Monday, June 28, 2021

‘NPA’ slain in Bohol clash

From the Philippine Star (Jun 28, 2021): ‘NPA’ slain in Bohol clash (By Michael Punongbayan)

An alleged New People’s Army guerrilla was killed while an Army soldier was wounded in an encounter in Trinidad, Bohol over the weekend.

Joel Soria, alias Joyjoy, died at the scene of the encounter,
while the wounded soldier was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to 1/Lt. Elma Grace Abulencia, civil-military relations officer of the Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion.

The troopers were
pursuing a group of rebels who earlier shot dead a farmer when they encountered Soria’s group in Barangay Banlasan at around 9 p.m., the military said.

Malacañang to stop CPP-NPA financiers amid Philippine dirty money grey-listing

From GMA News (Jun 28, 2021): Malacañang to stop CPP-NPA financiers amid Philippine dirty money grey-listing (By LLANESCA T. PANTI)

Malacañang on Monday said it would stop financiers of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the response when asked on measures that the Philippine government plans to take due to the Financial Action Task Force including the country in its grey list for “under increased monitoring to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.”

The Financial Action Task Force is an international organization that coordinates global efforts to crack down on money laundering and terrorism financing, said nations on the list are working with it to correct deficiencies in their financial systems.

“Well, obviously po, iyong CPP-NPA na terrorist group, mayroon pa ring pondo, so kinakailangan talaga, isarado natin kung sana nanggagaling iyong mga pondo nila,” Roque said. (The CPP-NPA has funds, so we need to shut down their fund sources.)

Army says top Bataan communist rebel ‘Boy’ killed in clash

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 28, 2021): Army says top Bataan communist rebel ‘Boy’ killed in clash (By: Frances Mangosing)

A man tagged by authorities as a ranking communist rebel was killed in a clash in Bataan province last weekend, according to the military.

He was
identified only by his aliases—Boy or Randy.

But the military said Boy, or Randy, was the second in command of a New People’s Army (NPA) unit operating in Bataan.

According to a statement of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, Boy or Randy was killed in a clash between rebels and members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force at the village of Pinulot, Dinalupihan town last June 26.

Soldiers, the statement said, found an M-14 Armalite rifle, a two-way radio, bandolier, four long and short magazines with 147 bullets and a mobile phone at the clash site.

Government forces suffered no casualty, the Army statement added.

Alleged NPA leader killed in Bataan clash

From the Manila Times (Jun 29, 2021): Alleged NPA leader killed in Bataan clash (By Dempsey Reyes)

An alleged leader of the New People's Army (NPA) died after soldiers and elite policemen engaged the rebels in a clash in Dinalupihan, Bataan, the military said on Monday.

The Philippine Army's 7th Infantry Division, which covers Central Luzon,
identified the leader as a certain "Boy" or "Randy," whom authorities said was the vice commander of NPA rebels based in Bataan province.

Authorities received reports about presence of armed persons at Sitio Pintong Bakal, Barangay Pinulot of Dinalupihan from residents.

This prompted government forces from the Army's 70th Infantry Battalion and the Philippine National Police's Special Action Force to conduct operations, which led to exchange of gunfire last Saturday. Authorities only reported the incident on Monday.

The military could not determine how long the clash was. However, they said no casualty was reported on the side of the security forces.

Esscom adds four names to most wanted list

Posted to The Star online (Jun 28, 2021): Esscom adds four names to most wanted list (By STEPHANIE LEE)

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has released an updated list of names wanted for various cross border crimes in the state for 2021, and four new names are on the list.

The four are Ellam Sajirin @ Nasirin, Ismuran Jirah, Tista Hussein and Ahadin Hussein.

According to Esscom commander Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman (pic), these four are involved in the kidnapping of three Indonesians from Tambisan in waters off Lahad Datu on Sept 23, 2019.

Apart from these four names, the existing ones are Al Mujir Yadah, Salip Mura, Ben Tatoh Quirino, Marajan Manajan Asiri, Sangbas Parisko, Hamsan Pakkan @ Black Cobra, Sabri @ Madrasul @ Salip Jul, Basaron Arok, Mujimar Sawadjaan @ Rasad, Jul @ Jun Hasan, Jul Aksan Abdurajan @ Halimaw, Tampi @ Bunju, Halipa, Haibin Mubin @ Apo Kuhambo, Hadji Wahad @ Talip and Barah Uddong @ Alvin.

He said the people in an earlier list
- Apo Mike @ Majan Sahidjuan, Raden Abuh, Long Sahirin, Jap Sawadjaan @ Mujafar Sawadjaan and Mundi Sawadjaan - were killed by Philippines security forces earlier this year.

All are suspected Abu Sayyaf members wanted for various cross border crimes in Sabah and some in the Philippines, Ahmad Fuad said.

On related matters, he said that Esscom has its own strategy to combat cross-border crime threats including kidnap-for-ransom activities as well as undocumented migrants.

“We have the right assets for the various operations and patrols that we conduct, but I hope the government will continue to prioritise on our needs especially in terms of manpower, funding and asset distribution,” he said.

Ahmad Fuad said the safety of all Malaysians in the east coast remains their main priority.

CPP/Sison: Interview-On the Communist Party of China

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 28, 2021): On the Communist Party of China


JUNE 28, 2021

This interview was the main feature of the webinar which was held by the Paaralang Jose Maria Sison on April 25, 2021 in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on the official date of July 1, 1921

1-4. before victory, 5-7. period of socialism 8-10. period of revisionism and imperialism


1. What was the social and international situation that led to the establishment of the CPC? What is the similarity or difference in building their Party (and Army) with the Russians?

JMS: Through the Revolution of 1911 in China, the Qing dynasty was overthrown and the bourgeois Republic of China was established in 1912 under the leadership of Sun Yatsen. But it was betrayed by Yuan Shikai who declared himself emperor of China. China was in turmoil. Warlords dominated the provinces and the imperialist powers soon took advantage of the situation in China.

The October Revolution took place in Russia in 1917 and in the following years the Chinese who hoped to break free from the dark condition of China enveloped by feudalism, comprador capitalism and the domination of imperialist powers took an interest in this revolution. So did Lenin and the Bolsheviks immediately take an interest in China. From the establishment of the Comintern in March 1919, they aimed to extend the proletarian revolution to China.

In May 1919, the May 4 Movement also erupted among the Chinese youth to oppose the decision at Versailles by the winning powers in World War I to grant to Japan the German concessions in China. By July 23, 1921, there were already advanced elements in China from the petty bourgeois intelligentsia who wished to become communists and build the Communist Party of China (CPC). Twelve Chinese, representing about 57 members, gathered in Shanghai to form the CPC.

In the formation of the Social Democratic Labor Party in Russia in 1893 by those who would become the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and the Mensheviks led by Martov, most of the founders also came from petty -bourgeois intelligentsia but immediately recruited workers in accordance with the proletarian character of the Party.

The Bolsheviks deliberately recruited cadres within the Tsarist army and formed the soviets (councils) of soldiers to turn the imperialist war into a civil war against Tsarism. At the same time, the Bolsheviks formed the soviets of workers and peasants and the Red Guards who became the spearhead in the seizure of political power in Petrograd. The October Revolution of 1917 was well prepared.

When the National Revolutionary Army was formed with the help of the Soviet Union under the First United Front of Guomindang (GMD) and the CPC in the years of 1924 to 1927, regiments were formed under the leadership or influence of CPC cadres and members. When Jiang Kaishek betrayed in 1927, these regiments moved to the side of the CPC and eventually reached Jingkangshan where Mao had earlier built guerrilla bases among the peasantry.

2. Can you describe how the CPC promoted the United Front on various issues (Land issues, CPT-KMT relations, Peace Talks, National Minority issues, middle forces issues, etc.), Location (Urban- Countryside) and Period (various stages of the civil war, the war against Japan and the establishment of the new republic)

JMS: The GMD and CPC formed the First United Front against the northern warlords and they launched the Northern Expedition in 1926-27. During this time, Mao worked among the peasantry to carry out agrarian revolution, guerrilla warfare by the Army and carry out the antifeudal united front in Jingkangshan. Mao led the Autumn Harvest Uprising of 1927.

He built in Jiangxi the Soviet of Workers and Peasants and the Red Army that the GMD attempted to destroy through campaigns of encirclement. The CPC defeated the first three of these campaigns and the CPC grew stronger. But the revolutionary bases were damaged in the subsequent campaigns of the GMD by the interference and wrong line of the Comintern representatives.

And the CPC was forced to make the Long March to Yenan in 1935. It was at the Xunyi Conference that the leadership of Mao was recognized and upheld. Soon after the Red Army reached Yenan, the GMD and the CPC had a Second United Front Against Japan from 1936 to 1945. In enlarging and strengthening the Red Army, the CPC carried out the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. The process of people’s war went through three strategic levels of defense, stalemate, and offense.

The independence and rights of national minorities were respected. Thus, they were motivated to take part in the people’s war. When the Japanese were defeated and surrendered and World War II ended, the CPC agreed to engage in peace negotiations with the GMD in Chonqqing in 1945. But what Jiang Kaishek wanted was civil war. The GMD was defeated in the civil war from 1946 to 1949. Thus, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established on October 1, 1949.

3. What did the people’s government, economic operation, cultural work and international work look like when they were not yet the state in power?

JMS: At the time before the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, there was a system of people’s government in the revolutionary base areas. Very much like in the Philippines today in the guerrilla fronts, there were organs of political power under the leadership of the CPC at all levels.

These were founded on the basic alliance of the working class and the peasantry and constituted the People’s Government of Workers and Peasants which directed and administered the economy, social programs, cultural affiars and international relations..

4. Arousing, organizing and mobilizing the peasantry is vivid in the history of the CPC. On the other hand, can you share the high points in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the youth and workers in the cities and in the countryside (such as Yenan etc.). How did it overcome the White terror of the cities, Japanese aggression and prepare the people of the city for victory?

JMS: From the May 4 Movement in 1919 onwards, the young activists who became communists in 1921 continued to arouse, organize and mobilize the youth. They began to integrate themselves with the workers and the trade unions before the founding of the CPC. They acted more widely and intensely among the workers after the CPC was formed.

Mao was the most zealous in organizing the peasants because the majority of the Chinese were landless peasants and therefore agrarian revolution was the main content of the democratic revolution. The Chinese revolution can be advanced and won with the integration of armed struggle, agrarian revolution and the building of revolutionary base areas in the countryside.

Due to the organizing and strengthening of the revolutionary movement among the peasants in the countryside, the CPC and the people’s army were able to overcome the White terror in the cities, the Japanese aggression and the GMD attacks. The CPC cadres and members who could no longer operate in the cities could shift to the countryside for further revolutionary work.

The participation of the peasants was favorable to the revolution and the countryside served as the widest area of maneuver in the people’s war. In the countryside, the small and weak people’s army could grow and become stronger through the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare and regular mobile warfare.

5. During Chinese Socialism, what was the situation of the following: big landlords/bourgeois compradors officers and staff of the old KMT government, military officers and ordinary soldiers of the KMT, peasants, industrial workers, intellectuals, national bourgeoisie, youth, women, national minorities etc. During Mao’s time, how did they ensure the delivery of basic needs to the people (food, clothing, housing and education) and increase the quality of life (job security and wage issues, child and old care, health, rest & recreation, etc.)

JMS: In the early years of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the nationalization of land was proclaimed and land reform (confiscation of land from landlords and the free distribution of land to landless farmers or do not have enough land) was completed. Cooperativization and mechanization of agriculture was carried out in stages. Landlords who had no serious crimes against the people were given the opportunity to live decently but were deprived of the right to vote and be elected to any position in government.

The big bourgeois compradors closest to the enemy were deprived of property, tried for corruption and were also deprived of the right to vote and be elected to any position in government. Those who provided assistance and cooperated with the revolutionary movement were given the opportunity to become the national bourgeoisie in accordance with the policies of the socialist state and were allowed to bring their capital into joint state-private corporations. This was a transitional measure.

Government officials of the GMD who were corrupt, brutal and rabid agents of the class enemy were arrested, tried and punished. But the masses of subordinate officials and employees continued their work and came under the direction of CPC cadres and were given study courses on socialism. Even before the victory of the revolution, many officials and employees had already sided with the revolution.

Officers and ordinary soldiers of the GMD army who surrendered were granted amnesty and were even integrated as officers and soldiers in the people’s army under the supervision of Party cadres and commanders of the people’s army. There was also the option of GMD officers or soldiers being allowed to go home if they did not want to join the people’s army. Officers and soldiers, especially the murderers and intelligence operatives who were caught by the people’s army were tried according to due process and given appropriate punishment on the basis of evidence.

Peasants benefited from land reform and cooperativization, industrial workers from the expansion of production and increase of wages and social services, intellectuals from their freedom and better situation to serve the people, the national bourgeoisie from the opportunity to help socialist industrialization, the youth from opportunities to help build socialism, women from liberating themselves from patriarchalism and discrimination, and national minorities from the respect for their self-determination and further opportunities for all-round development.

In Mao’s time the delivery of basic needs to the people (food, clothing, housing, health care and education) and raising the quality of life (job security and higher wages; child and old people’s care, health, rest and entertainment, etc.) were ensured, with the disappearance of foreign monopoly corporations and big bourgeois compradors taking out superprofits from the country, landlords collecting land rent for their luxurious living, and with the elimination of corruption and punishment of corrupt officials.

6. How did Socialist China deal with the various complex issues in running the new state: Solving the disease brought by the old society (opium addiction, prostitution, begging, prisoners due to common crimes, bureaucratic corruption , epidemics), economic and political sabotage by the KMT, harassment both by the US and the revisionist Soviet Union, natural calamities, environmental protection, border disputes with neighboring countries and dealing with international affairs (party to party, people to people and diplomatic relations) in forming the front against Imperialism (national liberation movements and decolonization of Africa).

JMS: Socialist China solved the problem of opium addiction and prostitution by dismantling criminal syndicates and punishing its ring leaders, providing social services, employment and assistance to communities. Regarding begging, those who could afford to work were provided with employment, assistance and treatment for the sick. As for prisoners who committed common crimes, they were given the opportunity to change and work in prison, except for those who were liable for the most serious crimes and death penalty.

Bureaucratic corruption and the economic and political sabotage of the GMD were severely punished. Epidemics were suppressed through the cooperation of health care personnel and communities. The Party mobilized the masses to resist pressures from both the US and the revisionist Soviet Union, address natural disasters, carry out environmental protection, guard borders and resolve disputes with neighboring countries.

Socialist China carried out international work to promote and develop party-to-party, people-to-people and diplomatic relations. It upheld the principles of proletarian internationalism and solidarity of the peoples of the world against imperialism and reaction. It worked for the unity of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America to fight and win their struggles for national and social liberation. It pursued the line of peaceful and friendly diplomatic relations based on mutual respect for independence, cooperation and mutual benefit.

7. It is often ridiculed in the bourgeois media and academe that during the ‘Great Leap Forward’ many died, famine spread and that the GPCR was a great tragedy. On the contrary, what can we say about significant achievements and breakthroughs in various fields during those times?

JMS: The ridicule of the bourgeois and anti-communist media and academics that millions died of starvation due to the Great Leap Forward is untrue and absurd. Through the Great Leap Forward, China’s industrial foundation was expanded and strengthened, the commune system was built as the highest level of agricultural cooperation and China’s production and economy grew. The imperialist blockade, the betrayal of the Soviet Union and natural disasters were overcome. China became a strong socialist country because of the Great Leap Forward.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was carried out to combat modern revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism by revolutionizing politics and culture in the superstructure and thereby enhancing the development of the socialist forces of production. The revolutionary leadership of the proletariat and the mass line were underscored and applied in the formation of three-in-one revolutionary committees, in the trade unions and other mass formations and in the creation of new cultural and artistic works.

8. Like Marx’s summary of the Paris Commune and Mao’s summary of the Soviet Economy, what is your summary of socialist construction and GPCR in China? What can be done to hold on to the positive lessons and so too with the negative lessons so that in the future these would not be repeated in the countries that will succeed in building Socialism again?

JMS: We must understand that the proletarian and socialist line taken by China in the period of rehabilitation and reconstruction, basic socialization of the economy, Great Leap Forward, socialist education movement and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) is correct. During these stages, the correct policies and implementation of socialist revolution and construction emerged and the revisionist traitors who restored capitalism in China also became exposed.

The GPCR was necessary for vigorous struggle against modern revisionism because of the influence of the Soviet Union and because of the internal bourgeois elements and tendencies in China. The GPCR exposed the exponents of revisionism and the path of capitalist restoration.

The GPCR was clearly successful in the years of 1966 to 1971. The correct line was set forth against the revisionists in power like Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping who were overthrown by the Red Guards of the youth. As a result of the Shanghai Commune, the three-in-one system of revolutionary committees was established as the organ of political power. The Anshan Constitution was made a model to guide the working class and the labor movement.

After the Left was split on the accusation against Lin Biao wanting to be president of China and plotting to assassinate Mao and when Lin Piao and his entire staff were killed or assassinated, Deng Xiaoping was returned to senior positions, as PLA chief of staff and higher positions. In 1972, US President Nixon visited China. In the years 1972 to 1976 revisionists and anti-socialists used the aggressive policy of the Soviet Union as the pretext to link China to the US in the name of modernization, pro-capitalist reforms and opening up and integration with the US and the global capitalist system.

As with the defeat of the Paris Commune, it has been proven that the international bourgeoisie can conspire to defeat the proletarian revolutionaries. Deng Xiaoping’s successful capitalist counterrevolution proved the fact that there were revisionist traitors within the CPC and the Chinese state and had to be confronted by the GPCR under Mao’s theory and practice of continuing revolution under the class dictatorship of the proletariat through cultural revolution to fight revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism.

9. How was the process of revisionist betrayal of the principle of Socialism, capitalist restoration until China turned to Imperialism? Can we stage it from Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping?

JMS: Due to the collusion of the Right opportunists and Centrists, Deng Xiaoping and his accomplices succeeded in carrying out their counterrevolutionary coup in 1976 . The former opponents of the Great Leap Forward united against the Left and the GPCR.

Cadres loyal to the GPCR were arrested and imprisoned, all those deemed pro-GPCR were removed from the Party, the GPCR was declared a complete catastrophe, the commune system was dismantled, many rural and urban industries were privatized, state banks were opened to China’s former big comprador capitalists, war bonds already paid back before were again paid, laws were enacted to allow entry of US and other imperialist investments and the US and China conspired to exploit cheap Chinese labor.

Since late 1976, especially since the Third Plenum of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee in 1978, Deng Xiaoping and his accomplices have carried out the rapid and full restoration of capitalism in China. Liu Shaoqi was rehabilitated in 1980. The big bourgeoisie thrived within the state and private sectors. And the billionaires gained control over the Party, the state and the economy. China and the US have become the partners in the implementation of neoliberal globalization since the 1980s.

10. What can we say is the distinctive character of Chinese Imperialism that is different from the traditional Imperialist countries in the West? What are the big Chinese companies (State-Private) today in terms of Industry, Commerce, Banking and Investment? (Digitized payments [from QR codes to facial recognition], e-commerce and new ventures in digital currency are prevalent in China. What role will these new innovations play in the ongoing capitalist accumulation and crisis of capitalism?)

JMS: The distinctive character of Chinese imperialism that is different from the traditional imperialist countries in the West is that China has used its large population, the industrial foundation of the former socialist economy, the combination of state and private monopoly capitalism, state planning and the use of state resources and the rapid transfer and development of high technology to accelerate the growth of the economy and military forces. State and private monopoly corporations in industry, commerce, finance and investment work together and coordinate.

There are state monopoly corporations in all major parts of China’s economy. State monopoly corporations have always been associated with private monopoly corporations and even sell shares to big capitalists. Take a look at the list of the 500 largest Chinese private corporations. Let me just mention the 10 with the largest capital: Huawei (in electronics), Pacific Construction Group, Amer International Group (metals), Hengli Group (chemicals), Country Garden Holdings (real estate), Evergrande Group (real estate), Legend Holdings Ltd (electronics), Gome Holdings Group (retail), China Vanke Co Ltd (real estate) and Geely Holding Group (motoring). Huawei’s largest capital is 858 billion yuan or USD 126 billion and Geely’s is 330 billion yuan.

The 10 largest private banks of China are: China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China International Capital Corporation, Bank of Communications, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, China CITIC Bank and China Minsheng Bank. The following are the 5 largest private insurance companies: China Life Insurance Company, Ping An Insurance Group, China Pacific Insurance Group, People’s Insurance Company of China and New China Life Insurance.

11. Online sources say that the concept of the 9 dash line dates back to Mao’s time (or even earlier in the Kuomintang era) but it did not lead to aggressive claims to the WPS. What is the basis and your view on this? Now that the Chinese Imperialist presence in the WPS is growing stronger, what should the Filipino people and the world do in this regard?

JMS: The GMD government first made a 9 dash line and claimed 90 percent of South China in 1947. There was no such claim in Mao’s time. It was only in 2009 that the People’s Republic of China began using the 9-dash line to claim the South China Sea in connection with its dispute with Vietnam over the Island of Paracels.

And then China launched aggression against the Philippines by seizing maritime features in the exclusive economic zone to the territorial sea in the West Philippine Sea to create artificial islands that also have the characteristics of military bases. It also destroyed the marine environment and claimed the marine and mineral resources around it.

China violates the sovereignty and maritime rights of the Philippines in its exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf in the West Philippine Sea, which are guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and upheld by the 2016 judgment of the Permanent Arbitration Court that favors the Philippines and against China’s baseless claims.

The Philippines and the Filipino people must defend their sovereign and maritime rights and compel China before the UN and various courts to vacate the occupied maritime features and pay rent for the occupation and compensation for damages and destruction of the marine environment. The Filipino people must enlist the solidarity and support of the peoples of the world on this issue.

12. What is the prospect of socialist renewal in China at present? It has been reported in the past that there are students at Peking University who are trying to take Marxism seriously, re-examine Mao and even join factory workers to study and live among them. Is there also a possibility of ‘balkanization’ as happened in the former Soviet Union amid issues in Xinjiang and Hong Kong?

JMS: The big bourgeoisie came back to power in China through a period of “peaceful evolution” involving the propagation of modern revisionism, undermining the socialist system and countering the GPCR. But ultimately force was used by the capitalist restorationists to overthrow the proletariat. Deng made a counterrevolutionary coup, arrested and imprisoned those who stood for the GPCR and the proletarian-socialist line of Mao and killed some of them.

Those Maoist groups that you refer are being persecuted and being suppressed. They have to fight Chinese monopoly capitalism, which masquerades as “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. They have to struggle with the same revolutionary determination and vigor like the CPC led by Mao which fought and defeated the GMD. There can be no “socialist renewal” without hard and bitter forms of struggle, including armed struggle that may be supported by those elements in the current Chinese state and army who still secretly side with the people and adhere to the socialist cause.

China has been able to grow its large economy and develop a high level of technology in partnership with the US and other imperialist powers at the expense of the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the high cost of favoring the Chinese bourgeoisie and the foreign imperialist firms and incurring huge amounts of public debt. There is widespread social discontent in China despite official claims of rising prosperity and eliminating mass poverty.

China thinks that it can further develop its economy within its own borders as well expand the export of surplus commodities and capital through its One Belt-One Road project. But the US (together with nearly all the other traditional imperialist powers in G-7) regards China as No.1 economic competitor and No. 1 political rival and is increasingly determined to throw obstacles on the path of China.

The US has declared a trade war against China. It is trying to cut down the export surplus income that China has been getting for decades from the US market and is shifting manufacturing operations from China to lower-wage countries like India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand. It is accusing China of manipulating its trade and currency policies and stealing technology from US research laboratories and operating companies.

The US is also supporting and emboldening public resistance to China in Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hongkong. I think that these areas, including the Daoyu islands usurped by Japan, are under China’s national sovereignty and I do not yet foresee how China can be Balkanized. At any rate, border disputes between China and India have erupted. And China itself is provoking the resistance of Southeast Asian countries because of its baseless claim over 90 percent of the South China Sea in violation of the UNCLOS.

It remains to be seen how much China is adversely affected by the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and by China’s intensifying contradictions with the US. China may become stronger or weaker as an imperialist power or they may both weaken due to the worsening crisis of overproduction of the capitalist system and due to mutual decline. It is more likely that China would soon become a more powerful imperialist power than the US and that the US would continue to decline and be riven by strong fascist and anti-fascist currents.

China might eventually throw away its red flag of hypocrisy and convenience and follow the example of Gorbachov throwing away the communist flag. China could be severely weakened by the global capitalist crisis and by the attempts of the US to undermine and sabotage the Chinese economy, the OBOR project and BRICS. The Chinese big bourgeoisie might adopt even more repressive measures against the Maoist groups and movement as social discontent and resistance by the Chinese people become more manifest.

The most desirable prospect is for the Maoists and the proletariat to bounce back and seize power again from the bourgeoisie and reestablish socialism. As far as I know, there are Maoist groups in China and their movement is growing in strength. And the state is trying to suppress them.The Maoists can grow stronger as the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens and the revolutionary mass struggles for national liberation, democracy and socialism surge foward on a global scale.

13. You once mentioned in your contribution to an international seminar, the CPC’s contribution to the establishment of the first CPP, the Wa Chi guerrillas and the re -establishment of the Party. Can you reveal some of its historical details? (A Filipino-Chinese named Sixto Mercado Tiongco Yap [Ye Fei] became the General of the New 4th army from Tiaong, Quezon)

JMS: Since the CPC was established in China in 1921, it had a branch in the Philippines among Chinese workers and they also had trade unions. The long -term principal cadre of the Philippine branch of the CPC is Comrade C. He was close to Crisanto Evangelista, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands.

Comrade C. also became the principal cadre in forming the Wa Chi squadron of the Chinese which became part of the Hukbalahap in 1941. They fought well against the Japanese invaders. Many of them left the Philippines in 1947 and 1948 to participate in the general offensive and the victory of the CPC and the PLA in China. It is an honor and good fortune for me to have personally met and talked to Comrade C. several times in Beijing in 1966. He was then in a high position at the CPC Higher Party School.

Kalinaw News: 70 “Friends Rescued” successfully completed 15-Day Deradicalization Program in Magpet

Posted to the Kalinaw News (Jun 28, 2021): 70 “Friends Rescued” successfully completed 15-Day Deradicalization Program in Magpet

ARAKAN, COTABATO – Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of North Cotabato, Province of Bukidnon and Army’s 72nd Infantry “Gabay” Battalion under the operational control of 1002nd Infantry “Bagwis” Brigade successfully accomplished and completed the conduct of 15-Day Deradicalization Program to 70 “Friends Rescued” or Former Rebels composed of 57 FRs from North Cotabato and 13 FRs from Bukidnon that commenced last June 12, 2021 and culminated earlier today, June 28, 2021 held at Headquarters ‘A’ Coy, 72IB, Brgy Pangao-an, North Cotabato.

The said training with the theme “Pagbag-o Ug Pagbalik sa Sabakan sa Gobyerno aron makab-ot ang Kahapsay og Kalinaw” was facilitated by various Government and Non-Government Agencies, LGUs, IP Sector, PNP, members of Youth For Peace Movement “TALBOS” and troops of 72IB and 1002nd Bde . It was steered thru series of lectures, activities (group and individual), discussions, workshops and consultations; deradicalization for them to be oriented from communist ideologies. It aims to remold their way of thinking and remove the hatred, negative perspective about the Government and its leaders and undo their criminal and revolutionary mindset. It also aims to educate the participants on social, economic, health and political awareness on the different plans and programs offered by the Government.

The said training focused not only on lectures and discussions about the wrong ideologies perpetrated by the CTGs but moreso, in enhancing the spiritual aspect by conducting Bible Studies and Spiritual Enlightenment. This aims to bring them closer to the word of God and as their primary guide in giving strength and wisdom in their daily lives.

With the support and unending commitment of the Provincial and Municipal Local Government Units within the unit’s Area of Operations, all necessary materials and financial support needed were provided particularly the meals, snacks, and transportation during the whole duration of the said training.

One of the highlights of the said program were the distribution of 70 food packs from the PLGU and awarding of Financial Assistance worth 15,000 to 21 participants as part of the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 70 in addressing the issues, concerns and needs of the participants.

The closing program was graced by the presence of Hon. Nancy A Catamco, Governor, Province of North Cotabato; BGen Potenciano C Camba PA, Commander, 1002nd Bde; LTC Jose C Regonay Jr, Commanding Officer, 72IB; personnel from the Office of the Governor; officers and troops of 72IB and 70 former rebels.

LTC Jose C Regonay Jr, Commanding Officer, 72IB expressed his utmost gratitude to everyone who made the said program possible and successful. He assured that the unit will continue to give its best effort, cooperation and support in facilitating the delivery of services and in maintaining the peace and order in North Cotabato.

Further, BGen Potenciano C Camba said, “More than five decades of fighting for your false ideologies should stop. Now is the time for all of you to go back to the Government and embrace the Government’s programs for you.” He also added, “We are all united with you in our quest for peace and order.”

As the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the closing the Program, Hon. Nancy A Catamco said in her message, “As we pursue our goal in ending the insurgency that our country has been experiencing for the last 52 years, we are hopeful and looking forward for your kind and benevolent cooperation for the realization of peace not only in the Province of North Cotabato, but in the whole country as well.”

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

Kalinaw News: Army seizes high-powered firearms after series of encounters in Bukidnon-Agusan boundary

Posted to the Kalinaw News (Jun 28, 2021): Army seizes high-powered firearms after series of encounters in Bukidnon-Agusan boundary

IMPASUGONG, BUKIDNON – The troops of the 8th Infantry (Dependable) Battalion (8IB), Philippine Army seized two (2) high-powered firearms after a series of encounters at the boundaries of Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur on June 16, 2021 in its quest to end local insurgency in the area.

The troops heeded the report of concerned citizens that there were Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) members roaming around when the encounter transpired.

Government troops afterward were able to seize one (1) AK -47 and one (1) carbine rifle both with a magazine and live ammunition.

Soldiers are still in pursuit after discovering a lot of bloodstains in the area. Lt. Col. Edgardo Talaroc Jr, Commander 8IB said that, “The result of our operations is also because of the reports of concerned citizens who saw the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) in the area. This is a proof that they don’t have mass supporters anymore, they now have limited supply of food in the mountains, and they don’t have a choice but to come down and return to the fold of the law.”

“We will continue to protect the people in the hinterlands from the recruitment and lies of NPA terrorists because this is our mandate. We continue to call on to the CNT members, who want to lay down their arms and choose peace, that we are willing to help you”, Lt. Col. Talaroc ended.

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

Kalinaw News: NPA surrenders, Army recovers high caliber firearms in Eastern Samar

Posted to the Kalinaw News (Jun 28, 2021): NPA surrenders, Army recovers high caliber firearms in Eastern Samar

BORONGAN, EASTERN SAMAR – An NPA cadre in Eastern Samar surrendered to 78th Infantry Battalion and exposed the Communist Terrorist Group’s arms cache containing high-powered firearms and improvised explosive device (landmines).

The surrenderor NPA member was identified as Ka Roel served as the Political Instructor and Assistant Squad Leader of Squad 2 of NPA Guerilla Unit operating in the southern municipalities of Eastern Samar. He was voluntarily surrendered with one (1) 5.56mm M16A1 Rifle, magazines, and numerous ammunitions to Lt. Col. Oliver C. Alvior, Commander 78IB located at Brgy. Lalawigan, Borongan City, on June 15, 2021.

The recovered arms cache were composed of five (5) M16 rifles, two (2) M14 rifles, and six (6) IED main charge components.

Ka Roel was immediately given proper medical and dental assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration
Program (ECLIP) of the government. Citing starvation and fatigue due to constant
movement across the hinterlands of Eastern Samar was the primary reason for his surrender. Ka Roel was successfully convinced to lay down his arm after series of negotiations mediated by Llorente-Gen MacArthur Peace Builder Group (PBG). The members of the group were also former NPA and Supporters of CTG.

Furthermore, due to the good treatment of the soldiers toward him, which is in stark contrast to the lies and fears instilled by his NPA comrades, Ka Roel decided to reveal critical information on the status of the said NPA guerilla front. In a statement, he affirmed that the terrorist group had lost most of its manpower as a result of the relentless combat and security operations by Army’s 78IB and Eastern Samar Provincial Police Office (ESPPO) as the main operating units under the Peace and Law Enforcement Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster here in Eastern Samar.

The constant military operations also disrupted their capability to recruit new members forcing the rebel group to leave excess firearms in their caches through their former contacts in numerous barangays. Moreover, the government assured Ka Roel of his safety and security.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Alvior praised the bravery of the former rebel in deciding to surrender his firearm and to pinpoint NPA arms caches. He assured that the government would provide necessary interventions for Ka Roel and his family as the latter decided to be law-abiding citizens of the Republic of the Philippines.

“The surrender of Ka Roel and the recovery of NPA arms cache is a manifestation of the effectiveness of the whole-of-nation approach wherein the collective effort of the TF-ELCACs particularly by the PLEDS and LPE Clusters represented by the Peace Builder Groups, have provided a conducive environment for the remaining active NPAs to surrender.

According to Lt. Col. Alvior, the increasing number of NPA surrenderees and the recovery of firearms, ammunition, and explosives devices signify that the NPA in Eastern Samar is deteriorating because numerous top leaders have abandoned the armed struggle.

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

Kalinaw News: Army’s Sinagtala Battalion conducts peace and development awareness program for IP youths in Aurora

Posted to the Kalinaw News Facebook Page (Jun 28, 2021): Army’s Sinagtala Battalion conducts peace and development awareness program for IP youths in Aurora

Army’s Sinagtala Battalion conducts peace and development awareness program for IP youths in Aurora

#PhilArmy #ARMY124 #ParaSaBayan

BALER, Aurora – The 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion (91IB), 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division Philippine Army conducted Indigenous People Youth Awareness Program (IPYAP) in order to gained knowledge on tribal rights held in Dinalungan, Aurora on June 25, 2021.

According to Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, Commander 91IB, 50 tribal youth participated in the activity. It aims to bring the message of hope from the government through the whole of nation approach.

“We are committed to bring hope to our IPs, informing them that the government is here to assist and help them. We inform their basic rights and make sure they’re included in the development process, so they have the opportunity to live safer, healthier, and more prosperous lives,” Lt. Col. Rubio said.

The topics discussed during the activity were the executive order EO70, illegal drugs, social and environmental issues, teenage pregnancy, STD, HIV, AFP recruitment and among others.

The activity was attended by Richard R. Duaso, served as guest speaker- representative of Mayor Manuel A. Torres; Forester Rachelle M. Robert-Municipal environment and natural resources (MENRO); SK Federation President Dinalungan Lorraine Joy M. Castillo, SK Chairman of Barangay Simbahan Vinsor P. Talicuad; Dinalungan Municipal Police Station Police Staff Sergeant Oliver M. Flores; Municipal health office Mederia Fatima R. Asiso;, Municipal social welfare and development office (MSWDO) Eva R. Rada.

The IPYAP was participated by 11 Students IP Youth from Barangay Nipoo, 13 Students IP Youth from Barangay Paleg, 7 students from Barangay Abuleg, 10 Students IP Youth from Barangay Simbahan, 4 Students IP Youth from Barangay Poblacion 1 and 5 IP Youth from Barangay Poblacion 2, all in Dinalungan, Aurora.

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

Senate probe sought into Black Hawk chopper crash in Tarlac

From Rappler (Jun 28, 2021): Senate probe sought into Black Hawk chopper crash in Tarlac (JAIRO BOLLEDO)

Senator Richard Gordon says the government should keep an eye on other newly-acquired Black Hawk helicopters

Senator Richard Gordon called for a Senate investigation into the crash of a newly-acquired Black Hawk helicopter that killed 6 individuals in Tarlac on June 23.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, said there was a need for proper training for all military aircraft personnel to avoid such accidents again.

“It would be best to give the right support to our men in uniform... To have lost 6 souls during a training exercise is unfortunate. And to not have retrieved their bodies until more than ten hours after is heartbreaking,” Gordon said in a statement.

On Wednesday night, June 23, a newly-acquired S-70i Black Hawk Utility Helicopter of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) crashed a few miles from Colonel Ernest Rabina Air Base in Capas town, Tarlac.

The chopper missed its estimated time of arrival in Clark Air Base, which prompted the air force to conduct search and rescue operations, according to the PAF. No survivors were found, said the air force.

Meanwhile, Gordon added that the government should keep an eye on other newly-acquired helicopters.

LOOK: Second batch of Black Hawk choppers arrive in PH

“It is possible that these brand-new helicopters that we acquired could be faulty. They could pose a danger to our men in the air as well as to our citizens on the ground,” Gordon added.

The Philippines purchased a total of 16 Black Hawk helicopters amounting to $241.46 million (P11 billion) from Polish company Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze.

Recently, the Philippines received the second batch of helicopters on June 7. The first batch of helicopters was delivered in November 2020, while the third batch is expected to be delivered in the last quarter of 2021.

The Black Hawk helicopters are important air assets of the of the Armed Forces of the Philippines because they are multi-mission workhorses which are used for border patrol, search and rescue operations, and cargo lifts.

The PAF said all its Black Hawk helicopters are grounded during the investigation.

Soldiers Recover 7 guns In AgSur

From the Mindanao Times (Jun 28, 2021): Soldiers Recover 7 guns In AgSur (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

SOLDERS of the 26th Infantry Battalion seized seven high-powered firearms during an encounter between the group and members of the New People’s Army in Sitio Kimambukadyang, Brgy. Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, on June 22.

Second Lieutenant Cecille Tapa, Civil-Military Operation officer, said the armed clash lasted for 20 minutes and resulted in the recovery of the firearms, one AK47 rifle, three M16 rifle, two M653 Carbine and one Garand rifle.

Also recovered were a handheld radio, two cellular phones and other personal belongings believed to be of the rebels. The armed group also left behind their food supplies.

The military report said the armed group was composed of 16 members and that the encounter took place when someone informed the military unit about the camp of the group in the village.

Former ‘Red’ area eyed as tourism zone

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 28, 2021): Former ‘Red’ area eyed as tourism zone (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The leaf-shaped garden of Brgy. Mansalanao won first place in the La Castellana Century Leaf Garden landscaping competition, in line with its 15th Limpio Verde Festival recently* Arangka La Castellana photo

The barangay of Mansalanao in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, that according to Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan, was a former mass-based area of the New People’s Army, is now up for massive transformation into an eco-tourism zone of the town.

Its development started with the putting up of a 3.6-hectare Mandayao Panorama View Park, and the 1.2-hectare Century Leaf Garden, with the majestic Kanlaon Volcano in the background. The property owner, Francisco Infante, entered into a deed of usufruct with the local government unit for the temporary use of the area for 25 years.

Soon to rise in the park is a giant cross and a universal chapel.

The 3.6-hectare is the take off point of the tourism highway in Mandayao, where cafés mushroomed during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mangilimutan said.


“The pandemic has pushed us to innovate and open these sites for the establishment of cafés so that residents with entrepreneurial spirit can do business to address the impact of the economic crisis caused by Covid,” she added.

Mangilimutan, however, said the cafés in the Mandayao area will be relocated as she announced plans to put up permanent booths for the 13 barangays in the place where the Banana Festival will be held.

The Infante family, Mangilimutan said, is entering into a public-private partnership with the government to develop their 56-hectare property, known as the Mandayao Legacy Park, and the LGU was allowed to develop it into a tourism zone.

She said she plans to put up a hotel and resort, with a swimming pool and camping area, on the three-hectare area purchased by the municipal government, to accommodate tourists from other countries, as part also of their preparations for the Korean-Philippines Association of Festival and Culture Exchange, where, aside from Germany, Bailes de Luces had been showcased.

“I have traveled to beautiful places abroad and I want to replicate beautiful parks and gardens that will lead to the tourism and economic growth of the town,” Mangilimutan said.


Meanwhile, the 15th Limpio Verde Festival of La Castellana, on the theme “Ecosystem Restoration”, was highlighted on June 24 with the recognition of winning barangays in the Leaf Garden landscaping competition, that was conceptualized by Sangguniang Kabataan leaders.

Barangays Cabacungan and Mansalanao won in the landscaping competition, categories A and B, respectively.

The activity was attended by La Castellana Councilor Anejo Nicor, chairperson of the Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Tourism, Association of Barangay Captains president Noemi Nicor, businessman Frankie Uy, and personnel from the Office of Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, among others.

JTF Tawi-Tawi lauded for rescue of abducted Indonesians

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 28, 2021): JTF Tawi-Tawi lauded for rescue of abducted Indonesians (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

COMMENDATION. The Indonesian government commends the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Tawi-Tawi for the successful rescue recently of four of its nationals from captivity in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in that province. Indonesian Consul General Dicky Fabrian (left) flew Saturday (June 26, 2021) to Tawi-Tawi and personally handed the commendation certificate to Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, JTF Tawi-Tawi commander (right). (Photo courtesy of the Western Mindanao Command Public Information Office)

The Indonesian government lauded the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Tawi-Tawi for the successful rescue of four of its nationals from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), in a statement Monday, said Dicky Fabrian, Indonesia consul general, flew to Tawi-Tawi Saturday and personally awarded the Certificate of Commendation to Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, JTF-Tawi-Tawi commander, for the concerned effort and assistance of the unit in rescuing the four Indonesian kidnap victims of the ASG on March 18 and 21, this year.

Fabrian said the invaluable contribution of the 2nd Marine Brigade exemplifies their dedication and commitment to the mutual interest of the two countries and strengthens the bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you all. Let us continue to intensify our good relations for the common good,” Fabrian was quoted as saying.

“Rest assured that we will continue our efforts to enhance our mutual cooperation and interoperability for the benefit of both the Indonesians and the Filipinos, and our neighboring countries,” Rojas said in response to Fabrian.

It can be recalled that in March, the joint troops of JTF-Tawi-Tawi and policemen rescued the Indonesians and neutralized ASG sub-leader Majan Sajidjuan alias Apo Mike in Tawi-Tawi.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Westmincom, extended his gratitude to the Indonesian government for recognizing the efforts of the Philippine soldiers.

“I hope that our successes will foster better understanding among us while we continue to address security concerns on our shared maritime waters,” Vinluan said.

14 ex-rebels in NegOr receive gov't aid

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 28, 2021): 14 ex-rebels in NegOr receive gov't aid (By Mary Judaline Partlow)

GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE. Former rebels of the New People's Army (NPA) in Negros Oriental are seen receiving financial aid from the government under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in this undated photo. Gov. Roel Degamo and Col. Leonardo Peña, commander of the Army's 302nd Infantry Brigade, turned over the assistance recently at the convention center in Dumaguete City. (Photo courtesy of Capitol PIO)

Fourteen former rebels of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) have received financial assistance through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.

A media release from the Philippine Army on Monday said each beneficiary received immediate assistance worth PHP15,000, while six of them received livelihood assistance of PHP50,000. Likewise, four of them received firearms remuneration although no amount was mentioned.

Gov. Roel Degamo, E-CLIP Committee chair in Negros Oriental, and Col. Leonardo Peña, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, turned over the cash assistance to the beneficiaries at the Negros Oriental Convention Center here recently.

The distribution of benefits and cash assistance is part of the government’s E-CLIP program for former NPA members who have returned to the fold of the law.

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.

Rebel leader's surrender weakens NPA in Eastern Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 28, 2021): Rebel leader's surrender weakens NPA in Eastern Samar (By Sarwell Meniano)

Google map of Borongan City in Eastern Samar

The recent surrender of a New People’s Army (NPA) squad leader that led to the seizure of high-powered firearms in Eastern Samar is proof that the whole-of-nation approach is working to wipe out the insurgency, the Philippine Army said on Monday.

The surrender of alias Roel, political instructor and assistant squad leader of the NPA’s guerilla unit operating in the southern towns of Eastern Samar on June 15,
was a result of a series of negotiations by an organization comprising former rebels, said Lt. Col. Oliver Alvior, commanding officer of the Army’s 78th Infantry Battalion (78IB), in a statement sent to reporters.

“The surrender of alias Roel and the discovery of the NPA arms cache is a manifestation of the effectivity of the whole-of-nation approach wherein the collective effort of the local task force on ending local communist armed conflict and the peacebuilder group, have provided a conducive environment for the remaining active NPAs to surrender,” Alvior said.

"Roel" voluntarily surrendered at the 78IB headquarters in Lalawigan village, Borongan City, Eastern Samar, turning over one 5.56mm M16A1 rifle, magazines, and ammunition.

He also revealed the location of the communist terrorist group’s arms caches in the remote villages of Gen. MacArthur, Eastern Samar. The Army was able to locate the cache that stores five M16 rifles, two M14 rifles, and six anti-personnel mines' main charge components.

The series of military operations also disrupted the NPA's capability to recruit new members, forcing the terrorist group to leave excess firearms in their caches through their former supporters in some communities, according to the military.

“The increasing number of NPA surrenderers and the recovery of numerous firearms and explosives signify that the NPA in Eastern Samar are directionless because their top leaders have abandoned their fighters,” Alvior said.

The Army official praised the bravery of the former rebel in deciding to surrender his firearm and to pinpoint the NPA arms caches.

“Starvation and fatigue due to constant movement across the hinterlands of Eastern Samar was the primary consideration for his surrender. We can give assurance that the government will provide necessary interventions for alias Roel and his family as he decided to be law-abiding citizens of the country,” Alvior said.

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.

Duterte 'neutral' on call to extend BARMM transition period

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 28, 2021): Duterte 'neutral' on call to extend BARMM transition period (By Filane Mikee Cervantes)

NEUTRAL. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the anniversary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao held at the Malacañang Palace on Jan. 21, 2021. Malacañang on Monday (June 28) said Duterte is "neutral" on the proposal extending the transition phase of the BARMM for at least three more years. (Presidential photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte is "neutral" on the proposal extending the transition phase of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for at least three more years.

In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would let Congress decide on the proposal to extend the transition period of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), whose mandate will expire on June 30 next year.

Roque said the decision was reached after Duterte's meeting with representatives of the two parties with differing views on the matter.

"Neutral po ang ating Presidente. Iniiwan po niya sa Kongreso ang desisyon kung sila ay magpapasa ng batas na pahahabain pa ‘yung transition period para sa Bangsamoro Transition Authority (The President is neutral. He will let Congress decide if they will pass a law extending the transition period for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority),” Roque said

If the Bangsamoro Organic Law is amended to extend the BTA's life, the body will last until 2025.

Roque noted that the side supporting the transition extension argued that it would be hard to conduct the region's first elections because they do not have an Omnibus Election Code and law for redistricting.

“Pero sa panig naman ng dapat mag-eleksyon, importante na magkaroon ng mandato ang lahat ng mga political leaders natin para naman meron silang moral authority to lead (As for those supporting that the elections push through, it is important that all political leaders have a mandate so that they could have a moral authority to lead)," Roque said.

The transition plan for the region is set to be completed in 2022. However, due to disruptions brought by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, regional leaders are pushing to extend the Bangsamoro transition phase until 2025.

Bangsamoro interim Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said the transition period was too short to implement all the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

“Nakikita natin na very short iyong time na three years in order to restructure the government, iyong Bangsamoro government. Kasi po iyong Bangsamoro government is not like just changing of leadership, kailangan i-restructure natin ito (We can see that three years in order to restructure the Bangsamoro government is very short. Because Bangsamoro government is not like just changing of leadership, it needs to be restructured),” he said.

Ebrahim asked President Rodrigo Duterte to prod Congress to act on it.

For his part, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan said he is against the BTA extension since the law that created the BARMM provides that the autonomous region’s elections would be synchronized with 2022 national and local elections.

“Hindi dahil sa ayaw natin sa mga taga-BARMM or sa MILF, ang gusto lang natin ngayon ay magkaroon ng mandato ang ating mga opisyal dahil sinasabi natin, kahit doon kay Presidente na it would be very awkward na (It’s not that we are against those in the BARMM or MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front], what we want is for our officials to have mandate, even with President that it would be very awkward) for the BARMM officials to be governing without any mandate and maybe requesting us or ordering us to assist them,” Tan said.

Last November, the BTA passed a resolution urging Congress to extend the Bangsamoro transition to 2025.

Gov't vows to implement action plans vs. terrorism financing

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 28, 2021): Gov't vows to implement action plans vs. terrorism financing (By Filane Mikee Cervantes)

Malacañang on Monday vowed to implement the government's action plans to address all anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) deficiencies of the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after the global dirty money watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has included the Philippines in its “gray list” of countries under increased monitoring because of its policies and laws against money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, these action plans include the amendment and passage of AML/CTF laws; enhancement of the AML/CTF supervisory framework; reinforcement of money laundering and terrorism financing investigation and prosecution; and campaigns to increase public awareness.

"Tayo naman po ay nangako na ipatutupad iyong ating action plan kasama po noong pag-amyenda ng passage ng anti-money laundering at saka CTF laws, iyong enhancement ng ating AML at CTF supervisory framework, reinforcement of money laundering and terrorism financing investigation and prosecution and campaigns to increase public awareness," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque, however, noted that no countermeasures have been imposed as a result of the country's inclusion in the FATF’s “gray list.”

He said inclusion in the gray list usually means a country will have to comply with recommended reforms within a given time frame before the imposition of financial sanctions.

Inclusion in the FATF’s gray list will result in additional layers of scrutiny from regulators and financial institutions, delayed processing of transactions, and clocking the country’s road to an “A” credit rating.

"So, wala pa pong desisyon. They will monitor our progress. So we have not been put under negative list, pareho pa rin po tayo, but they want to see further improvements," he said.

Roque agreed with the FATF that more efforts should be done to choke off the money that sustains the activities of the terrorist groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“Well, obviously po, iyong CPP-NPA na terrorist group, mayroon pa ring pondo, so kinakailangan talaga, isarado natin kung sana nanggagaling iyong mga pondo nila (the CPP-NPA that is terrorist group, they still have funds, so it really is necessary that we close their sources of funds),” he said. “So, this is also to the benefit of the republic and we agree that more efforts have to be exerted para talagang mawalan ng pondo iyong mga teroristang iyan (for those terrorists to really lose funds).”

Bank secrecy law remains obsolete

House Ways and Means Committee chair Joey Salceda said the delay in the passage of the Bank Secrecy Law is the biggest obstacle to improvements in the country's FATF standing.

"Until our Bank Secrecy Law remains absolute, our financial monitoring and anti-money laundering regime will remain suspect," Salceda said.

Salceda said the country needs to demonstrate that effective risk-based supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions is occurring and that supervisors are using AML/CFT filters to mitigate risks associated with casinos.

"The solution here is really to allow the non-financial sectors such as gaming to be within the reach of the financial sector, which is the most heavily regulated industry in the country," he said.

The FATF recommended that the country show an increase in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of terrorist financing cases.

Salceda stressed that military intelligence has to be "more sophisticated", especially when it comes to tracking where these terrorist groups get their money and how.

"It must not be all-in on monitoring ideology and recruitment alone. The ability of terrorist groups to inflict real harm depends on their sources of financing. So, we need more sophistication in the security sector," he said.

The FATF also recommended enhancing the effectiveness of the targeted financial sanctions framework for both terrorist and proliferation financing.

"Getting out of the gray list is doable, but we must show our seriousness in doing so. Getting rid of absolute bank secrecy is the first best step. The others are much easier to do," he said.