Thursday, July 8, 2021

MILF: MILF-BIAF members attend community peace-building activity

 Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jun 30, 2021): MILF-BIAF members attend community peace-building activity (By Raffie S. Pasingan, Luwaran)

30JUNE

IN PHOTO: Resource speaker, Mr. Tirso Tahir from BLMI emphasizing to MILF-BIAF elements the significance of Peace Agreement to attain doable peace and development in BARMM region.

Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao (June 27, 2021)- We need to intensify our collective efforts in sustaining the gains of peace process to pave the way to doable peace and Development in BARMM Region. Mr. Tirso Tahir said during a peace building advocacy Saturday, June 26. at Barangay Balut, Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao.

Hadji Bashir Ampat of the 9th Brigade Expeditionary Mission, Inner Guard Base Command, NGF-BIAF of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) initiated productive initiatives through conducting series of peace building activities in grassroots communities in a bid to provide valuable information and enhance the efforts of MILF-BIAF combatants in sustaining the gains of the peace process.

It also aims to update the MILF Combatants on the significance of peace agreement that led to the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

During the activity, Mr. Tirso S. Tahir, officer from the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) gave updates on the programs implemented by BARMM.

Your unprecedented support and sacrifices in sustaining the atmosphere of peace in our region are part of Ibadah (worship), hence we must be responsive in peace-building endeavors that will pave the way to doable peace and development so that the Bangsamoro people will reap the dividends of Peace. What we see and feel right now is just the start towards the greater cause, Tahir said.

Tahir added that the establishment of BARMM is just a part and parcel of political aspect and democratic processes through the virtue of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

https://www.luwaran.com/news/article/2346/milf-biaf-members-attend-community-peace-building-activity

MILF: JPST heightens role as peacekeeping force

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 6, 2021): JPST heightens role as peacekeeping force

6JULY

In photo-BTA MP Abdullah Macapaar (center) cuts the ribbon during the inauguration of a pre-fabricated station in Brgy Panggao, Munai, Lanao Del Norte on June 26 (PHOTO BY OPAPP)

BRGY. PANGGAO, MUNAI, LANAO DEL NORTE July 2, 2021) --- Another 30 new members joined the Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) deployed in this town, as a prefabricated station was also completed and turned over to the JPST team here on June 26.

The JPST station was built with funding support from the Embassy of Japan, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Support to Peacebuilding and Normalization Programme (SPAN).

The facility was constructed by Philkoei International and Tokai-Kogyo

The JPST is a composite peacekeeping force composed of 15 representatives from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front - Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF), 7 from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and 8 from the Philippine National Police.

It is a key component of the Normalization track under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), and is mainly tasked to track and document private armed groups, and help in the reduction and control of weapons; support the observance of the existing ceasefire agreement to address and prevent hostilities; work on security arrangements for activities related to and personalities involved in the peace process; and support dispute resolution initiatives on the ground.

Continued support to the peace process

In his remarks, Winston Camarinas, head of the UNDP Cotabato Office, said: “Ang opening ng JPST station here ay hindi lamang po opening of the structure but it is a symbolic (push) for the cooperation ng lahat ng stakeholders.”

“UNDP will continue the support and we commit ourselves to continue to support the process sa pag implement ng peace process at the same time pagsuporta sa pagsulong ng lokal na kapayapaan dito sa area,” Camarinas added.

In his message read by UNDP staff member Lisa Custodia, Okada Fumiaki, first secretary of the Embassy of Japan, said that the Japanese government will continue to support the implementation of the Bangsamoro peace process.

“As the peace process of Mindanao is developing, the Japanese Government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will continue and further expand the cooperation for the transition to Bangsamoro Autonomous Government, the Normalization process and improvement of socioeconomic infrastructures.”

Over the years, Japan has actively supported the GPH-Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace process through various development projects.

The Japanese government’s donations to the JPST have included 12 Toyota Hilux pick trucks, 1 Toyota Fortuner SUV, 6 dropside trucks, 40 motorcycles and construction of 10 JPST stations.

These equipment and facilities have provided a major boost to JPSTs deployed in the Bangsamoro.

Beacon of hope

Munai Mayor Racma Andamama said her municipality fully supports the Bangsamoro peace process.
Andamama believes that the deployment of the JPST in her municipality will help sustain peace and stability in the area.
 
“Ito pong pagkakaroon ng JPST dito sa Brgy. Panggao, ito na ang magiging simula na magtutulungan ang ating pinag-isang AFP, PNP at mga BIAF para mapanatili ang kapayapaan," the mayor said.

"On behalf of the LGU Munai, basta ang usapan ay para sa kapayapaan, palagi po kaming nakasuporta dahil ‘iyan din ang pangunahing gusto namin para sa munisipyo ng Munai,” she added.

Meanwhile, Colonel Charlemagne Batayola, deputy commander of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, noted that the creation of the JPST is a symbol of unity and cooperation among all stakeholders in their common quest for long-lasting peace.

“This JPST is a solemn symbolism and a beacon of hope that all of us here today wants to attain -- lasting peace and conflict development not only for our MILF brothers and sisters or MNLF brothers or sisters but for everyone living in these peaceful communities,” Batayola said.

Member of the Parliament Abdullah Macapaar pointed out that government peace and development initiatives will not succeed if the people do not support them.

“Ang programa ng ating gobyerno ay mapanatili ang kapayapaan. Muslim o Christian man sana tumulong tayo sa pag implement sa mga programa ng ating Presidente. Tayo ay magkaisa at magtulungan,” Macapaar said.

JPSC as peacekeeping force

According to Brigadier General Francisco Ariel Felicidario, co-chair of the Joint Peace and Security Committee, the JPST deployed in Balindong in Lanao del Sur helped solve a rido in Balindong.
He clarified that it is not the role of JPSTs to carry out military offensives, but to help solve rido cases and to help sustain peace in the Bangsamoro.

“Hindi kayo pang opensiba unless atakihin kayo at kailangan ninyong depensahan ang mga sarili ninyo. Kayo ay andyan para tumulong na mapanatili ang kapayapaan,” Felicidario said.

“Kayo ay andyan para tumulong sa pamahalaan at lalong lalo na sa mga komunidad na maayos ang mga rido na kung minsan nagiging dahilan sa mabagal na pag unlad ng isang komunidad,” he added.

https://www.luwaran.com/news/article/2347/jpst-heightens-role-as-peacekeeping-force

MILF: OPAPP, TESD-Tawi-Tawi conduct orientation on skills training to MILF decommissioned combatants

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 8, 2021): OPAPP, TESD-Tawi-Tawi conduct orientation on skills training to MILF decommissioned combatants (By Raffie S. Pasingan, Luwaran)

8JULY

IN PHOTO: OPAPP, TESD-MBHTE with MILF-Decommissioned Combatants in Tawi-Tawi on July 3, 2021, at TTSAT- Covered Court, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi

2BONGAO TAWI-TAWI. July 5. 2021. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD-MBHTE) conducted an orientation to Decommissioned MILF Combatants, Saturday, July 3 at Tawi-Tawi School of Arts and Trade covered court, Bongao, this province.

Participants were 143 former MILF Combatants of Tawi-Tawi who were part of the second phase of decommissioning program on March 2020 at Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Officials from the OPAPP led by Ms. Sanabila Sabil along with Dr. Maryam Nuruddin, Tawi-Tawi Provincial Director, Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD-MBHTE) conducted the activity to orient the former MILF-Combatants regarding the short-term capacity intervention on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Focal persons led by Jurist Doctor Saliakram M. Adduh, Mr. Radzhadin Ahang and Mr. Aldaim Kasim from the Office of MP Prof. Abdulla A. Ahang, who is at the time the MILF Provincial Political Committee of Sama Province assisted in facilitating the activity so that they will be fully aware of the short-term program.

Mr. Tony Said, Tawi-Tawi Provincial Coordinator on Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (MILF- CCCH) and also the focal person on Decommissioned Combatants also helped in facilitating the program.

The Municipal Government of Bongao was represented by Mr. Jun Dail. CSO Officer from Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) Mr. Tirso S. Tahir was also present.

For his part, Mr. Moses I. Dalagan, TESD Scholarship focal person, underlined the significance of TESD Programs and their corresponding mechanisms on how to avail the program and urged those interested to visit the TESD Provincial office in Bongao.

In their message, both OPAPP and TESD Officials encouraged the Decommissioned Combatants and other interested Bangsamoro Individuals to avail the skills training program which is being rolled out by TESD, Tawi-Tawi.

The Decommissioned Combatants of Tawi-Tawi expressed their profound gratitude to individuals and government agencies who initiated the conduct of the activity and vowed to sustain the gains of the Peace process by supporting the BARMM Regional Government and its programs.

The TESD short-term program is a component and integral part of a socio-economic package to be allotted by the Philippine Government through OPAPP to MILF Decommissioned Combatants as stipulated in the peace agreement to enable the former combatants to enjoy the dividends of peace and live a peaceful life.

https://www.luwaran.com/news/article/2348/opapp--tesd-tawi-tawi-conduct-orientation-on-skills-training-to-milf-decommissioned-combatants

14 openly disavow CPP-NPA in Aklan

From Panay News (Jul 9, 2021): 14 openly disavow CPP-NPA in Aklan


Before a Philippine Army official, former supporters and sympathizers of communist rebels pledge allegiance to the government of the Philippines during a ceremony in Libacao, Aklan on June 8, 2021. PRO-6 PHOTO

LIBACAO, Aklan – Fourteen residents here publicly withdrew their support from the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

In a program yesterday at around 10 a.m. at Janlud High School in Barangay Janlud, the former rebel supporters said they decided to heed the call of the government to “surrender.”

They initially sought the help of local government officials and were eventually referred to the Libacao police station.

Their surfacing brought to 32 the number of rebel-associated people who yielded to authorities since last month.

In interviews, most of them revealed their support to the rebels came in the form of allowing the insurgents to sleep in their houses, giving them food supplies and money.

During the program yesterday, the 14 persons were debriefed. They also executed judicial affidavit.

The surenderers would still undergo profiling then recommended for inclusion to the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.

Aklan Police Provincial Office led by director Police Colonel Ramir Perlito Perlas facilitated yesterday’s program supported by the Philippine Army (represented by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Jason Estrada, 12 Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer), Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales (representing the Department of Justice), and Mayor Charito Navarrosa.

The withdrawal of support is seen to further weaken the CPP-NPA in Aklan.

Early this month, in the adjacent province of Capiz, an encounter between Philippine Army soldiers and rebels in Sitio Tabiay, Barangay Buri, Tapaz led to the recovery of materials used in making anti-personnel mines.

“These are proof that the NPA continue to use landmines against Army troops in clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL),” said Brigadier General Marion Sison, commander of the 301st Brigade.

The NPA’s purpose in using anti-personnel mines indiscriminately, he said, is to destroy lives, including those of innocent civilians.

“These terrorists want to brutally harm our troops and civilians, a blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law,” said Sison.

https://www.panaynews.net/14-openly-disavow-cpp-npa-in-aklan/

CPP/Ang Bayan: Mga sasakyan-panghimpapawid ng AFP: Lumilipad na mga kabaong?

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 7, 2021): Mga sasakyan-panghimpapawid ng AFP: Lumilipad na mga kabaong?



Mistulang lumilipad na mga kabaong ang mga helikopter at eroplano ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Bumagsak noong Hulyo 4 ang isang C-130 Hercules transort plane ng militar sa Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu, na nagtamo ng pinakamalalang kaswalti sa nakaraang tatlong dekada.

Ayon sa pinakahuling ulat, umabot na sa 52 ang kumpirmadong namatay kabilang ang 49 na sundalo at tatlong residente ng Sityo Amman ng naturang barangay. Umaabot sa 53 ang sugatan at ginagamot ngayon, kung saan 49 sundalo at apat ang sibilyan.

Ang segunda-manong eroplanong ito ay binili ng rehimen noon lamang Enero mula sa US. Pinaglumaan na ang karamihan sa mga kagamitang pandigma ng AFP, kabilang ang mga barko at eroplanong ginamit pa noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig at sa gerang agresyon ng US sa Vietnam mula dekada 1960 hanggang 1970.

Naganap ang insidente ilang araw matapos ipinatigil ni Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana noong Hunyo 24 ang pagpalipad naman ng mga Black Hawk helicopter pagkatapos na bumagsak ang isa nito sa isang misyong pagsasanay sa Capas, Tarlac.

Bumagsak ang combat utility helicopter noong Hunyo 23 ng gabi pagkatapos mag-take off ito mula sa dating base militar. Kinabukasan, natagpuan ng mga pangkat ng search and rescue ang labi ng helikopter sa may Crow Valley, Tarlac. Patay lahat ang anim na sakay nito.

Ang bumagsak na S-70i Black Hawk ay isa sa 16 na binili ng Pilipinas sa Poland noong 2019. Ang anim nito, kabilang ang bumagsak, ay dumating sa bansa noong Nobyembre 2020. Dumating ang limang helikopter noong Hunyo at ang huling bats ay darating sa katapusan nitong taon.

Bahagi ang biniling 16 na Black Hawk sa $241-milyong kontrata (o ₱11.8 bilyon sa palitang $1=₱48.85) sa pagitan ng mga gubyerno ng Pilipinas at ng Poland na nilagdaan noong 2019. Gawa ang mga ito ng PZL Mielec ng Poland, subsidyaryo ng kumpanyang US na Lockheed Martin. (Napilitang bumili sa Poland ang Pilipinas dahil tinanggihan ito ng gubyerno ng Canada bunsod ng malalang rekord sa paglabag sa karapatang-tao ng rehimeng Duterte.)

Sa kabuuan, may 18 patay at apat na sugatang mga piloto at sundalo sa sunud-sunod na pagbagsak ng helikopter simula noong Hulyo 2020 hanggang Hunyo 23 nitong taon.

Noong Hulyo 2020, apat na mga piloto at sundalo ang napatay at isa pa ang nasugatan pagkatapos bumagsak ang isang Huey helicopter habang lumilipad sa isang pagsasanay sa gabing operasyon sa hilagang Luzon.

Pagpasok ng taong 2021, bumagsak naman noong Enero ang isang UH-1H Huey helicopter ng 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing sa Bulonay, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. Patay ang pitong sakay nito. Sumusuporta noon ang helikopter sa operasyong kombat ng 8th IB laban sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan.

Noong Abril, namatay ang isang piloto ng Philippine Air Force habang nasugatan ang tatlong iba pa pagkatapos bumagsak ang sinasakyang MG520 helicopter gunship ng 15th Strike Wing sa bayan ng Jetafe, Bohol.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

https://cpp.ph/2021/07/07/mga-sasakyan-panghimpapawid-ng-afp-lumilipad-na-mga-kabaong/

CPP/Ang Bayan: Nang busugin ng diktador ang kanyang mga halimaw

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 7, 2021): Nang busugin ng diktador ang kanyang mga halimaw



Hanggang sa nalalabing mga buwan ng upisyal na termino ni Rodrigo Duterte, nagpapatuloy ang pagpabor niya sa kanyang armadong mga tauhan, laluna sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Ang malimit niyang ituring na “mga sundalo ko” ay ipinapalayaw sa madalas na pagbisita sa mga kampo, pag-udyok sa kanila na pumatay at manggahasa, at maging sa pagprayoridad na mabakunahan. Nangunguna rin sa mga pabor ni Duterte ang pagbubusog sa kanila sa salapi at kapangyarihan.

Bilang pangunahing haligi ng kanyang teroristang paghahari, todo ang pagpapalaki at pagpapalakas ni Duterte sa militar at pulis. Humigit kumulang 400,000 ang kasalukuyang bilang ng mga sundalo at iba pang tauhang panseguridad. Bumibilang lamang sila ng may 347,000 noong magsimula si Duterte sa pagkapangulo. Gayundin, pinalaki ang bilang ng mga CAFGU, na target pang paramihin ng rehimen hanggang 79,000 mula noong 2020. Noong 2015 ay nasa 56,000 lamang ang bilang ng mga paramilitar. Sa kasalukuyan, may 190 heneral ang AFP at 146 ang Philippine National Police (PNP).

Ang pagpapalaki sa militar ay tulak ng desperasyon ni Duterte na sugpuin ang armadong rebolusyon. Noong 2016, ang Philippine Army na siyang pinakamalaking sangay ng AFP, ay bumibilang lamang ng may 81,000 tauhan na nahahati sa 87 batalyong pangmaniobra. Ipinakat noong Oktubre 2017 ang 88th IB bilang una sa karagdagang 20-35 batalyon na tinarget buuin ni Duterte. Ang 99th IB, isa sa mga pinakabagong batalyon, ay nakaistasyon ngayon sa Fort Magsaysay sa Nueva Ecija.

Pondo at mando ng US

Naging madali ang pagtupad ni Duterte sa kanyang balak dahil tinustusan ito ng US. Mula 2016-2019, tumanggap ang rehimen ng ₱27.2-bilyong ayudang militar. Kabilang dito ang ₱13.1-bilyong halaga ng mga armas at kagamitang militar. Inaabangan pa ng rehimen ang karagdagang ₱9.8-bilyong ayuda para sa taong ito.

Kabilang sa pinondohan ng US ang pagbubuo ng 11th ID noong 2018 na sumasaklaw ngayon sa mga isla at karagatan ng Sulu at target punuan ng 4,500 personel. Bahagi ng dibisyon ang 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) ng Philippine Army na nakabatay sa istruktura at direktang inaarmasan ng US. Nag-oopereyt ito bilang yunit na kumpleto sa suportang panghimpapawid, mga kanyon, armored personnel carrier at iba pa. Ang 11th ID at mga BCT ay idinidirehe ng militar ng US sa tabing ng iba’t ibang pagsasanay-militar.

Kabilang din sa mga bagong binuong yunit ang Cyber Battalion ng armi para manguna sa mga pag-atake gamit ang internet.

Alinsunod sa pakikipagmabutihan ni Duterte sa China, nakatanggap din ang AFP ng mga ayudang militar mula sa China. Kabilang dito ang 6,000 ripleng Norinco noong 2016. Bahagi ng pakikipagribalan ng China sa US, puspusan din ang pagsisikap ng China na magkaroon ng malakas na impluwensya sa mga upisyal ng AFP upang kontrahin ang kontrol dito ng US. Makikita na mayroon na ring tipak sa loob ng AFP na bumabaling sa China, na nananalig sa umuusbong na kapangyarihan ng China sa rehiyon, o di kaya’y mga nakinabang sa kikbak sa maanomalyang mga kontrata ng gubyerno at napaburan sa negosyo ng mga sindikato ng droga at ismagling.

Pabuya sa mga berdugo

Mula 2016, pinaburan ni Duterte na itaas ang sweldo ng kanyang mga sundalo at pulis. Naipirmi niya ang kanilang katapatan sa dobleng paglaki ng buwanang sahod ng mga karaniwang kawal hanggang sa mga heneral. Mas malaki nang halos ₱6,000 ang agwat ng batayang sahod ng bagong sundalo (₱29,668) sa bagong-pasok na mga guro sa mga pampublikong paaralan. Ang karamihan sa mga bagong tanggap na mga nars naman ay nakapako pa rin sa ₱22,000-₱24,000 ang buwanang sweldo. Ginawa ang pagtaas ng batayang sweldo para umakit ng mas maraming rekrut. Sa kabila nito, hindi pa rin naaabot ng mga sangay ng AFP ang target na bilang ng rekrutment.

Tumatanggap ang mga sundalo at pulis ng samutsaring alawans at benepisyo para sa pagkain, damit, pabahay at iba pa. May hiwalay pang bayad ang pagsabak sa operasyon at pagkasangkot sa armadong labanan. Mas mataas ang kanilang take home pay o naiuuwing sweldo dahil hindi sila naghuhulog ng pensyon, di tulad ng iba pang empleyado ng gubyerno.

Tumatanggap ng hiwalay na allowance ang mga upisyal. Ang mga kapitan ay buwanang binibigyan ng ₱7,000 habang ₱35,000 sa pinakamataas na ranggong heneral. Wala pa rito ang mga gantimpala sa mga sundalong ginagawaran ng kung anu-anong medalya, na maaaring umabot sa ₱100,000 kada buwan.

Pero ang lahat ng ito ay maliit na halaga kumpara sa mas malalaking pabuya sa mga heneral kapalit ng katapatan sa diktador. Inilalagay sila ni Duterte sa mga susing pusisyon sa gubyerno matapos magretiro. Paborito niyang bigyan ng pusisyon ang mga heneral na dating naitalaga sa Davao. Matatagpuan ang mga dating upisyal sa hindi bababa sa 12 pusisyon sa gabinete, maliban pa sa mga nasa mabababang pusisyon.

Naglublob sa pondo ng bayan ang mga heneral at iba pang upisyal. Sa pagpadrino ni Duterte ay kinontrol niya agad ang Bureau of Customs (BOC) para sa madulas na pagpasok sa bansa ng iligal na droga at mga kontrabando. Nang mabulilyaso ang pinalusot ng dating hepe ng BOC na si Nicanor Faeldon na ₱6.5-bilyong halaga ng shabu, dalawang dating heneral pa rin ang magkasunod na ipinalit sa kanya.

Pawang mga dating upisyal ng militar at pulis din ang tatlong magkakasunod na itinalaga sa Bureau of Corrections para makontrol ang produksyon ng mga druglord na patuloy na nakapag-oopereyt mula sa loob ng bilangguan.

Noong 2017, pinaniniwalaang milyun-milyon ang ibinulsa ng kasanggang mga heneral ni Duterte sa maanomalyang pagbili ng dalawang barkong pandigma ng Philippine Navy. Mismong si Duterte ay sangkot sa korapsyon sa ₱16-bilyong halagang kontrata. Ang mga alagad niyang heneral din ang nakinabang sa pakitang-taong pagsisante sa karibal na mga upisyal sa ngalan ng umano’y gera kontra-korapsyon at “gera kontra-droga.”

(Ilalabas sa susunod na isyu ang ikalawang bahagi.)

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

https://cpp.ph/2021/07/07/nang-busugin-ng-diktador-ang-kanyang-mga-halimaw/

CPP/NDF-Negros Island: Maj. Gen. de Leon’s cockeyed diatribe only exposed his gross ignorance

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 7, 2021): Maj. Gen. de Leon’s cockeyed diatribe only exposed his gross ignorance

BAYANI OBRERO
SPOKESPERSON
NDF-NEGROS ISLAND
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

JULY 07, 2021



Recently AFP Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Operations Major Gen. Edgardo de Leon in a state-sponsored interview ludicrously blathered about “hatred as primary weapon of CPP-NPA in pushing for change.”

The people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, abhor the semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system represented by the fascist US-Duterte regime and fanatically defended by Gen. de Leon for the intolerable exploitation and oppression it brought on them.

The series of neoliberal economic programs implemented by Duterte further deteriorated the already destitute economic condition of the people and now made even worse by the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. Unbridled corruption smoke-screened as urgent efforts to help the people brace themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic have landed the country with an P11 trillion total debt.

This abysmal condition drives the people to launch all forms of struggles to assert their democratic rights, demands and welfare. And in the process, especially in lieu of the brutal campaign and dirty war the regime unleashed to suppress their struggles, they come to grasp the necessity of armed revolution to fundamentally change the rotten system.

Clearly, Maj. Gen.de Leon is grossly ignorant of the fact that no amount of hate speeches and rhetoric can incite a revolution much more sustain it for more than five decades. This mentality also showed his contempt for the people whom he viewed as brainless and uneducated mobs who can easily be manipulated or brainwashed.

The objective situation for waging a revolution is more favorable than ever as Duterte imposes more imperialist neoliberal economic prescriptions to raise funds for the forthcoming elections and desperately cling to power through fascist means.

This has nothing to do with generating public hate as Maj. Gen. de Leon imagined.###

https://cpp.ph/statements/maj-gen-de-leons-cockeyed-diatribe-only-exposed-his-gross-ignorance/

CPP/NDF-Negros Island: NDF Negros slams AFP official on gross ignorance

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 7, 2021): NDF Negros slams AFP official on gross ignorance

BAYANI OBRERO
SPOKESPERSON
NDF-NEGROS ISLAND
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

JULY 07, 2021



The National Democratic Front (NDF) – Negros released a statement today responding to a state-sponsored interview of an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) aired last June 28 calling it a “cockeyed diatribe exposing gross ignorance.”

Ka Bayani Obrero slammed AFP Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Operations Major Gen. Edgardo de Leon for “ludicrously blathering about hatred as primary weapon of [the] CPP-NPA in pushing for change” saying that “it has nothing to do with generating public hate as de Leon imagined.”

“Clearly, Maj. Gen. de Leon is grossly ignorant of the fact that no amount of hate speeches and rhetoric can incite a revolution much more sustain it for more than five decades. This mentality also showed his contempt for the people whom he viewed as brainless and uneducated mobs easily manipulated or brainwashed,” said Obrero.

According to Obrero, the people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, abhor the semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system represented by the fascist US-Duterte regime and fanatically defended by de Leon for the intolerable exploitation and oppression it brought them.

Obrero pointed out that the series of neoliberal economic programs implemented by Duterte further deteriorated the already destitute economic condition of the people and now made even worse by the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.

Unbridled corruption smoke-screened as urgent efforts to help the people brace themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic have landed the country with an P11 trillion total debt, said Obrero.

The NDF spokesman elucidated that “this abysmal condition drives the people to launch all forms of struggles to assert their democratic rights, demands and welfare. And in the process, especially in lieu of the brutal campaign and dirty war the regime unleashed to suppress their struggles, they come to grasp the necessity of armed revolution to fundamentally change the rotten system.”

“The objective situation for waging a revolution is more favorable than ever as Duterte imposes more imperialist neoliberal economic prescriptions to raise funds for the forthcoming elections and desperately cling to power through fascist means,” he remarked.###

https://cpp.ph/statements/ndf-negros-slams-afp-official-on-gross-ignorance/

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: Mangunguma kag indi NPA ang ginpatay sang mga barbarong suldado sang 62nd IB

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 7, 2021): Mangunguma kag indi NPA ang ginpatay sang mga barbarong suldado sang 62nd IB

JB REGALADO
SPOKESPERSON
NPA-CENTRAL NEGROS (LEONARDO PANALIGAN COMMAND)
NEGROS ISLAND REGIONAL OPERATIONAL COMMAND (APOLINARIO GATMAITAN COMMAND)
NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY

JULY 07, 2021



Lubos nga ginakondenar sang Leonardo Panaligan Command- New People’s Army (LPC-NPA) nga prenteng gerilya sa sentral negros ang isa naman ka kaso sang brutal nga pagpatay sa isa ka mangunguma sa syudad sang Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

Ang biktima ginkilala kay Randy Tapales, isa ka soltero kag residente sang So. Hinobaan, Brgy. Luz, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Si Tapales ang nagapanglakaton lamang papuli nga naga-isahanon sang gin-ambusan sang mga pasistang tropa sang 62nd Infantry Battalion Philippine Army sa So. Pitik-pitik, Brgy. Luz sang nasambit nga syudad sadtong Hulyo 4, 2021 alas 7:00 sang kagab-ihon.

Sa pagkamatuod, wala sang kamatuoran nga may nahitabo nga enkwentro sa tunga sang mga NPA kag tropa sang militar sang sini nga panahon. Kag subongman indi katapo sang NPA ang ila ginpatay nga si Tapales.

Antes pa man ang panghitabo, nakadawat na si Tapales sang mga pagpamahug sa iya nga seguridad kag ang mga kabatan-onan sa ila nga Brgy. kutob sa gin “red-tag” nga tigsuporta kag mga myembro kuno sang NPA kag nangin kabangdanan sang pagtago-tago kag indi na makapuyo ang mga ginpang “red-tag” sa ila nga puluy-an.

Mabaskog man nga ginakondenar sang LPC-NPA ang pagpalubong sang mga tropa militar sa bangkay ni Tapales sa diin gindingot sang pasistang sa pamilya mismo sang biktima ang kinamatarong nga makita ang patay nga lawas sini kag madala pauli sa ila balay bisan isa lang ka adlaw sa pihak nga naga pakitluoy na ini sa mga nasambit nga militar sa rason pa nga gusto ilipod ang matuod kahimtangan sg biktima nga halos natadtad sang bala kag nabulag na sa lawas ang ulo sini.

Indi makatarungan ang kasubong sini nga pagpatay sang mga berdugong militar sa isa ka pumuluyo. Ini ang nagbunga sang kahadlok kag lubos nga pagkahangawa sa kaseguriduhan nga mangabuhi sang mga mangunguma kag ordinaryong pumuluyo sa kapareho sini nga barbaro nga kalakasan sang mga militar kag berdugo nga mga pulisya.

Imbes nga sabton ang matuod nga problema sang kapigaduhon kag krisis sang pandemya ang atubangon sang pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte, tiraniya ang ginpalapnag sini sa bilog nga pumuluyo para pahipuson kag paludhon ang pumuluyo para mangin sunod-sunoran sa iya.

Ipabatyag ang bug-os nga kusog kag kaakig sa pasistang rehimeng Duterte. Kaupod sang malapad nga pumuluyong pigos kag ginahimuslan, nagapalayag ang LPC-NPA sang kasubo, kaakig kag simpatiya indi lamang sa brutal nga pagpatay kay Randy Tapales kundi sa tanan nga nangin biktima sang ekstra-hudisyal nga pagpamatay kag iban pa nga porma sang pagpangtapak sang demokratikong kinamatarong sang mga pumuluyo sa idalum sang mapiguson nga laye sang Anti-terror Law, E.O 70 kag kurakot nga NTF-ELCAC.

Sobra na! Tama na! Maghiusa para pasabton si Duterte sang iya kriminalidad kag kapabayaan. Indi mahadlok nga maghimakas para tapuson ang nagakadunot na kag bangkarote nga Rehimen.

Hustisya para kay Randy Tapales!
Hustisya para sa tanan nga biktima sang tiraniyang US-Duterte nga Rehimen!

https://cpp.ph/statements/mangunguma-kag-indi-npa-ang-ginpatay-sang-mga-barbarong-suldado-sang-62nd-ib/

CPP/NDF-IIO: NDFP condoles with the family of Ka Nonoy Espina and extols his record as fighter for press freedom

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 8, 2021): NDFP condoles with the family of Ka Nonoy Espina and extols his record as fighter for press freedom

INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION OFFICE
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

JULY 08, 2021


The National Democratic Front of the Philippines Negotiating Panel condoles with the family, colleagues and friends of Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Llavore Espina who passed away tonight, July 7, of liver cancer.

We salute Nonoy Espina as the foremost press freedom defender of our time. As chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines from 2018 to March of this year, he led the struggle to defend freedom of the press and expression against the evil Rodrigo Duterte regime. He defended ABS-CBN, Rappler, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Altermidya member outfits and all media organizations from unceasing State-led attacks.

As NUJP national director for many terms, Southeast Asia Journalists Union founding member and DART Foundation worker, Nonoy defended his fellow journalists from all forms of injustices, criminal libel, malicious trolling, unjust wages, inhumane working conditions as well as trauma suffered from dangers posed by their work. He was a worthy successor to NUJP founder Antonio Ma. Nieva and other brave union chairpersons such as his younger sister Inday Espina Varona.

Nonoy was among the very first who rushed to the Ampatuan Massacre site to look for his 33 missing colleagues. For a full decade, he was at the forefront of the struggle for justice that culminated in his very presence inside the jail facility as the guilty verdict was meted against several of the suspects. Nonoy was among the NUJP leaders who managed scholarship grants to children of many of the massacre victims. These beneficiaries have lost their Tito Nonoy tonight.

We watched in awe as Nonoy led his fellow NUJP members in a march around the ABS-CBN Compound last year as thousands gathered to call for the network’s franchise renewal. It may very well be that biggest protest action in defense of a media outfit and press freedom in our country’s history.

Nonoy was an excellent journalist and writer. He did not only write accurately and with polish, he was also among the fastest a reporting to the people. Most remarkable for us was the uncompromisingly pro-people line he consistently took. Indeed, as one of his colleagues wrote, Nonoy was most deserving of both the College Editors Guild of the Philippines’ MH del Pilar Award he received in 2019 and of his Graciano Lopez Jaena lineage. May we add that the MH del Pilar Award gained more prestige with him as its latest awardee.

An explosion of grief among journalists and patriotic Filipinos nationwide greeted the announcement of Nonoy’s passing Wednesday night. The same loss is sure to be felt by his many colleagues and friends in communities of independent journalists worldwide.

We share in their grief. And we turn the inspiring example of Ka Nonoy into strength and courage to advance the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy.

Issued by the National Council
of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

https://cpp.ph/statements/ndfp-condoles-with-the-family-of-ka-nonoy-espina-and-extols-his-record-as-fighter-for-press-freedom/

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: 62nd IB murdered Randy Tapales in fake encounter

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 8, 2021): 62nd IB murdered Randy Tapales in fake encounter

JB REGALADO
SPOKESPERSON
NPA-CENTRAL NEGROS (LEONARDO PANALIGAN COMMAND)
NEGROS ISLAND REGIONAL OPERATIONAL COMMAND (APOLINARIO GATMAITAN COMMAND)
NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY

JULY 08, 2021



The Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army Central Negros Guerrilla Front (LPC-NPA) expressed utmost outrage over another farmer killed by soldiers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (62nd IB) in a fake encounter the military invented.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, told the media through a statement that a five minute encounter between the NPA and 62nd IB in Sitio Pitik-Pitik, Barangay Luz, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental last July 4 resulted to the death of Randy Tapales, allegedly an NPA rebel.

However, the LPC-NPA debunked Pasaporte saying that Tapales, single and a resident of Sitio Hinobaan, Barangay Luz, was walking alone on his way home when he was ambushed by the military.

“It is not true that there was an encounter between NPA and military troops around this time and, also, Tapales was not an NPA fighter,” said Ka JB Regalado, LPC-NPA spokesperson.

According to Regalado, before Tapales was murdered, he was subjected to death threats and red-tagging along with other youths in their Barangay, “they were accused of being supporters or members of the NPA which forced them to hide and leave their homes.”

The LPC-NPA strongly condemned as well the conduct of Tapales’ burial wherein the fascist military troops deprived his family access to his dead body even when they pleaded to be allowed to bring his remains home for a wake.

Regalado said that the military “wanted to deny the real situation of the victim whose head was almost separated from his body after being peppered by bullets.”

“This kind of killing done by murderous soldiers to a civilian is unjust causing terror and much concern of farmers and ordinary civilians for their security and livelihood,” he said.

Regalado maintained that instead of responding to existing problems such as poverty and the crisis brought about by the pandemic, the fascist US-China-Duterte regime is spreading tyranny to silence the people and make them kneel to Duterte.

The LPC-NPA promised to make the fascist Duterte regime feel its strength and wrath, and together with the broad oppressed and exploited masses conveyed its sorrow, anger and sympathies not only to the brutal murder of Randy Tapales but also to all victims of extrajudicial killings and other forms of violations of democratic rights under the oppressive Anti-terror Law and the corrupt National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.###

https://cpp.ph/statements/62nd-ib-murdered-randy-tapales-in-fake-encounter/

CIDG-7: 3 CAFGU-witnesses claim Bohol brgy dad, pastor were NPAs

From the Cebu Daily News (Jul 8, 2021): CIDG-7: 3 CAFGU-witnesses claim Bohol brgy dad, pastor were NPAs (By: Pegeen Maisie M. SararaƱa)



Three active members of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) claimed in a statement that the barangay councilor and pastor, who were arrested in Bohol Province last June 25, 2021, were allegedly members of the communist terrorist group, New People’s Army (NPA).

Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) regional chief, said that the CAFGU-witnesses, whom he refused to name for safety purposes, went to the CIDG-Bohol Field Unit office to issue their statements regarding the alleged involvement to the NPA of Carmilo Tabada, barangay councilor; and Nathaniel Vallente, pastor.


READ: Pastor, Brgy. Councilor who are alleged members of crime group nabbed in Bohol

Tabada and Vallente were arrested last June 25 from a simultaneous operation conducted by the CIDG-7 personnel. They were served a search warrant, where weapons and ammunition were allegedly found in their houses.

The search warrant for violation of Section 28 of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act served against Tabada was issued by Judge Azucena Macalolot-Credo, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Talibon, Bohol last June 21.

Vallente’s search warrant was issued last June 24 by Judge Leo Moises Lison, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3, in Tagbilaran City, in Bohol.

Tabada was arrested in Barangay Poblacion in Trinidad town, Bohol, while Vallente was caught in Barangay San Jose in Mabini town of Bohol province.

READ: Pastor, Brgy. Councilor who are alleged members of crime group nabbed in Bohol

Dalogdog said that the three witnesses were now active auxiliary members of CAFGU, who are assigned at the 47th Infantry Batallion in Bohol.

NPA recruiters

One of the witnesses, who was allegedly once a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), said that Tabada was allegedly known as an active member of the NPA.

The witness claimed that Tabada was the former recruiter of former rebel ‘Marcelino Sacul’ of Bien Unido in Bohol and former rebel Alan Suarez of Barangay San Vicente, Trinidad town in Bohol.

This was according to the report sent by Police Lieutenant Colonel Saturnino Estigoy, provincial chief of the CIDG-BFU.

The witness, who claimed that he an NPA member in 2002, said that he surrendered in 2003 and later joined the CAFGU and Bohol organized New Guardians Association Incorporated-Grupong Bol-anon Alang sa Kalamboan ug Kalinaw (BONGA GBKK), a group involved in various campaigns against the CTGs in Bohol.

This witness also told CIDG-BFU that he knew Nathaniel Vallente, the arrested pastor, as allegedly an active member of CPP NPA NDF.


“Siya naman yung recruiter o yung mga areas na kung saan may mass supporters nagkaconduct ng mga lectures,” Dalogdog said.

(He (Vallente) was also a recruiter or the one who conducts lectures in areas where there are mass supporters.)

Dalogdog said that these data were from one of the witnesses that they had.

He said the other two witnesses also issued their statements reportedly supporting the statement of the first witness.

Family denies allegations

READ: Tabada family in Bohol: Crime group allegations untrue; guns, docus allegedly planted

Recently, the family of Tabada has also denied the allegations of his involvement in the communist terrorist group.

Maricel Tabada, the niece of Carmilo Tabada, once said that the allegation thrown at his uncle’s involvement in NPA was a lie.

Maricel has recently said that they already filed complaints against the law enforcers whom she also claimed illegally searched their area.

https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/387089/cidg-7-3-cafgu-witnesses-claim-bohol-brgy-dad-pastor-were-npas

Opinion: How the CPP-NPA is decimating its own

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Jul 9, 2021): How the CPP-NPA is decimating its own (By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.)

IT has been 32 days since the fatal murder of Kieth and Nolven Absalon in Masbate City. The more I dig deeper into the circumstances of that incident, the more I come to understand the brutality of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and how they have been lying in order to support their propaganda.

After the landmine attack in Masbate - which killed Kieth and Nolven as well as wounded the latter's son, Daniel - the CPP-NPA admitted to the atrocity and apologized to the family, saying that the killing of Kieth was a case of mistaken identity. I have promised the Absalon family that we will relentlessly pursue this case, so I did my own personal inquiry into the matter.

One of the shocking revelations I got direct from the sources and witnesses was that Kieth and Nolven were not killed mistakenly. In fact, two NPA spotters in a motorcycle overtook the pack of mountain bikers and stopped in front of the lead pack (i.e., Nolven and company) and pointed at the two to identify the riders as the targets. Shortly after, the two in motorcycles sped off and as the bikers continued with their activity, NPA terrorists from the bushes suddenly shot at them with assault rifles.

Nolven and Kieth fell off the motorcycle but were not fatally hit. Nolven then told Daniel to run to safety and as he himself ran to the nearby hill, the NPA terrorists tried to stop him by sniping him, causing several gunshot injuries. Fortunately, he was quick enough to run to safety.

Meantime, the NPA started to approach the fallen duo as the rest of the bikers dropped to the roadside to hide and seek cover. The rest of Nolven's party was able to witness what was going on while concealing themselves in the bushes. Kieth and Nolven both raised their arms and begged the NPA to spare their lives, their faces and identities clearly visible to the attackers.

No, the NPA did not spare them their lives and followed through with close shots in the head and body. They clearly knew that their targets were two civilian non-combatants. And the reason? To sow fear and terrorize people into submission.

Do you think the NPA is incapable of doing this to civilians? Hardly not. They have been doing this to our indigenous peoples in order to intimidate them into submission. They have been ambushing civilians, including those in ambulances, if only to terrorize our citizens and remind them they are still a force to reckon with. Last Jan. 19, 2021, in Masbate they kidnapped local officials in broad daylight and killed them later because the officials were tagged as counter-revolutionaries.

The book of Robert Francis "Bobby" Garcia - To Suffer Thy Comrades, How the Revolution Decimated Its Own - provides some answers to the violence that the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) has been so accustomed to doing. In one of its chapters, "Challenged to Kill," Janis narrates how she as a member of the Task Force Missing Link (responsible for the purges in Quezon during the CPP's Oplan Missing Link) would take part in the torture and killing of their comrades in order to save the movement. Adamant at first, later she would participate not only in the interrogation of suspected DPAs but also in the killing of hundreds of her fellow comrades. Cecil and Ka Mario's detailed revelations on how they went through the "split," where the "legs were spread wider and wider apart till you admit to practically every sin you can think of," or the NPA "flag ceremony" where the suspects were raised instead of a flag, speaks a lot about the violent nature of the CPP-NPA.

What the CPP-NPA has been doing for the past few months is exactly what resulted in their decimation in the 1990s. The Ranjo massacre in Digos, as well as the many killings they have committed even against peaceful and innocent civilians, alienated more people which almost caused the party's collapse in 1992.

The killing of Kieth Absalon and Nolven highlights their capacity to kill civilians, deliberately, and then lie about it. It has totally backfired, rather than create fear among MasbateƱos, Bicolanos and the Filipino nation as a whole. Because of the incident, more people are coming out now to express their sentiments in getting rid of these CPP-NPA terrorists.

Many netizens are now directly mouthing a handful of invectives against these CPP monsters, including their supporters in Congress and the Senate. They are unabashedly unafraid, displaying their faces and identities, which is in sharp contrast to the confidentiality and low-key approach of the past. They now acknowledge that what the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) has been doing to expose these fake nationalists is the correct approach. Though it has come too late in the 52 years of propaganda game, it is finally here and that is what is more important.

The long absence of a government narrative has shaped our mindset to believe that this insurgency will stay with us forever. In fact, many have treated this issue with apathy, believing that the presence of the NPA has become a common phenomenon, and that the CPP is legal and therefore, not a concern. This is so because of the way the media and the propaganda machinery of the CPP have shaped our mindset for the longest time, until the current dispensation created the NTF-Elcac and put a deadline to end this armed group.

Today as I attend the AFP Command Conference and listen to the Armed Forces of the Philippines' accomplishments for the second quarter of the year, I can confirm that this deadline set by President Duterte is both doable and achievable.

Evolutionary psychologists have put forward that people have difficulty with standard probabilistic reasoning; the statement, "Our brains are made for fitness not for truth" by the scientific intellectual Steven Pinker summarizes this theory. In short, the CPP propagandists have programmed unaffected civilians to think that this insurgency cannot be defeated. These evolutionary psychologists agree that our brains are not made for understanding things but think that they are not biased, or only biased because we do not use them in a real habitat. Further, they agree that brainwork depends on how the subject is presented and the frame offered.

As also referenced in his book, Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb states that we cannot make a decision without emotion, and emotions are there to prevent us from temporizing.

This is so true. If after this Kieth incident we still feel unaffected with this violence, something is abnormal and inhumane in us. We probably need more landmines to blow up in our faces for us to wake up and get angry. We need more "lubricants of reason" for us to finally say strongly: enough is enough.

https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/07/09/opinion/columns/how-the-cpp-npa-is-decimating-its-own/1806248

Sobejana leads last command conference as AFP Chief of Staff

From PTV News (Jul 8, 2021): Sobejana leads last command conference as AFP Chief of Staff


Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana presided over his final command conference on Wednesday (July 7), and gave his guidance to the military moving forward. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana presided over his final command conference on Wednesday (July 7), and gave his guidance to the military moving forward.

“The AFP gained substantial accomplishments for the past months. Despite this, we must endeavour to continue our momentum to achieve more meaningful milestones,” Sobejana said.

“The remaining months this year shall be our final push to decisively defeat the local terrorist and communist terrorist groups,” he added, stressing the need for the AFP to shift its focus and efforts to external defense.

The command conference, attended by top defense officials including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and senior military officers, opened with a “Salute to the Fallen” in honor of soldiers who died in the line of duty this year.

Sobejana also called for a moment of silence and prayer for those killed in and survivors of the recent C-130 mishap.

Meanwhile, AFP ground units reported a total of 213 AFP-led military operations against communist terrorist groups (CTG) during the first semester.

This resulted in the neutralization of 80 high-value individuals as well as four finance officers of the CTG in the months of May and June alone.

A total of 372 CTG members were also neutralized, of whom 42 were killed, 53 were apprehended or captured, and 277 surrendered. Some 728 supporters have also withdrawn their support.

In addition, 730 assorted firearms and 140 anti-personnel mines were also seized.

For this, the AFP conferred ground units with the Battle Streamer in recognition of their role in destroying regional CTG units in their respective areas of responsibility.

The Battle Streamer is awarded to infantry brigades, battalions, and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force that were directly involved in all efforts to clear focus areas and engage the armed components of the CTG that eventually led to the total disruption of these armed groups and decimation of guerilla fronts.

The awardees and their accomplishments:

The 801st Infantry Brigade and 63rd Infantry Battalion, for the dismantling of a notorious CTG unit in the Visayas. They were supported by the 8th Intelligence Service Unit, 8th Military Intelligence Battalion, Military Intelligence Group 8, 8th CMO Battalion, Naval Intelligence Service Group Central, and 3012th Air Intelligence Security Squadron.

The 402nd Brigade and 23rd Infantry Battalion, for dismantling a guerilla front in north-central Mindanao. They were supported by the 4th Military Intelligence Battalion (MIB), Tactical Operations Group (TOG) 10, and 42nd Division Reconnaissance Company.

The 701st Brigade and 66th Infantry Battalion (IB) for dismantling a guerilla front in southern Mindanao, supported by the 28IB, 67IB, 104th Division Reconnaissance Company, 2nd Field Artillery Battalion, 10th MIB, 11th Intelligence Service Unit, 10th CMO Battalion, and Tactical Operations Group.

On the other hand, AFP operations against local terrorist groups also yielded significant gains from May to June.

These include 114 Abu Sayyaf Group members, 124 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and 40 Dawlah Islamiyah members who were all either killed, captured, or have surrendered.

Lorenzana congratulated the AFP for its accomplishments and thanked the military for its support for the administration’s peace and development programs.

He also urged the AFP to further enhance organizational efficiency and operational excellence and called for improved readiness to perform multi-role functions, while ensuring the sustained physical and emotional well-being of personnel.

“Continue to exercise prudence and accountability in our resource programming,” Lorenzana added, emphasizing the need to implement financial and management best practices.

“The AFP has and will continue to play a vital role in protecting the interest of our country and our people. With this, let us continue to remain steadfast towards our unwavering commitment to our sworn duty, maintain our pursuit for excellence, and continuously endeavour [to deliver] quality service in all our undertakings,” Sobejana said.

https://ptvnews.ph/sobejana-leads-last-command-conference-as-afp-chief-of-staff/

6 BIFF yield to Army in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): 6 BIFF yield to Army in Maguindanao (By Edwin Fernandez)



SURRENDER. The six BIFF surrenderers and the firearms (inset) they turned in following their surrender to the military on Wednesday (July 7, 2021) in Pagalungan, Maguindanao. They were members of the BIFF Karialan faction operating in the peripheries of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato provinces in Central Mindanao. (Photos courtesy of Jessie M. Ali – DXMY Cotabato and the 602IB)

Six members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) under the Kagui Karialan faction have surrendered to authorities.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong, 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, said Thursday the group surrendered to Col. Rommel Mundala, commanding officer of 90th Infantry Battalion in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.

“They yielded on Wednesday afternoon citing futility in fighting for a lost cause,” Capulong said.

Capulong, citing documents, identified the six gunmen through their aliases as Alex, Kaliya, Bernie, Nasser, Abdul Adjes and Datu.

All of them were formerly operating in the boundaries of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces, he said.

The group also turned in one M16 rifle, two M14 rifles, and three rocket-propelled grenade launchers with ammunition.

In an interview with reporters here, Kaliya said they grew tired of always on the run, anticipating that government forces would catch up on them anytime.

“In most cases, we resort to committing crimes such as banditry for survival,” he said.

Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod welcomed the former BIFF combatants, extending initial cash and rice assistance to the group.

He said the Pagalungan town government is ready to help those who wanted to surrender and restart a new life with their families.

To date, some 150 ex-BIFF combatants have surrendered in Central Mindanao under the Army’s 6th Infantry Division area of operation in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and South Cotabato.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146347

Westmincom gains significant headway in anti-terror campaign

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): Westmincom gains significant headway in anti-terror campaign (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.) 



SUBSTANTIAL GAINS. The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) announces that it attains substantial gains in the anti-terror and lawlessness campaign. Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Westmincom (second from right), presided over a command conference Wednesday (July 7, 2021) where they conducted an assessment on the command's campaign against terrorism. (Photo courtesy of Westmincom Public Information Office)

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has announced it attained substantial gains in the campaign against terrorism and lawlessness in its area of operation during the first semester of this year.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Westmincom, said on Thursday that the first-semester campaign assessment showed the command has
neutralized 114 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits and confiscated 72 firearms in the campaign against the local terrorist group.

Vinluan said 104 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), including 11 high-value targets, were neutralized and 77 firearms were seized.

He added that 64 New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists were neutralized and 69 firearms were seized in the fight against the communist terrorist group (CTG).

“Overall, through the sustained efforts of the command and the neutralization of its key leaders, the manpower and capabilities of the terrorist groups have totally degraded,” he said in a statement.

In the drive against the proliferation of loose firearms, a total of 305 high-powered and 101 low-powered firearms were voluntarily turned over to the different units under Westmincom during the first six months of this year, according to Vinluan.

He said the Westmincom has incorporated the whole-of-nation approach in its campaign as the command continuously bolsters its civil-military operations.

The Westmincom chief said the platforms of Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (TF-ELAC) are maximized particularly in delivering basic services to the target communities.

TF-ELAC is a localized version of its national counterpart.

“Our accomplishments have proven our fellow countrymen that we are doing our job right. For this, I commend each and every soldier, sailor, airmen, and marines for your contributions in our goal to attain peace, security, and development in our areas of operation,” he said.

Meanwhile, he reminded the ground commanders and the soldiers that the people of Western and Central Mindanao regions are relying heavily on the military, hence, best efforts must be exerted to a more secured Mindanao.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146394

5 more NPA rebels surrender in Masbate

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): 5 more NPA rebels surrender in Masbate (By Connie Calipay)



BACK TO THE FOLD OF LAW. Five regular New People's Army rebels yield to government troops in Aroroy, Masbate on Tuesday (July 6, 2021). They turned over to the authorities one high-powered and two low-powered firearms as well as six anti-personnel mines. (Photo courtesy of 9ID)

New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Masbate continue to surrender in droves, saying they could not bear the heinous crimes being committed by the communist terrorist group (CTG) against their province mates.

Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (9IDPAO) chief, in a statement on Thursday said
five regular NPA members yielded to the government troops in Barangay Balete, Aroroy town on Tuesday, bringing with them one high-powered and two low-powered firearms, as well as six anti-personnel mines.

"The influx of surrenderers in the island province started after the CTG's gruesome killing of the FEU's football player, Kieth Absalon, and his cousin, Nolven last June 6," he said.

A total of 505 CTG members and supporters already surrendered from June 18-28, followed by another 16 last July 2. The returnees also turned in assorted firearms including a KG9 submachine gun.


Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, commander of the 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB), welcomed the continuing surrender of rebels in the province.

"This unstoppable surrender of CTG members and supporters proves that the communist insurgency in Masbate is on the verge of collapse. The Army troops in Masbate, particularly the 2nd Infantry Battalion will be relentless in its combat operations to hunt the remnants of the terrorist group," he said.

Col. Aldwine Almase, commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, on the other hand, said while the surrenderers continue to surge, stringent measures are being implemented by security forces in Masbate to prevent the CTG from recruiting and deceiving new members.

"For sure, they will try to look for new members. But it is unfortunate for them because Masbateños have seen their true color and they can no longer be deceived by this terrorist group's falsehood," Almase said.

Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia, underscored that improved delivery of basic services and promotion of good governance in communities insulate the local populace from communist infiltration.

"The reason why the CTG will never win this fight is that the issues that they usually exploit to discredit the government are now being addressed through the localized implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach. Services and development projects are brought to the communities including those in far-flung and vulnerable areas. Ibig sabihin, wala nang puwang sa lipunan ang CTG at laos na rin ang kanilang mga black propaganda kaya hindi tayo titigil sa ating kampanyang tuluyang puksain ang insurhensya. (It means, there's no place in our society the CTGs and outdated black propaganda, that is why we will never stop until we end insurgency)," Robinson added.

Mass uprising against the CTG is also gaining ground in Masbate as more barangays and municipalities are declaring the terrorists as persona non-grata.

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

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146398

14 Aklanons withdraw support for CPP-NPA

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): 14 Aklanons withdraw support for CPP-NPA (By Perla Lena)



PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. Former supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), swear allegiance to the government in a ceremony at the Janlud High School, Barangay Janlud on Thursday (July 8, 2021). They will be profiled and recommended to avail of the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program benefits. (Photo by PRO 6 public information office)

Some 14 residents of Libacao town in Aklan, who used to be supporters and sympathizers of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), pledged their allegiance to the government, in a ceremony at the Janlud High School, Barangay Janlud on Thursday.

“These CPP-NPA supporters/sympathizers sought the help of the local government officials in their surrender to the authorities and immediately they were brought to the attention of the Libacao Municipal Police Station,” Col. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6), said in an interview.


Malong said most of them used to entertain the request of active CPP-NPA members for a sleepover at their houses, giving food and allowing the use of their kitchen, and giving in to their extortion activities.

“They underwent debriefing and they executed their judicial affidavit to confirm the veracity of their statements,” she added.

The group, who was among the 32 surrenderers in Aklan since June 2021, will undergo profiling and will be recommended to avail of benefits under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government, Malong said.

Meanwhile, Associate Provincial Prosecutor Flosemer Chris I. Gonzales, spokesperson for the Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF 6-ELCAC), said he hopes that they will serve as inspiration to put a stop to supporting the rebel group and return to the fold of the government.

“Sa makaron nga adlaw, aton ginkalipay ag ginapanginbulahan du anda nga pormal nga pagbalik sa sabak it gobierno, du anda nga pagsikway sa CPP-NPA, ag du anda nga pagta-o ku anda boluntaryo nga supporta sa gobierno. (Today we are happy and we congratulate them for formally returning to the fold of the government, for rejecting the CPP-NPA, and for giving their voluntary support to the government),” he said.

The group was presented to the local government of Libacao through Mayor Charito I. Navarrosa.

The ceremony was facilitated by the Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) under Col. Ramir Perlito Perlas, together with the members of the Philippine Army’s 12th Infantry Battalion (12IB) led by its commanding officer Lt. Col. Joseph Jason Estrada.

Meanwhile, Malong said the withdrawal of support to the CPP-NPA by their sympathizers will gravely affect the overall operations of the terror group in the area.

“The surrender and rejection of their supporters is a sign that their members are no longer believing in the ideology of the CPP-NPA and is a manifestation of their support to the government’s effort in ending local communist armed conflict,” she added.

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

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146465

Lorenzana says West PH Sea situation stable

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): Lorenzana says West PH Sea situation stable (By Priam Nepomuceno)



Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (PPD photo)

The situation in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) is stable right now as Filipino vessels are able to conduct their patrol without getting in conflict with vessels of other claimant nations.

During the virtual pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) media launch Wednesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said ships from the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are consistently patrolling the WPS.

"So peaceful diyan, stable sa West Philippine Sea ngayon (it is peaceful and stable at the WPS),"
Lorenzana said.


Also, the defense chief added that Chinese ships earlier spotted massing on the WPS have largely dispersed but there are still some near the area.

"Itong ginagawa naman natin dito sa West Philippine Sea ay mina-manage natin iyong sitwasyon, dahil China naman ay nag-i-insist na sila ay may claim, may claim din tayo. Sa katunayan, hindi lang China at saka Pilipinas ang may claim diyan, kung hindi kasama na rin ang Vietnam, Taiwan at saka Malaysia. So maraming ‘claimants’ diyan. (what we are doing now in the WPS is we are managing the situation as China is insisting on their claim, we also have a claim, in fact, China and the Philippines are not the only countries with claims on the WPS, also included are Vietnam, Taiwan, and even Malaysia. There are a lot of claimants there)," Lorenzana said.

He added that the Philippines is talking with other claimant nations to settle the issue.

"Siguro hindi naman natin mapupuwersa itong ayusin kaagad, dahil matatagalan siguro bago magkaroon ng kaayusan itong sigalot na ito sa West Philippine Sea (We cannot force everyone to settle this dispute in the WPS as this will immediately take time)," Lorenzana said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146345

C-130 plane in Sulu crash not 'worn-out': AFP spox

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): C-130 plane in Sulu crash not 'worn-out': AFP spox (By Priam Nepomuceno)



Photo courtesy of PNP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the Lockheed C-130H Hercules cargo plane which crashed in Patikul, Sulu last July 4 is still capable of flying 11,000 hours before its next maintenance period and is not worn-out as claimed by some reports.

"Ang sinabi nila na worn-out, hindi totoo. Kahit hindi brand-new, it still has more than 11,000 flying hours. Hanggang sa next maintenance (Claims that it is worn-out is not true even if it is not brand-new. It still has more than 11,000 flying hours before its maintenance),"
AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in an interview with One News Wednesday night.


The C-130H with tail number 5125 was one of the two Hercules cargo transport planes acquired through a grant from the US government that arrived in the country last Jan. 29.

It was formally welcomed to the PAF fleet during a ceremony at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City last Feb. 18.


"Ang isang biyahe na Manila to Zamboanga will not even reach three hours. Ganun kahaba ang (remaining flying hours). Hindi totoo ang sinabi na not airworthy. Hindi ililipad ng mga piloto, they will not risk their own lives if alam nila at di sigurado na airworthy. (A flight from Manila to Zamboanga will not even reach three hours. That's how long the aircraft's remaining flying hours are. It is also not true that the aircraft is not airworthy. No pilot will fly an aircraft that is not airworthy, they will not risk their lives for that)," Arevalo said.

The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft.

Arevalo, meanwhile, said a Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130 which is undergoing maintenance in Portugal is expected to return to the country within the month.

However, he said the aircraft will not be placed in operational status until the results of the investigation on the recent crash are completed.

The PAF earlier grounded its remaining C-130 planes following the mishap which claimed the lives of 49 military personnel and three civilians, aside from injuring 47 troops and four other civilians.

Prior to the crash, the PAF has four C-130 aircraft -- two are operational and two are undergoing maintenance.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146381

US delivers P48.5-M in weapons, munitions to PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): US delivers P48.5-M in weapons, munitions to PH (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)  July 8, 2021, 2:44 pm



FIREPOWER. The Joint United States Military Assistance Group-Philippines delivers PHP48.5 million worth of weapons and munitions to the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Clark Air Base. The weapons were funded by US grant assistance. (Photo courtesy of US Embassy in Manila)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received PHP48.5 million worth of weapons and munitions from the United States government, the US Embassy in Manila said Thursday.

The weapons were funded by US grant assistance and are intended to enhance the AFP's counterterrorism capabilities and readiness.

The shipment was delivered last July 4 at Clark Air Base by the Joint US Military Assistance Group-Philippines (JUSMAG-P), which included 14 M2A1 .50 caliber heavy machine guns, seven M240B machine guns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.


“As the United States and the Philippines celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations today, we welcome this key equipment transfer, which will support the continued readiness of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said JUSMAG-P chief and senior defense official to the Philippines Col. Stephen Ma.

The Philippines remains America's largest recipient of military assistance in the Indo-Pacific. Since 2015, the US has provided more than PHP48.6 billion (USD1 billion) in security assistance to the Philippines.

"This year, the United States and the Philippines are commemorating 70 years since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, and this delivery continues the United States’ longstanding commitment to our Filipino allies," the Embassy said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146384

372 CTG members 'neutralized' in first 6 months of 2021: AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): 372 CTG members 'neutralized' in first 6 months of 2021: AFP (By Priam Nepomuceno)



AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana (File photo)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said a total of 372 members of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) were neutralized in 213 operations during the first six months of this year.

In his last command conference, AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said included in this figure are 80 high-value individuals and four CTG finance officers from May to June alone.


Sobejana will bow out of the service on July 31 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

Out of this figure, 42 were killed, 53 were apprehended, and 277 have surrendered.

Some 728 supporters have also withdrawn their support from CTGs. In addition, 730 assorted firearms and 140 anti-personnel mines were also seized.

On the other hand, AFP operations against local terrorist groups also yielded significant gains from the first six months of the year.

This includes 114 Abu Sayyaf Group members, 124 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and 40 Dawlah Islamiya members who were all either killed, captured or have surrendered.

"The AFP has and will continue to play a vital role in protecting the interest of our country and our people. With this let us continue to remain steadfast towards our unwavering commitment to our sworn duty, maintain our pursuit for excellence, and continuously endeavor quality service in all our undertaking," Sobejana said.

He added that these threats must be defeated within the year so that the AFP could shift its focus on external defense.

"The AFP gained substantial accomplishments for the past months. Despite this, we must endeavor to continue our momentum to achieve more meaningful milestones," Sobejana said.

Present during Sobejana's final command conference were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other top defense and military officials.

The meeting opened with a "Salute to the Fallen" in honor of soldiers who died in the line of duty this year.

Sobejana also called for a moment of silence and prayer for those killed as well as survivors of the recent C-130 plane mishap in Sulu.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, congratulated the AFP for its accomplishments and thanked the military for its support in the administration's peace and development programs.

He also urged the AFP to further enhance organizational efficiency and operational excellence and called for improved readiness to perform multi-role functions while ensuring the sustained physical and emotional well-being of personnel.

"Continue to exercise prudence and accountability in our resource programming," Lorenzana said as he emphasized the need to implement financial and management best practices.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146406

Solon notes AFP modernization importance after Sulu plane crash

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): Solon notes AFP modernization importance after Sulu plane crash




Senator Christopher "Bong" Go (File photo)

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go highlighted the importance of efforts to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) following the C-130 plane crash in Patikul, Sulu that killed at least 52 military personnel and civilians and injured several others.

Go, who is vice chair of the Senate Committee on Defense, said he supports AFP modernization efforts so that military troops are appropriately equipped to protect their safety, as they are the frontline in protecting the welfare and wellbeing of Filipinos particularly in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

“Kami po ay nalulungkot ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte dahil ito ang mga sundalong pumupunta sa digmaan, sila pa po ang nabiktima ng crash. ‘Di naman natin masabi kung kelan tayo papanaw sa mundong ito pero nakakalungkot po. Nakikiramay kami sa pamilya ng mga yumaong sundalo, mga sibilyan po sa Jolo (President Duterte and I are saddened because these are the soldiers who go to war, they are the ones who died in the crash. We don’t know when would die but it’s very saddening. We condole with the families of the dead soldiers and the civilians in Jolo),” Go said during his visit to fire victims in Cainta, Rizal on July 6.

“Ako naman bilang vice chair sa Committee on Defense sa Senado, suportado ko po ang modernization ng AFP; suportado ko po ang karagdagang kagamitan para sa ating AFP. And, in fact, pag-upo ni Pangulong Duterte, isa sa inuna namin ni Pangulong Duterte idoble ang sahod nila noong 2018 (I, as the vice chair of the Committee on Defense in the Senate, support the AFP modernization; I support more equipment for the AFP. And in fact, when President Duterte assumed office, one of our priorities was to double the salaries of the soldiers in 2018),” Go said.

Earlier, Duterte and Go visited government troops who were injured by the incident at the AFP-Western Mindanao Command gymnasium in Zamboanga City on July 5.

The Office of the President also provided financial assistance and other items to the families of soldiers who died or were injured during the incident. On the other hand, Go's office distributed additional financial aid to the families and other items.

“Dapat po full support ang ating mga sundalo, not only sa kanilang personal na sweldo but mga armas po. Pinapapunta natin sila sa digmaan, ang mga eroplano, mga helicopter po dapat unang-una (We should show full support to our soldiers not only on their personal salary but also on their weapons. We send them to war, the airplanes, helicopters should be first [provided]),” Go said.

The Senator also urged the AFP to always safeguard the safety of their personnel and that their aircraft are in good working order.

Go also said if a Senate investigation is conducted, he is willing to participate in it to learn more about what happened during the incident and to make sure that it will not happen again.

“I can’t speak on behalf of the Senate as a whole kung magkakaroon ba [ng imbestigasyon] pero(if there will be an investigation), I’m willing to participate para malaman ko ang katotohanan (so I can know the truth),” he said.

“I’m sure isa po ang ating hangarin dito na ‘di na maulit ang mga ganitong pangyayari (one of the objectives here is to prevent a similar incident from happening),” he said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146448

PH, Japan air forces conclude 'air-to-air' bilateral training

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8, 2021): PH, Japan air forces conclude 'air-to-air' bilateral training (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)



Photo courtesy of Japanese Embassy in Manila

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) have concluded their four-day bilateral training on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from July 5 to 8, the Japanese Embassy in Manila said Thursday.

Held at the Clark Air Base, the joint initiative was the first air-to-air bilateral training between the two air forces, marking a significant milestone for the two nations' defense cooperation.


"Both Japan and the Philippines are vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons due to their climate and topography. Japan is proud to share with the PAF the JASDF’s experience and knowledge on delivery operations of relief goods to people in urgent need," the Embassy said.

During said exercise, the JASDF deployed a training unit of Air Support Command via a C-130H cargo aircraft and took part in a four-day joint training session.

An in-flight training, however, was canceled in light of the tragic C-130 crash in Sulu that killed dozens of Filipino troops, including civilians.

Thus, the activities were mostly focused on ground training such as load/offload training and simulated emergency procedure utilizing a C-130 aircraft from JASDF.

The Embassy said the initiative is aimed to strengthen interoperability in delivering relief goods in isolated areas in severe emergency situations.

Unit Commander Maj. Mizuno Masaki of the JASDF, for his part, sent his sympathies to the Philippines over the mishap.

“We are deeply saddened by the plane crash in Sulu. We offer our sincerest condolences to all those who lost due to the tragic crash, " he said.

"Nevertheless, we are still very grateful for the opportunity to visit the Philippines and work with the PAF for the first Air-to-Air bilateral training on HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster response), especially this year which marks 65 years of friendship and 10 years of strategic partnership between our countries. We shared our knowledge and experience through the exercise and achieved a higher level of coordination and operative capabilities on HADR with our Filipino counterparts," he added.

As a strategic partner to Manila, he said they are satisfied that the bilateral training contributes to further strengthening the cooperation between the two air forces.

Japan also reiterated the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) which is inclusive and based on the rule of law, democratic values, territorial integrity, transparency, and peaceful resolution of disputes, and underscores its intention to work together with the Philippines and other partner countries through a wide range of activities and cooperation for peace, stability, and prosperity in our regions and beyond.

Back in 2013, the JASDF extended assistance to the Philippines in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense and the Japan Self-Defense Forces deployed a total of 1,180 personnel, three vessels, and sixteen aircraft, of which seven were C-130H cargo aircraft for medical assistance and relief supply in affected areas.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1146426