Wednesday, August 4, 2021

CPP/CIO: Drilon investigation into NTF-ELCAC funds is welcome

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 3, 2021): Drilon investigation into NTF-ELCAC funds is welcome


AUGUST 03, 2021

The push by Sen. Franklin Drilon to investigate the ₱19.2-billion budget of theNational Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is a welcome move. The broad sectors of the people demand a stop to how their money is being squandered on wasteful and corrupt counterinsurgency operations and white elephant projects.

We maintain that the NTF-ELCAC’s ₱16.4-billion Barangay Development Program (BDP) is military pork barrel. It is being used by the NTF-ELCAC and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to gain leverage in influencing the local and national elections. It paves the way for enlarging the military’s political influence that is dangerously combined with their armed might.

The following are some of the questions that demand answers:

(a) How does the NTF-ELCAC classify barangays as “cleared of NPA.” The 822 barangays listed in the 2021 BDP were supposedly “cleared” in the period 2016-2019? In 2022, they plan to include even those barangays “cleared” much earlier, which likely have already been “recovered” by the NPA. How can it account for the fact that at least 50 of the barangays listed by the NTF-ELCAC in the BDP saw armed encounters between the NPA and the AFP since January 2020? Or the fact that some barangays listed are not considered by the NPA as part of their areas of operation?

An investigation into the BDP must discuss the nature of the people’s war and how it is a fluid war. Guerrilla units of the NPA always move around and expand into new areas. Where the AFP concentrates its forces, the NPA disperses and moves around, while maintaining its links with the masses.

(b) Are there actual feasibility studies that will show how the construction of 1-kilometer cemented roads will help alleviate the people’s socioeconomic conditions? Does the NTF-ELCAC plan to build these roads in all the rural barangays that are within the scope of operations of NPA guerrilla fronts?

In fact, these roads do not address the clamor of poor and downtrodden peasant masses and farm workers for free land distribution, financial support, higher farm wages and fair farm gate prices for their produce. Minority people, moreover, demand respect for their ancestral domain against development aggression of mining companies, eco-tourisim and energy projects, dams and the like.

(c) In constructing school buildings, is there actually budget allocations for the hiring of new teachers and provision of educational materials for school children? Similarly, is there actually budget allocations for the hiring of doctors, nurses and health workers and for medical equipment to man all the health stations supposedly to be constructed under the BDP so that they will not turn out to be empty buildings? Isn’t there a shortage of teachers across the public education system, and medical workers across the public health system?

I am sure that the matter surrounding the Davao-centric priority of the BDP and other incisive questions will be put forward by Sen. Drilon if the investigation actually pushes through.

CPP/CIO: NTF-ELCAC terror-tagging business, politicians to set stage for extortion

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 3, 2021): NTF-ELCAC terror-tagging business, politicians to set stage for extortion

AUGUST 03, 2021

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is setting the stage for its drive to extort and intimidate business firms and politicians after announcing yesterday that some of them have been giving support to the revolutionary movement and can be charged under the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL).

This is clearly another case of the US-Duterte regime using its counterinsurgency campaign to secure the outcome of the 2022 elections and its scheme to perpetuate its dynasty in power.

Since assuming power, Duterte has been using every possible tactic to extort money from big businessmen by threatening or actually hitting at their operations with charges of tax fraud and other methods. Over the past year, Duterte shut down the free broadcast operations of ABS-CBN and wrested control of water concessions from the Ayalas and Pangilinans in order to hand it over to his crony Enrique Razon.

With the NTF-ELCAC’s announcement, there is the danger that military and police force will be used against big business to seize their operations in the name of counterinsurgency.

NTF-ELCAC is claiming a secret list of “terrorist supporters” in the same way that Duterte used his dubious “narco list” to arm-twist and threaten politicians and big business, and employ armed violence against those who refused to bow to his tyranny.

The NTF-ELCAC is making fools of the Filipino people by citing supposed reports of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) as basis for their plans. The NICA’s so-called “intelligence reports” are typically half-witted concocted stories produced by the wild imagination of its head, Alex Paul Monteagudo. He is the same officer behind the recent unsubstantiated red-tagging against a government employees union in the Senate.

To lend urgency to his story, Monteagudo claims that the CPP has earned as much as ₱5-billion in tax revenues from payments made by big businesses and politicians. What the NICA is inadvertently saying is that the CPP/NPA remains strong and able to exercise its authority to levy taxes, contrary to the persistent claims of the NTF-ELCAC of diminishing support and strength of the revolutionary forces.

By using the ATL and accusing the political opposition of connivance with the revolutionary movement, Duterte wants to eliminate any significant challenge to its plans to extend its tyrannical reign in the 2022 elections. Last March, he had local police forces assassinate Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino, a leader of the opposition party in Eastern Visayas, to serve as an example of the fate of those who would stubbornly oppose his tyranny. Local police forces have been accusing Aquino of having links with the New People’s Army.

All the democratic forces of the Filipino people must be forewarned of this dirty tactic of the NTF-ELCAC and expose and resist all their tyrannical machinations.

Kalinaw News: Former UGMO members receive farm inputs from DA in Bukidnon

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 3, 2021): Former UGMO members receive farm inputs from DA in Bukidnon

MARAMAG, Bukidnon – On 30 August 2021, the Municipal Agriculture Office of Cabangalasan under the Department of Agriculture Region-10 (DA R-10) together with 88th Infantry Maringal Battalion, 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army handed over farm inputs composed of fourteen (14) bags of Hybrid Corn Seeds and ninety-eight (98) sacks fertilizer to twenty-eight (28) members of Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) at MMAD eatery, Barangay Poblacion, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.

The simple turn-over ceremony was attended by Anita Macabugto Ph.D., Municipal Agriculturist Officer of Cabanglasan, PCpt Melchor Saraus, Chief of Police, Cabanglasan MPS, and Lieutenant Colonel Christian James P Vingno, Commanding Officer of 88IB.

Anita Macabugto Ph.D., Municipal Agriculturist Officer of Cabanglasan, in her message, we should be thankful to the Department of Agriculture for extending help by providing farm inputs and to LGU of Cabanglasan led by Hon. Renante V. Inocando for prioritizing their concern on farm inputs as one basic component in farming. She reminds the beneficiaries to use the farm inputs for their livelihood and shares a little knowledge on basic farming.

The recipients of the said support are mostly residents of Sitio Mainaga, Barangay Iba, Cabanglasan Bukidnon. The said sitio is one of the CTG’s stronghold areas where Guerilla Front Malayag operates. Considered to be a geographically isolated and disadvantaged area (GIDA) wherein most of the residents are peasant, the land issue is being exploited by the CTGs in their effort to organize the said community.

With the conduct of the Community Support Program (CSP) in the area last 04 April 2021, a total of 63 individuals sympathetic to the CGTs surrendered. Relative to this, on July 16 to 18, 2021, a 3-day Live-in and De-radicalization Seminar was conducted allowing them to denounce and withdraw their support to the CTGs in the area and eventually declare the said group as Persona-non-Grata.

In his remark, Lieutenant Colonel Christian James P. Vingno, Commanding officer of 88IB, expressed his appreciation for the unwavering support of other partner agencies and stakeholders. “He also recognized the efforts of the CSP team deployed in the said sitio for performing well in the conduct of their assigned tasks. 88IB is always ready to ensure the safe and timely delivery of essential services, programs, and interventions by the different government agencies to help facilitate the creation of conflict resilient communities”, Vingno added.

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

Kalinaw News: Non-Stop Operations of Gov’t Troops against CTG in Sorsogon Yield another Positive Result

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 3, 2021): Non-Stop Operations of Gov’t Troops against CTG in Sorsogon Yield another Positive Result (By Agatha Yowzha Arreola)

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Government troops conducting pursuit operations following the armed encounter in Bulan, Sorsogon last July 31 clashed anew with the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in a nearby Barangay of Padre Diaz, Tuesday, August 3.

Residents in the area tipped off the location of the fleeing terrorists prompting the combined elements of 22nd Infantry Battalion (22IB) under Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Mico, 93rd Division Reconnaissance Company (93DRC) under the operational control of 903rd Infantry Brigade headed by Colonel Aldwine Almase and PNP to trace them around 8:50 in the morning.

After the fierce gunfight, the enemies scampered in different directions.

Molotov bombs, four magazines loaded with ammunition for M14 rifle and bandolier were seized from the encounter site.

Major General Henry A. Robinson Jr., Commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia directed the troops to continue hunting down the communist insurgents and protect the residents from their unlawful acts.

“Itinuturo na kayo ng mga residente kaya wala na kayong mapagtataguan. Alam naming pagod na rin kayong magtago nang magtago kaya mas mainam na magbalik-loob na kayo. Napakarami na nang sumuko at kakaunti na lamang kayong natitira sa kabundukan. ‘Wag na kayong mag-aksaya ng panahon. Handa kayong tulungan ng gobyerno lalo na ng RTF-ELCAC thru the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) upang makapagbagong buhay kayo,” MGen. Robinson said.

It can be recalled that a communist NPA terrorist was killed in the recent encounter in Barangay San Juan Daan and an M14 rifle and anti-personnel mines were also seized by the operating troops.

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

Kalinaw News: Negros Oriental PTF-ELCAC delivered Basic Services at Sitio Avocado

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 3, 2021): Negros Oriental PTF-ELCAC delivered Basic Services at Sitio Avocado

Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay City, Negros Oriental – Negros Oriental Provincial Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF-ELCAC) spearheaded the “Dagyawan: Serbisyo Caravan” at Sitio Avocado, Barangay Talalak, Sta Catalina last July 27, 2021 which benefited the local folks living in far-flung sitios of the said barangay and nearby sitios of other barangays.

Sitio Avocado of barangay Talalak is one of the Tamlang Valley’s Convergence Areas identified as geographically isolated and disadvantage areas (GIDAs) of the province which also include the barangays of Apoloy and Mantikil in Siaton, Enrique Villanueva in Sibulan, Dobdob in Valencia, and Magsusunog in Pamplona.

The much-needed services offered during the Dagyawan include free medical check-up and consultations, blood typing, ECG, “Tuli”, haircut, massage, information drive and distribution of the following: vegetable seeds, enhance native chicken, eyeglasses, slippers, toothpaste with brush and other items. This collaborative effort of the different government agencies and non-government sectors benefitted more or less 1,000 individuals, covering the immediate vicinity of Tamlang Valley.

The Provincial TF-ELCAC headed by Governor Roel Ragay Degamo, together with the Sta Catalina Municipal TF-ELCAC led by Mayor Peve O Ligan and the Talalak Barangay TF-ELCAC headed by Hon Edmar M Bigay, joined hands to initiate and facilitate those various programs and activities, in addition to the ongoing road rehabilitation project in the barangay, to alleviate poverty by bringing the basic services right at the doorstep of the community and make the people aware of the deceptions undertaken by the Communist-NPA-Terrorists in the province.

Hon Degamo is very much thankful for the collaborative efforts of all members at the different Task Force ELCAC levels – from the province down to the barangay. He further emphasized that the provincial government is serious in attaining the genuine peace and progress in the province.

He said, “We, in partnership with other government agencies are doing our best to address the existing socio-economic problems in the province and we are hoping to reach our goal of making Negros Oriental a zero insurgency province, which will be inherited by the next generation.”

Hangtud nga magmalipayon ang katawhan sa mga serbisyo nga atong ginahimo, dili kita mohunong sa paghatud sa mga mehoras alang sa atong mga kaigsoonan, Gov Degamo added.

In line with those efforts, the Team Achiever, under the leadership of Colonel Leonardo Ipeña (MNSA) PA as the 302nd Brigade Commander will remain steadfast in supporting the different ELCAC Clusters and shall help find ways on how to address the primary issues and concerns in identified areas as an expression of the LGUs commitment to serve the people.

Colonel Peña said, “This a manifestation that we are serious in our efforts to achieve the goal for permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups, we will give you the full assurance that your army, in partnership with other law enforcement agencies in Negros Island, will support you and we will be your partners for Peace and Progress.”

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

Kalinaw News: Lanuza LGU Condemn the NPA Terrorist

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 4, 2021): Lanuza LGU Condemn the NPA Terrorist

Carmen, Surigao del Sur – The Local Government Officials of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur holds a Peace Rally and hanging of Tarpaulins in front of the municipal building as condemnations of the terrorist action done by the CPP NPA Terrorist on July 26, 2021.

A total of 150 participants from the Local Government Officials, Line Agencies, Barangay Officials and the people of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur actively participated the condemnation rally to publicly decry and strongly express sentiments against the CPP-NPA Terrorist.

It can be recalled that last June 24, 2021 the 2nd Platoon of Guerilla Front 30, NEMRC led by Noel Tumarlas Alacre AKA MEGAN burned the heavy equipment of MR1 Construction, killed one (1) innocent watchman and wounding another one (1) construction worker at Zone II, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur.

In his speech, Sangguniang Bayan Member Hon. Alfredo A Antojado of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur publicly condemns the NPA Terrorist of their action and calls all the Lanuzanhon to unite and fight in order to achieve peace and development of their municipality.

Likewise, he added that the terroristic action done by the CPP-NPA-Terrorist is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law and such action also killed the dreams, hope and aspirations of Lanuzanhon to have a better life and peace.

In his statement, Lt Col Michael Rey S Reuyan INF (GSC) PA, Acting Commanding Officer of 36IB, said that “the presence of the Army and the PNP during the condemnation rally is our commitment to support the people in their quest for justice and desire for long and lasting peace of a peace-loving people of Surigao del Sur.

Through this activity, our intent is to give hope and show to them that the government and other stakeholders are looking after them and committed to pursue peace and development efforts in their community.”

“If this kind of convergence shall be focused targeting those conflict-affected areas and can be sustained, people will be satisfied and will never think of joining any group that destabilizes the peace and development of their communities.

A community that is a conflict resilient and ready to accept the challenge to the attainment of just and lasting peace in the province, Now, the people were enlightened of who are the real “berdugo” and oppressor of the Filipino people. To the CPP-NPA-Terrorists, stop killing civilians and burning of Construction equipment”, and instead, avail of the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and enjoy living with the mainstream society together with their families, Lt COL Reuyan added.

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

Kalinaw News: 120 Army Reservists undergo military training

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 3, 2021): 120 Army Reservists undergo military training

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City— For the love of country and willingness to serve, there is no stopping for the 120 Army Reservists from Central Luzon in undergoing rigid training inside a military camp in Tarlac on Tuesday.

The 120 Army Reservists who heed the patriotic call to become part of the AFP’s ready reserve unit will undergo Basic Military Citizen Training (BMCT), a 45-day entry-level program facilitated by the 3rd Regional Community Defense Group for Filipino Citizens who intend to enlist in the AFP’s Reserve Force and serve in the name of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

All BCMT trainees will undergo a series of small group of classroom instructions and practical exercises in open fields to develop their understanding and skills on the subjects discussed to them. They will be trained in-house practicing health and safety protocols throughout the course.

“I appreciate your dedication, commitment, and patriotism to leave behind your work, your families, your civilian life for a noble cause. It is especially difficult to do that during this time of pandemic, and the Philippine Army and Armed Forces recognize your sacrifice and determination,” said Lieutenant General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, the Commander of Northern Luzon Command.

He described the reservists as ‘a critical component of the Armed Forces’ in which he emphasized that “a dynamic Reserved Force will make the Armed Forces stronger and able to respond to a wider variety of challenges, particularly on Disaster Response and Territorial Defense.”

The Reserve Force plays an integral role, especially during the conduct of AFP’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Operations. It can be recalled that military reservists provided significant contributions to the AFP’s regular force during the major flooding in Cagayan, rescuing trapped civilians and delivering relief goods. Even with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the military reservists were tapped to man numerous Quarantine Control Points on our borders to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Lieutenant General Burgos affirmed that the learning they will gain during the 45-day training would contribute to their “growing dynamism as a reliable partner of the AFP’s regular force.”

Military Reservists do not receive salary or pay from the government. However, they are given the unique opportunity to serve the country while still being able to hold full-time civilian jobs.

“Our countrymen will count on you. You have my respect and admiration for offering yourselves to be of service. You belong to the ranks of the willing and the brave,” Lieutenant General Burgos said as he congratulated the reservist-aspirants in advance.

The military reservists are comprised of individuals from different sectors of society, such as government officials, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, and many others. They have voluntarily pledged their service to help the country in times of imminent threat such as; armed conflict and natural disasters as stipulated by the Philippine Constitution.

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

Kalinaw News: Top NPA Honcho Notorious for Atrocities in Paquibato District Yield

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 4, 2021): Top NPA Honcho Notorious for Atrocities in Paquibato District Yield

NSFA, PANACAN, DAVAO CITY – Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) is facilitating assistance to a pregnant top honcho of the New People’s Army guerrilla unit after her surrender to the Joint Military Forces conducting an Intelligence Operation at Sitio Lamuak, Barangay Catilacan, Pikit, North Cotabato on August 01, 2021.

The NPA leader who surrendered was identified by the Joint Forces of the 10th Infantry Division, 6th Infantry Division, and Intel units as Ariane Jane Ochate Ramos alias Marikit, the Secretary of Guerrilla Front 55 (GF55), Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Marikit has long been under the radar of the military for her involvement in several extortion activities and armed clashes with the troops in the past. She was also affiliated to the League of Filipino Students and Gabriela Youth.

Further information revealed that Marikit was the party wife of Rommel Tausan alias Rommel, the former Commanding Officer of SRGU/GF 55, SRC5, SMRC who died in an armed encounter with the 27th Infantry Battalion. At present, she is in a relationship with Daniel Bandalan alias Regoy, the current Commanding Officer of GF55, SRC5, SMRC and the father of the child she is expecting.

Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) Commander LtGen. Greg T. Almerol said that the military will ensure the safety and welfare of Marikit, especially that she is expecting a child. He added that troops are working with other government agencies to facilitate the needs for her upcoming delivery.

“The Command will help Marikit to get financial assistance and other benefits from government programs and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) as she starts to live a new life,” Almerol said.

“We hope that she could also convince her current partner, alias Regoy, to surrender peacefully so that they can start a harmonious life together with their baby,” Almerol added. Almerol emphasized that the Command wanted Marikit to experience redemption through the government’s deradicalization and reintegration programs.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen Almerol is expecting some members of GF55 to capitulate in the coming days since historically speaking, a surrender of an NPA leader encourages other members to follow suit.

“I commend our troops who are working tirelessly day and night just to go after the Communist Terrorist Groups which had been the reason why economic growth in some Eastern Mindanao areas are slow. Indeed, persistence and determination to positively transform our communities are the key to achieving our goal,” Almerol reiterated.

Marikit is one of the several NPA leaders who surrendered this year along with Pedro Arnado, Chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (KMP-SMRC) and National Treasurer; Ruel Dum-ogan alias Regan, Commanding Officer of HQ Force Neo, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and his wife DN Saritao, Platoon Medic of Platoon 1 of the same unit; Marvin Magrano alias Loloy, former provincial coordinator of Bayan Muna in Sarangani Province and also the Vice-Chairman of the now-defunct Guerrilla Front Tala’s Pambansa-Demokratikong Paaralan and Regional Headquarters, SMRC; Eping Iligan Salahay alias John, Commanding Officer and Milisyang Bayan of GF21C, NEMRC; Romeo Bontulan, Team Leader of Squad Abe, RHQ, SMRC; and alias Dala, a former Commanding Officer of SYP Gabon, Guerrilla Front 88.

Almerol urged the remaining NPA members to heed the government’s call for them to surrender peacefully and avail of the many benefits such as financial and livelihood assistance, housing, scholarship, and others that await them through the E-CLIP.

Kalinaw News: Army Exhumed the Skeletal Remains of Victim of NPA Summary Execution in Surigao del Sur

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 4, 2021): Army Exhumed the Skeletal Remains of Victim of NPA Summary Execution in Surigao del Sur

Carmen, Surigao del Sur – The 36 Infantry “Valor” Battalion (36IB) conducted retrieval operation of unidentified skeletal remains at Sitio Avelino, Brgy Cabangahan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, July 28, 2021.

The discovery of grave site was made possible through the help and revelation of Former Rebel (FR) of Guerrilla Front 16C1 who surrendered to this unit. The Former Rebel stated that after their encounter on 11 May 2020 at the hinterlands of Brgy Cabangahan, Cantilan, SDS, while seeking to evade the pursuing government forces together with Guerrilla Front 30 led by alias AMARA, True Name: RICKY AZARCON MAHINAY, they came across with a male civilian on the trail in the hinterlands of Sitio Avelino, Brgy Cabangahan, Cantilan, SDS.

The Communist-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs) then immediately suspected and accused the victim of being a government asset and forcibly blindfolded, abruptly tied-on a tree with both his hands and feet, without giving the elements of full and fair trial. The CNTs executed the victim by stabbing him with jungle bolo hitting his waist many times which resulted to his instantaneous death, then buried the cadaver in knee-deep.

Upon receiving the report from the Former Rebel, the troops immediately conducted security patrol and retrieval operation on the crime scene which led to the recovery of skeletal remains of unidentified victim of NPA summary execution. The exhumed skeletal remains was then brought to Cantilan MPS, SDS for proper disposition and identification of the cadaver.

This inhumane act of the Communist-NPA-Terrorists violates the Rule of Law, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by which these laws “prohibit the killing of civilians, mistreating anyone in custody, and convicting anyone in proceedings that do not meet international fair trial standards. It also specifies that criminal courts must be independent and impartial, and that the accused shall have all necessary rights and means of defense among other guarantees.” – (Human Rights Watch).

This violation of the Communist-NPA-Terrorists group happens throughout their long five-decade of killing and terrorizing of innocent civilian with no respect for human life.

In his statement, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Rey S Reuyan, Acting Battalion Commander of 36IB, “these Communist-NPA-Terrorists should end this charade of unjust people’s courts and cease all summary executions to innocent civilians. The peace-loving people of Surigao del Sur condemned this nonsense killings and cried for justice and long lasting peace in the province.

“Rest assured that the 36IB, will press the fight against these ruthless murderers and violators of human rights and international humanitarian law and bring justice to our innocent and peace-loving communities.”

“I’m appealing to members of the NPA in Surigao del Sur to come down in peace, lay down your arms, and return to the folds of the law. Avail the government intervention particularly the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) and live a peaceful life together with your families,” Lieutenant Colonel Reuyan added.

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

Kalinaw News: Communist terrorist group team leader yields in Zamboanga del Norte

Posted to the Kalinaw News Website (Aug 4, 2021): Communist terrorist group team leader yields in Zamboanga del Norte

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 4, 2021 a team leader of the communist terrorist group chose to return to the fold of the law and lay down his arms in Zamboanga del Norte on August 3, 2021.

“A.k.a. Benjie, 29 years old, married, and a resident of Purok 2, Barangay Dumalian, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur submitted himself to the troops of the 97th and 42nd Infantry Battalions at Sitio Tungilawan, Purok 4, Barangay Bagumbayan, Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte on Tuesday morning,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command.

The surrendered personality is the logistics officer and team leader of Team ABE, Squad 1, Guerilla Front BBC of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee. As a gesture of sincerity, he handed over his M16 and M653 assault rifles and Beretta 9mm pistol to the military.

According to 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, the units under his command have already cleared Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur from communist insurgents.

“Our main goal now is for the entire Zamboanga Peninsula to be declared as communist insurgency-free. We already successfully dismantled five guerilla fronts and we are confident that we will soon be able to clear all the remaining fronts in the region,” said Brig. Gen. Nicolas.

A.k.a. Benjie was brought to 97IB headquarters for custodial debriefing.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Commander of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan lauded the troops under the 102nd Infantry Brigade for their numerous accomplishments particularly in the campaign against terrorism and insurgency.

“All our accomplishments are also attributable to the local government units whose support to the military’s thrusts never falters,” Maj. Gen. Ponio stated.

Since January 1, 2021, a total of 96 CTG members were neutralized by the JTF ZamPeLan, 80 of whom surrendered, 11 were apprehended, and five were killed.

“With the continuing pressure and peaceful mechanisms being employed by the troops on the ground, we are confident that the remaining communist terrorists will be compelled to cross the line,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

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

UP-DND Accord won't be restored under Duterte – Lorenzana

From Rappler ( Aug 4, 2021): UP-DND Accord won't be restored under Duterte – Lorenzana (By JAIRO BOLLEDO)

'After much scrutiny and study, we at defense department concluded that hindi na kailangang ibalik,' says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

The University of the Philippines (UP)-Department of National Defense (DND) Accord, which the government unilaterally abrogated earlier in 2021, will not be restored under the Duterte administration, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a Rappler Talk interview on Wednesday, August 4.

Lorenzana said the decision was made after "much scrutiny and study" of defense officials.

“After much scrutiny and study, we at defense department concluded that hindi na kailangang ibalik kasi ‘yun namang functions ng AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) noon, noong under pa niya 'yung PC-INP (Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police) ay lumipat na doon sa PNP (Philippine National Police) o DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government). Hindi na yan sakop ng defense,” Lorenzana said. (After much scrutiny and study, we at the defense department concluded that it doesn’t have to be revived because the functions of the AFP before, when the PC-INP was still under it, was transferred to the PNP or DILG. The defense department no longer covers that.)

Lorenzana explained that the accord only covers the Philippine Constabulary, and not the entire military and police. However, the accord, which was signed on June 30, 1989 by then-UP president Jose Abueva and then-defense chief Fidel V. Ramos provided the guidelines on both military and police operations inside UP campuses.

In January, the defense department unilaterally scrapped the agreement, which kept authorities from entering UP campuses without prior coordination with the UP administration. DND cited alleged in-campus recruitment activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army (CPP-NPA) for its decision.

What you need to know about the 1989 UP-DND accord

DILG matter

The defense chief said that since the PNP is under the DILG, UP should talk to that department instead.

“As far as we are concerned, the agreement is moot and academic. And dapat makipag-usap ‘yung UP doon na sa DILG (the UP should talk to the DILG),” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana referred to the UP-DILG Accord, which also restricts the presence of the police inside the UP campuses without prior notice. But unlike the DND Accord, UP’s agreement with the interior department is still in effect.

The defense chief admitted that he made a "mistake for not informing them beforehand, before I abrogated the agreement.”

Intelligence continues

Lorenzana also revealed that the military's intelligence operations will continue inside UP campuses.

“‘Yung active intelligence sa loob, tuloy pa rin ‘yun dahil open naman lahat ng bansa naman. Wala namang exclusive na hindi pwedeng pasukin ng intelligence,” the defense chief said. (The active intelligence inside the campus will continue because the country is open for intelligence. There’s no exclusive place where intelligence cannot operate.)

Lorenzana assured the UP community that intelligence officers will not violate any rights amid fears of abuse in the absence of the accord, and with the implementation of the anti-terror law.

“Very strict ‘yung implementation ng aming rules diyan. Alam naman ng intelligence kung anong dapat gawin. Alam nila yung consequence if they violate the rights of people, especially students,” the defense secretary added. (Our implementation of the rules is very strict. The intelligence knows what to do. They know the consequences if they violate the rights of the people, especially students.)

Following the abrogation of the UP-DND Accord, the military released a list of alleged New People's Army members, including UP alumni. The list had been debunked. (FALSE: List of dead, captured former UP students who became NPA)

Lorenzana earlier relieved Major General Alex Luna and Major General Benedict Arevalo of their posts because of the erroneous list, but later re-designated them.

In early June, the House committee on higher and technical education approved the bill that seeks to institutionalize the abrogated accord. The bill is now at the House plenary level for sponsorship.

Senator Joel Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 2002. The bill is still pending at before the Senate committee on higher and technical and vocational education.

P5M NTF-ELCAC funds to Central Mindanao flagged for deficiencies

From Rappler ( Aug 4, 2021): P5M NTF-ELCAC funds to Central Mindanao flagged for deficiencies (By LIAN BUAN)

DILG transfers P2.9 million to 40 barangays, a move not supported by proper documentation according to auditors

State auditors flagged P5 million worth of National Task Force to End Local Communist Insurgency (NTF-ELCAC) funds coursed through the Central Mindanao office of the interior department for multiple deficiencies including an undocumented transfer of budget to 40 barangays there.

This was contained in the 2020 audit report of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the lead agency to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which created the NTF-ELCAC. Funds for the task force are coursed through member agencies, mainly the DILG, according to EO 70.

The Commission on Audit (COA) found multiple deficiencies in P5M worth of funds that were given to DILG’s Region XII or Soccsksargen, which is composed of Central Mindanao provinces South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos.

In its report of the DILG, COA said: “Audit of the budget and utilization of NTF-ELCAC funds revealed several deficiencies, summarized as follows:

  • Expenses not in accordance with the initial program design (P1.232 million);
  1. Unliquidated Fund Transfers to Field Offices (P2.922 million);
  • Non-compliance with RA No. 9184 including lack of Project Procurement Management Plan (P936,084); and
  • Accounts Payable with incomplete supporting documents (P1.057 million).”
The P1.232 million expense that was not in accordance with the program design was included in the P2.922 million fund transferred to field offices.

The total audited deficiencies was P4.915 million.

NTF-ELCAC funds are hard to track because these are coursed through many agencies, and some of the funds are intelligence and confidential in nature. This is the reason opposition senator Franklin Drilon has called for a special audit of these funds.

COA did special audits before on fertilizer funds, pork barrel, and Malampaya funds.

For the Central Mindanao funds, there was an initial program design but COA noticed that P1.2 million did not match the design.

“Comparison between the Program Design and Program of Expenses prepared by the focal person of NTF-ELCAC revealed that significant parts of the budget component of the initial Program Design does not coincide with its actual utilization; yet, no documents were submitted alongside the Disbursement Vouchers (DVs) which could substantiate the authority for its modification,” said COA.

Unliquidated transfer to barangays

COA found that the DILG transferred P2.922 million to field offices, which was 73% or P1.23 million more than the initial allocation for field offices tasked to do ELCAC activities.

“All of which remained unliquidated as to date. This modification in the budget utilization was not supported with proper documentation,” said COA.

The field offices or recipients of the funds were 40 barangays in the region, according to COA.

The DILG recently announced that it released P16.24 billion (around $321 million) in NTF-ELCAC funds to at least 812 'NPA-free' barangays. Drilon called this “election giveaway,” as he urged other senators to help him oppose the task forces’ budget for 2022.

“The decision to modify the utilization of the fund was allegedly due to the mandate of the DILG Central Office to allocate funds from NTF-ELCAC to support additional 40 barangays in the region,” said COA, relaying DILG’s answer to audit questions.

“Since there was still significant amount of budget left under the initial sub-allotment of NTF-ELCAC fund, [DILG] management decided to realign part of that balance to serve the directive of the Central Office,” said COA.

But auditors said that “even with such immediate instructions, [DILG] management is nonetheless required to substantiate any modification on their budget for monitoring, accountability and transparency.”

COA also said that there was no monitoring mechanism to make sure that the deliverables were met by the field offices.

"When funds were released to field offices, Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division (LGMED) no longer updates them of their expenses and whether or not they have liquidated the same in due time,” said COA.

Splitting of contracts

A notorious move in government offices is to split contracts so that projects have lower amounts, and are able to escape control audit measures that are applied at certain amount thresholds.

For Central Mindanao’s NTF-LECAC funds, COA found P187,200 worth of funds for meetings and caravans. The meeting was split into two contracts, while the caravan was also split into two contracts. All contracts were below P50,000 so that these were not required to undergo Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS)

DILG said “that while two activities are incorporated in a single design, each activity is separate, conducted on different dates and with different purpose and requirements.”

Still, auditors said the DILG “practically reduced the value of purchase requests to make multiple awards without clear advantage for the government and to side-step existing rules and provisions of law."

Other deficiencies

COA also found P936,804 worth of procurements that were not found in the procurement program.

“This is a clear indication of a considerable inefficiency in the planning of procurement by the concerned division and failure of the Bids and Awards Committee to countercheck requests for procurement that were not initially planned for the year,” said COA.

Auditors also found accounts payable worth P1.057 million which “were not/inadequately supported with the required documents.”

“Common problems observed with transactions were: (i) absence of specific activity designs, (ii) unsigned Purchase Orders by suppliers, (iii) significantly lesser number of actual participants attending meetings with catering services; and (iv) absence of Inspection and Acceptance Report (IAR), Charge Invoices and other related significant documents to substantiate the legitimacy of transactions to be paid,” said COA.

The DILG also did not get to spend the total P85 million funds for its C4PEACE program or the Communicating for Perpetual End to Extreme Violence and Forming Alliance Towards Positive Change and Enriched Communities.

C4PEACE is a program also used by the NTF-ELCAC.

COA said there was an P8.7 million unobligated allotment or 10.22% worth of unimplemented projects.

Before the DILG, auditors also found that the Philippine National Police (PNP) barely spent its NTF-ELCAC funds with a very low 11.9% disbursement rate.


Who is Jose Faustino Jr, AFP’s 10th chief under Duterte? (Bio data)

 From Rappler (Aug 4, 2021): Who is Jose Faustino Jr, AFP’s 10th chief under Duterte? (JAIRO BOLLEDO)

Just like his predecessors, Faustino will serve for only a few months – a pattern under the Duterte administration

Less than a year before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down, he appointed a new chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – the 10th under his five years of presidency – whose military service ends in four months.

Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr replaced General Cirilito Sobejana, who retired on July 31 at 56 after a five-month stint.

Faustino is another short-term military chief. He is scheduled to retire on November 12. The AFP chief who had served the shortest term under Duterte was retired General Noel Clement, who was AFP chief from September 24, 2019 to January 5, 2020, or more than three months.

The average term of an AFP chief under Duterte is six months.

Taking into account previous post-Marcos administrations, it would be retired General Benjamin Defensor Jr who had the shortest term as AFP boss: two months under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ms Arroyo had 11 AFP chiefs in the nine years that she was commander-in-chief (including the years she inherited from the shortened term of ousted president Joseph Estrada). Her successor and Duterte's predecessor, the late Benigno Aquino III, had 10.

Favored commander?

While from Benguet in the North, Faustino spent the crucial years of his military career in Davao, the home region of Duterte.

The Scout Ranger general had been commander of the 10th infantry division that has jurisdiction over Davao City and outlying provinces, and later the Davao City-based Eastern Mindanao Command which commands troops in all Davao provinces.

Faustino was named Army chief in February this year after Sobejana was promoted chief of staff. But his appointment was illegal, according to Senator Panfilo Lacson, who cited a law that requires major service chiefs and other senior officers – except for the military chief of staff – to have at least one year remaining in their service before they are promoted. Faustino did not qualify because at the time of his appointment as Army chief, he only had nine months remaining in service.

The defense department insisted that Faustino could remain in his post in an acting capacity, but after 104 days, it relented and removed him.

The military then created a new holding position for Faustino: as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff on Peace and Development. In June, the military announced the creation of Joint Task Force Mindanao and appointed Faustino as its first-ever commander.

Ruling class

With Faustino at the helm of the armed forces, Class 1988 of the Philippine Military Academy is now the ruling class in the military. His classmates include Army chief Major General Andres Centino, Air Force chief Lieutenant General Allen Paredes, and Navy chief Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado.

Faustino was born in Itogon town in Benguet on November 12, 1965. He later spent his younger years in Malolos, Bulacan.

He led numerous units including the 7th Scout Ranger Company, First Scout Ranger Regiment; Scout Ranger Training School, Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, 501st Infantry Brigade, and the 5th Infantry Division in Sulu.

He also served at the PMA as the commandant of Cadets and Head Tactics Group. He also worked as the assistant chief of staff for comptrollership of the Philippine Army's Intelligence and Security Group; assistant chief of Unified Command Staff for Intelligence; and assistant chief of staff for Education and Training for the army.

Faustino had undergone training and courses locally and internationally. He took up the Senior Executive Course on National Security at National Defense College of the Philippines and finished his Command and General Staff Course in the Republic of Korea Army College.

The military’s 56th AFP chief of staff has also earned a Distinguished Service Medal and Distinguished Service Stars, among other awards.

Under his term as Eastmincom commander from January 2020 to February 2021, he enforced an anti-insurgency campaign in one of the remaining rebel hotbeds in the country.

The new AFP chief of staff also led the 10th Infantry Division based in Davao de Oro and served as chief of the 11th Intelligence Service Unit in Davao City.

Lorenzana says short term of AFP chiefs ‘not good for military’

From Rappler (Aug 4, 2021): Lorenzana says short term of AFP chiefs ‘not good for military’ (JAIRO BOLLEDO)

'Not really good because palit ng palit yung leader sa taas. ‘Pag minsan nawawalan ng direksyon ‘yung organization,' says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, whose department oversees the country’s military, said he did not agree with the short-term appointments of chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), describing it as “not good" for the military.

“I have always been against that, ever since the start. Siguro noong nasa serbisyo pa ako, I have already voiced my concern and objection to the practice because it is not good for the organization, 'yung sandali lang 'yung chief of staff,” Lorenzana said in a Rappler Talk interview on Wednesday, August 4. (I have always been against that, ever since the start. Even when I’m in the service, I have already voiced my concern and objection to the practice because it is not good for the organization, that the chief of staff will only serve for a short time.)

“Not really good because palit ng palit yung leader sa taas. 'Pag minsan nawawalan ng direksyon 'yung organization. (Not really good because the leader frequently changes. Sometimes, the organization loses its direction),” Lorenzana added.

The defense chief though said that President Rodrigo Duterte had no choice because of the mandatory retirement age of 56 for military and police personnel.

“Kaya lang, wala naman magawa si Presidente. Nandyan kasi 'yung batas na pagka dumating sa age of 56 ang officer ay mandatory ang retirement niya. So the only way to rectify this is for the law to be amended,” Lorenzana said. (However, the president can’t do anything. The law is there, which states the mandatory retirement age of 56. So the only way to rectify this is for the law to be amended.)

Duterte is known for appointing short-termed military and police chiefs. Recently, he appointed Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr., who will retire in four months.

Under Duterte, the average serving time of AFP chiefs was only six months. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s appointees had an average of 10 months at the helm, while appointees of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III had 11-month stints.

Who is Jose Faustino Jr, AFP’s 10th chief under Duterte?

Duterte also has the distinction of having appointed the most AFP chiefs during his term. In less than six years, he had appointed 10 military chiefs – and is expected to appoint his 11th in November. Duterte’s numbers rival Arroyo, who had appointed 11 chiefs in her nine years as commander-in-chief.

What does the law say

The Constitution gives the president the power to pick the military chief of staff. The country’s highest law did not state the minimum serving time for AFP chiefs, but rather explicitly stated that an AFP chief shall serve for a maximum of three years only.

Under Aquino’s term, in 2011, House Bill No. 6 was filed, which prescribed the fixed term for AFP chiefs. Its Senate counterpart, Senate Bill No. 2869, was also filed. Both bills were passed and reconciled in the bicameral conference. However, Aquino vetoed the bill because of the Constitution’s requirement that the term of AFP chief shall not be extended.

Even with the existing laws, Duterte could still pick younger but qualified military officers to lead the 143,000-strong AFP for three years. However, Lorenzana said Duterte provided opportunities for senior officers.

“He can decide to pick a younger, but binigyan niya ng premium yung seniority. So may mga chief of staff during his time that lasted for one year. Iba naman mga six months, ang pinaka-short is three months,” Lorenzana said. (He can decide to pick a younger one, but he gave premium attention to seniority. So there were chiefs of staff during his time that lasted for one year. While the others were six months, the shortest is three months.)

Under Duterte’s term, Senator Richard Gordon filed Senate Bill No. 1785, while Representative Boboy Tupaz filed House Bill No. 8056, both seeking to extend the mandatory age retirement of military officers, including AFP chief, to 65. Both bills are pending at the committee level.

AgSur trains former rebels

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 4, 2021): AgSur trains former rebels (By 26IB, PA)

SAN LUIS, Agusan del Sur – The Provincial Economic and Enterprises Development Office (PEEDO) of Agusan del Sur in collaboration with the 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion (26IB), Philippine Army conducted a three-day livelihood training to the former rebels (FRs) of the municipality of San Luis on July 27 to 29, 2021 held in Barangay Doña Maxima, San Luis, this province.

The said training was conducted in support to the Executive Order No. 70 (EO 70), a government policy on "Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict" in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace mandating all government agencies to prioritize the delivery of basic services in marginalized communities.

As intended beneficiaries of the EO 70, 19 FRs from the said municipality underwent training on Meat Processing and Calamansi Juice Making. "Through the EO 70, the local government units and agencies are working together in serving various initiatives to help sustain the needs of the former rebels for them to be reintegrated back to the community, be with their families, and start over with their new lives especially during this time of health crisis," said Mayor Phoebe L. Corvera.

The PEEDO-AgSur is one of the government agencies that provide livelihood training and seminars to the local communities encouraging them to be resourceful with the local products to become consumable according to the demand of the consumers. “Our goal is to provide inevitable knowledge and techniques in entrepreneurship with their local products readily available according to the highest economical standard in the market, as well as to open opportunities to those who are planning to start a small business on their own," bared Honelyn L. Husian, Technical Staff of PEEDO.

Alias ‘Shaolin’, one of the FRs, expressed his gratefulness to the government. "Daghan salamat sa tanan nga nagpasiugda aning maong training kung diin gitudluan mi ug unsaon paghimu ug longanisa, mga tocino ug uban pang produkto gamit ang karne ug dili lang kana gitudloan usab kami unsaon paghimu ug calamansi juice kung diin pwede namong mahimo produkto nga ikabaligya sa mga dagkong tindahan. Kini pipila lamang sa mga programa nga gihatag alang kanamo aron kami matabangan sa pagpaningkamot alang sa among panginabuhian sa among pag balik sa sabakan sa panggamhanan (Thank you to all the agencies involved in this training wherein we learned how to process meats like longanisa and tocino. We also learned how to produce calamansi juice which could also be sold to big stores. These are just some of the many programs offered to us as we return to the folds of the law," he said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, Commanding Officer of 26IB commended the PEEDO for such initiative. "I am glad that the local government agencies in AgSur were adopting and implementing EO 70 as mandated by President Duterte. This action will surely amplify in addressing the socio-economic issues that are used by the CPP-NPA in poisoning the minds and hearts of our people,” he shared.

“This is a re-integration strategy that empowers the FRs and their families to be more economically-resilient and it will provide opportunities for them to be economically active citizens of their community. With the continuous collaboration and cooperation of the different line agencies to unite and act as one, this will manifest that this armed conflict will soon come to an end. Teamwork is the key to attain a more peaceful and progressive community," added Goce. (2Lt Cecille Tappa, CMO officer, 26IB, PA/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

NPA downfall nears as series of surrenders, firefights favor gov't forces

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 4, 2021): NPA downfall nears as series of surrenders, firefights favor gov't forces (By Recthie Paculba)

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City (PIA)--The downfall of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army Terrorists (CNTs) nears after a series of surrenders and firefights in the 4th Infantry 'Diamond' Division (4ID) area of responsibility (AOR) continue in favor of the government forces over the week.

During his assumption as 4ID Commander, July 5, MGen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. underscored the call to the remaining communist terrorist group (CTG) members to abandon the armed struggle and return to a peaceful life with their families. He also vowed to give a good fight to those who will advocate violence and continue perpetrating atrocities towards the people.

Since July 19 2021, 14 CTG members voluntarily surrendered to the different units of 4ID bringing with them 11 firearms of different calibers. Said personalities were key NPA leaders and members of the Sub-Regional Committee 1 (SRC1) and from the dismantled Guerilla Front 4A of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and Guerilla Front 8 (FGF8) of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).

Most recent is the successful negotiation made by 58IB troops under Lt Col Ricky Canatoy for the voluntary surrender, July 28, 2021, with seven regular NPAs who also surrendered along with them one M16 Rifle, one AK47, one KG9, and one Homemade Shotgun.

Per their revelations, said CTG members decided to surrender due to hardship, hunger, continued reduction of their ranks and the desire to start their own family which the NPA prohibits. Alias Kimyan/Irish added that the CTG continuously recruit minors and turn them as child warriors with her as living evidence.

Meanwhile, last July 20, 2021, four members of the remnants of GF4A, NCMRC, one SPL (Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad) and one MB (Milisya ng Bayan) voluntarily surrendered to Lt Col Julius Cesar C Paulo, the Commanding Officer of 23rd Infantry Battalion, bringing along five firearms and one hand grenade at Jamboree Site, P-6, Brgy Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

Likewise, a certain Edgar Dagpin y Dobrea alias Adel, vice commander of the dismantled GF8, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) voluntarily abandoned his 21 years of futile struggle last July 19, 2021 bringing 3 AK47 rifles and 11 pieces of magazines. He revealed that the physical exhaustion, weakened party leadership, and dwindling mass bases contributed to his decision to yield to the government and be with his son.

Brawner also disclosed that the troops continuously gained headway against the CTG in the AOR since his assumption as 4ID Commander with a total of 16 encounters resulting in the capture of 7 firearms and killing of 3 CNTs while a total 27 CTG members also surrendered bringing along with them 15 firearms.

He said the number of encounters and the continuous flow of CTG members returning to the folds of the law indicate that the implementation of the campaign to address insurgency is on the right track. The Army, the local government units, the local government agencies and the civilian populace are working together to easily track the terrorist group.

"The CTG is continuously disintegrating. We will relentlessly pursue them until they fully realize that the armed struggle that caused misery to our people is futile. We shall sustain and strengthen our focused military operations while we stay committed and supportive to the Task Force ELCAC implementing peace and development projects. Once again, I urge the remaining CTG members, avail of the E-CLIP now or face the consequences," Brawner said. (4ID/PIA-10)

Most recent activity of the Philippine Army on ending communist armed conflict is the negotiation made by 58IB troops under Lt Col Ricky Canatoy for the voluntary surrender, July 28, 2021, with seven regular NPAs who also surrendered along with them one M16 Rifle, one AK47, one KG9, and one Homemade Shotgun. (4ID)

5 ex-BIFF fighters, 54 others now certified calamity responders

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): 5 ex-BIFF fighters, 54 others now certified calamity responders (By Noel Punzalan)

CALAMITY RESPONDERS. The new batch of participants in the Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) training of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao poses for a photo following their graduation (inset) held in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Monday (Aug. 2, 2021). The volunteers will be deployed to their respective communities to respond to calamities such as flooding. (Photos courtesy of READi-BARMM)

A total of 59 individuals, including five former members of the extremist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), completed Monday a weeklong training for the Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) program of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government.

In an interview on Tuesday, Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government–BARMM, said the WASAR training aims to equip volunteers with the capability to swiftly respond to flooding situations in the region, among other calamities.

“The volunteers are tasked to monitor floods and bridges’ situation as well in the BARMM and undertake rescue operations when necessary during calamities,” said Sinarimbo, who is also the concurrent regional spokesperson.

The training, he added, aimed to help teach the public about safety and disaster resilience on the ground in times of calamities.

The trainees -- 53 male and 6 females -- are responders from the municipalities of Northern Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan sa Barongis, all in Maguindanao; Cotabato City’s Barangay Rosary Heights 7; and personnel from Ministry of Social Services and Development-BARMM.

“The graduates will form part of the first responders from their respective communities,” Sinarimbo, who is also director of the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi)–BARMM, said.

The WASAR program, which started in November 2019, has already trained 50 former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front coming from various parts of the region.

Sinarimbo said amidst the challenge of the pandemic, READi–BARMM would continue to conduct training as part of its mandate, to capacitate and prepare responders from the region.

"Our aim is for every responder, every family, and community to be always ready in times of crisis,” he said.

The BARMM comprises the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi; the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi; and the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato.

Kaka Datu, one of the ex-BIFF members who participated in the training, said the activity made him realize that he can do many positive things for his community, which is better than waging a futile war against the government in the countryside.

"This training will help save many lives, including my family in cases of calamities,” he said in the vernacular.

The WASAR training was conducted in partnership with the Army’s 6th Infantry Division Training School in Barangay Semba, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

DND, DPWH inaugurate 2 buildings for army engineers

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): DND, DPWH inaugurate 2 buildings for army engineers (By Sarwell Meniano)

CONVERGENCE. The new quarters building and barracks built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the Philippine Army's 53rd Engineering Brigade in Tacloban City. The PHP48 million building, inaugurated on Tuesday (August 3, 2021), is part of the convergence between the DPWH and the Department of National Defense. (PNA photo by Sarwell Meniano)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) inaugurated Tuesday two buildings worth P48 million inside the Philippine Army’s 53rd Engineer Brigade headquarters here as part of the convergence between the two agencies.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said army engineers in the city finally have a more comfortable and presentable barracks implemented under Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad (TIKAS), a convergence project of the DND and DPWH.

“Despite many projects of the DPWH that need attention, the defense sector has been given priority by the agency. This started early this year and was completed in just a few months. This is in appreciation for the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for their sacrifices,” Lorenzana said during his speech.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said President Rodrigo Duterte conceptualized the TIKAS project to improve the landscape of military facilities in the country.

“The project can withstand natural calamities. It is comfortable since each of the 25 bedrooms has an air conditioning unit and toilet. With this big improvement, the convergence is very fulfilling,” Villar told soldiers during the turnover.

The two newly-completed two-story buildings, also allocate spaces for battalion offices, quarters, and a conference room on the first floor and barracks on the top floor.

The two projects are part of the DND-DPWH TIKAS Program aimed at addressing the various facility requirements of different Armed Force of the Philippine units across the country.

The TIKAS program was initiated for the mutual benefit of the two agencies wherein the DND can mount projects with the DPWH while the DND will safeguard DPWH projects in conflict areas.

Tawi-Tawi town execs facilitate surrender of loose firearms

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): Tawi-Tawi town execs facilitate surrender of loose firearms (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

LOOSE FIREARMS. Photo shows the guns and ammunition they turned over to the troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 by officials of Sapa-Sapa town in Tawi-Tawi on Monday (Aug. 2, 2021). Since January, a total of 49 loose firearms were surrendered to the JTF Tawi-Tawi. (Photo courtesy of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi)

The government’s campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms continues to gain headway as another four high-powered firearms were surrendered to the military in Tawi-Tawi, officials announced Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the firearms surrendered include an M-16 Armalite rifle, two US-made .30 caliber M1 Garand rifles, and one Carbine rifle as well as several rounds of ammunition.

Vinluan said the four firearms were handed over Monday to the Joint Task Force (JTF) Tawi-Tawi by the town officials of Sapa-Sapa after the guns were surrendered to them by civilian residents.

Lt. Col. Benjie Pendon, Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 (MBLT-6) commander, said the firearms were surrendered by Abduljim Kusasi, Altriki Yusoph, Renaldo Mabini, and Ronald Shalim, barangay chairperson of Lookan, Sapa-Sapa.

Pendon said the surrender of the loose firearms is a result of the series of dialogues conducted by his command in coordination with the local officials as well as their information campaign in connection with the campaign against the proliferation of unlicensed guns under Republic Act 10591.

Col. Romeo Racadio, JTF Tawi-Tawi commander, said that all units under his command remain steadfast in the continuing campaign against loose firearms.

“Our main objective is to get rid of loose firearms which are the main causes of violence in the communities,” Racadio said.

Since January, a total of 49 loose firearms were surrendered to the JTF Tawi-Tawi which included 31 high-powered and 18 smaller firearms.

“This exemplifies the good interagency collaboration and cooperation that we have established with the local government units and stakeholders as we continue to work towards the achievement of peace and development in the communities,” Vinluan said.

Cops probe slay of militiaman in Zambo Sur town

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): Cops probe slay of militiaman in Zambo Sur town (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

The Police Regional Office-9 (PRO 9) has ordered an investigation into the killing of a militiaman in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur on Monday.

PRO-9 director, Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, on Tuesday, said he made the order after receiving a report that Efren Bonita Medina, 24, a member of the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit was killed by three unidentified gunmen in Sitio Kumpayan, Barangay Dapiwak, Dumingag.

Medina is assigned with the Philippine Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion, which recently scored a successful operation against the communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte.

Initial investigation showed that Medina was having a drinking spree together with his father around 4:30 p.m. Monday at the residence of their neighbor, Ed Batoy, when the suspects appeared and shot the victim.

The victim died on the spot with three gunshot wounds in the head while the suspects, armed with a caliber 5.56- millimeter rifle, fled on foot.

Ylagan told the police in Dumingag to leave no stone unturned in its investigation to establish the motive as well as the identities of the suspects behind the incident.

Defense chief asks soldiers to secure Samar road projects

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): Defense chief asks soldiers to secure Samar road projects (By Sarwell Meniano)

SAFEGUARDING PROJECTS. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana speaks to soldiers while Public Works Secretary Mark Villar listens during an inauguration at the Philippine Army’s 53rd Engineer Brigade headquarters in Tacloban on Tuesday (Aug. 3, 2021). Lorenzana asked the Philippine Army to help protect the heavy equipment of contractors from armed rebels in Samar provinces. (PNA photo by Sarwell Meniano)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana asked the Philippine Army on Tuesday to help protect the heavy equipment of contractors from armed rebels in Samar provinces.

In his visit here, Lorenzana said contractors have been receiving threats from the extorting New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who do not want development in communities.

“Let us help protect these contractors since they are implementing flagship projects of the President. NPA members don’t want these development projects. If the road is completed, they have nowhere to hide,” Lorenzana told soldiers.

The official made the remarks days after 20 NPA members burned 10 heavy equipment on July 29 in San Francisco village, Las Navas, Northern Samar. These were owned by CDU Construction based in Catarman town.

The PHP32-million worth of torched equipment were two backhoes, a bulldozer, loader, dump truck, self-loading truck prime mover, crane, grader, welding generator set, and road roller.

The contractor deployed equipment in the area to open a road to form part of the new highway that connects the towns of Jipapad in Eastern Samar and Las Navas in Northern Samar.

Construction projects include the opening of 1.8 kilometers roadway, concrete paving of 2.4 kilometers carriageway, a drainage canal, the construction of a bridge and its approaches, and the installation of road safety devices.

Lorenzana said the NPA burned the equipment as the contractor refused to give in to extortion threats.

In a brief interview, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar thanked government troops for their commitment to safeguard heavy equipment.

“Infrastructure is a solution to insurgency. It has been proven that a completed road project helps improve peace and order in an area,” Villar told reporters.

Villar specifically seeks help to secure the ongoing PHP1 billion Korean-funded Samar Pacific Coastal Road project connecting several towns in Northern Samar province.

The project, which has been delayed due to unfavorable weather, health crisis, sand and gravel shortage, and insurgency, will be completed early next year, according to Villar.

It was in May 2018 when Villar and South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man led the project’s groundbreaking ceremony in Northern Samar.

It was supposed to be completed on March 12, 2020.

Lorenzana and Villar were in the city to inaugurate the PHP48 million building inside the Philippine Army’s 53rd Engineer Brigade headquarters implemented through convergence.

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

Cop killer with ASG links falls in Basilan

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): Cop killer with ASG links falls in Basilan (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

Joint police and military forces have arrested a member of a syndicate who has ties with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and tagged as the primary suspect in the killing of a retired policeman more than a year ago in this southern port city.

The Lamitan City Police Station identified the arrested suspect as Jimbo Taning Asani, an alleged member of a gun-for-hire and drug syndicate linked with the Basilan-based ASG bandits.

Asani was arrested in an intelligence-driven warrant of arrest operation on Monday in Sitio Sayugan, Barangay Maganda, Lamitan City, Basilan. He is the primary suspect in the killing of Edwin Solis, a retired policeman on March 11, 2020, in Barangay Sangali, here.

Solis was buying a cigarette from a store when the suspect arrived and shot the victim.

Asani is on the list of Regional Top Priority Target of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) and the seventh most wanted person of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) for the crime of murder.

The police said the suspect was a member of the local gun-for-hire and drug syndicate formerly led by the late Abner Muharram alias Small Boy.

Currently, the police said Asani is believed to be under the gun-for-hire and drug syndicate led by Danny Hajiri Bairulla, who is linked to ASG members based in Basilan's Tuburan town.

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): Terror group supporter wounded in SoCot ops (By Allen Estabillo) 

Google map of Polomolok, South Cotabato

A wanted person who was tagged as a supporter of an Islamic State-inspired local terrorist group was wounded in a police operation in a village in Polomolok town, South Cotabato on Monday afternoon.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Maj. Randy Apostol, deputy chief of Polomolok municipal police station,
identified the suspect as Alvar Utap Sambial alias “Bari Sambial,” of Purok Maguindanao, Barangay Lumakil.

He said Sambial was wounded in a brief firefight at his home around 1:30 p.m. with police operatives who were serving a warrant of arrest against him for attempted murder.

“The suspect resisted and opened fire after noticing the presence of the operating team, leading to the firefight,” he said.

Sambial was wounded on the body and was initially brought to the Pomolok Municipal Hospital but later referred to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City.

Recovered from the suspect were a .38 caliber revolver with live bullets and four sachets of suspected shabu weighing about a gram and valued at PHP6,860.

Citing intelligence reports, Apostol said Sambial was a supporter of the Dawlah Islamiya-Socsargen Khatiba that operates in the area.

The group had been tagged as behind a string of criminal activities in the area in the last two years, including armed robbery and illegal drug trafficking.

The suspect will be charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition under Republic Act (RA) 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, direct assault, and Section 11 or possession of dangerous drugs under RA 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

NorMin ex-rebels go into vinegar-making, farming

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 3, 2021): NorMin ex-rebels go into vinegar-making, farming (By Nef Luczon)

NEW LIVES. Former members of underground mass organizations in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon receive farm inputs on Tuesday (Aug. 3, 2021). It is a project of the Municipal Agriculture Office under the Department of Agriculture 10 in coordination with the 88th Infantry Battalion to dissuade rebels from further operations in communities. (Contributed photo)

Former rebels and members of communist organizations in Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon provinces have received livelihood programs through government initiatives.

On Tuesday, the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion (4Mech) based in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte initiated a vinegar production project for former rebels while their enrolment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) is under process.

Lt. Col. Rommel Pereña, 4Mech commanding officer, said they have enough resources to provide needed training while waiting for reimbursement from the E-CLIP, without affecting the battalion.

Pereña said the project is easier and quicker to produce and the return is also high.

“We thought of making turmeric tea, but it takes a longer time to produce. We have a friend who makes vinegar similar to the pinakurat of Iligan. We thought this is easy to teach and the earnings are also quite high," he said in a statement.

Pinakurat vinegar is made from coconut fragmented sap, also known as tuba, and blended with local chili labuyo.

Pereña said the ex-rebels would be under the Department of Trade and Industry and the Food and Drug Administration to institutionalize sukang kalasag (kalasag vinegar), hoping they will pursue the livelihood after their enrolment to the E-CLIP.

Other livelihood projects are hog raising through the Department of Labor and Employment, and dressmaking and knife making through the assistance of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Farm inputs in Bukidnon

Meanwhile, the Municipal Agriculture Office of Cabangalasan under the Department of Agriculture Region-10, together with the 88th Infantry Battalion, handed over farm inputs consisting of 14 bags of hybrid corn seeds and 98 sacks of fertilizer to 28 former members of underground mass organizations.

Dr. Anita Macabugto, Municipal Agriculturist Officer, said the beneficiaries can use the farm inputs for their livelihood and share additional knowledge on basic farming with their peers.

The recipients are mostly residents of Sitio Mainaga in Barangay Iba.

The community is one of the strongholds of communist rebels, where the Guerilla Front Malayag operates.

The Army described it as a geographically isolated and disadvantaged area where most of the residents are peasants and land issues are exploited by communist groups.

With the Community Support Program, 63 individuals who used to be sympathetic to communist rebels have surrendered in July.