Thursday, April 29, 2021

PH & US armies hold first-ever 'training rotation' in Fort Magsaysay

From the Manila Bulletin (Apr 27, 2021): PH & US armies hold first-ever 'training rotation' in Fort Magsaysay (By Roy Mabasa)

After wrapping up the successful annual Balikatan exercise last week, United States soldiers from the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) are now engaging in their first-ever partner training rotation with the Philippine Army, taking place from April to June 2021 at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

An American soldier from 5th SFAB provides instruction and shares best practices on Close Quarter Combat with Brigade Combat Team of the Philippine Army during their latest training exercise this month. (U.S. Embassy in the Philippines)

The bilateral events between the 5th SFAB and the Philippine Army involve subject matter expert exchanges across the spectrum of military operations to include communications, logistics, and unit training management.

Both sides are expected to learn and train, share best practices, collaborate on areas of mutual interest, and lay the groundwork for future exercises between the two nations.

“We are very excited to train with our Philippine partners,” said Capt. Oleg Sheynfeld, commander of the SFAB team in the Philippines. “Throughout our rotation, we will conduct subject matter expert exchanges to increase interoperability between our forces across the spectrum of military operations.”

The US team that arrived in the Philippines last month is part of the 5th SFAB’s Force Package 21-1, which began employing American soldiers into the Indo-Pacific in January 2021.

The 5th SFAB’s training teams are comprised of about 20 highly skilled, hand-selected soldiers capable of providing advanced training expertise in military specialties like communications, logistics, and medical aid. Collectively, the 5th SFAB team members bring with them more than 100 years of military experience.

Philippine Army Spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala welcomed the partnership between the two armies that aims to enhance the capabilities and interoperability of both forces in conventional, joint, and combined operations as it promotes solidarity in the global fight against terror in all its forms.

Among the Philippine Army units that are taking part in the bilateral exercise include the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the 99th Infantry Battalion, Training, and Doctrine Command, Support Command, and the Forward Service Support Unit.

Philippine Military: 2 Women Linked to BIFF Killed by Bomb Blast

From BenarNews (Apr 29, 2021): Philippine Military: 2 Women Linked to BIFF Killed by Bomb Blast (Jeoffrey Maitem and Mark Navales)

Moro Islamic Liberation Front members, local police and military forces secure a government facility in the village of Kitango, in the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao, Philippines, following clashes between security forces and militants linked to the Islamic State, April 29, 2021. Mark Navales/BenarNews

Violence involving government forces and pro-Islamic State militants erupted anew in the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan in the southern Philippines, leaving two women dead and six people injured, including a senior militant leader, the military said Thursday.

A bomb explosion in Maguindanao province on Wednesday morning killed the pair who the military said were linked to members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The military said the women – identified as Bahria Alon, 40, and Lagabai Mohalidin, 24, – were traveling with BIFF spokesman Abu Jihad when a bomb he was carrying prematurely exploded. Jihad was able to escape.

“Alon and Mohalidin were killed. One of them was a wife of a BIFF commander. They were traveling with Jihad when the explosion occurred,” army Col. Pete Balisi, commander of the 1st Mechanized Brigade, told BenarNews, adding that a third civilian was injured.

Balisi said Jihad was able to escape.

“Based on the accounts of our witnesses, he was wounded,” Balisi said.

The women were not considered as enemy combatants but as civilians linked to BIFF, he said.

The blast forced at least 549 families to evacuate their homes for safer grounds, local disaster officials reported.

Also on Wednesday, four soldiers were injured in a separate explosion while they were pursuing the militants, according to regional military spokesman Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar.

The blasts come a little more than a month after 14 BIFF militants died in a series of clashes in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, the region where the militants have evaded troops for years by hiding in jungle and swamp areas.

The BIFF is a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed a peace deal with Manila and controls a Muslim autonomous area in the south.

In January, BIFF militants carried out two roadside bombings in the south that killed three and injured scores of people. In 2019, the group carried out a series of bomb attacks in the south targeting a market and a restaurant that injured more than two dozen people.

BIFF members pledged allegiance to the Islamic State whose supporters launched an attack on the southern city of Marawi in 2017 that left more than 1,200 militants, security forces and civilians dead as a result of the five-month siege.

While BIFF did not send fighters to Marawi, it carried out diversionary attacks elsewhere.

Opinion: The NDF and its last anniversary

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Apr 16, 2021): The NDF and its last anniversary (By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.)

NATURA non facit saltus — nature does not make jumps, or so they say. That belief in continuity was ingrained in our scientific culture to the point that we have always thought this insurgency will stay. I will have to agree with Nassim Nicolas Taleb in his book Fooled by Randomness, especially since this extant case of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is one proof that 52 years of struggle can possibly be ended in a blink of an eye. That catalyst was provided by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).

My last article was a fearless forecast of the NPA’s demise in the very near future — 2021. Developments in the past two years at the strategic level, as well as on the ground, portend the down-spiraling of the CPP armed wing.

After the creation of the NTF-Elcac, chaired by no less than the Commander in Chief himself, the government was able to craft a plan that addresses all the programs of the CPP. With the interplay of the actions of the legal cooperation cluster, international engagement cluster, and the peace and law enforcement development support (Pleds) cluster composed of the security sector, the CPP now faces their biggest problem — the drying up of their funds.

After efforts to expose clearly the links of Gabriela, ACT and Anakbayan with the armed struggle, these organizations now face the prospect of being defunded by their European donors of the financial support that they have been receiving for who knows how long. After the successful engagements with the European Union and Belgium, documents would establish this foreign funding, which was of course channeled to semi-legal entities. As of this writing, the NTF-Elcac has validated the questionable existence of these organizations through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These organs carry different names, but have the same board of directors and addresses, and with expired registrations. These groups which are also listed as party-list groups, now face disqualification not only for receiving foreign funding, but more significantly, for their involvement in the armed struggle. To this day of course, they deny it, even after the series of Senate inquiries held to settle the issue of red-tagging, but casually caused the unmasking of these organizations as fronts for the violent agenda of the CPP founder, Jose Ma Sison.

Just recently, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) announced the freezing of the funds of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), as well as funding for the United Church of Christ in the Philippines-Home and Altar for Renewal, Action, and Nurture (UCCP Haran). This is further aggravating the case of CPP funding, especially since many of the CPP finance officers were reportedly disappearing with millions of party funds. In short, they are absconding with the monies of their own organization, possibly in anticipation of the collapse of the CPP. This is the common grievance expressed of recently surrendered rebels. They did not know where the millions of extortion money went when their fighters can hardly survive in the mountains, especially as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have stepped up their hunt for the armed group.

Insurgencies all over the world have always been asymmetrical. Because of the apparent disparity between contending forces, this internal conflict is always marred by issues of excessive use of force, hence the fascist-tagging. It’s a good thing that the thinking senators did not bite the bait of criminalizing red-tagging. It is simply the Left’s defense, when they face a more situationally aware NTF-Elcac which can distinguish between the dissenters allowed by law from the underground and violent dissidents. As they aptly said, it cannot rule against a government which is simply identifying them as such — Reds.

Yet some senators are not as smart — they insist on filing a bill to criminalize red-tagging. That to me is another indicator of an organization which now feels threatened with extinction.

Talking about extinction of terror groups, you cannot help but bring up the issue of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). As we went around Europe, the US and Australia to seek our allies’ support in ending terrorism by stopping their foreign funding, we were continually asked the same question: At your end, what has the Philippine government done to criminalize membership in this terrorist group, which they have all declared a terrorist organization? Well, the answer is in the ATC, which is now the subject of an ongoing petition from at least 37 organizations and individuals. Some of them have since converged into an alliance calling itself 1Sambayan, for whatever the name is worth.

When we graduated in 1987, the NPA strength was at its peak with 26,000 red fighters. By 1992, it was down to 11,000 and at 6,000 by 1995. When the counter-insurgency function was transferred by the AFP to the PNP and the party-list system effected in 1995, the CPP-NPA personnel strength again started to rise. It was up to 11,930 by 2007 when the Makabayan bloc got the largest number of party-list seats, with eight representatives. The NPA strength always climbed up every time there was ceasefire and peace talks. It hit its lowest with 3,789 in 2019, one NPA short than the previous year. This was mind-boggling because during that AFP campaign period, more than 3,400 NPA members were either killed, captured or surrendered.

So, where did the NPA get its replenishment of warriors?

In 2017, the CPP documents captured from central committee members Adelberto Silva and Vicente Ladlad, the National United Front Commission head, revealed that Anakbayan alone was able to recruit 8,635 young children, ages 13 to 17, into their ranks and this was as of September 2015. On top of this, there were these indigenous peoples recruited in the Salugpungan schools, Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. (Alcadev), Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (Trifpss), Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development Inc. (Clans), and UCCP Haran. The 23 minors rescued at the University of San Carlos (USC) in Talamban, Cebu, were just a few of them. Earlier in 2018, five of these indigenous children from Surigao were trafficked to Abra, via their Manilakbayan. Many of these indigenous children are being housed and radicalized at UP Diliman. With their Save Our School (SOS) campaign, these indigenous peoples are being toured in many universities and schools, in order to generate sympathy for their lies. For the most part, it is actually to generate funding from rich university students and foreign funders oblivious to this “taktikang bakwit” of the CPP.

Who orchestrates most of these funding-generating activities of the CPP? It is the National Democratic Front (NDF).

On April 24, the NDF will celebrate its 48th anniversary. Is there a reason for them to celebrate? Certainly. Not only because it could be their last also, but because of their many contributions to the armed struggle. To the armed struggle, let us be very clear about that.

If NDF Negros chairman Concha Araneta is to be believed, the NDF Negros is very proud to have contributed more than 50 casualties from the government side. The NDF statement culled from their archives also clearly show how they raise their heads high for their many contributions to the armed struggle. They do it through the NDF member organizations which you can see in their website

NDF member organizations

Among the prominent ones are the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), League of Filipino Students (LFS), Anakbayan, Kabataan and National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP); the Lupon ng Manananggol para sa Bayan (Lumaban) of National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL); Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka) of Gabriela; Katipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan (Kaguma) of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT); Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU) of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU); Compatriot of Courage; Christians for National Liberation (CNL) from the religious sector; and finally the Hukbong Mapagpalayang Bayan (HMB), or New People’s Army (NPA). Yes, the NPA is very much a part of the NDF, but all these members of the NDF, including their consultants Satur Ocampo, Randall Echanis, etc. refused to admit their complicity in all those bloody and violent attacks committed by the NPAs, ably supported by Karapatan, IBON, RMP, etc.

Is it any wonder then why they are so against red-tagging allegedly by the government, particularly by me? Their continuous exposure, not by us, but by their former colleagues, will spell their demise. “Front” has always been their only cover and why they have survived through the years. They call it the “revolutionary dual tactics,” where they call themselves democratic forces when all they are are communists; they classify themselves as progressive groups when all they do is create misery for the people; they attack the viciousness of tyrant governments and fascist leaders, when their constitution clearly states their adherence to a democratic and proletarian dictatorship; they denounce all kinds of abuse, of women, children, the poor, peasants, the IPs when what they do is exploit these sectors to the hilt.

One and the same – CPP-NPA-NDF

After five decades, they can no longer hide from us. We thank profusely the members of the Sambayanan, a group of former cadres of the CPP-NPA-NDF, for educating us on the duplicity of these monsters.

They managed to get seats in Congress, we will take them back. They managed to solidify their alliances with some senators, we will publicly disrobe them. They operate “legitimate” businesses now, we shall unmask them with all the legal tools we have in the government’s arsenal. They have expanded their network in the society, we will dismantle them.

Opinion: How the monster was born

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Apr 16, 2021): How the monster was born (By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.)

GOING back to that short but significant part of history that the liberals have always kept from us, let us all understand the beginnings of this monster and how it came about.

There is nothing new with this Oust Duterte noise we are hearing again. It has always been that way ever since these radicals were created by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968. Let me emphasize 1968 to remind us it is not about the strongman rule or fascism of the late President Marcos. This came about because of the machinations of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., Jose Ma Sison, and Nur Missuari. They created the CPP, the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to foment a rebellion from all fronts: Luzon and the Visayas with the NPA and Mindanao with the MNLF.

What was the aim of Senator Aquino and his cohorts? It was to create a revolutionary environment, which Jose Maria Sison predicted “will force Marcos to declare martial rule and that will then push activists to go underground.” Was there violence at this time that would merit declaration of martial law? This is neither a redundancy nor a typographical error. That is a plan, the plan, so no, there is none of those violence happening, except for intermittent killings in Mindanao by common thugs and warlords. Remember, this part of history was kept from us, and the liberal version of that history has been hammered down on us repeatedly through 34 years, until the current dispensation. Hence the need to hammer this fact repeatedly. Is this revisionism? Hardly.

This bright boy Joma and Ninoy Aquino correctly predicted what would happen should Marcos declare martial law. And so it happened. With the violence instigated by the CPP and MNLF, activists Rigoberto Tiglao, Luz Ilagan, Judy Tagiwalo, Satur Ocampo, de Vera and many more familiar names, mostly from the “tibak” community in Diliman (we can write all their names and make a 10-part series of this article if you want) went to the hills to join the underground CPP to continue with their propaganda work or to join the NPA as rebels. The latter include Lorena Barros, Maita Gomez, etc. Many of them will actually be very proud to have their names listed here. And this was after the relative peace was disturbed with the violence instigated by these traitors.

Come to think of it, many of these were simply “activists” fighting the perceived “tyranny” and “fascist dictatorship” brought about by the heavy-handed response of a regime hell bent on quelling a “fake rebellion” artificially created to rally support to the opposition represented by Senator Ninoy who merely wanted to dislodge Marcos from his seat. It is a very selfish but seditious agenda made legitimate because of the violent and uninformed response of a military hardly knowledgeable on how to address a political and a propaganda war.

Many members of the group who would soon identify themselves with First Quarter Storm (FQS) were the first to accuse the government of red-tagging. Indeed, at that time it was only the government’s intelligence dossiers that identified them falsely or accurately as members of the underground. Hence, red-tagging back then was a legitimate concern because if you are falsely tagged you will either end up tortured or killed. But that is hardly the case now.

In 1989, Jose Maria Sison clearly identified in a video interview these “legal front groups Gabriela, ACT, KMU, KMP, KM” etc. (the forerunner of Anakbayan, Kabataan, League of Filipino Students, which eventually became the underground mass organization of these youth organizations). Later after Joma was despicably released by Cory Aquino, together with many of the hardcore CPP-NPA members who would continue to fight the succeeding governments, including hers, would organize the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS). Again, he proudly identified all the other organizations created later to amass funds from international donors, do propaganda work against the government, infiltrate the UN system, and muster support from overseas and migrant workers.

It is therefore not the fault of the government to properly identify these red organizations and individuals as such. And by the way, there are living witnesses to attest to the truthfulness of what I’m writing, many of them were presented in the Senate inquiry on red-tagging. These should clarify a recent statement of former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio that I red-tagged these organizations. If justices were effectively hoodwinked by these “fake revolutionaries” about their true nature, what do we expect of ordinary citizens, more so if none of us lesser souls would speak about the duplicity of these criminals, because of the bullying of those in high offices, including the Senate and Congress?

Just to cite a few examples of how that fake scenario orchestrated by traitor Aquino and his friend Joma created hardcore personalities of the underground, remember that to this day the Tiamzon couple are still at large possibly directing their dying revolution, for whatever reason, other than the communist ideology which we all know to be dead.

I want to single out Jorge Ravelo Madlos @ORIZ/Ka Oris born in General Luna, Siargao, Surigao, adopted son of his uncle former Mayor Mauricio Ravelo of General Luna. He is a former member of the Reformist Youth Organization (RYO) at CMU and a former youth activist in the same school in the late 1960s. He is a member of the FQS in the 1970s and joined the underground armed struggle after the declaration of martial law in 1972. He was arrested in 1974, detained in Fort Bonifacio, and released by Cory Aquino. The rest is history.

Today, Madlos, the former secretary of the NPA’s Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) in the 1980s, is spokesperson of NDFP Mindanao, and was elected as head of the National Operation Command, NPA, National Military Commission. Currently he is also head of the National Political Commission, Central Committee. His wife is Maria Solarte @Malaya, at present the secretary of NEMRPC. Madlos is known more for his exploits in terrorizing businesses, burning equipment, extorting money from contractors and mining companies, and possibly funding the rebellion nationwide with the billions they are getting from extortion.

Who would know how many thousands of indigenous peoples he has killed or children he has recruited into the NPA ranks? He is very old, very sick and dying, but what we want readers to understand is that this is just one of the monsters Aquino and Joma have created, by conspiring to create the CPP-NPA-NDF for a political ambition they knew was impossible to be had at a time when the country’s economy was next to Japan, and with relative peace and national discipline that is intact, until it was broken by these fake revolutionaries, scammers and schemers.

On April 29, they will celebrate their last anniversary.

We know where they will go next — peace talks. But are we again to accede and save their asses should they get lucky with the next president we will elect, if we are not watchful?

Talking of peace talks, I shall write about this intensively and the NDF’s Comprehensive Agreement on Socio and Economic Reforms (Caser). If you heard Rep. France Castro asking the AFP to surrender their arms instead, that’s actually contained in the Caser document. Very interesting topic that will raise eyebrows. Abangan.

Opinion: Power of the purse and of the Army pen

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Apr 30, 2021): Power of the purse and of the Army pen (By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.)

THE verbal tussle between some members of the Senate and myself has escalated over the past week. It started with the community pantry in Maginhawa Street, which netizens and community members had brought to the attention of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac). I deliberately postponed making comments on that pantry because, first, I am convinced it is a very good project that people and organizations can emulate, albeit temporarily, during this time of hardship. Second, I wasn’t sure about the background of the organizers and the real agenda of the group. In fact, I was telling the members of the strategic communications or stratcom cluster to be cautious in approaching this issue as it could be a trap, a bait for them to attack us for red-tagging or red-baiting and make us appear to be insensitive to the conditions of the poor communities.

It was already becoming very clear that dubious groups were exploiting this otherwise noble initiative, with all the photos and videos shared by netizens of what some of these community pantries were doing other than sharing food: agitating people with hate slogans against the government, covertly distributing propaganda leaflets, asking people to sign blank sheets, and even conducting megaphone operations while distributing food. This was happening only in a few areas; the majority of the community pantries were quietly sharing food without fanfare. When the NTF-Elcac stepped in, there was an uproar, especially from middle forces. Never mind that the task force came in to perform its mandate to counter the propaganda that was visibly happening. People have no jobs, there is little food on the table, “well-meaning” groups came to alleviate their condition, a few posters here and there, and a media group on call in case the NTF-Elcac or the police would come and take the bait.

In hindsight, now we can say it was indeed a carefully laid trap.

With a well-prepared media, they were able to package the response of the government as anti-people, fascist, insensitive, uncalled for. With a little manipulation by the print media and the cunning way they played with our words, they were able to project the government and the NTF-Elcac as the villain attacking the Good Samaritan. Red-tagged, profiled, harassed, chilling effect, all terms coined in a seemingly well-orchestrated drama concocted by Armas, the Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan. As if in concert, all the anti-government forces and personalities, including those in the legislature, were quick to jump in. Siempre, trending. Fair game.

But to call us stupid and imbecilic? And therefore, the NTF-Elcac should be defunded? No, I cannot take that sitting down, especially since they are raising false arguments.

The senators averred that we red-tagged Ana Patricia Non, Anakpawis, Kilusang Mayo Uno or KMU and some other community pantry organizers, so other people are now afraid of setting up their own pantries. It doesn’t follow. The last time we checked, even after that alleged red-tagging, 400 more pantries have sprouted all over the country, almost all of which have genuine initiative to share food. Why? Precisely because they know that the government clearly supports the bayanihan spirit which we have always practiced in the past, without unnecessary publicity and drama.

They are also saying that what we are doing at the NTF-Elcac is shameful and the task force should be disbanded. Sayang lang daw pasweldo sa akin ng NTF-Elcac. Huh? Where did the senators get this wrong information? So, as the media played with our words, the senators must have made up their minds to the point of moving to defund the NTF-Elcac. Now this is awry, and I said in my interview that if these senators would indeed disband or defund the NTF-Elcac, then they must be really stupid, using exactly the same word that Sen. Richard Gordon used to describe me as well as Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy. The following day the Inquirer would come up with this headline: “Parlade: Senators stupid if they defund the task force.”

Context is important but, to some, it becomes irrelevant when ego is placed ahead of everything. I used a qualifier, if. Is that being disrespectful?

This is where this issue is getting out of hand. Is it syntax? The choice of words? Political correctness? Or ego? As of this writing 15 senators have signed the petition to censure me for my “stupid” comment and five more to defund the NTF-Elcac.

I acknowledge I have a lot of catching up to do to improve my communication skills. I’m not cut for this job so I’m really just trying hard to cope with the demands of this role as spokesperson. I am a product of a public school, from kinder up to college, and from where I came from, communications is the least of its expertise. In Fort Del Pilar, what we learned was basic Army English, full of cadet lingo and jargon that only the corps understands. So, why am I here with The Manila Times and the NTF-Elcac as its spokesperson? Because there is a job to do, and somebody has to do it.

In 2010, I was designated the spokesman for the Army. I was hesitant because of my poor command of English and Filipino. I had problems with grammar and everything. I am a Bicolano, and our local diction doesn’t help much either. I took the job just the same because no one else would meet the requirement of the commander. He wanted someone who knew him well, his vision for the Army, and was as passionate as he was in the performance of his job. My only consolation was that I was given the latitude to speak from the heart on the Army’s behalf. In my Commander’s own words: “I know you, you know me, say what you have to say and that’s going to be my position and that of the Army. It was a good deal.”

So, we stood by our position on the Morong 38. The Morong 38 were eventually released by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima but that never changed the fact that they were members of the NPA or New People’s Army and not health workers as they claimed. Came the Basilan carnage where we stood pat on our recommendation that justice should be pursued by suspending the ceasefire in Basilan, if only to get the Abu Sayyaf Group and Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF criminals responsible for the slaughter of 19 soldiers. That’s the only honorable thing to do so the morale of the troops wouldn’t suffer. It led to my relief as Army spokesman, the order being issued by no less than President Benigno Aquino 3rd himself. The message to commanders then was clear: Stand down if it is about the MILF. For that, we lost another 44 soldiers from the SAF, the Special Action Force, during the Mamasapano incident, a few years later.

Yes, being a spokesman and speaking up against the wishes of the powers-that-be, involves a lot of risk. And more than the little Army English that I have, it’s the character that the Army molded me with that gives me the courage and determination to stand bold, and often lonely, against the odds.

Terrorism in the Philippines in 2020FormatAnalysis

 Posted to the Relief Web (Apr 30, 2021): Terrorism in the Philippines in 2020FormatAnalysis

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[Siddharth Anil Nair analyses data gathered by IPCS’ Southeast Asia Research Programme for a project mapping the pandemic's social, political, security, and economic impact across the region]

By the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had created conditions for greater population control and surveillance, allowing Southeast Asian states seeking to dismantle terror groups (TG) the opportunity to do so. While the pandemic had forced TGs to cease high-intensity operations (HIO), they were able to reconsolidate capabilities for such operations in the future.

New data gathered by IPCS’ Southeast Asia Research Programme for a project mapping the impact of the pandemic on various social, political, and economic issues in the region, allows a more rounded assessment of terrorism in the Philippines through 2020. Given that the project is evolving in real-time, the data collected so far indicates that the pandemic had a transient impact on terror operations; with a first quarter lull followed by an escalatory third quarter peak.

Terror and Counter-terror

The immediate impact of the pandemic, i.e. limits on movement, forced HIOs conducted by regional TGs to come to a standstill in the first quarter of the year. As a result, they turned to the online world to expand communications and recruitment operations. This in turn increased the number of low-intensity terror operations (LIO) in the Philippines –beheadings, drive-by shootings, and kidnappings.

Even the ceasefires like those announced by the government and the New People’s Army (NPA) in March 2020 simply stayed inevitable fighting. Immediately after the ceasefire deadline, NPA attacks on military and police patrols had resumed, e.g in April, NPA militants ambushed and killed Philippine Army (PA) soldiers in Aurora.

Some groups, like the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), were not afforded the ‘ceasefire treatment’. In March, a PA force was mobilised to Maguindanao to ‘pre-empt’ terror attacks. A week into the campaign, PA troops conducted a raid against BIFF militants resulting in massive casualties on both sides. Similarly, ASG militants were subject to seek-and-destroy and raid missions, with a number of open fighting events taking place across Sulu. In one instance, PA troops engaged close to 40 ASG militants in Patikul, resulting in the deaths of 11 militants and 14 soldiers.

PA missions remain focused on culling militant leadership and to some degree, these operations were successful. In June, PA troops searching for a BIFF commander were successful in neutralising militants and capturing him in Sultan Kudarat. Other operations were not as successful. An August raid to capture an ASG bomb expert resulted in the arrest of his supporters, but he was able to escape the security cordon – twice. Only two weeks after his escape, Jolo witnessed a twin bombing –a motorcycle bomb and a suicide attack –that killed 14 and injured 74.

Between these high-intensity attacks, TGs continued to carry out LIOs. In January, unknown perpetrators assassinated a retired police general in Pangasinan. In May, BIFF militants killed a government official in Maguindanao. Kidnappings, like those of Indonesian fishermen near Tawi-Tawi island, continued throughout the year.

2020: The Nature of Conflict in the Philippines

Terror and counter-terror operations rose in 2020 as compared to 2019. However, it would be incorrect to say that terror-based conflict in the Philippines in 2020 was of a low-intensity. Importantly, the proportion of LIOs remained lower than HIOs. The number of terror events also began to increase in the second quarter of the year.

Southeast Asian responses to the pandemic have been highly ‘securitised’. The need to fill-in immediate logistical and capability gaps such as population control, surveillance, and distribution brought security institutions in closer contact with civilian areas. In an environment already characterised by terrorism, best exemplified by the 2017 battle for Marawi, this contact was simply reinforced.

Similarly, Islamist TGs have invoked the pandemic as ‘divine intervention’; a diversion and punishment provided to continue to wage jihad against non-believers. ISIS-affiliates in Southeast Asia, now bolstered by the repatriation of fighters from Syria-Iraq, and following the fall of Raqqa, have taken over from their West Asian counterparts. With the fundamentalist conception of ‘Dar-e-Islam’ being set back, Southeast Asia has become the focus of global Islamist terror. ISIS-conceived provinces in the east may still remain a goal for TGs in the Philippines. Also, ongoing online recruitment and propaganda operations may have led to greater manpower, thus allowing more HIOs.

While indigenous Islamist TGs have not turned to social movements as a substitute for terror operations like their Indonesian counterparts, communist rebels, specifically the NPA, were more amenable to humanitarian calls for ceasefires, and even set up “humanitarian corridors” to allow the passage of COVID-19 aid. This isn't to say however that communist TGs, unlike Islamist groups, did not view the pandemic as an opportunity.

One question requires further data: who initiated these incidents? The answer can clarify whether terror or counter-terror operations increased in 2020. Available data suggests a 50:50 split; certain significant events, such as the August raid in Manila, have been noted as initiated by the PA. However, the presence of numerous ‘gun-battles’, ‘clashes’, ‘ambushes’ and ‘open-fighting’ cases blur the line for an accurate conclusion of whose operations were ultimately higher in number.


2020 was a peak year for terrorism in the Philippines: both HIOs and LIOs rose in number. State actors had an upper hand in mobilising and posturing forces before TGs. The pandemic also forced TGs to operate in a more lateral manner. While HIOs were ‘absent’ in the first quarter of 2020, its peak in the third quarter was comparable to—if not more than—its 2019 peak. In other words, the pandemic had a transient impact on terror operations in the Philippines last year.

[Siddharth Anil Nair is Research Assistant with IPCS’ Southeast Asia Research Programme (SEARP).]

U.S. Army 5th SFAB and Philippine Army conduct bilateral training in Nueva Ecija

Panay News (Apr 28, 2021): U.S. Army 5th SFAB and Philippine Army conduct bilateral training in Nueva Ecija

U.S. soldiers from the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) arrived in the Philippines last month to conduct their first-ever partner training rotation with the Philippine Army, with bilateral training events taking place April to June 2021, in strict adherence to Philippine government COVID-19 safety protocols. Engagements will take place primarily at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

The 5th SFAB and Philippine Army will conduct subject matter expert exchanges across the spectrum of military operations to include communications, logistics, and unit training management.

Through these combined engagements U.S. soldiers will learn and train alongside Philippine partners, sharing best practices and collaborating on areas of mutual interest, laying the groundwork for future exercises between the two nations.

“We are very excited to train with our Philippine partners,” said Capt. Oleg Sheynfeld, commander of the SFAB team in the Philippines. “Throughout our rotation we will conduct subject matter expert exchanges to increase interoperability between our forces across the spectrum of military operations.”

This team is part of the 5th SFAB’s Force Package 21-1, which began employing U.S. soldiers into the Indo-Pacific in January 2021.

5th SFAB’s training teams are comprised of about 20 highly-skilled, hand-selected soldiers capable of providing advanced training expertise in military specialties like communications, logistics, and medical aid. Collectively, the 5th SFAB team brings with them more than 100 years of military experience.

The team will partner with various Philippine Army units, including the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the 99th Infantry Battalion, Training and Doctrine Command, Support Command, and the Forward Service Support Unit.

“The Philippine Army and U.S. Army bilateral training aims to enhance the capabilities and interoperability of both forces in conventional, joint and combined operations as it promotes solidarity in the global fight against terror in all its forms,” said Philippine Army Spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala.

U.S. Army Pacific and 5th SFAB are committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The team is strictly adhering to Philippine government COVID-19 guidelines.

At full capacity, the 5th SFAB operates with 820 professional advisors specially selected, trained, and equipped to advise, support, liaise, and assess with conventional partner security forces from the battalion to corps levels to build capacity in support of regional security. When called upon, the unit can employ up to 61 advisor teams to integrate with conventional foreign partner security forces.

People shunning us, says Antique rebel

Posted to Panay News (Apr 30, 2021: People shunning us, says Antique rebel

According to “Toto” (left), he decided to leave the New People’s Army because support from the communities is waning. He is shown here talking to policemen and soldiers at the Sibalom, Antique police station where he surrendered on April 28. PRO-6 PHOTO

“Gintabog na kami sang pumoluyo.”

People were shooing them away, according to a 22-year-old man who turned himself in to the police station here on April 28.

According to alias “Toto”, he was the team leader of Squad-3, Team-2 of the Central Front Committee, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) operating in Tapaz, Capiz.

He joined the underground movement six years ago, he added.

It was his brother, also a former rebel, who persuaded him to surrender.

According to “Toto”, he decided to leave the CPP-NPA because support from the communities was waning.

“Gutom na gid didto kag ginatabog na kami sang mga pumuluyo,” he said./PN

3 Iloilo City brgys insurgency-free

Posted to Panay News (Apr 30, 2021: 3 Iloilo City brgys insurgency-free (By Ruby Silubrico)

ILOILO City – Three villages here were declared free from New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

Bitoon, Tabuc Suba and Balabago in Jaro district
were now deemed “cleared” after a nine-month operation of the Community Support Program (CSP) personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Captain Ivy Arcangeles, commanding officer of the 33rd Civil Military Office (CMO), said
one of the successes of the program was the re-organization of former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CCP-NPA) groups into bayanihan organizations.

These organizations includes the Sitio Ilaya Hugpong Bayanihan Urban Poor Association (SIHBUPA) and Barangay Bitoon Bayanihan Newsite Bayanihan Association (BBNSBA).

Arcangeles said her troops were stationed in the barangays since July 2020, even with the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“For almost nine months, the CSP team contributed a lot not only in clearing the barangays from the influence of the CPP-NPA and allied groups but also in their fight against COVID-19,” she said.

Troops were also deployed to Molo district’s barangays West Timawa, North Fundidor and South Fundidor; Barangay Navais in Mandurriao district; Barangay Sinikway in Lapuz district; Barangay Baldoza in La Paz district; and Barangay MV Hechanova in Jaro district.

Brigadier General Marion Sison, commander of the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade, lauded officials and residents for their accommodation and support to the CSP operators.

The culmination of the CSP in three city villages, Sison said, “was a manifestation of how effective the collaborative effort of the Army, local officials and the populace.”

He urged the chairmen of the seven barangays to extend the same support to the CSP teams stationed in each.

“Sa bayanihan matutuldukan ang terorismo dulot ng komunismo. Let’s help one another end the armed struggle,” Sison said.

CPP/NDF-Sison: Keynote speech to the video conference to celebrate the 48th anniversary of NDFP

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 25, 2021): Keynote speech to the video conference to celebrate the 48th anniversary of NDFP


APRIL 24, 2021

Dear compatriots and friends,

I wish to thank my Filipino compatriots in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle/ Friends of the NDFP for inviting me to serve as the keynote speaker in the celebration of the NDFP 48th anniversary celebration.

I wish to speak on the important role of the NDFP in the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy since its founding on April 24, 1973. In the process, I shall cite the NDFP’s struggles, sacrifices and achievements.

The NDFP’s most important role in the democratic revolution is to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of Filipino people in their tens of millions and to seek international solidarity, support and cooperation. For the purpose, it encompasses 18 allied organizations representing all patriotic and progressive classes and sectors of Philippine society belonging to various political tendencies, ethno-linguistic communities and religious beliefs.

The allied organizations include the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Manggagawa, Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid, Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan, Kabataang Makabayan, Katipunan ng Gurong Makabayan, Makabayang Samahan Pangkalusugan, Liga ng Agham para sa Bayan, Lupon ng Manananggol para sa Bayan, Artista at Manunulat para sa Sambayanan, Makabayang Kawaning Pilipino, Revolutionary Organization of Overseas Filipinos and their Families, Christians for National Liberation, Cordillera People’s Democratic Front , Moro Resistance and Liberation Organization and Revolutionary Organization of Lumads.

The NDFP has been successful at promoting and building the revolutionary organs of political power at the grassroots and higher levels, expanding and consolidating all its allied organizations, broadening the national united front against every unjust regime, carrying out diplomatic and solidarity relations and raising resources for the advance of the people’s democratic revolution.

The NDFP was conceived, born, developed and tempered in the crucible of the struggle against the US-supported Marcos fascist dictatorship. It worked hard to fight, isolate and defeat the dictatorship and made sacrifices, including martyrdom and imprisonment of many of its adherents. Ultimately, it played a decisive role in the overthrow of the fascist dictatorship in 1986.

Thereafter, it has responded positively to every serious expression of every post-Marcos regime to engage in peace negotiations. But always in the interest of a just peace, it has rebuffed and opposed every attempt to make the revolutionary forces capitulate and let the enemies of the people reign without resistance.

During the time of Ramos, the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations succeeded in forging the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, which set forth the aim and purpose of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through basic economic, social and political reforms and provided the substantive agenda and methods of negotiating and making the necessary agreements.

More than ten important agreements have been made, including the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the first of the four items in the substantive agenda.

The negotiations have been long drawn because every post-Marcos regime has used them for only the first six months or so of their terms of office to consolidate their political positions. Uniformly, they have cited the pro-US and anti-communist military officers of the reactionary armed forces as the obstacle to the progress of the peace negotiations.

In the case of the current regime, Duterte exposed its bad faith in peace negotiations by adopting and stepping up its all-out war policy against the revolutionary movement, by committing atrocities and blaming them on the CPP and NPA and failing to fulfill Duterte’s promise to amnesty and release all political prisoners.

The Duterte regime allowed its pro-US and anti-communist retired and active military officers to sabotage the peace negotiations exactly when these were going relatively fast in the making of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

Following the order of the US President Trump, the puppet Duterte issued Proclamation 360 to terminate the peace negotiations on November 23, 2017 and Proclamation 374 to misrepresent the CPP and NPA as “terrorists” on December 5, 2017. Further, he formed the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in 2018.

Worst of all, he signed the Anti-Terror Law of 2020 for the brazen purpose of state terrorism. He has used red-tagging in order to pave the way for the arbitrary arrest, torture and murder of social activists, critics, oppositionists, human rights defenders and even the NDFP peace consultants who are entitled to the protection of the JASIG.

Duterte has terminated the peace negotiations in order to scapegoat the CPP and NPA and cite them as pretext for engaging in state terrorism and perpetuating his traitorous, tyrannical, mass murdering, plundering and swindling rule. He openly worships and emulates the toxic memory of the fascist dictator.

He hopes to do better than Marcos in trying to destroy the revolutionary movement when in fact the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system has become far worse than during the time of Marcos, due to the catastrophic consequences of neoliberalism, bureaucratic corruption and military overspending. The crisis is further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revolutionary strength of the CPP, NPA and the NDFP and other revolutionary forces of the people has become greater than ever before. Thus, Duterte and all his armed minions present themselves as fools by threatening every year to destroy the NPA and in effect admitting their failure to do so in the previous year, despite the most terrible forms of brutality and extortion inflicted on the people.

The ground for the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war will remain fertile so long as foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism persist. These are the root causes of the armed revolution which will persevere until it wins total victory and usher in the socialist revolution.

The Duterte regime is practically in the final year of its legal term. But it is trying to stay in power, with Duterte as fascist dictator or with his handpicked successor who will continue his tyrannical rule. In these circumstances, the NDFP is again playing a major role in bringing about the broadest possible united front to fight, isolate and overthrow the Duterte tyranny.

Upon the advent of a relatively patriotic and democratic government, the NDFP will continue to be open to peace negotiations in accordance with the mandate from its 18 allied organizations. It is but logical to expect that the armed revolution will further intensify if Duterte or his surrogate manages to stay in power or if another rabid anti-communist regime takes over and pursues the same counter-revolutionary policies like those of Duterte.

The NDFP can be relied upon to do whatever it must do in order to advance towards a just peace of national independence, genuine democracy, economic development through land reform and national industrialization, social justice, cultural progress and international solidarity with all peoples of the world. In any case, the NDFP will always need the support of the Filipino people and the peoples of the world.

The Filipino people and the NDFP are confident that the new democratic revolution will ever win greater victories in the Philippines as the crisis of the domestic ruling system worsens and compels them to fight back and as the world capitalist system worsens and the peoples of the world rise up and wage mass struggles against imperialism and all reaction. Thank you.###

CPP/NPA-Bicol ROC: Isang kwarto ng Kabiguan para sa JTFB

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 24, 2021): Isang kwarto ng Kabiguan para sa JTFB


APRIL 24, 2021

Walang makabuluhang tropeyong maipapangangalandakan sa publiko ang Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) matapos ang sunud-sunod na bigwas ng aksyong militar sa buong rehiyon nitong unang kwarto ng 2021. Ngayong Abril, nagkukumahog ang buong Regional Task Force To End Local Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) sa pagtatakip ng kanilang mga palpak na operasyong paniktik at operasyong kombat laban sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan-Bikol. Hirit din ang kanilang silinyador sa pagbibigay-matwid sa pananalakay ng pinagsanib na pwersa ng militar at pulis at mga sibilyang ahensya ng gubyerno sa sibilyang populasyon, partikular sa mga magsasaka.

Nitong Abril 5, binigo ng mga Pulang mandirigma ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan-Tomas Pilapil Command ang paglusob ng 12 militar mula sa 96th IB sa Del Carmen, Lagonoy, Camarines Sur. Nagresulta ito sa pagkamatay ng hindi bababa sa apat at pagkasugat ng 5 pang militar. Ilang oras matapos nito, ginulantang din ng command detonated explosives ang isang trak na magdadagdag ng tropa na tutugis sa nakaatras nang mga kasama at magtatago sa publiko ng kanilang mga kaswalti. Abril 9, alas-5 ng hapon, isang depensibang labanan ang naganap sa pagitan ng isa pang yunit ng TPC at mga militar sa Brgy. Map-id, Lagonoy, Camarines Sur. Sa muling pagkabigo na malipol ang isang tim ng TPC-BHB, pinalalabas ng mga upisyal ng 9th ID na umaabot sa lampas 50 pulang mandirigma ang kanilang nakasagupa at madilim na nangyari ang labanan (8pm). Buong pusong nag-alay ng kanyang buhay ang isang kasama para ligtas na makaatras ang iba pa niyang kakolektibo.

Habang lalong tumitilaok ang JTFB, lalo lamang itong nasasamid sa sarili nitong mga kasinungalingan. Sa sobrang pagkalango sa kanilang mga nasamsam, nakalilimot si Maj. Gen Henry Robinson na siya at ilang platun ng militar at pulis na ligtas na nakapagpasa-pasa ng mga CDX mula sa Del Carmen, Lagonoy ang mismong patunay kung gaano katotoong puputok lamang ang mga ito kapag ikinumand. Ang labag sa mga internasyunal na batas ng digma ay ang mga bombang walang pagtatangi sa kanilang mga target. Nangangatal ang labi ng buong institutisyon ng mersenaryong hukbo dahil batid nilang walang ibang target ang CDX ng BHB kung hindi ang kanilang hanay.

CPP/NPA-Sorsogon: Ang mga traydor sa kilusan ay lehitimong target ng NPA

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 25, 2021): Ang mga traydor sa kilusan ay lehitimong target ng NPA


APRIL 25, 2021

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Nanawagan kamakailan si Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., kumander ng Joint Task Force Bicolandia at ng 9th Infantry Division, sa CPP-NPA sa rehiyon na tigilan na ang pagpatay sa mga sumukong NPA na aniya’y nagbabagong-buhay na at namumuhay nang tahimik. Reaksyon niya ito sa pinakahuling operasyon ng NPA-Sorsogon nitong Abril 22 kung saan napatay ang “rebel returnee” na si Norberto Bandojo Jr.

Nais lang naming ilinaw na ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan ay walang polisiya ng pagpatay sa mga dating kasamang sumusuko sa reaksyunaryong gobyerno. Boluntaryo ang pagsapi sa NPA kaya nasa pasya ng bawat indibidwal na kasapi ang pag-alis sa organisasyon kapag hindi na nila kaya ang sakripisyo ng buhay-gerilya o hindi na nila kayang tumalima sa bakal na displina ng hukbo o di kaya nama’y hindi na sila naniniwala sa rebolusyonaryong adhikain. Kanilang-kanila rin ang desisyon kung ano ang nais nilang gawin matapos umalis sa Pulang hukbo—patuloy bang susuporta sa pakikibaka bilang sibilyan o tuluyan nang tatalikod sa rebolusyonaryong landas? Sabihin pa, ang pagsuko sa kaaway ay isang opsyon na tanging sila lamang din ang makapagpapasya.

Hindi ang pagsurender ang dahilan ng parusang ipinataw sa mga dating NPA na sina Antonio Benzon Jr. alyas Hazel, Michael Donaire alyas Abe at Norbert Bandojo Jr. alyas Patrick. Pinarusahan sila dahil sa pagtataksil nila sa rebolusyon na ginawa nila sa pamamagitan ng pagsasalong ng mga baril na pag-aari ng CPP-NPA, aktibong paglahok sa mga combat at intelligence operation ng AFP at PNP, at panggigipit at pagpatay sa mga pinagbibintangang kaanib ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Ang mga aktibidad nila mismo matapos sumurender ang nagpapabulaan sa sinasabi ni Major General Robinson na namumuhay na sila ng tahimik. Ang totoo lamang sa kanyang mga sinabi ay ang kanilang pagbabagong-buhay—mula sa pagiging mga rebolusyonaryong naglilingkod sa masang inaapi tungo sa pagiging armadong ahente ng estadong nang-aapi.

Ang mga surendering nabanggit ay ipinahamak ng mismong estadong nagpasuko sa kanila. Kung hindi sila ginamit ng AFP at PNP sa armadong kontrarebolusyon, hindi sana sila naging lehitimong target ng NPA.

Sa ngayon ay mukhang walang plano ang reaksyunaryong militar at pulisya na tigilan na ang paggamit sa mga surenderi bilang mga kombatant at ahenteng paniktik laban sa rebolusyon. Ang mga tumatangging magpagamit ay maaaring matulad kay Michael Bagasala alyas Teban na pinatay mismo ng mga tropa ng PNP at 31st IB dahil ayaw niyang ipahamak ang mga kaanak na inaakusahang aktibo sa NPA. Sala sa init, sala sa lamig—ganito ang nakalulungkot na kinasasapitan ng mga sumusko sa ilalim ng E-CLIP.

Kaya nasa estado ang bola, wika nga. Nasa estado ang desisyon kung talagang ayaw nito na malagay sa panganib ang buhay ng mga sumusukong NPA.

CPP/NPA-Sorsogon: Kaligtasan ng mga surenderee nasa kamay ng estado—Ka Samuel Guerrero

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 25, 2021): Kaligtasan ng mga surenderee nasa kamay ng estado—Ka Samuel Guerrero


APRIL 25, 2021

“Desisyon ng gubyerno kung talagang ayaw nito na malagay sa panganib ang buhay ng mga sumusukong NPA” ito ang pahayag ni Ka Samuel Guerrero, tagapagsalita ng Celso Minguez Command, NPA Sorsogon hinggil sa panawagan kamakailan ni Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., kumander ng Joint Task Force Bicolandia at ng 9th Infantry Division, sa CPP-NPA sa rehiyon na tigilan na ang pagpatay sa mga sumukong NPA na aniya’y nagbabagong-buhay na at namumuhay nang tahimik.

Paglilinaw ni Ka Samuel Guerrero “walang polisiya ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan ng pagpatay sa mga dating kasamang sumusuko sa reaksyunaryong gobyerno. Boluntaryo ang pagsapi sa NPA kaya nasa pasya ng bawat indibidwal na kasapi ang pag-alis sa organisasyon kapag hindi na nila kaya ang sakripisyo ng buhay-gerilya o hindi na nila kayang tumalima sa bakal na displina ng hukbo. Kanilang-kanila rin ang desisyon kung ano ang nais nilang gawin matapos umalis sa Pulang hukbo.”

Ayon pa kay Ka Samuel Guerrero “Hindi ang pagsurender ang dahilan ng parusang ipinataw sa mga dating NPA na sina Antonio Benzon Jr. alyas Hazel, Michael Donaire alyas Abe at Norbert Bandojo Jr. alyas Patrick. Pinarusahan sila dahil sa pagtataksil nila sa rebolusyon na ginawa nila sa pamamagitan ng pagsasalong ng mga baril na pag-aari ng CPP-NPA, aktibong paglahok sa mga combat at intelligence operation ng AFP at PNP, at panggigipit at pagpatay sa mga pinagbibintangang kaanib ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan.”

Dagdag pa ni Ka Samuel Guerrero “Ang mga surendering nabanggit ay ipinahamak ng mismong estadong nagpasuko sa kanila. Kung hindi sila ginamit ng AFP at PNP sa armadong kontrarebolusyon, hindi sana sila naging lehitimong target ng NPA.”#

CPP/NDF-Eastern Visayas: Abolish the NTF-ELCAC and reallocate its P19 billion fund as aid for the lockdown and typhoon-stricken poor

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 26, 2021): Abolish the NTF-ELCAC and reallocate its P19 billion fund as aid for the lockdown and typhoon-stricken poor


APRIL 26, 2021

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today joins the calls of various sectors to reallocate the P19 billion fund of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) as aid for poor Filipinos who are now doubly burdened by the economic lockdown and the recent typhoon Bising.

We propose further that the task force should all together be abolished. Its officials who were responsible for the malicious red-tagging of activists, government critics, and organizers of well-meaning humanitarian initiatives such as community pantries must also be accountable for endangering innocent civilians in the name of their anti-communist hysteria.

The NTF-ELCAC is anti-people and serves no one else but Duterte. It is his civil-miliary junta which he wields against his critics and opponents. The irresponsible and dangerous statements by its spokespersons Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. and Lorraine Badoy expose it to be a rotten and fascist-minded institution undeserving of the people’s money.

The P19-billion fund of the NTF-ELCAC forms only part of the Duterte regime’s multi-billion war chest for counter-insurgency. Throughout the country the regime is launching focused military operations, which can cost at least P200 million a year per region. In Eastern Visayas alone at least 16 towns are under attack by the FMOs of the 8th Infantry Division; one FMO has lasted for two years. Month- and year-long Retooled Community Support Program operations continue in hundreds of barrios in all provinces. Such expenses for combat and psychological warfare operations, that not only ignore the roots of the armed conflict but rather exacerbate them, are a complete waste of resources.

Compared to Duterte’s multi-billion war chest, mere cents were allocated for the millions of poor Filipinos whose livelihoods were destroyed by the Duterte regime’s reckless economic lockdown and most recently by Typhoon Bising. In spite of the millions of workers who lost their jobs in the mere two weeks of the enhanced community quarantine, aid was measly, slow and insulting. More are set for worse hunger and poverty as thousands of peasants were displaced and hundreds of millions of pesos worth of agricultural assets were destroyed due to the storm.

Such disproportionate spending reflects the tyranny and callousness of the Duterte regime. It is blind not only to the poor but also to a public health care system that continues to limp through the pandemic. The sick are sleeping in line while waiting to be admitted into hospitals already operating in full capacity. Vaccination is limited and moves at a snail’s pace, as the number of infections and deaths rise unabated.

The people must continue to demand the defunding of Duterte’s war chest. Immediate and commensurate economic relief for the poor, along with a strengthened scientific response to the pandemic which include mass testing, immediate and systematic contact tracing, free hospitalization, and mass vaccination, must be prioritized in terms of budget appropriations. #

CPP/NPA-Abra: Vincent “Vr” Garcia sagadsaring kontra-rebolusyon at kontra-mamamayan

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 26, 2021): Vincent “Vr” Garcia sagadsaring kontra-rebolusyon at kontra-mamamayan


APRIL 26, 2021

Pinarusahan ng Special Operation Group ng Agustin Begnalen Command si Vincent Garcia alyas Vr, isang sagdsaring kontra-rebolusyon na miyembro ng CAA at sangkot sa iba pang kriminal na aktibidad. Bandang Alas 9 ng umaga noong Sabado ng April 24 matagumpay na iginawad ng ABC-NPA Abra ang dusang kamatayan kay Vincent sa kanyang piggery sa Sagang Brgy. Poblacion, Lacub, Abra.

Ang mga kontra rebolusyon na aktibidad ni Vr ay ang mga sumusunod:
1. Espiya ng 24th IB; Paggigiya sa mararahas na combat operation ng 24th IB sa Abra na nagresulta sa panggigipit ng militar sa mga sibilyan;
2. Pagpapanggap na NPA at pagnanakaw ng mga armas ng sibilyan at NPA sa Tubo, Abra noong 2016 kasama ng ilang pang ahente ng militar;
3. Tuluy-tuloy na harasment at paniniktik sa mga sibilyan sa paradahan ng jeep na biyaheng Bangued to Upland Municipalities.

Si Vr ay dating NPA, pero dahil sa mga paglabag niya sa disiplina at hindi pagwawasto sa mga ito nagpasya ang komite ng Partido na pabalikin siya sa baryo. Mula ng nasa komunidad nila naging pasimuno ito ng mga panggugulo, paglalasing at paggamit ng ipinababawal na droga. Noong 2011 kasagsagan ng pagpasok ng dayuhang eksplorasyon ng minas sa Lacub ay pinaigting ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno ang pagtatayo ng Special Civillian Auxillary Army (SCAA) at Police Auxillary Unit (PAU) upang maging dagdag security forces ng AFP-PNP na magpoprotekta sa interes ng malalaking kumpanya. Pawang mga goons ng pulitiko ang narekrut sa CAA upang maging legal ang paghawak nila ng Armas bilang goons.

Hanggang noong 2016 naglunsad ng strike operation ang militar sa Tubo Abra kung saan kabilang dito si Vr at isa pang “ex-NPA” bilang guide sa operasyon. Nakapasok na sa loob ng kampo ng NPA si Vr ngunit maagap na hinuli at inenteroga sya ng mga pulang mandirigma at agad na pinahigpitan ang depensa sa kampo. Sa pangyayaring ito nakatakas si VR. Nagpatuloy ang mga kontra-rebolusyong aktibidad nito hanggang sa huling sandali.

Iba pang kontra-mamamayang rekord ni Vr.
1. Talamak sa paggamit ng ilegal na droga,
2. Talamak na pagpapasimuno ng ilegal na pangingisda sa ilog
3. Kahalayan sa kababaihan kung saan nitong nakaraang buwan lamang ay inereklamo sya sa kasong Violence Against Women & Children (VAWC)

Walang naging aksyon ang mga pulis sa Lacub sa ganitong mga ilegal na gawain bagkus ay patuloy pa rin siyang ginagamit ng militar at PNP sa mga operasyon.

Bago pa man pumasok bilang CAA si Vr samu’t saring gulo at kaso ang inerereklamo ng mga mamamayan ng Lacub laban sa kanya tuwing nalalasing at lulong sa droga. Isa lang si Vr sa mga notoryus at sangkot sa maraming ilegal na gawain na narekrut sa CAA simula noong kainitan ng aplikasyon ng malalaking kompanya ng minas sa lugar. Mas lalong naging talamak ito mula ng marekrut sa CAA.

Ang pagpaparusa kay Vincent Garcia ay magsisilbing warning sa iba pang ex-NPA, CAFGU, sibilyan assets at mga “bonet gang” na patuloy na nagpapagamit sa anti-mamamayan at anti-rebolusyong programa ng AFP-PNP sa ilalim ng berdugong rehimen ni Duterte na OPLAN-Kapanatagan/ NTF-ELCAC.

Nananawagan ang ABC-NPA Abra sa mamamayan ng Abra na huwag magpalinlang at huwag magpagamit sa kurap na AFP-PNP. Ang mga masa mismo ang saksi sa kabulukang ipinalalaganap ng pulisya at militar sa ating mga komunidad. Alam ng lahat na ang AFP-PNP ang silang nagtataguyod ng mga illegal na droga, sugal, prostitusyon at gun-for-hire na sindikato ng mga warlord-pulitiko. Ang bilyong pondong hawak ng NTF-ELCAC ay ginagamit lang ng gubyerno ni Duterte para swelduhan ang mga kriminal na militar, pulis, CAFGU, at mga “death squads para sa layuning manatili ang paghaharing diktador sa gubyerno sa tabing ng “pederalismo”, at ang nalalapit na pandaraya sa susunod na eleksyon.

Ibagsak ang tiranong rehimeng Duterte!

Mamamayang Abrenio, labanan ang NTF-ELCAC!

Lumahok at ibayong isulong ang Digmang Bayan!

CPP/IB: CPP denounces another wave of coordinated fascist attacks in Bicol

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 27, 2021): CPP denounces another wave of coordinated fascist attacks in Bicol


APRIL 27, 2021

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced successive extrajudicial killings and illegal arrests by police and military officers in Bicol provinces from April 25-26. Five civilians were brutally killed while two were arrested on trumped-up charges.

Barangay Kagawad Froilan Oaferina III, 45, was shot to death on the evening of April 25 as 30 armed police officers surrounded his home in Barangay Tambo, Buhi, Camarines Sur. Police operatives turned off all lights before executing Oaferina and planting a .38 caliber pistol. No warrant of arrest was presented according to his family.

The following day, policemen enforcing “search warrants” at around past 4 a.m., killed both Pablito Dosal, 43, and Marlon Collantes, 39, inside their houses in Barangay Sta. Maria, Iriga City, and Barangay Payatan, Goa, respectively. Another civilian, identified as Jose Bergonia, was also arrested in a separate operation in Barangay Payatan in the same morning.

CPP chief information officer Marco L. Valbuena condemned the police for whitewashing these crimes by making the baseless claims that the victims are members of the New People’s Army and the Party. The police make it appear that they were killed after having “fought back.”

Meanwhile in Masbate, two farmers were killed in a series of indiscriminate strafing and mauling by the 2nd IB in Barangays Jomarawan and Magsalane in Milagros on April 25. The condition of one of the victim’s mother after the incident are still unclear.

“Tokhang-style murder by state forces are on the rise especially in the rural areas, targeting local peasant leaders and activists who are maliciously tagged as NPA members,” added Valbuena.

In Sorsogon province, civilian Jose Amante was arrested on April 26 on trumped-up charges of attempted murder in Barangay Sua, Matnog town. Amante is accused of being a member of the people’s militia. Few days prior, armed goons of the Philippine army were reported to be lurking around in Barangays Fabrica and San Antonio of Barcelona town.

“These attacks are clearly aimed at stifling dissent and suppressing the people’s struggles and resistance, especially amid the failure of the Duterte government to respond to the pandemic and cause the severe economic crisis,” he said.

“Gen. Antonio Parlade’s hands are spat with blood as head of the AFP Southern Luzon Command as these murders proliferate,” Valbuena ended.

CPP/NPA-Quezon: Defend the people's efforts against Parlade's lies

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 27, 2021): Defend the people's efforts against Parlade's lies







APRIL 27, 2021

Apolonio Mendoza Command-NPA-North Quezon supports the initiative of masses in urban areas to set up “community pantries” to cater to basic needs of Filipinos affected by quarantine restrictions. It has helped masses in Tiaong, Quezon and other parts of the country overcome their hunger and scarcity of aid. These highlight that the masses can rely on their own strength and collective efforts despite hurdles and restrictions that put in their way.

For over a year, Filipinos in urban and rural areas have been bombarded with quarantine restrictions that have increasingly barred them from their jobs, which has become a factor for higher hunger rates in the country. They have pled almost desperately for financial aid just to provide for their everyday needs, but the reactionary government had nothing but excuses and more failed responses to give.

The community pantries as an initiative of progressive individuals and groups are a light in the dark–steps taken by masses as an active response to the crisis that the pandemic presents. With the principle of “Help according to one’s capabilities, take according to one’s needs”, it has promoted not only charity but collective aid amongst Filipinos, and has shown the people that they can concretely address their own plight when they work together.

On the other hand, AMC-NPA-North Quezon condemns the rampant red-tagging and surveillance that has ensued a week after the initiation of the community pantries. While DILG Sec. Eduardo Año and PNP Chief Debold Sinas denied this, NTF-ELCAC spokesperson and SOLCOM Chief Antonio Parlade Jr. blurted out that they in fact have began profiling groups and individuals behind the community pantries, exposing their agenda.

The red-tagging and surveillance are only part of another attempt of Antonio Parlade Jr. and the rest of NTF-ELCAC to ruin the masses’ efforts to address their needs and advance their rights. The truth is that these reactionaries’ faces went pale because these initiatives highlight the inefficiencies of their responses to the pandemic and only prove how useless their steps have been in comparison. The red-tagging is a way to save face because they are humiliated that the masses have instantly and effectively solved the major concern of hunger and aid by themselves, with no help from the reactionary government. They go paranoid at the sight of collective action and immediately call these acts of rebellion, incitement of revolution and communism, because they know that their ties to the masses grow weaker as they intensify conditions that the people suffer through everyday. They raise alarms at any semblance of struggle because they are afraid of the great strength that the masses possess.

Parlade even has the gall to criticize proactive steps while he continues to drive masses into hunger in interior areas that are far from the media’s reach and are abandoned by the Duterte regime. In the countryside, the AFP-PNP have only worsened the pandemic’s conditions for the masses. The 80th IBPA has imposed food blockades in Sitio Angelo, Brgy. Umiray in General Nakar, Quezon in December 2020 and March 2021, and have restricted rice to be transported to interior areas, for the reason that these supplies are used to support the NPA. This is gravely inconsiderate especially since several masses from North Quezon had been experiencing deaths due to sickness at the time these blockades were imposed.

The people of North Quezon should continually expose the 80th IB’s fascist agenda in the countryside. They should also continue to come together and creatively make solutions to address their needs in the midst of the pandemic. The people of North Quezon can rely on their collective efforts to advance their rights and welfare.

The state’s suppression of these efforts will only be increasingly intolerable for the masses, and the reactionaries are shaking in fear behind their cloak of ferocity. The oppression and suffering that the US-Duterte regime continues to inflict upon the people of Quezon will only push their desire to break free and participate in waging an armed struggle to crush the US-Duterte regime that represents their plight.#

CPP/NPA-Southwest Negros: Kabutigan sang pasistang militar!

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 29, 2021): Kabutigan sang pasistang militar!


APRIL 29, 2021

Disperado nga nagapalapanag sang peke nga balita ang mga pasista kag berdugo nga militar agud hinabunan ang ila mga kapalpakan kag sapatnon nga hinimuan sa paglunsar sang tudo-gyera batok sa rebolusyonaro nga pwersa sa isla sang Negros.

Wala sang natabu nga engkwentro sadtong April 17, 2021 sa Sityo Yuring, Brgy Bulwangan, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental. Matuod nga may napatay nga duha ka katapu sang NPA nga sanday Ka Michael kag Ka Kenken apang indi sa isa ka engkwentro nga naglab-ot sa 40 minutos. Nadakpan sila samtang nagabayo sang bugas sa isa ka balay mga 11:00 sang aga. Matapos sila sakiton samtang gina-imbestiga, mga alas 12 sang udto sila ginpamatay. Isa ka barbaro nga pamaagi sa pagpatay bangud ginpangbuno-buno ang bilog nga lawas kag halos indi na makilala bangud guba ang hitsura kag indi na makilala sang pamilya rason nga wala ma-claim.

Klaro ini nga paglapas sang militar sa Protocol of War nga ang wala na sang ikasarang nga makig-away o Hors de Combat indi dapat nga patyon. Dapat kabigon nga priso sa gyera kag mag-angkon sang sibil kag politikal nga kinamatarung.

Indi man matuod nga may natabu nga ingkwentro sa Sityo Payranan, Brgy Pinggot, Ilog, Negros Occidental sadtong April 24, 2021. Indi man matuod nga may napatay nga NPA sa natabu kuno nga engkwentro. Ang ila ginpatay amo si Frederico Rivera alyas Nonoy nga ordinaryo nga pumuluyo sa sina nga lugar.

Ang lugar sa Cauayan, Hinobaan, Ilog, Candoni, Kabankalan kag Sipalay o CHICKS area madamo ini sang mga dunang manggad gani daku ang interes sang mga dumulu-ong nga korporasyon sang mina. Bangud ang mga pumuluyo sa sini nga lugar indi kompormi sa plano sa pagmina sang mga dumulu-ong bangud mapalayas sila sa ila kaugalingon nga duta kag makaguba ini sa ila palangabuhian kag kina-iyahan. Ang NPA sa pihak nga bahin nagatib-ong sang kinamatarung sang pumuluyo kag pangapinan ang ila interes sa duta kag palangabuhi-an amo nga ginapalayas ang mga dumulu-ong nga korporasyon nga gusto magmina.

Nangin kina-andan na nga ginahimo ang mga berdugo nga militar nga sa panahon sang ila military operation o may matabu nga engkwentro nga may daku nga halit sa ila, ang mga sibilyan ang ila ginabalikan kag pahugon, kastiguhon indi gani patyon. Nagtuga ini sang indi na ma-isip nga paglapas sang tawhanon nga kinamatarung nga naghatag sang tuman nga kakugmat sa mga pumulyo ilabi na sa kaumahan kag kabukiran

Nagtabu lang ini sa handum sang militar nga papason ang mga NPA sa sini nga lugar gani nagduging ang focus military operation nga paghatag sang ligwa sa mga dumulu-ong nga kapitalista sa pagmina bangud ang rehimen Duterte nagkuha na sang moraturium sa pagdumili sa pagmina.

Ang NPA sa idalum sang Armando Sumayang Jr. command indi magduhaduha nga magpalayas sa mga masupog nga mga mining firm nga magpatigayon sa pagmina sa sakop sang larangan gerilya. Magapadayon man sa paglunsad sang mga taktikal nga opensiba agud silutan ang may mga utang nga dugo sa pumuluyo kag rebolusyon.

Ipaggwa ang kamatu-uran indi ang kabutigan!

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: 21 Patay, 9 Pilason kag 2 Missing sa Hanay sang AFP sa Central Negros

Posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 29, 2021): 21 Patay, 9 Pilason kag 2 Missing sa Hanay sang AFP sa Central Negros


APRIL 29, 2021

Marso 7, 2021 alas 8:00 sang gab-i-ginharas sang yunit sang NPA ang CAFGU detachment sa Brgy. Sikatuna, Isabela, Negros Occidental. Patay ang 1 ka militar samtang matawhay nga naka-atras ang NPA matapos ang 5 ka minutos nga linukpanay.

Marso 15, 2021 alas 9:30 sang aga-madinalag-on nga ginlunsar sang NPA ang pag-ambush sa mga naga-operasyon nga katapo sang 62nd IBPA sa Sityo Mabanga, Brgy Bagtik, La Libertad, Negros Oriental. Kinse (15) ang KIA, 9 ang samaron sa 62nd IBPA kag 2 ka katapo sang CAFGU ang na-missing matapos nga ginpalukpan sang Commmand Detonated Explosives. Naglab-ot sa 30 minutos ang linukpanay kag tawhay nga naka-atras ang yunit sang NPA. Saksi ang mga pumuluyo sa lugar nga ginkuha sa Sityo Cansampo sang La Libertad nga ginkarga sa rescue vehicle ang mga kaawalti sang nasambit nga tropa.

Bangud sang dako nga halit sa hanay sang militar, alas 3:00 sang hapon gindakop, ginkastigo tubtob nga ginpatay sang pasistang militar si Aldren Faburada, pamatan-on nga lalaki, 17 anyos nga nagkuha sang iya module sa ila payag malapit sa encounter site. Ginpatu-patuan si Aldren Faburada sang nasambit nga tropa militar nga katapo sang New People’s Army.

Marso 23, 2021 alas 12:30 sang udto-aktibong depensiba sang NPA sa ginhimo nga reyd sang composite nga tropa militar sang 62nd IBPA, 16th Scout Ranger Coy kag 33rd DRC. Lima (5) KIA sa pasistang militar sa sulod sang masobra 3 ka oras nga inaway sa Sityo Agit, Brgy Trinidad, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental. Samtang (10) ang namartir sa New People’s Army. Ginpasidunggan sang NPA ang maisog nga pagkamartir sang mga kaupod nga sanday Ka Troy, Ka Jun, Ka Jek-jek, Ka JK, Ka Jonas, Ka Eron, Ka Diego, Ka Bong, Ka Pido kag Ka Mayte sa pag-atubang kag pagbato sa pasistang kaaway. Pilason ang nasambit nga mga kaupod sang gin-assault sang militar. Wala na sang ikasarang magbato ang mga kaupod sa sini nga panahon bangud sang naagum nga mga kapilasan tuga sang lapuyot nga inaway. Makabig nga hors de combat ang NPA suno sa Geneva Convention.

Alas 7:00 sang gab-e sini man nga adlaw si Ka Jek-jek pilason pa sang nakadangup sa balay sang masa. Pilit nga ginkuha sang militar kag gindala palayo sa balay kag ginpatay samtang naga-antus sa pilas nga iya naagum.

Paglapas sa protocol & rules of war ang ginhimo sang mapintas nga militar ang pagpamatay sa mga pilason nga kaupod paagi sa pagbuno kag pagpaum-om sang sumbuhan sang pusil kag ginpalukpan ang baba tubtub nga nadulaan sang kabuhi. Bangud sang brutal nga pagpamatay sa mga katapo sang NPA, nagresulta nga indi makilal-an ang mga hitsura sini sa panahon nga gin-claim sang pamilya matapos nga gindala ang ila mga bangkay sa syudad sang Guihulngan.

Paglapak man sang tawhanon nga kinamatarung sang inosenteng sibilyan ang pag-hold sang masa kag pagkober sang ila mga puluy-an sa panahon sang inaway.

Ang puguso nga pagpasuporta sang Local Goverment Units sa mga pasuni sang NTF-ELCAC paagi sa Dagyawan sa Barangay dira sa pagpamahug kag pilit nga pagpasurender sa masa ang nagapuno sa korapsyon sang mga opisyal sang militar halin sa budget nga 19. 4 Bilyon pesos sa implementasyon sini nga ginakurakot sang matag-as nga opisyal sang AFP.

Ang pagduging sang militar sa pasismo sa ila Focus Military Operation sa Central Negros kag pagpokus sang militar sa isla sang Negros sa Visayas-wide sa sakop sang Central Command sang AFP sa pagpamuno ni Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan ang rason sang pagpatuman sang neo-liberal nga polisiya sa pagdula sang moratorium sang maki-dumuluong kag makahalalit nga kasugtanan sa pagmina. Ini ang maathag nga nagabuyagyag sa AFP sang ila kinaiya nga matuod nga reaksyunaryo kag pasista nga makinarya sang estado sa pihak sang ila pagpakuno-kuno nga maki-pumuluyo.

Kabutigan ang ginahambal sang AFP nga protektor sila sang pumuluyo bangud ang matuod protektor sila sang interes sang nagahari nga sahi sang dalagko komprador burgesya, agalon mayduta kag mga kapitalista ilabina sang reaksyunaryo nga estado sang rehimen US-Duterte.

Isulong ang tawhanon nga kinamatarung!
Itib-ong ang makatarunganon nga armadong paghimakas kag i-angat pa sa mataas nga halintang sang inaway banwa!
Rumpagon ang rehimeng US-Duterte!