for justice amid widespread hardship and brutal repression imposed by the US-Duterte regime. The RJPC-NPA actively heeds the call of the Communist Party to intensify tactical offensives against fascist criminals and enemies of the people.

These actions were successfully carried out even in conjunction with combat and psywar operations of the 79th IB, their CAA paramilitaries, and the local police, due to the people’s warm support to the NPA. We thank the masses for their militance and courage. Together with the fighting people of North Negros, the NPA continues to surmount the odds as we advance the people’s war.

CPP/CIO: Duterte’s push for more mining will bring bloodier suppression and rouse greater resistance

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 16, 2021): Duterte’s push for more mining will bring bloodier suppression and rouse greater resistance

APRIL 16, 2021

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces join the Filipino people in denouncing Rodrigo Duterte for ordering yesterday the lifting of the moratorium on new mining agreements.

Allowing new mining agreements to be forged under Executive Order No. 130 will pave the way for more massive plunder and siphoning off of Philippine natural wealth by big foreign companies. By issuing EO 130, Duterte is serving the interests of Chinese and American big capitalists who are drooling over the country’s mineral resources in their drive to outcompete each other in infrastructure building and production of semiconductors, new type of batteries and other commodities.

Foreign mining operations are outright robbery of the country’s wealth. Our country’s gold, nickel, magnetite, copper and other minerals are taken away by foreign capitalists in exchange for a paltry amount of royalties and taxes, and bribe money for the big bureaucrat capitalists. There is widespread smuggling of minerals as the country’s soil is literally scraped off the earth and brought to China and other countries.

The much touted employment and economic benefits that mining operations supposedly brings is overrated, as mining companies create only a minimal number of jobs and contribute a miniscule amount of value to the Philippine economy, relative to the large amount of wealth it extracts from our land.

Duterte and his IMF/WB-trained managers are more interested in helping foreign industries, than in developing the capacity of the local economy to produce wealth. Instead of building the country’s own national industries to process its own mineral resources and produce machines and other capital goods, and create a vastly greater number of jobs, they merely want the country’s wealth to be sucked out by foreign big capitalists to feed their own industries and generate employment for their own people.

Opening the country to more large-scale mining operations will only lead to greater environmental destruction and calamities, including floods and landslides and make the people prone to even worse disasters and devastation of their lives and livelihood.

To promote the entry of more mining companies, the Duterte regime will surely resort to bloodier suppression of the peasant masses and minority people to drive them away from their productive agricultural and ancestral lands. Even now, the AFP imposes garrison-type control of rural villages near mining sites to restrict the rights of people.

In La Paz, Agusan del Sur, relentless military operations are being carried out by the 60th IB to drive the Lumad people away from their communities in Mt. Kinambaihan, a prospect for foreign mining operations. In Loreto town, public funds are being used to build roads going to Mt. Diamond, another target for large scale mining. Lumad communities are being dragged to move to “housing projects” away from their ancestral land which will give foreign mining companies and plantations full access to their lands. Last April 6, these areas were subjected to heavy aerial bombardment to sow fear among the local Lumad communities.

Duterte’s order to bring in more mining companies will rouse greater resistance by peasants and Lumads across the country. It is totally just for the masses to stand up and oppose the entry of the destroyers and plunderers of the environment and their productive land.

Together with the masses of peasants and minority people, the New People’s Army (NPA) will fight more fiercely against the entry of more mining companies to help defend the environment, the economic rights and interests of the peasants and minority peoples, and the country’s national patrimony.

CPP/NPA-Quezon: Lehitimong Target ng NPA ang mga ahente ng AFP-PNP

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 14, 2021): Lehitimong Target ng NPA ang mga ahente ng AFP-PNP


APRIL 14, 2021

Ang hakbang pamamarusa kay Randy Rustia ng NPA noong Abril 7 ay parte ng sistemang hudisyal ng demokratikong gubyernong bayan na nakakasaklaw sa lugar.

Pinarusahan siya ng hukbong bayan batay sa kautusan ng hukumang bayan kaugnay sa naistablisang krimen niya laban sa mamamayan at kilusan. May sariling batas at hustisya ang demokratikong gubyernong bayan at prosesong hudisyal kung saan napatunayan nang walang pagdududa ang kasalanan at krimen ni Randy Rustia.

Kabilang sa mabibigat na kasalanan at krimen ni Rustia ang makailang beses na pagbibigay ng eksaktong impormasyon sa puwesto at komposisyon ng yunit ng NPA na nagresulta sa mga presisong strike operations ng sundalo at pulis. Nagresulta ito ng pagkamatay, pagkasugat at pagkaaresto ng nagkakailang pulang hukbo.

Hindi totoong ordinaryong sibilyan si Randy Rustia kagaya ng gustong palabasin ng mga kusinero ng fake news ng 85IBPA.

Si Rustia ay armado at aktibong ahente ng sundalo at pulis. Kabo siya ng iligal na jueteng na ginagamit niyang tabing sa pag-eespiya upang kasabay na maisagawa ang misyong ipinapatrabaho sa kanya.

Nalagasan ng matapat na alagad ang sundalo at pulis, nawalan sila ng masugid na tiktik sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan at sa mamamayan kaya ganun na lamang ang pagmamarakulyo nila sa pagkakapaslang kay Rustia.

Nakakagat-nila-ang-sariling-dila sa kaipokritohan na manawagan ng pagtatanggol sa karapatang tao ni Rustia at pekeng malasakit sa naulilang pamilya gayong malaki ang kinikitang pabuya ni Rustia sa mga impormasyon na ibinibigay niya sa sundalo at pulis.

Laway-na-laway ang sundalo at pulisya na makapagbulaan para patuloy na siraan ang rebolusyunaryong kilusan habang wala-silang-pakialam sa humahabang listahan ng kanilang pinapaslang na mga inosenteng sibilyan batay sa hinalang may kinalaman sa armadong rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Pinakahuli sa mahabang listahan ng krimen nito ay ang pagpatay sa 9 na aktibista noong Marso 7 na tinaguriang Bloody Sunday at sa pagpaslang sa lider unyonistang si Dandy Miguel noong Marso 28.

Sa lalawigan, kabilang sa biktima ng sundalo at pulis ang dating kagawad ng Magsaysay, General Luna na si Mando Buisan na pinaslang ng kanilang mga hitman noong Nobyembre 13, 2020. Noong 2018, pinatay rin si Nanay Fe delos Santos, ina ng kumander ng NPA, at si Egay Tabien, empleyado ng munisipyo ng Lopez.#

CPP/NPA-Northern Negros: Destructive quarrying in Silay City sanctioned by NPA; 3 backhoes operated by Mayor Golez, paralyzed in quarry site

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 13, 2021): Destructive quarrying in Silay City sanctioned by NPA; 3 backhoes operated by Mayor Golez, paralyzed in quarry site


APRIL 13, 2021

Read in: Hiligaynon

The New People’s Army (NPA) Roselyn Jean Pelle Command (RJPC) in Northern Negros burned down heavy equipment operated by Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew J. Golez in Hacienda Vista Alegre, Brgy. E. Lopez, Silay City in response to the people’s clamor to punish large-scale quarrying operations which recently caused massive flooding in the area.

The sanction was carried out by the RJPC yesterday, April 12, 2021 at around 10:00 pm, and paralyzed 3 backhoes on the Malogo river quarry site.

Golez has made use of his influence as local executive to violate even the incredulously low standards set by the reactionary government regarding environmental compliance. Golez and his business partners, which include prominent landlords, local businessmen, and corrupt police officers, are notorious for hauling earth and rocks from the riverbed and even from upland areas near the river, and then dumping waste water and material on the river itself.

These iniquitous practices gave other quarry operators the go signal to abuse the environment. There are hundreds of quarry operators in the 3rd District of Negros Occidental alone and around a thousand more have pending applications. The handful who hold legitimate permits violate the reactionary government’s flimsy regulations with impunity.

Malogo is a major tributary which runs through several haciendas and agricultural areas in Silay City, EB Magalona town and in Victorias City, where the Malogo river connects to the Guimaras strait.

On the very first day of the new year 2021, thousands of families were evacuated in several barangays in Victorias City due to heavy flooding. Around 70,000 more were affected and evacuated in EB Magalona town, Silay, Talisay, Sagay and Cadiz cities, where torrential rains and flooding caused destruction to the lives and livelihood of residents and small farmers. Flashfloods were also experienced in Escalante and San Carlos cities.

Non-stop quarrying operations and so-called development projects in the Malogo river, other major tributaries such as the Sicaba, Himoga-an, and Danao rivers, and other minor streams in North Negros have caused much damage to the environment. The destruction brought about by the excavation of rocks, gravel and sand from these rivers has altered the natural terrain and made the area vulnerable to natural calamities and the inundation of residential areas and farmlands.

This mad demand for cheap construction materials is driven by no less than the Duterte regime’s corrupt and mindless “Build, Build, Build” program, which plunders both natural resources and the public coffers while plunging the nation heavy in debt to foreign entities like China.

Meanwhile, the state’s armed forces have made themselves busy with non-stop combat operations targeting hacienda workers, peasant organizations and unarmed activists and civilians even in this time of flooding and disaster. A farmworkers community in Talisay City was raided by the 79th IB, while another peasant leader was gunned down by paramilitary hitmen in Escalante City last January.

This goes to show that suppressing dissent and cracking down on the people’s democratic rights are truly the top priorities of the mad dog Duterte and his military cabal. Billions of people’s taxes are squandered on militarization and red-tagging, while people are left to fend for themselves in emergency situations.

The NPA and the people’s democratic government is keen in sanctioning Golez, and warning all other entities who ravage the environment and cause harm to the people. As sincere people’s warriors, the NPA in Northern Negros is committed to defend the masses from the true terrorists and criminals who continue to mount fascist attacks against the people amid disaster situations and the COVID-19 public health emergency. These savage mercenaries and bureaucrats are from the same ruling class which wreaked economic and environmental destruction throughout the country through decades of exploitation and plunder.

The people continue to clamor for a free and just society, and they know that this can only be achieved through people’s war. The people will rise up and fight. The dirty counter-revolutionary war of the fascist US-Duterte regime is bound to bitter frustration and dismal failure.

CPP/CIO: Balikatan reinforces Philippine military dependence on US

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 13, 2021): Balikatan reinforces Philippine military dependence on US


APRIL 13, 2021

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Balikatan 2021 exercises which forms part of heightening US military interventionism in the Philippines, both in counterinsurgency and Philippine external defense.

The annual Balikatan exercises:

a) reinforces US doctrinal and operational control of the Philippine military forces in the name of “interoperability.”

b) trains the AFP to provide support services to the US military in its overseas operations especially in this part of the globe

c) influences the AFP to prioritize counterinsurgency operations and entices it to buy surplus weapons of the US showcased during the exercises.

The Balikatan exercises this year is even more deplorable in the face of the increasingly brutal war of suppression being waged by the AFP in the countryside, marked by relentless aerial bombing operations supported by the US. Two hundred-kilo bombs are being dropped near rural communities and farms forcing peasants and minority people to flee their homes, causing widespread trauma among the masses and destruction to the environment.

Amid increasing Chinese aggression in the Philippine seas, the Balikatan exercises foster the false notion that the US military is the only option for the Philippines to stand up to China. In fact, because of its long standing reliance on the US military, the AFP remains incapable of defending the country independently. This reliance is made worse by the Duterte government’s failure to come up with a more robust and comprehensive plan of resisting China’s aggression.

5 more NPA rebels yield in Sarangani

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 16, 2021): 5 more NPA rebels yield in Sarangani (By Richelyn Gubalani)

Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, director of the Police Regional Office-12. (File photo courtesy of PRO-12)

New People’s Army (NPA) units in Sarangani province and the neighboring areas have reportedly “continued to weaken” with the recent surrender of five “disgruntled” rebels.

Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 director, said Friday the rebels decided to yield on Wednesday along with their firearms following a series of negotiations with joint intelligence personnel and local officials.

Dubria said the returnees are former members of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 73 (Musa)-Far South Mindanao Region, which operates in the hinterlands of Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

They surrendered a caliber 5.56 M16 rifle, a homemade caliber 5.56mm M16 rifle, a caliber 9mm Uzi, and a fragmentation hand grenade to the PRO-12 and the Maasim municipal government.

The Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict headed by Maasim Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao handed over financial assistance and a half-sack of rice to each surrenderer.

Dubria said the rebels were long-time members of “Platoon Huawei” and the “Milisyang Bayan” of the NPA that mainly operated in Maasim, Kiamba, and Maitum towns in Sarangani.

Citing accounts from the surrenderers, he said they decided to leave the NPA due to their difficult situation in the mountains.

“They are very grateful that their struggles have finally ended and can now live peacefully with their families,” Dubria said in a statement.

The police official said the surrenderers would be enlisted into the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program to avail of livelihood and other support assistance from various government agencies.

“Rest assured that the PRO-12 will continue to enhance efforts to attain inclusive peace in the region,” Dubria added.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Silay City mayor denounces NPA for lies, violence

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 16, 2021): Silay City mayor denounces NPA for lies, violence (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

CONDEMNATION. Silay City Mayor Mark Golez on Friday (April 16, 2021) denounced the violence perpetrated by the New People’s Army in torching the heavy equipment used for quarry operations in neighboring EB Magalona town on the night of April 12. Golez also dismissed the claim of the communist-terrorist group that he is a quarry operator who owns the three damaged backhoes. (File photo courtesy of Mayor Mark J. Golez Facebook page)

Mayor Mark Golez of Silay City, Negros Occidental has denounced the violence perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) in torching the heavy equipment used for quarry operations in the neighboring town of EB Magalona earlier this week.

“I condemn the cruel and violent act of groups who commit illegal activities, including the burning of backhoes in EB Magalona. To my fellow Silaynon, now is the time for us to come together in unity,” Golez said in a statement issued in the local dialect on Friday.

He did not directly mention the NPA in his statement, but it was clear that he was referring to the communist-terrorist group after its Roselyn Jean Pelle Command based in northern Negros owned up to the burning of the heavy equipment on the night of April 12, with the aim of “punishing large-scale quarrying operations, which recently caused massive flooding in the area,” and “sanctioning Golez.”

Golez dismissed as lies the claim of the NPA that he is a quarry operator who owns the three backhoes damaged during the incident.

“There is no quarry operation registered under my name, either in Silay or in any other place, and I don’t own any equipment, particularly the backhoes burned in EB Magalona,” he said.

The NPA alleged that the torched heavy machines were stationed in Hacienda Vista Alegre, Barangay E. Lopez, Silay City when it has been established by the police that the incident took place in Sitio Buenas Aires, Barangay Consing, EB Magalona.

The case has already been endorsed by Lt. Col. Petate, chief of the Silay City Police, to the EB Magalona Municipal Police, which identified Ryan Villan Corp. as the owner of the two units, and village chief Arnie Benedicto of Barangay Lantad, Silay City as the proprietor of the other unit.

The damaged heavy equipment have been issued permits and licenses, Golez said, adding that in Silay, the city government strictly implements policies and regulations against illegal quarrying.

Nothing can justify the violence and destruction perpetrated by the NPA, he added.

Golez noted that quarry operations play a role in the implementation of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, which paves the way for the construction of projects, such as farm-to-market roads that bring development and opportunities to people in remote areas.

“It is clear to us, that this group committed the gruesome crime to oppose progress and development of the upland communities in the province,” he added.

The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, are listed as a terror group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Westmincom acquires new mobility assets

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 16, 2021): Westmincom acquires new mobility assets (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

NEW VEHICLES. Lt. Col. Jose Españo, the Catholic chaplain of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), leads Friday the blessing rites for the eight new vehicles acquired by Westmincom that would boost the command's land mobility. Three of the eight new vehicles are Mk250 light utility trucks that will be used for moving troops. (Photo courtesy of Westmincom Public Information Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) got a boost in land mobility after receiving eight new vehicles from higher headquarters, the Westmincom chief said Friday.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Westmincom chief, said the new vehicles include three KM250 light utility trucks, funded out of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program.

Vinluan said the other vehicles include three Ford Rangers issued AFP logistics office, a Toyota Coaster Van donated by the AFP Mutual Benefits Association Incorporated (AFPMBAI), and a Toyota Avanza acquired through the utilization of Westmincom’s trust receipts.

“These vehicles will augment the mobility requirements of Westmincom in accomplishing the day-to-day logistics and technical operations of our troops at the garrison in support to the attainment of the unit’s mission accomplishment,” Vinluan said.

Lt. Col. Jose Españo, Westmincom’s Catholic chaplain, led the blessing rites of the new vehicles Friday at the parade ground in Camp Navarro that houses the headquarters of Westmincom in this city.

PH, US troops to hold mock close air support April 20

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 16, 2021): PH, US troops to hold mock close air support April 20 (By Priam Nepomuceno)

AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo (File photo)

Filipino and American troops will be conducting a "simulated close air support" (SIMCAS) exercise at the Col. Ernesto Ravina Air Base (CERAB), Capas, Tarlac on April 20.

In a message to reporters Thursday, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, and Balikatan 2021 exercise director said the exercise will
"simulate the need to employ air capability while observing the procedures involved during (a) call for fire."

CERAB is formerly known as the Tarlac Military Testing Ground.

"The intent of every iteration of Balikatan is for both armed forces to train together on defense and security leveraging on the capability, experience, and strength of their friendship," Arevalo said.

He added that Balikatan is done annually, except in 2020, to ensure interoperability in terms of command, control, computers, communications, intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance, (C4ISR), and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs).

The 36th Balikatan Exercise kicked off April 12 and will conclude on April 23. It is an annual military training event that highlights the Philippines and United States militaries’ continued commitment to train and share information to improve their ability to coordinate a multilateral response to a crisis.

Meanwhile, medical experts from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) concluded the three-day virtual Global Health Engagement on Wednesday.

The knowledge exchange and key leader engagement which started on April 12 was held virtually for the first time due to conditions brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The global pandemic may have limited some aspects of the Balikatan Exercise but it will never dampen the spirit of friendship, partnership, and shared aspirations of both Philippines and United States armed forces,” Arevalo said in a statement Thursday.

PAF chief surgeon Col. Maria Socorro Posadas facilitated the discussion of topics in aviation medicine.

Among the topics discussed are the Role of AFP in Pandemic Management; Philippines’ Covid-19 Vaccination Plan; and Aerospace Medicine Guidelines, Aeromedical Evacuation Medical Equipment and Facility Modification, and Mass Casualty Response during the pandemic.

“Engagement such as this had been carried out regularly between the Office of the Chief Surgeon Air Force and PACAF to produce meaningful exchanges of medical knowledge and practices in the field of Aerospace Medicine. In this Balikatan 2021 virtual teleconference, both parties were able to showcase their experience and expertise in their respective fields as well as to highlight the improvements and innovations they instituted to fulfill their mission through this pandemic,” Posadas said.

Meanwhile, PACAF command surgeon, Col. Rudy Cachuela and international health specialist Lt. Col. Cherielynne Gabriel joined the virtual activity from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

Gabriel said the main objective of the exchange is to provide an overview of the present pandemic situation from surveillance, on-scene response, testing, and monitoring to patient treatment and modifications to patient movement.

“It aims to share best practices, enhance knowledge of participants, and maintain relationships until we can practice medical interoperability in-person again when global health conditions improve,” she said.

Olay named new PNP spokesperson

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 16, 2021): Olay named new PNP spokesperson (By Priam Nepomuceno)

PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Olay (Photo courtesy of PNP PIO)

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, on Friday named Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Olay as the new spokesperson of the police force and head of its Public Information Office.

Olay, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1990, replaces Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana who will retire from the service upon turning 56 on April 20.

Before his present designation, he was erstwhile PNP deputy director for operations and National Capital Region Police Office deputy director for administration.

He also briefly served as director of the PNP Health Service and deputy director for comptrollership in 2020.

Olay led the Cagayan Police Provincial Office as its director from 2014 to 2016.

He served as director of the Batangas Provincial Mobile Force Battalion and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) district office in eastern Metro Manila, and as assistant chief of the CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division.

He was assigned at the PNP Maritime Group and Headquarters Support Service in various capacities.

Olay received formal training in intelligence and comptrollership at the PNP; maritime law enforcement in Malaysia; supervisory criminal investigation in Thailand; and commercial crimes investigation in Singapore and the US Embassy in Manila.

DND gets 50K Covid-19 test kits from Singapore gov't

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 16, 2021): DND gets 50K Covid-19 test kits from Singapore gov't (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Photo courtesy of DND

The Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday formally received 50,000 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) test kits donated by the Ministry of Defense of Singapore.

"The test kits which were delivered at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) will be issued to the VMMC and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC)," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Friday.

He said the VMMC is mandated to provide quality medical care and treatment to veterans and their dependents are under the purview of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

The AFPMC provides medical care to the military and civilian personnel of the AFP.

"Both PVAO and AFP are government bureaus under the DND," Andolong said.