Friday, June 4, 2021

Maritime cops seize 101 sacks of ammonium nitrate off Masbate

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4, 2021): Maritime cops seize 101 sacks of ammonium nitrate off Masbate (By Mar Serrano)

Google map of Placer town in Masbate province.

Maritime police operatives intercepted a total of 101 sacks of hazardous ammonium nitrate worth PHP606,000 while being loaded by two men into a motorized boat docked at a coastal village in Placer, Masbate Thursday afternoon.

In a phone interview on Friday, Col. Joriz Cantoria, Masbate police provincial director, said the seized ammonium nitrate has no corresponding shipping documents.

He identified the suspects who managed to elude the operatives from the Masbate Maritime Police Station (MARPSTA) as Jesus Casinillo of Barangay Burabod and Onel Alburo, the owner of the motorized boat from Barangay Katipunan, both in the same town.

Cantoria said the duo immediately fled when they saw the approaching police operatives.

“The Maritime police operatives were on seaborne patrol at around 5:45 p.m when they sighted the suspects while loading the sacks of ammonium nitrate to their boat at the shorelines of Sitio Bitlig, Barangay Daraga," the police report stated.

Cantoria said the suspects could be engaged in selling the chemical material to produce improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for illegal fishing practices.

He added that ammonium nitrate is used in making agricultural fertilizers.

The maritime police impounded the motorized boat and the hazardous chemical compound.

Disappointment, poverty push 2 rebels to surrender in Iloilo

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4, 2021): Disappointment, poverty push 2 rebels to surrender in Iloilo (By Perla Lena)

SEVERED TIES. Two former rebels turned their backs from the armed movement due to disappointment, extreme fatigue, and hunger. They will be processed under the enhanced comprehensive local integration program as they start normal lives. (Photo by Bingawan,Leon MPS)

Two more Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) fighters in Iloilo joined the list of surrenderers who have expressed disappointment with the armed movement and decided to swear allegiance to the government.

A report from the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) on Friday identified the two former rebels as 25-year old alias “June” who used to be part of the Igabon Platoon, Central Front Committee (CFC), and 21-year old alias “Kim”, of the Nonito Aguirre Command of the Eastern Front Committee.

June surrendered to the Bingawan Municipal Police Station (MPS) on June 1 while Kim voluntarily gave himself up to the Leon MPS in Leon town the day after.

PRO 6 spokesperson Lt. Col. Joem Malong said based on the interview with the former rebels, June was already a sympathizer before joining the CPP-NPA on November 11, 2012.

He served as a liaison between the terror group and his aunt who was an active supporter of the CPP-NPA in their barangay.

From 2013 to 2015, he joined encounters against government forces in Barangays Abangay, Acuña, Aglinab, Natip, and Lahug all in Tapaz, Capiz.

He left on March 10, 2018 after the CPP-NPA refused to provide medical support to his sick mother. “There is no truth in their promise that they will fully support my family in times of need,” June said.

He went into hiding and eventually surrendered to the local government unit of Bingawan, which endorsed him to the Bingawan MPS.

On the other hand, Kim joined on March 16, 2018 due to the influence of his cousins, who are active CPP-NPA members.

Their operation under a certain "Ka Romel" covered the mountainous area of Lutod-lutod, President Roxas, and Maayon in Capiz.

After nine months in the movement, he tried several times to escape because he could not bear the extreme fatigue and hunger.

He made a successful escape on the night of December 31, 2018, and hid for over two years until he decided to give himself up.

PRO6 director, Police Brig. Gen. Rolando F. Miranda, said the series of voluntary surrenders is a manifestation of the former rebels' belief in the program of the government to end local armed conflict.

The two, now under the custody of their respective local police stations, will be endorsed to the proper government agencies to be able to avail of the enhanced comprehensive local integration program (E-CLIP).

Malong said this year alone, a total of 131 former rebels from Western Visayas have surrendered to the government through the efforts of the Philippine National Police.

The CPP-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.

Cops arrest 2 men with pistol, machine gun

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4, 2021): Cops arrest 2 men with pistol, machine gun (By Edwin Fernandez June 4, 2021, 7:18 pm

SEIZED. Suspects Mohaddin Sabal Monico and Alidatu Abdul Monico are shown with the firearms seized from them at a checkpoint along Delta Bridge in Cotabato City on Friday (June 4, 2021). Confiscated inside their car were a .50 caliber machine gun and a .45 caliber pistol while entering the city from Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of HPG-Cotabato)

COTABATO CITY – Police arrested two men for possession of a .50 caliber machinegun and a .45 caliber pistol while entering the city from Maguindanao on Friday.

Police Maj. Elexon Bona, city police station 1 chief, said joint operatives of the city police and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) intercepted a green sedan car at a quarantine checkpoint at Delta Bridge in Barangay Poblacion 1 at about 10:30 a.m.

“The checkpoint personnel noticed two men acting suspiciously during checkpoint operation, prompting them to carefully (check) the car,”
Bona said.

He added that police found a .45 caliber pistol and a disassembled .50 caliber machinegun with bullets inside the car.

The two suspects were later
identified as Mohaddin Sabal Monico, 35; and Alidatu Abdul Monico, 28, both of Maguindanao.

Bona said HPG-Cotabato operatives are currently checking on the vehicle’s registration records.

The two refused to talk to reporters inside the police lockup.

13 NPA rebels take ‘new chance’ in life

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 3, 2021): 13 NPA rebels take ‘new chance’ in life (By Edwin Fernandez)

RIGHT MOVE. Former NPA combatants show their guns during surrender rites held at the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat on Wednesday (June 2, 2021). A soldier (inset) also updated the surrenderers about the government’s program to help them reintegrate into mainstream society. (Photos courtesy of 603Bde)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Some 13 more New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderers took their “new chance” in life after yielding to authorities in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat province, the Army here reported Thursday.

A leader of the surrendering batch, who requested to be identified only as “Ka Benny” for security reasons, said members of the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in Sultan Kudarat have continued to decline as more communist combatants are denouncing their futile cause.

“The communist movement in the province has become non-essential. More of us are disgusted as we, in the first place were duped into joining the group,” he said in the vernacular over a phone interview in this camp Thursday.

Ka Benny is a mass organizer for the Sub-Regional Command (SRC) - Daguma under Far South Mindanao Region since 2015.

“We are taking this new chance in life,” he said.

Ka Benny’s group surrendered Wednesday afternoon to the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion (IB) headquarters in Kalamansig town.

The group also turned over six firearms and other war materiel.

Colonel Eduardo Gubat, the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade commander whose unit has jurisdiction over the 37IB area of responsibility, welcomed the former NPA guerillas and told them they made the right decision.

“Their surrender is a huge setback to the NPAs in Sultan Kudarat, which is an indication that the stronghold of the communist terrorist group is continuously weakening in the province,” Gubat said.

Kalamansig Municipal Administrator Maria Socorro Lanto, who helped the Army in welcoming the former rebels, extended immediate cash and livelihood assistance from Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Teng T. Mangudadatu and Kalamansig Mayor Rolando Garcia.

Lanto said the former rebels would stay in the halfway house provided by the provincial government wherein the surrenderers will undergo reorientation and processing to be included in the national assistance and livelihood initiatives of the government under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

The group's surrender came two days after 21 NPA rebels also yielded to the Army in Lebak town of the same province.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, lauded the 603Bde and 37IB for a job well done.

Uy said since January this year, the total number of NPA surrenderers rose to 73 with 66 firearms and explosives also turned over by the former militants.

"This mass surrender of NPAs is a clear manifestation that the organization is dwindling and on the brink of defeat,” Uy said, as he urged other rebels who are still in the mountains to follow suit.

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