Monday, July 26, 2021

Next admin must equal PRRD’s fight vs. communism: groups

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Next admin must equal PRRD’s fight vs. communism: groups (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

NO TO REDS. Parents of minors who were lured into the armed struggle by communist terrorist groups stage a rally at Don Chino Roces Bridge in Manila on Monday (July 26, 2021). They lauded the Duterte administration for its aggressive stand to bring down insurgency. (PNA photo by Benjamin Pulta)

Multi-sectoral groups on Monday cited the benefits of the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and hoped that the succeeding administration will have the same strong political will to fight terrorism.

The NTF-ELCAC made easier and more accessible the government's delivery of basic services in far-flung communities,
particularly in areas infiltrated by communist terrorist groups (CTGs), the League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP) and Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI) said in a statement.

The President signed Executive Order No. 70 in December 2018, creating the NTF-ELCAC that employs a whole-of-nation approach to end communism and institute peace-building initiatives.

Both groups said it is only under Duterte that the government had the courage
to disclose the deceptions and violence by the legal front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Liberation (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The Duterte administration also successfully "broke the backbones" of other local terrorist groups within Mindanao areas such as the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan and the Islamic State-linked Maute Group in Lanao del Sur.

They added that the gains on good governance, especially the fight against communist rebels, acquired under Duterte's leadership must be sustained by the next administration.

"The solution to conflicts should not be limited to military approach but more on political and socio-economic services," the groups said.

They also appealed to the next administration to continue to "unmask those politicians and militant organizations" that have been identified with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The groups, composed mostly of parents whose children were lured into the armed struggle by CTGs, marched around the University Belt in Manila and converged for a small program at the foot of the Don Chino Roces (Mendiola) Bridge, hours before President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

As in previous protest rallies, the groups insisted on the disqualification of the Kabataan and Gabriela party-list organizations from the 2022 elections.

They have filed a petition to delist the party-list groups before the Commission on Elections.

In his SONA at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, Duterte lauded military and police forces for dismantling more than 50 guerrilla fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF nationwide.

He slammed the high-ranking officials of CTGs for taking advantage of the armed revolution.

"The communist party earns billions but passed on a little to their fighting men to die for an ideology that is so rotten and corrupt," the President said.

He also hit at the communist groups for leaving their comrades behind.

"They themselves are pocketing the money and their children are studying in Europe and in all places which I think none of you here can finance such journey. 'Yan ang masakit dito (That's the hurtful part here). They collect taxes to support (CPP founder Jose Ma.) Sison in the Netherlands and they do nothing [but to] badmouth government," he said.

Duterte reminded the nation how communist groups have been revolting for about 53 years, but "until today the poor people are dying".

He said more of their members, mostly belonging to the indigenous peoples' tribe, die during clashes with government troops.

"They waste lives, they enlist children, and they are proud of it, but they deny it," he said.

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

The groups also thanked Duterte for his efforts to curb corruption, illegal drugs, as well as for pushing for more infrastructure projects.

Duterte lauds anti-insurgency task force for 'eroding' communists; Reds say 'dream on'

From ABS-CBN (Jul 26, 2021): Duterte lauds anti-insurgency task force for 'eroding' communists; Reds say 'dream on' (By Jauhn Etienne Villaruel)

President Rodrigo Duterte during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday lauded the government's controversial anti-insurgency task force for "empowering our kababayans who have been used by the communists," particularly in the countryside where influence of Maoist insurgents remain robust.

"With the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) we have made strides in addressing the root causes of this [armed] conflict," Duterte said.
Senators want NTF-ELCAC to account for millions in unspent 2020 funds

Duterte admitted NTF-ELCAC was a "deviation" from the "traditional military approach in dealing with matters of national security."

The President cited the Barangay Development Program, under which villages cleared of "communist influence" were given P20 million for various projects.

DILG eyes P40 billion for development of communist-free barangays
DILG denies billions allocated for Davao region to be used for 2022 polls

"In our continuous efforts to build safe and conflict-resilient barangays, we have worked towards the sustainable rehabilitation and development of communities where communists used to operate... We invested farm to market roads, school building, water, sanitations, and health stations, and livelihood," Duterte said.

The President likewise claimed "17,000 former communist rebels have surrendered and returned to the folds of the law" due government intervention.

"With the support of our local government units, I am confident that support for the communist movement will continue to erode in the next 2 months," he said.

The President also commended the police and military for "destroying" 15 alleged communist fronts, which he did not identify.

"I'd like to credit police and military for destroying so many communist fronts. I think they have destroyed more than 15 apparatus or the fronts of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)."

But in a series of tweets, CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena disputed Duterte's claims.

"Ang sinabi ni Duterte na 17,000 nag-surrender ay pawang mga sibilyan na pinwersa ng military. Marami sa kanila, lumalapit ngayon sa NPA (New People's Army) para humingi ng tulong na magtanggol sa kanilang sarili," Valbuena said.

He also denied their armed wing was dwindling in numbers.

"Fifteen guerrilla fronts dismantled? Dream on, Duterte. Si Gen. Hermogenes Esperon ng NTF-ELCAC nagsabi, mahigit daw 4,000 noong June ang NPA mula 3,700 noong December."


Meanwhile, Duterte lambasted an "idiot" policeman he accused of supplying arms to the NPA fighters.

He claimed he saw the arms before when he went up to the mountains along with now Sen. Bong Go.

"They were there with so many arms that I think somebody, an idiot here in the Philippines supplied... This policeman I think is still there. Colonel," Duterte said, without identifying the alleged police officer.

Duterte said the cop and his or her cohorts smuggled weapons that are now in the hands of the communists.

"I'd like to ask Congress, especially Sen. Bato [dela Rosa], kindly think, because we have identified the person who imported the 8947 into the country on the pretext of using it in the security for business establishments. Maraming sundalong namatay dahil sa mga armas na pinasok nila dito sa Pilipinas."

"So my orders to you if u see them walking around kindly shoot them dead," Duterte told Dela Rosa.

‘Communist activities on the decline’

From the Manila Standard (Jul 25, 2021): ‘Communist activities on the decline’

Communist activities have been on the decline in the five years under the Duterte administration, the group Liga Independencia Pilipinas said, following concerted effort to abolish the communist terrorist group under a whole-of-nation approach for inclusive and sustainable peace.

Liga Independencia Pilipinas Secretary General Jose Antonio “Ka Pep” Goitia

IPI Secretary General Jose Antonio Goitia said these were just some of the benefits Filipinos have received from the government under President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Thousands of NPA (New People’s Army) cadres have surrendered their arms to live in peace and become responsible citizens of the Philippines,” Goitia noted.

“The pandemic has slowed the Philippines’ and 193 other countries’ progress. The President must continue his economic recovery efforts, as well as the Covid-19 vaccination operations, to kickstart the economy. He must also continue his anti-corruption, anti-drug, and government reform campaigns,” he said.

As for LIPI, Goitia said the President “has inspired us to take an active role in combating those who oppose our ideals, rights, and way of life.”

“We are at the forefront of combating the spread of disinformation by the CPP-NPA-NDF and opposing political parties whose agenda is to demolish the government’s policies and programs,” he said.

“Our advocacy will continue until we are free of the dangers of radical extremism posed by criminal organizations such as the CPP-PNA-NDF and ISIS,” Goitia said.

One of the President’s greatest achievements in attaining everlasting peace in the countryside was Duterte’s signing of Executive Order 70, Goitia added.

This institutionalized the “Whole-of-Nation” approach to achieving inclusive and sustainable peace by establishing a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in dealing with CTGs.

Goitia also said: “The NTF-ELCAC’s Barangay Development Program is one of the government’s most worthwhile initiatives. The program provided incentives and services that resulted in the communist threat being removed from more than 800 barangays.”

Examples of these initiatives are farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation systems, assistance to indigent individuals or families, agricultural, livelihood and technical vocational training, electrification, and health services, he noted.

Goitia believes the government’s effort to pass the anti-terrorism law is a significant boost in its efforts to combat the insurgency.

“The ATG law is critical to our national security because the country has been subjected to decades of violent extremism perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed and legal fronts, resulting in the destruction of billions of dollars in businesses and properties, the murder of innocent people, kidnappings, radicalization of our youth, illegal taxation, and other crimes,” he said.

Replying to questions, Goitia said he expected to hear during the SONA the President’s highlighting the accomplishments with a recap of the last five years, as well as his policies and programs for the final year of his presidency.

“The success of the nationwide infrastructure development plan ‘Build Build, Build,’ the primary goals of which would encourage investments and stimulate socioeconomic growth across all sectors of society, has helped create 6.5 million jobs,” he said.

According to NEDA, President Duterte’s fiscal prudence policy and push for tax reforms enabled Filipinos to achieve the highest revenue-to-GDP ratio of 16.1 percent and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of 39.6 percent in 2019, Goitia noted.

“We were able to obtain an unprecedented upgrade in our credit rating, allowing us to access funds for our priority programs at reduced rates and on favorable terms,” he said.

“The President should speak about the ongoing AFP modernization program and its implications for defending our sovereignty against internal and external threats. What military equipment we have acquired thus far, and what the next phase of the program would entail,” Goitia said.

Another trending issue Duterte needs to report on is his pursuit of and independence from foreign policy, he added.

“The President must explain how his foreign policy has benefited us in terms of international trade, security, and standing in the international community,” Goitia said.

“This administration has had numerous successes. During the previous five years, the Filipino people had kept a close eye on events.

We also expect the President to discuss his policies going forward, but we would like him to focus on economic recovery, international relations, security, and social and political reforms,” he said.

Bulatlat: #UndoingDuterte | The real ‘Duterte legacy’ in Mindanao

 Propaganda article posted to the online pro-CPP/NDF/NPA propaganda publication Bulatlat (Jul 26, 2021): #UndoingDuterte | The real ‘Duterte legacy’ in Mindanao (By Menchani Tilendo)

2021 SONA Coverage

President Rodrigo Duterte promised to give the “barest minimum” of peace in Mindanao, adding that if he would fail, he said he would resign.

He hasn’t.

Instead, talks of a Duterte-Duterte tandem for the upcoming 2022 elections, this time with her daughter Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, has been carrying the same tune of Mindanao representation and iron fist brand of leadership.

Today, President Duterte is set to deliver his last State of the Nation Address. Below are his real ‘legacies’ that the people of Mindanao will never forget.

1. Failed COVID-19 response

The Duterte administration used the pandemic to cover up major economic and public health care problems, which, Ibon Foundation, said would have continued to worsen nonetheless even if the dreaded virus never reached the country’s shore.

For one, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has been grappling with the dreaded virus. The Bangsamoro Region’s Response and Recovery Plan for COVID-19 2020-2022 showed that most residents continue to have difficulties in accessing health care services, especially hospitals and medicines.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed regions in Mindanao saw no significant increase on its health spending from 2016 to 2019. BARMM, for one, is among the countries with the lowest number of public doctors deployed in the country.

Read: Public health’s sorry state under an unapologetic regime

With the more transmissible variant of COVID-19, regions in both Visayas and Mindanao are seeing “faster increase” in their cases. Last month, the Davao region accounted for a third of total COVID-19 cases in Mindanao.

The pandemic response, too, was not without irregularities.

In May 2021, the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged Davao City’s $13.4 million spendings for its COVID-19 response, detecting numerous violations of audit and documentary rules including a $157,400 employment project that contained questionable beneficiaries.

COA found three major violations in the Davao City government’s COVID-19 spendings – procurement unsupported by required documents, unauthorized direct negotiations with suppliers, and undocumented aid distributions.

2. Illusory poverty reduction, worsening unemployment

Even before the pandemic, the government’s own data revealed how communities in Mindanao were deep in poverty.

In 2019, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) reported that BARMM has the highest poverty incidence at 53 percent, with nearly half or 48.6 percent having no access to potable water.

Child poverty is also highest in BARMM. Government data showed that seven out of 10 children in BARMM live in poverty.

This year, BARMM has an approved P75.6 billion ($1.5 billion) budget to supposedly cushion the impacts of COVID-19 to their economy and deliver basic services to their communities. This after the unemployment rate in the region was recorded at 21.50 percent in 2020 and an economic decline of 1.9 percent, the lowest among all regions.

“If we’re not creating enough jobs for the poorest Filipinos, and not raising the incomes from the jobs they have, we are actually covering up for a worsening, distorted economy, without getting the development outcomes that we want”, Sonny Africa of Ibon Foundation said.

3. Destruction of Mindanao under Build, Build, Build

Even with the “Build Build Build,” the government’s cornerstone program that focuses on big infrastructure spending to boost the economy, job generation has been slow under the Duterte administration.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said during the 29th Mindanao Business Conference in 2020 that they were able to secure huge allocation for infrastructure and peace-building projects in Mindanao, amounting to $13.3 billion for the Department of Public Works and Highways for 2021 alone.

But urban poor group Kadamay-Southern Mindanao Region said these infrastructure projects, particularly in Duterte’s hometown Davao City, worsened their lives as it resulted in the demolition of homes.

In 2018, a Maranao community in Salmonan, Davao City was placed under lockdown as the area, where residents have lived since the 1950s, is being claimed by a local businessman. Kadamay SMR said the construction of the $518 million Davao City Coastal Road that is expected to ease traffic congestion in the city’s downtown area may also provide the license to demolish communities near the coastal road and affect the livelihoods of fisherfolk.

4. Martial law and the rehabilitation of Marawi?

Human rights group Karapatan said President Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao “did not bring about safety, but rather atrocities, corruption and abuses among the ranks of security forces, and a prevailing climate of impunity.”

In 2019, reports showed that $24,000 worth of firearms and ammunition used by armed groups Maute and the Abu Sayyaf were traced to the Philippine military, with their recovered weapons marked with “AFP”, “Government Property”, and “Philippine Army.”

Meanwhile, the five-month continuing airstrikes and ground operations in Marawi led to the destruction of more than 5,000 religious sites and the forced evacuation of more than 120,000 individuals per the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as of September 2020.

The Regional Human Rights Commission in the Bangsamoro region has also recorded about 14,000 cases of human rights violations during the time that martial law was imposed in Mindanao.

The fact that Meranaws still live in temporary shelters today debunks the government narrative that Marawi is now “fully rehabilitated.”

5. Mindanao as the main recipient of state terrorism budget

President Duterte’s promise of providing the “barest minimum” of peace in Mindanao is still far off now that he is in his last months in office with the government’s counterinsurgency arm pouring $247 million out of the $326.7 million or 75 percent of their funds in Mindanao.

In particular, there were 215 villages in the Davao region that received P20 million ($398 million) each under the Barangay Development Program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Insurgency.

Per Karapatan’s documentation as of March 2021, 174 out of 394 (43 percent) extrajudicial killings and 12 of the 18 (66 percent) enforced disappearances under the Duterte administration were in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite has earlier questioned lion’s share for Davao City, expressing serious concerns that it may be utilized for the Duterte bloc’s oiling of their electoral campaign in the 2022 elections.

The plight of the Lumad also continued under the Duterte administration – both in their struggle for their right to ancestral domains and right to education.

6. Intergenerational tyranny

With the next presidential elections less than a year away, progressives said the possible daughter-father Duterte tandem is the tyrant’s trump card in this game of political power.

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte is reportedly in talks with various political groups about her plan to for higher office. She also recently led a presidential survey.

“If the current administration, by its political practice, has been the most violent and most aggressive administration in the post-Marcos era, I think it’s not far to imagine that the survey is stumbling a bit in terms of getting honest results”, Africa said.

He added, “if the Dutertes win in the 2022 elections, it goes to show how deep our democratic crisis is. If we have leaders who, in their political practice, are not really caring for the people and are actually biased for the super few, that’s a big problem and it shows how much we have declined in the past years.”

CPP/PIO-STRC: Wakasan ang diktadurang paghahari ni Duterte!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 26, 2021): Wakasan ang diktadurang paghahari ni Duterte!


JULY 26, 2021

Ubos-kayang labanan at ipagwagi ang pakikibaka para ibagsak ang pasistang rehimeng Duterte. Sa Araw ng State of the Nation Address (SONA) ng tiranong si Duterte, nakahanda ang buong bayan na kalampagin ang bulok, korap, inutil at teroristang rehimen. Patuloy na kikilos ang buong bayan hanggang sa ganap na maibagsak si Duterte at wakasan ang kanyang diktadurang paghahari.

Walang maaasahan ang sambayanang Pilipino sa taksil at kriminal na mamamatay-taong si Duterte. Limang taon niyang inihatid sa labis na kahirapan ang bayan. Sa ika-limang SONA nito, ipinapanawagan ng mamamayan ang kanyang pagbagsak batay sa mga sumusunod:

1. Krimen sa sangkatauhan ang napakaraming paglabag sa karapatang tao ng kanyang rehimen, kabilang ang maramihang pagpaslang sa ilalim ng kanyang gera kontra iligal na droga at gera laban sa nakikibakang mamamayan sa tabing diumano ng pagsupil sa kumunismo at terorismo.

Aabot sa 30,000 ang pinaslang ng rehimen sa kampanya nito laban sa iligal na droga at ginamit pa ito para itumba ang mga kalaban at karibal ng pamilyang Duterte sa negosyo sa iligal na droga. Karamihan sa mga biktima ay karaniwang mamamayang pinaghihinalaang adik o tulak ng droga. Pinalala nito ang kultura ng impyunidad dahil hindi nito pinapanagot ang PNP at AFP sa kabi-kabilang pagpatay at pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan.

Nagresulta sa samu’t saring paglabag sa karapatang tao ang anti-komunistang gera ng rehimen kung saan naitala ang 63,774 iba’t ibang kaso ng mga paglabag mula Enero 2020 hanggang Disyembre 3, 2020 pa lamang. Sa gitna ng pandemyang COVID-19, naglunsad ng mga “kontra-insurhensyang” operasyong militar ang rehimen na sumaklaw sa 1,075 barangay ng 389 bayan o siyudad sa 64 probinsya. Ipinalasap sa mamamayan ang terorismo ng estado at karahasan ng AFP-PNP sa anyo ng mga pagpaslang, pagpapahirap, pananakot, intimidasyon at walang patumanggang pambobomba at pagpapaulan ng bala sa kanilang mga komunidad.

Hindi ligtas ang Timog Katagalugan (TK) lalo’t itinuring ang rehiyon bilang isa sa mga hotspot ng pamamaslang ng estado. Noong Marso 7, naganap ang Bloody Sunday na kumitil sa buhay ng siyam na aktibista. Nagpapatuloy pa ang pamamaslang at iligal na pang-aaresto sa rehiyon hanggang sa kasalukuyan. Sa unang hati ng 2021, naitala ang 13 kaso ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang, 48 kaso ng iligal na pang-aaresto, 3 kaso ng pagdukot, 2 kaso ng pambobomba sa mga komunidad at 4 na kaso ng panliligalig (harassment) at sapilitang pagpapalayas sa mga komunidad.

2. Traydor si Duterte at ibinenta ang bayan sa imperyalistang US at China.

Si Duterte ang pangunahing bentador ng pambansang soberanya ng Pilipinas kung saan kusang isinuko niya ang West Philippine Sea (WPS) at ang soberanong karapatan ng Pilipinas dito sa China. Bingi siya sa hinaing ng mga mangingisda na paulit-ulit na inaatake, sinisiil at pinagkakaitan ng China ng huling isda sa naturang karagatan. Tinalikuran niya ang lehitimong laban ng bansa na igiit ang karapatang solong pakinabangan ang rekurso sa WPS nang ibasura niya ang naipanalong arbitrasyon ng Pilipinas sa Permanent Court of Arbitration sa ilalim ng United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea.

Samantala, higit na pinagtibay ang Visiting Forces Agreement at naging salalayan pa ito at iba pang mga kasunduang militar sa US. Patuloy na nakakatanggap si Duterte ng mga ayudang militar mula sa US, pinakahuli ang P183 milyong halaga ng armas noong Hunyo 22. Ayon sa kumpas ng US, ipinatupad ni Duterte ang mga anti-mamamayang gera at batas gaya ng JCP Kapanatagan at Anti-Terror Law (ATL) upang makakuha ng dagdag na kagamitang militar.

Nagpapakatuta si Duterte sa dalawang among imperyalista kapalit ng bakuna, pondo, pautang at suporta sa kanyang diktadurang paghahari.

3. Kriminal na pinabayaan ni Duterte ang mamamayan sa gitna ng pandemyang COVID-19.

Palpak, pabaya at inutil ang rehimen sa pagharap sa pandemyang COVID-19 na nagresulta sa pagkakasakit ng mahigit 1.5 milyong Pilipino na kumitil na sa mahigit 27 libong mga Pilipino. Sa umpisa pa lamang, hindi siya nagdeklara ng travel ban sa China, ang pinagmulan ng bayrus, at hinayaang lumaganap ang sakit nang pinahintulutang pumasok ang mga turistang Tsino sa loob ng bansa. Imbes na komprehensibo at siyentipikong mga solusyon para sansalain ang COVID-19, ipinataw niya ang militaristang lockdown na sa esensya’y pagpataw ng de facto martial law sa bansa. Ibinigay niya sa mga retiradong heneral ang pamamahala para labanan ang COVID-19 na nagresulta sa higit na pagdami ng mga kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang tao at arbitraryong pag-aresto sa mamamayan sa ngalan ng mga paglabag sa health protocol. Walang ipinatupad na mass testing, napakabagal ng contact tracing at ang pagpapabakuna.

Hindi nagbigay ang rehimen ng sapat na ayuda sa mamamayang apektado ng pandemya. Pinatigil sa pag-aaral ang mga kabataan at walang aksyon sa laganap na disempleyo sa bansa. Nagawa pa nilang nakawin ang pondong nakalaan para sa pagtugon sa pandemya.

4. Labis-labis ang pangungurakot ni Duterte sa kaban ng bayan para sa pagpapayaman ng kanyang pamilya at pambubusog sa kanyang mga kroni at mga berdugong heneral

Sa pondong pantugon sa COVID-19 na Bayanihan 1 at 2 pa lamang, tinatayang P168.7 bilyon ang hindi nagastos at malamang na nakurakot sa P665.7 bilyong pinagsamang pondo ng programa. Naging palabigasan ang pandemya para sa mga kurakot ng mga opisyal sa mga ahensya ng PhilHealth, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Agriculture at Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Maanomalya rin ang mga pondong inilaan sa NTF-ELCAC kagaya ng Barangay Development Program kung saan kagyat na kinuha ng AFP ang P19 bilyong pondo matapos ipanawagan ng mamamayang Pilipino ang pagtatanggal sa pondo ng NTF-ELCAC. Hindi nakinabang ang mga komunidad na nasa listahan nito, bagkus lalo lang naisailalim sa militarisasyon. Nalantad na ito ay gagamitin ng pangkating Duterte para sa manipulasyon ng boto at pandaraya sa eleksyong 2022.

Mula nang maupo bilang presidente, tinatayang nadagdagan ang yaman ng mga Duterte. Upang pigilan ang pagkakalantad nito, brinaso ng rehimen na huwag ilabas ang Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Network (SALN) ng pamilyang Duterte. Nagpakasasa rin ang mga heneral sa mga susing posisyon sa gubyerno at mga kroni sa mga proyektong Build, Build, Build.

5. Isinadlak ni Duterte sa walang kaparis na kahirapan ang mamamayang Pilipino.

Noong 2020 sa gitna ng pandemya, bumagsak nang 16.7% ang gross domestic product (GDP) na tinaguriang pinakamatarik na pagbulusok ng ekonomiya sa loob ng apat na dekada. Lumobo ang utang ng Pilipinas na aabot sa P11.1 trilyon sa pagtatapos ng Mayo 2021. Kasabay nito ang mabilis na pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin dulot ng isinabatas na TRAIN Law. Sumirit ang presyo ng mga produktong petrolyo, bigas, karne, gulay at iba pa. Lalupang nawalan ng hanapbuhay ang mamamayang Pilipino na umabot sa 12 milyon.

Kasabay ng pagdarahop ng kalagayan ng mamamayan, niluwagan ni Duterte ang pagpasok ng mga dayuhang korporasyon ng mina at plantasyon na nang-aagaw sa lupain ng mga magsasaka at katutubo sa kanayunan. Nananatiling kontraktwal ang mga manggagawa — sa TK pa lamang, may tinatayang 30,000 ang manggagawang kontraktwal at walang kaseguruhan sa trabaho. Walang hanapbuhay ang mga drayber dahil iniratsada ang jeepney phaseout sa gitna ng militaristang lockdown. Walang naghihintay na kabuhayan sa mga Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) na napilitang bumalik sa bansa.

Tahasang pinagkaitan ang mamamayang Pilipino ng tunay na mga repormang sosyo-ekonomiko nang talikuran ni Duterte ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa NDFP noong 2017. Arbitraryong itinigil ni Duterte ang usapan sa gitna ng pagtalakay ng dalawang panig sa programa sa reporma sa lupa at pambansang industriyalisasyon sa ilalim ng Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER). Pilit na itinatanggi ng rehimen na ang ugat ng armadong tunggalian sa bansa ay bunsod ng malawakang kahirapang ipinataw ng sistemang malakolonyal at malapyudal sa Pilipinas.

6. Ipinataw niya ang kanyang pasistang diktadura sa bayan at nagpapakana pang maghari lagpas sa kanyang termino.

Isinabatas ni Duterte ang ATL at ginawang sandata para usigin at atakehin ang mga aktibista, progresibo, kritiko, oposisyon at makabayang Pilipino sa ngalan diumano ng paglaban sa terorismo. Sinagpang niya ang pandemya upang ipataw ang di-deklaradong Martial Law sa anyo ng militaristang lockdown. Gamit ito, naghasik siya ng teror at lagim para supilin ang anumang lehitimong pakikibaka ng mamamayan.

Sa pagtatapos ng kanyang termino at papalapit na eleksyong 2022, nagpapakana ang pangkating Duterte na makapanatili sa kapangyarihan. Kinasangkapan ni Duterte ang Kongreso para magpakanang iratsada ang isang pederalistang Konstitusyon kaalinsabay ng pagpapataw ng de facto Martial Law sa bansa. Ang garapal na pahayag ni Duterteng tumakbo bilang bise presidente sa eleksyong 2022 at pagpili ng iluluklok na tautauhang presidente para makaiwas sa pananagutan at pag-uusig sa mga krimen niya sa bayan ay lalong nagpapasidhi sa galit ng mamamayan.

Hindi na maatim ng mamamayan na mapalawig pa ang termino ng inutil, pahirap, at pasistang rehimen. Wala nang puwang para sa susunod pang termino ni Duterte o ng kanyang pangkatin. Kailangang magkaisa ang mamamayan para tutulan at labanan ang pakanang pagpapalawig ng kanyang paghahari. Kasabay nito, dapat ikonsentra ang lakas ng bayan upang usigin at panagutin si Duterte sa kanyang mga krimen sa bayan.

Maaasahan ng mamamayang Pilipino ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan bilang natatanging sandigan nito para labanan ang rehimeng US-Duterte. Nasa unahan nila ang CPP-NPA-NDFP para idirihe ang pambansa demokratikong rebolusyon hanggang sa ganap na maibagsak ang pasistang diktadura ni Duterte. ###

CPP/NPA-Albay: SONA 2021 ni Duterte, dagdag na kahambugan sa Bayan at Mamamayang Albayano

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 25, 2021): SONA 2021 ni Duterte, dagdag na kahambugan sa Bayan at Mamamayang Albayano


JULY 25, 2021

Ngayong darating na Lunes, ika-26 ng Hulyo, huling State of The Nation Address (SONA) ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Huling pagkakataon sa paulit-ulit na “sana” ay PARA SA BAYAN ang huling ulat ni Duterte. Subalit ano nga ba ang pwedeng asahan ng mamamayan? Karamihan ay inaasahan na ang mga papuri para sa mga hambog at berdugong militar, mga palpak na ekonomista, pagyayabang ng kanilang naging pagharap sa pandemya at sa malamang ang bibitbitin niyang pulitiko para sa nalalapit na eleksyon. Asahan na din ang magiging paghahambog ni Duterte kaugnay ng kanyang mga pinaslang sa kanyang gera-kontra-droga at pagpapatampok ng kanyang paglaban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan at iba pang pwersang lumalaban sa kanya. Malaki din ang posibilidad na muling ipasok ang usapin ng chacha, naglalaway na ang mga burukrata kapitalistang nangungunyapit sa kanilang mga poder at dinastiya.

Sa probinsya ng Albay, narito ang ilang tampok na pangyayaring dapat na malaman ng mamamayang Albayano.


Noong nakaraang Hunyo 2020, muling kinuha sa Mindanao ang 49thIB PA upang muling ipakat sa Bikol, partikular sa Albay. Ibinunsod ito ng kanilang planong durugin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa paulit-ulit na pagtatangka hanggang noong huli ay tapusin diumano ang CPP-NPA-NDFP ngayong 2022.

Hindi pa man nagtatagal ang kriminal na batalyon sa probinsya, nagpasikat na ito sa kanilang among si Duterte sa anyo ng maramihang paglabag sa karapatang tao – tampok dito ang kanilang pagpatay kina Brgy Batbat Kapitan Luzviminda Dayandante at Ingat Yaman Albert Orlina, mga tunay na lingkod ng barangay batay sa kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin. Hindi matanggap ng 49thIB PAna isang katulad ni Dayandante ang magpapalayas sa kanilang garapal na pag-okupa sa barangay dahil gusto nilang tuwirang pakialaman ang plano ng konseho sa barangay na nabanggit.

Sa kasalukuyan, patuloy na binabalikan ng yunit ng kaaway ang mga pinaglunsaran nila ng Retooled Community Services Program (RCSP) sa mga lugar ng Guinobatan, Pio Duran, Jovellar, Oas, Libon at Ligao City.

Sa ganitong kaayusan, apektado ang pagkilos/aktibidad ng mga mamamayan sa komunidad – hindi maayos na makapagbungkal ng lupa ang mga magsasaka, saklot ng takot ang mga kababaihan, at maging ang mga kabataan ay hindi ligtas sa dala-dala nilang dekadenteng kultura. Sa kanilang pagposisyon sa mga lugar na nabanggit, nananatili pa din atrasado ang kabuhayan ng mga magsasaka at lalong nasadlak sa kumunoy ng kahirapan sa kabila ng kanilang daladalang programa. Wala itong dalang pangmatagalang solusyon sa kinasasadlakang kahirapan ng mamamayan kundi mga paglabag sa karapatang tao.

Kasabay ng kanilang RCSP, ang hatid na delubyo ng Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operations (SACLEO). Sa Albay, madami na ang nagiging biktima ng kanilang walang patumanggang “nanlaban kaya napatay”. Walang karapatan sa korte ang sinumang kanilang puntahan para diumano ay silbihan ng search o arrest warrant, kabalintunaan nito, “death warrant” ang kanilang dala-dala. Si Duterte mismo ang nagbigay ng impunidad sa hanay ng pulisya na pumatay kahit na sino na lamang.


Gaya ng inaasahan, malayo pa ang eleksyon ay kabilaan na ang pangangampanya ng mga pulitiko bagama’t di tuwirang nananawagan pero todo-larga ang pagpapakilala at pagpapabango.

Karamihan sa mga nakaupo sa lokal na gubyerno ay nakipagsabwatan sa AFP upang ideklara ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan bilang persona non grata (PNG). Nakipagtulungan sila ayon sa kagustuhan ng NTF-ELCAC/PTF-ELCAC na magmaniobra sa mga usaping pang-sibilyan sa probinsya. Tukoy ng SBC BHB – Albay kung sino ang mga pulitikong kasama sa mga pumirma at nagratsada ng Anti-Terrorism Law na ngayon ay tsapa nila sa walang habas na pangre-red tagged, harasment at paghuli sa mga aktibista gayundin ang pagpaslang sa mga kilalang nagsusulong ng tunay na karapatang tao.


Ang isang tampok na usapin sa probinsya ang hindi matapos-tapos na brown-out at sunod-sunod na shutdown ng buo-buong mga barangay. Ilang buwan nang hindi mapalagay ang mamamayang Albayano dahil sa kanilang walang kasiguruhan sa suplay ng kuryente. Nananatiling nakasuso ang ALECO sa APEC na puspos ng korapsyon at pandaraya sa mga konsumedures. Hindi maapula ng mga nakaupong opisyal mula sa governor hanggang sa barangay ang apoy ng panloloko sa mga kumukunsumo nito. Nananatiling pantapal lamang ang mga naihahaing solusyon ng mga lokal na opisyal ng probinsya. Malinaw ang sabwatan ng mga burges kumprador at burukrata kapitalistang kumukupo ng bilyon-bilyong tubo mula dito. Walang malinaw na plano ang lokal na gubyerno sa mura at naglilingkod sa mamamayang serbisyo sa kuryente.

Nananatiling mataas pa rin ang kilo ng baboy dahil sa napakataas na kaso ng african swine flu (asf) sa bansa. Sa halip na ugatin ang pinagmumulan nito at resolbahin kung paanong hindi maapektuhan ang pamilihan, dahil marami pa din ang mga lokal na hog raisers na hindi naman apektado nito, mas binigyan pansin ng gubyerno ang neoliberalismong pagpaling sa pamamagitan ng liberalisasyon. Tone-toneladang karne ng baboy ang ipinapasok sa bansa ng walang limitasyon.

Patuloy ang pagtaas ng kaso ng may corona virus, iilan pa din ang itinayong mass testing centers at hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay nananatiling pinanggagalingan ng korupsyon ang pagbili ng bakuna. Walang mahusay at mantinidong ayuda para sa nawalan ng trabaho at iba pang umaasa sa kakarampot nilang kita bago pa ang pandemya. Pinabayaan ang magsasaka sa kanilang dahop na ngang kalagayan, lalupang nalubog sa lusak nang dumating ang pandemya.


Hindi na bago sa mamamayang Albayano ang ganitong sistema ng gubyerno na ang pangunahing biktima ay sila. Nakaukit na sa kanilang kamulatan na walang ibang magbibigay ng mapayapang pamumuhay kundi sila din lamang. Kung paano, kailangang magsimula sa kanilang mahigpit na pagkakaisa at sama-samang pagkilos. Kaakibat ng kanilang pakikibaka ang malaking tungkulin ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan upang maigpawan nila ang malapyudal at malakolonyal na sistema.

Nakapaglunsad ng aabot sa 10 magkakaibang taktikal na opensiba ang mga yunit sa ilalim ng SBC BHB – Albay nitong nagdaang taon laban sa mga yunit ng AFP at PNP. Nakapaglunsad din ng ilang pagpapataw ng sangsyon sa ilang mga malalaking mandarambong ng likas na yaman na hindi tumatalima sa mga patakaran ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Obligasyon nilang sumunod dito dahil sila ay nasa teritoryo kung saan may isang gubyerno pa ang umiiral, ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

CPP/NDF-PKM-Ilocos: Wakasan at singilin ang naghahari-harian at tiranikong rehimeng Duterte

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 25, 2021): Wakasan at singilin ang naghahari-harian at tiranikong rehimeng Duterte


JULY 25, 2021

Sa darating na huling SONA ni Duterte ngayong taon, inaasahan na naman natin ang mga kasinungalingan at basura na lalabas sa bibig ng buhong at tiranikong si Duterte. Limang taon itong nagtampisaw sa kapangyarihan, habang gutom at kamatayan ang ipinaranas sa sambayanang Pilipino, higit lalo sa masang magsasaka.

Naranasan natin sa panahon ng pandemya ang sobra-sobrang pagdurusa, nalantad ang kabulukan hindi lang ng sistemang pangkalusugan kundi mismo ng kawalang silbi ng gubyernong pinaghaharian ng mga burgesyang kumprador, panginoong may lupa at ng mga sagad sagaring tiraniko at pasista.

Ipinamalas ni Duterte ang isang tipo ng naghaharing uri na ubod ng kasamaan at kawalang hiyaan, kaparehas ng iniidolo nitong diktador na si Marcos. Isinaklot nito ang buong Pilipinas sa lagim ng kagutuman, kawalang katiyakan, pang-aapi at pagpatay.

Sa limang taon ng panunungkulan ni Duterte, wala itong ginawang patakaran na nagsilbi sa kapakinabangan ng mga magsasaka. Bagkus nilugmok nito sa anti-magsasakang polisiya at batas ang sektor ng agrikultura. Katuwang ang mga nanlilimahid sa ganid na paksyon nito sa Senado at Kongreso, iniratsada ang pagsasabatas ng Rice Tarrification Law na humukay sa libingan ng pagkalugi at karalitaan ng mga magbubukid. Ibinagsak nito ang presyo ng palay sa pinakamababa dahil sa importasyon ng bigas. Sa rehiyon ng Ilokos, bumagsak hanggang sa ₱11 kada kilo ng palay. Samantalang imbis na suportahan ang nangalulugi na mga magbababoy dahil sa sakit na ASF, importasyon pa rin ang naging solusyon ng rehimen upang punan ang lumiliit na produksyon ng karneng baboy sa pamamagitan ng pagbaba ng taripa sa imported na karneng baboy. Dahil dito, dagsa ang murang imported na karne sa pamilihan na syang magpapalugi sa naghihingalo nang industriya ng pagbababoy.

Ramdam din sa sektor ng pangisdaan sa rehiyon ng Ilokos ang panghihimasok ng Tsina sa Exclusive Economic Zone ng Pilipinas. Ito ay sa pagliit ng dami ng nahuhuli at ang pagkipot din ng lugar pangisdaan ng mga lokal na commercial fishing vessel na nagtulak sa pakikipagkompitensya nito sa mga maliliit na mangingisda sa loob ng mga municipal water. Dahil dito, nararanasan ng maliliit na mangingisda ang pagliit ng nahuhuli at kahirapan sa pangingisda.

Idagdag pa dito ang programa ng rehimen sa eko-turismo na magpapalit gamit ng mga produktibong lupaing agrikultura at sa mga baybay-dagat. Higit pang pagkawasak sa kapaligiran ang pagmimina na malaganap at agresibong itinutulak ng rehimen bilang pansalba di umano sa naghihingalong ekonomya ng Pilipinas.

At bilang huling dagok sa magsasaka at sagkaan ang pakikibaka ng mamamayan, walang puknat ang pambabandido sa mamamayan ng notoryus na NTF-ELCAC. Pambabandido ito dahil tila bandido itong sumasalakay sa madaling araw at nagbabahay-bahay sa mga myembro at lider ng iba’t ibang organisasyong magsasaka sa kanayunan. Nananakot, nagnanakaw ng mga alagang hayop at ari-arian ng mga maralitang magsasaka, nandudukot, nambobomba at nangmamasaker. Dito sa rehiyon ng Ilokos, walang lubay ang harassment, disimpormasyon, red tagging at pwersahang pagpapasurender sa mga aktibista, lider magsasaka, taong simbahan at mga kabataan. Pinangunahan ito ng mga mersenaryong 81st, 69th at 24th IB ng PA at ng Regional at Provincial Police office ng PNP. Sa pamamagitan ng kanilang pwersahang pagpapasurender sa mga sibilyan, kumukubra ng limpak-limpak na salapi ang mga opisyales ng AFP at PNP. Sa limang taon ni Duterte, umabot na sa 409 ang extra judicial killing na isinagawa ng mga bandidong AFP at PNP kung saan ang 324 nito ay mga magsasaka na minamasaker at walang awang pinapatay. Idagdag pa ang mahigit 20,000 maralitang pinatay sa gerang kontra-droga ni Duterte. Kaya ang rehimeng Duterte at buong gubyerno nito ay may utang na dugo sa sambayanan.

Hindi natuto sa kasaysayan ang rehimeng Duterte at ang kanyang armadong goons na AFP at PNP. Isang ilusyon ang kanilang pagtatarget na mawawasak ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan at ang paglaban ng mamamayan. Konkreto ang batayan ng mahigit na 50 taong pakikibaka ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan at ng buong rebolusyonaryong kilusang magsasaka. Ang Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid, katuwang ang iba’t ibang rebolusyonaryomg kilusan ng mamamayan, ay patuloy na nagpupunyagi upang ipaglaban ang tunay na reporma sa lupa at mga demokratikong karapatan. Buong puso itong sumusuporta sa armadong paglaban ng mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng magigiting na hukbo nito, ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan.

Sa huling taon ng hungkag na si Duterte, mamamalas nito ang nag-aalab na galit ng mamamayan. Ating biguin ang terorismo at tiraniya ng kasalukuyang rehimen. Patatatagin ang pagkakaisa at paglaban sa buong rehiyon at sa buong bansa. Iwawagayway ang pulang bandila ng pakikibaka sa bawat bukid, baryo, kapatagan at kabundukan. Isisigaw ang panawagan para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa at paglaya.

Philippines and Vietnam reaffirm defense cooperation following 45 years of diplomatic relations

 From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Philippines and Vietnam reaffirm defense cooperation following 45 years of diplomatic relations (By DND)

The Republic of the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam marked their 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties on 12 July 2021. For the past 45 years, the two countries have shown notable developments of bilateral diplomatic relations through cooperation in various fields, including defense and security. Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Minister of National Defense General Phan Van Giang have exchanged congratulatory letters to commemorate the anniversary.

The Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership, which was signed by former President Benigno Aquino III and Viet Nam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dun in November 2015, serves as a framework for the Philippines and Viet Nam to further develop confidence-building, boost friendly relations, and promote cooperation both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

In line with the Department’s policy thrust to prioritize defense engagements with the Philippines’ strategic partners, defense cooperation between the Philippines and Viet Nam have been developing throughout the years, particularly after the conclusion of the 2010 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Defense Cooperation.

The Department of National Defense of the Philippines and the Ministry of Defense of Vietnam conducted the inaugural Vice Ministers’ Defense Strategic Dialogue (VMDSD) in April 2015 in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Furthermore, the Defense Cooperation Working Group (DCWG) was established to monitor and evaluate existing defense cooperation activities, as well as explore other areas of defense cooperation. Personnel interaction have also been sustained through cultural and sports activities between the Philippine Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy.

The conclusion of the said frameworks and establishment of cooperative mechanisms are manifestations of the shared commitment between the Philippine and Vietnamese defense sectors to enhance cooperation at all levels from policy consultations between the defense establishments to practical activities between the armed forces.

As both defense establishments continue to work together, it is expected that the conduct of strategic dialogue, high-level visits, education and training exchanges, intelligence exchange, and defense industry and logistics cooperation, among others, will increase between the Philippine and Vietnamese defense sector in the coming years. (DND)

Army says over 200 E. Visayas villages now NPA-free

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Army says over 200 E. Visayas villages now NPA-free (By Sarwell Meniano)

REACHING OUT TO REMOTE VILLAGES. A soldier entertains children during a service caravan in Balangkayan, Eastern Samar in this July 8, 2021 photo. The delivery of services along with combat operations is effective in clearing communities from the threats of the New People's Army in the Eastern Visayas region. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

At least 213 villages in Eastern Visayas have been cleared of New People’s Army (NPA) influence from 2019 to mid-2021, covering the first two years of employing the “whole-of-nation” approach in wiping out the communist terrorist group.

Of the 213 villages, 94 are in Samar province, 45 in Eastern Samar, 41 in Leyte, 29 in Northern Samar, and four in Southern Leyte.

There are still 126 villages in Northern Samar and 29 villages in Eastern Samar with ongoing clearing activities
by the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

“The Philippine Army, partner national government agencies, and local government units hope to fully rid these villages in Northern and Eastern Samar from the NPA influence by September this year,” s
aid Capt. Ferdinand Tutanes, RTF-ELCAC desk officer of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division in a phone interview Monday.

There are still 97 villages in Northern Samar eyed for implementation of the retooled community support program (RCSP)
between the last quarter of 2021 to early 2022.

RCSP is a strategy that deploys teams tasked to identify issues and concerns in remote communities threatened by the NPA.

These issues will be raised to the concerned government agencies and local government units to be addressed accordingly.

The task of the teams is to facilitate solutions for those identified problems through the convergence of efforts of different government agencies supervised by the local task force on ending local communist armed conflict.

“What is unique about Eastern Visayas is our RCSP implementation. While our troops are engaged in combat operations, our partner agencies had dialogues with villagers to identify their needs and deliver basic services to them. It only takes three months for us to clear a village affected by insurgency through this whole-of-nation approach,” Tutanes added.

In an earlier interview, Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III, commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said they expect the war against the NPA to be bloodier.

The remaining members of the NPA are no longer organized, but they still exist to continue their extortion activities and spread the communist ideology, according to the official.

“We are almost done with our campaign. We should expect this to be more violent since NPA members are already fighting for survival. They want to project that they are still strong,” Diñoso told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The weakening of NPA in Eastern Visayas is a result of a whole-of-nation approach by linking arms between basic service providers from the central government, community participation groups from the local governments, and the security sector from the military and police.

In support of the fight against NPA, several local government units have formed their task force ELCAC operationalizing Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 4, 2018.

The directive also institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an inclusive and sustainable peace.

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.

Southern Negros villagers declare Reds as 'persona non grata'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Southern Negros villagers declare Reds as 'persona non grata' (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

CONDEMNATION. A group of residents of Barangay Caliling, Cauayan town in Negros Occidental burns the CPP-NPA flag after pledging allegiance to the government and declaring the communist-terrorist groups as persona non grata in rites held at the village gymnasium on Saturday (July 25, 2021). The activity was facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 14th Civil-Military Operations Battalion Community Support Program Team. (Photo courtesy of 14th CMO Battalion)

At least 100 residents of Barangay Caliling, Cauayan town in southern Negros Occidental have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), as "persona non grata" in a gathering held at the village gymnasium on Saturday.

The participants, who are members of the Bahay Patol Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (B-PARC), took part in the 'pulong-pulong' (meeting) themed “Sama-samang Mamamayan, Terorismo’y Wakasan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran para sa Bayan” facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 14th Civil-Military Operations Battalion (CMOB) Community Support Program Team.

Lt. Col. Arturo Dumalagan, commanding officer of the 14CMOB, told the Philippine News Agency on Sunday that the pledge of those present to withdraw support from the communist-terrorist group is a bold step toward ending insurgency and attaining lasting peace and sustainable development in the community.

During the activity, the participants denounced the atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA as expressed in the placards they carried during a march, and also took an oath of allegiance to the government.

The pledge was followed by the ceremonial signing of a barangay resolution declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata, and condemning the communist-terrorist group’s violation of human rights, killings, and recruitment of minors, among other unlawful activities.

The rites were highlighted by the burning of CPP-NPA flags to symbolize denouncement of the group’s terroristic activities.

Earlier, while the troops were conducting assessment in the village, Dumalagan said the B-PARC officers and members reported their presence to the police.

“We are your soldiers, not enemies. Why would you ask the police, our fellow government forces, to record our presence in the blotter report? We are here to help you,” he told them.

The B-PARC, which has 438 members, has been in existence for almost 30 years.

Officials who witnessed the activity included Caliling village chief Josel Popioco, Cauayan Councilor Angelica Sarmiento, human resource officer Noel Gayanilo, B-PARC chairperson Jonah Caceres, as well as representatives from the Cauayan Municipal Police Station, 15th Infantry Battalion, and Department of Agrarian Reform.

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.

Earlier this month, the NDF has also been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council.

Troops secure folk vs. terror group in SoCot town

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Troops secure folk vs. terror group in SoCot town (By Allen Estabillo)

Logo of the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion

Government troops assured on Monday the safety and security of residents in remote communities of Polomolok, South Cotabato amid the ongoing operations against an Islamic State-inspired local terrorist group.

Lt. Col. Zandro Alvez, commanding officer of the Army’s 5th Special Forces (SF) Battalion, issued the assurance as some 97 residents from parts of Barangay Lumakil evacuated over the weekend after clashes erupted between their troops and a group of bandits under the Dawlah Islamiya-Maguid Group.

He said the residents in nearby communities left their homes amid the exchange of gunfire between their forces and the bandits on Saturday.

Alvez said they launched the operation following reports from concerned residents regarding the presence in the area of members of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maguid Group.

He said the affected residents evacuated to nearby Barangays Lapu and Bentung as they reportedly feared for their safety.

Troops from the 10th SF Company responded to the area to ensure the safety and security of the evacuees as well as other residents, he said.

“We assured them that they should not worry or fear for their safety from the ongoing operations,” Alvez said in a statement.

Mercy Alonzo, Barangay Lapu chairperson, said affected residents remained at the evacuation center in the barangay gymnasium as of Monday morning.

She said they were still waiting for clearance from the 5th Special Forces so they can facilitate the return of the evacuees to their homes in Puroks 1, 2 and 3.

“None of them were hurt, they just panicked and immediately fled after hearing the gunfire,” she said in a radio interview.

Alonzo said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the municipal government of Polomolok, and several local officials have brought food and relief assistance to the evacuees.

Alvez said the 10th SF Company led by Capt. Harold Layan also delivered relief goods composed of rice packs, bread, noodles and canned goods.

He reiterated that their operations against local terrorist groups will continue to protect residents and communities in the area.

“We are ready to stake our lives just to ensure the safety of every resident against anyone with ill intentions and those plotting to sow conflict and terror, and disrupt the peaceful lives of innocent civilians,” he said.

Solcom chief Parlade retires

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Solcom chief Parlade retires (By Priam Nepomuceno) 

RETIREMENT RITES. AFP chief, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana leads the change-of-command and retirement ceremony for Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. (center) at the Southern Luzon Command headquarters in Lucena City, Quezon on Sunday (July 25, 2021). Parlade was replaced as Solcom commander by Maj. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. on Sunday formally retired from the military after 38 years of service.

Parlade was
replaced by 2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro in a joint change-of-command and retirement ceremony, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said in a statement Monday.

AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana presided over the ceremony at the Solcom headquarters in Camp Nakar, Lucena City, Quezon.

“Southern Luzon Command, under Lieutenant General Parlade, certainly ensured that the people of Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region are free from the influence of the enemies of the state, who continuously resort to violence, intimidation, and deception in pursuing their crooked interests and vile goals,” he added.

As Solcom commander, Parlade pursued the effective and timely implementation of campaign plans that aim to finally neutralize or destroy the remaining communist terrorist groups (CTGs) operating in southern Luzon.

Working hand-in-hand with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), Solcom was able to address insurgency in the region through combat operations and addressing its main causes.

Parlade also led Solcom in stakeholder engagements and community support programs to identify and address issues that the CTGs exploit for their propaganda.

He was also instrumental in the activation of humanitarian assistance and disaster response task groups, in close coordination with disaster risk reduction and management councils, which enabled Solcom to respond to any eventualities, especially during the unrest of the Taal Volcano.

“Indeed, Solcom, under the leadership of Lieutenant General Parlade, is always ready to safeguard the people of Southern Luzon from whatever danger or unwanted circumstances that threaten the security environment in the area of operations,” Sobejana said.

Parlade is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1987. Meanwhile, his successor, Bacarro, is a member of the PMA Class of 1988.

Aside from previously serving as the commandant of the PMA Cadet Corps, Bacarro also served as Internal Auditor of the AFP, Chief of Staff of 4th Infantry Division, commander of the 502nd Infantry Brigade, and also head of the AFP-ELCAC.

He is also a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff Course in Kansas, USA. Bacarro was awarded the Medal of Valor "for acts of conspicuous courage, gallantry, and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty" during an encounter with New People's Army rebels in Isabela in 1991.

"Bacarro’s bravery and gallantry are beyond reproach. He is a leader who never leaves his men behind in the direst of situations. I expect that he will usher in more accomplishments and milestones not only for this command, but also for the whole of Southern Luzon,” Sobejana said.

PH security sector 'stronger' under Duterte's term: Lorenzana

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): PH security sector 'stronger' under Duterte's term: Lorenzana (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (File photo)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte accomplished most of the things he planned to do in the security sector.

"Five years on, I believe we’ve accomplished most of the things we planned to do. The Department of National Defense is stronger than it was before. President Duterte strongly supported the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) especially in protecting our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have intensified our internal security, counter-terrorism and peace-building efforts and HADR (humanitarian assistance disaster relief),"
Lorenzana said in a Facebook post, ahead of Duterte's final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon.

Lorenzana, a retired Army major general, admitted that at first, he had qualms about taking the job as DND chief, a post offered to him by the President on May 31, 2016, a few weeks after winning the presidential race.

"On May 31, 2016, then President-elect Rodrigo Duterte told me that I would be his SND (Secretary of National Defense). I couldn’t sleep for several nights thinking of the enormity of the job. I even contemplated going back to him to decline the appointment and ask for a lesser job," he added.

After praying for discernment, Lorenzana said he realized that he could make a difference in the defense sector.

"My 31 years of experience in the Army and 14 years in the diplomatic corps has prepared me adequately," the DND chief added.

Lorenzana said Duterte's love for Filipinos translated to a comprehensive program that gave rebels the chance to begin anew, resulting in their massive surrender and social reintegration.

"Under his leadership as Commander-In-Chief, milestones were reached in the AFP Modernization Program through the acquisition of capital assets. The AFP has now upgraded its systems, doctrines, and acquired vital equipment," he said.

Some of these newly acquired assets include the two newly acquired Jose Rizal-class missile frigates, the six-newly delivered Embraer A-29B "Super Tucano" close-air support aircraft and around 10 Polish-made S-70i "Black Hawk" helicopters, of which five more are to be delivered within the year.

"We still have a long way to go but we will continue to accomplish many more in our last year together. We will serve the Filipino people the best way we can under President Duterte's 'tapang at malasakit'," Lorenzana said.

Duterte asks Congress to pass MUP pension reform

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Duterte asks Congress to pass MUP pension reform (By Filane Mikee Cervantes)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Congress to pass a measure providing for a unified system for separation, retirement, and pension of military and uniformed services personnel to address the bloating pension system.

“I am asking Congress to pass a unified system of separation, retirement and pension of military and uniformed personnel to maintain government fiscal flexibility and provide adequate benefits and remuneration to our men and women in uniform,” Duterte said during his sixth and last State of the Nation Address.

The said MUP pension reform shall only apply to new entrants.

The House version of the bill proposes the retention of the MUP pension scheme with the condition that pay raises of MUP personnel will be capped at an annual increase of 5 percent for 10 years.

The present scheme features the option to avail of early retirement after at least 20 years of service, even ahead of the mandatory retirement age of 56.

In addition, the monthly pension of MUP retirees is automatically indexed to the salary of the next in rank in the active service.

The Senate version, on the other hand, rejects indexation for new entrants, proposes to retain the same rank upon retirement, and introduces mandatory contribution.

Free legal assistance

Duterte also called on Congress to pass a measure providing free legal assistance to any officer or enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“It is also high time for us to pass a law providing free legal assistance to AFP and PNP officers enlisted personnel to help them from charges arising from incidence related to the performance of official duty,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to the legislature for working with the executive department to strengthen the country’s police and military institutions through the modernization program, as well as boosting the morale of cops and soldiers by increasing their salaries.

“I thank Congress for working with the executive department in enhancing capabilities of the AFP and PNP through our modernization program,” he said. “In 2018, we raised the salaries of our military and uniformed policemen and personnel to a level commensurate to the critical role they play in upholding national security and maintaining order.”

Strengthening of military, police always a priority: PRRD

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 26, 2021): Strengthening of military, police always a priority: PRRD (By Priam Nepomuceno)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte said strengthening the capability of the country's military and police has always been a priority under his administration.

In his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte said before assuming office in 2016, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was "ill-equipped" to deal with internal and external threats while the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been overwhelmed with criminality and the illegal drug trade menace.

Duterte said his efforts to strengthen these institutions also aim to boost the morale of its personnel.

"By providing them with the necessary equipment, by enhancing their professional capabilities, and looking after the families of the soldiers who would no be longer in their company. We do not only strengthen our military and police institutions -- we also inspire them to serve this nation with the highest degree of loyalty and patriotism. We enabled them to carry out their mandate to defeat all enemies of the state whatever the cost," he said.

He also thanked Congress for working with the executive department in enhancing the capabilities of the AFP and the PNP through modernization programs.

Duterte said the continuous upgrading of the country's defense capability shall ensure that the protection of its territorial integrity and sovereignty from external and internal security threats will be upheld.

"Among the new additions, we welcomed the country's two missile-capable warships, to enable us to protect our seas," the President said.

Duterte was referring to the two newly acquired Jose Rizal-class missile frigates -- the BRP Jose Rizal and the BRP Antonio Luna -- that were acquired from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Aside from this, Duterte said the government in 2018 has raised the salary of military and uniformed policemen and personnel to a level that is "commensurate to the critical role they play in upholding national security and maintaining order".