Friday, August 6, 2021

Kalinaw News: Western Mindanao Command holds joint Change of Chief of Office and Retirement Ceremony

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 7, 2021): Western Mindanao Command holds joint Change of Chief of Office and Retirement Ceremony

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 7, 2021

Western Mindanao Command welcomed a new officer who assumed as the Assistant Chief of Unified Command Staff for Personnel, U1 in a Change of Chief of Office Ceremony held at Camp Navarro, Calarian, this city on August 6, 2021.

Cdr. Edwin Ello assumed the position in lieu of Capt. Robeline Carpio who already reached the mandatory retirement age of 56.

In his assumption speech, Cdr. Ello vowed to give his best effort to fulfill his duty as one of the unified command staff.

The ceremonial turnover of duties and responsibilities was presided by Brig. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, WestMinCom’s Deputy Commander for Administration.

“Despite the casual change in leadership, continuity becomes our conclusive rule. We manage to succeed despite the transition. There may be a change in leadership style or the system that the new leader adopts, but all leaders have one thing in common- they lead their men to accomplish the mission,” said Brig. Gen. Nafarrete.

Brig. Gen. Nafarrete extended his felicitations to the new staff and expressed his gratitude to the retiring officer.

Addressing the retiring officer, Brig. Gen. Nafarrete said, “Remember, retirement is not the end of the road, it is only the beginning of the open highway and it’s time to finally enjoy the view after climbing the many mountains and sailing the seas”.

Meanwhile, following the Change of Chief of Office Ceremony, a departure honors was tendered to Capt. Carpio at the Parade Ground of the command.

This was participated by the officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian human resources of the command led by Brig. Gen. Nafarrete and WestMinCom Deputy Commander for Operations, Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas.

During the retirement ceremony, Brig. Gen. Nafarrete presented the Command Plaque, Major Service Plaque, Plaque of Honorable Service, Encased Philippine Flag, and Framed Medals to Capt. Carpio. A Plaque of Appreciation was also awarded to his wife.

In his valedictory address, Capt. Carpio said, “I am very proud and humbled to stand before you today to share this momentous occasion with all of you after serving 37 years, 11 months, and 22 days in the military service. I’m very grateful that I’ve finished the race with flying colors. I will miss what I have established here but I will leave with a heart full of gratitude”.

During his stint as the ACUCS for Personnel, Capt. Carpio has performed his task with the highest degree of enthusiasm, much fervor, and without hesitations.

[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: 13 BIFF members yield, hand-over firearms in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 7, 2021): 13 BIFF members yield, hand-over firearms in Sultan Kudarat

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 7, 2021

Elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion received 13 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who voluntarily surrendered to the government on the morning of August 6, 2021.

According to Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command, the surrendered BIFF personalities belong to the Karialan Faction, the group that had been involved in several atrocities against government troops and civilians.

Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Alburo, Commander of the 40th Infantry Battalion, revealed that the surrender of the 13 is a result of the intensified intelligence operations and negotiations.

The 13 submitted themselves and handed over their firearms to Lieutenant Colonel Alburo at the 40IB headquarters in Barangay Tual, President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat.

Turned over were the following firearms and ammunitions: one M1 Garand rifle with one clip and four rounds cartridge of cal. 30 ball, one rocket-propelled grenade with two rounds cartridge of RPG heat, one Eddys US rifle with two rounds cartridges of 7.62mm ball, three M14 rifles, one sub-machine gun, two M79 rifles with one round of 40mm high explosive each, one cal. 50 with seven rounds cartridge of cal. 50 ball, one rocket-propelled grenade, one steel magazine with six rounds cartridge of 7.62mm ball, one Thomson and one steel magazine with three rounds cartridge of 9mm ball, and one Thonram and one steel magazine with five rounds of 9mm ball.

Lieutenant Colonel Alburo subsequently presented the surrendered personalities to Brigadier General Roy Galido, Commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade at the 601Bde headquarters in Barangay Kalandagan, Tacurong City, the same province.

Brigadier General Galido welcomed the former violent extremists and told them that they will be given reintegration packages after their custodial debriefing.

Meanwhile, Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central commended the troops for facilitating the successful surrender of the BIFF members.

“Your hard work has paid off,” said Major General Uy.

Since January 2021, Joint Task Force Central has neutralized a total of 146 BIFF personalities, of whom 69 were killed, 74 surrendered, and three were apprehended.

“May these numbers of neutralized personalities inspire the remaining fighters to yield to the government forces,” said Lieutenant General Vinluan, Jr.

The turned-over firearms are currently under the custody of the 40IB for documentation and safekeeping.

[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: Continuous Tip-offs From The Community Lead to Discovery of 10 Anti-Personnel Mines in Sorsogon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 7, 2021): Continuous Tip-offs From The Community Lead to Discovery of 10 Anti-Personnel Mines in Sorsogon

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – A tip-off from the community led to the discovery of ten (10) anti-personnel mines by the elements of the 22nd Infantry “Valor” Battalion in Barangay Calpi, Bulan, Sorsogon, Friday, August 6.

Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Mico, Battalion Commander of the 22nd Infantry Battalion said that the discovery of the mines stemmed from an information given by the members of the community.

“Ang pagkakadiskubre sa mga pampasabog na ito ay resulta ng pakikipagtulungan ng mga mamamayan sa mga sundalo para mawakasan na ang panggugulo ng mga teroristang grupo sa kanilang lugar. Dahil dito, napigilan natin ngayon ang kanilang masamang plano na maghasik ng takot at kaguluhan sa ating komunidad,” Lieutenant Colonel Mico said.

Meanwhile, Colonel Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade emphasized that the role of the general public is very important in our quest for peace.

“Muli ang aming pasasalamat sa ating mga kababayan, sapagkat hindi mawawakasan ang ating problema sa insurhensya kung hindi makikipagtulungan ang publiko lalong lalo na yung may mga nalalaman at tumututol sa mga iligal na aktibidad na ginagawa ng mga teroristang grupo,” Colonel Almase said.

On the other hand, Major General Henry A Robinson Jr, Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia, encourages again the public to support the government’s fight to end the more than five (5) decades of insurgency.

“Hinihikayat ko ang publiko na huwag matakot na makipagtulungan sa pamahalaan kung sila man ay may nalalaman na mga ilegal na aktibidad na ginagawa ng teroristang grupo. Wala kayong dapat ikatakot dahil walang gagawin ang mga kasundaluhan para mailagay sa peligro ang buhay ng mga tao na nakikipagtulungan sa aming adhikain na mawakasan na ang insurhensya sa ating bansa” Major Genera Robinson added.

It can be remembered that last July 31, one communist NPA terrorist was killed while an M14 rifle and anti-personnel mines were seized from an armed clash between the government troops and Communist Terrorist Group in Barangay San Juan Daan, Bulan, Sorsogon. Also, last August 3, the government troops received an information from the residents of Barangay Padre Diaz, Bulan, Sorsogon which resulted to an encounter and capture of several molotov bombs, 4 magazine of M14 rifle with ammunition, and a bandolier.

The use of landmines and improvised explosive devices is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which is punishable under Republic Act No. 9851 otherwise known as the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other Crimes Against Humanity.

[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:]

Ex-NPA chief Salas latest activist to win illegal search case

From Rappler (Aug 6, 2021): Ex-NPA chief Salas latest activist to win illegal search case (By LIAN BUAN)

A local judge voids the police's warrantless search and says presumption of regularity is rebutted 'by the contradiction that flowed from their own mouths'

In the newest court victory by activists, a judge in Angeles City, Pampanga, has acquitted former Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman and New People's Army (NPA) commander Rodolfo Salas of illegal possession of firearms, ruling that the warrantless search conducted on his house was illegal.

"The search conducted is clearly in violation of the constitutional right of the accused against unreasonable search and seizure. As a consequence, the firearm and ammunitions confiscated from the accused are inadmissible as evidence in court applying the exlcusionary rule Article III Section 3(2) for being fruit of the poisonous tree,"
said Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 58 Judge Ramon Corazon Blanco in a decision dated July 1 but served to Salas only on Friday August 6.

Salas was arrested on February 18, 2020, on the power of a warrant of arrest from 2019 issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) in a murder case alleging a mass grave in Leyte of victims of the so-called purge of communists. The warrants were issued against Salas, CPP founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison, National Democratic Front (NDF) senior adviser Luis Jalandoni and others in a still ongoing crackdown by the Duterte government on the Left.

Salas, who was described by his lawyers as "long retired from the CPP" and was "rebuilding his life with his family in Angeles City," was charged with a new case of illegal possession after police supposedly found a pistol and ammunitions in plain view inside his house when he was arrested.

The illegal possession of firearms case was bailable, but the murder case was not. But in March 2020, after oral arguments in the Supreme Court, the justices granted Salas bail for the murder case. He's been free since then.

The murder case in Manila is still pending.

The illegal possession case was won on demurrer by Salas' lawyers, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). A granted demurrer means Salas did not have to present evidence because as the judge said, "the prosecution's case has no leg to stand on."

Invalid search

Because they had no search warrant, the three arresting agents claimed that they saw a handgun and ammunitions in plain view on the computer table, when Salas got his eyeglasses from the same table to be able to read his warrant of arrest.

Plain view doctrine, in general, allows law enforcement officers to seize items they may see in plain view and which they think could be evidence of a crime.

But during trial, the police repeatedly contradicted themselves and each other on where they found the gun and ammunitions – first on the computer table, then in the drawer of the computer table, then on the filing cabinet near the computer table.

The barangay official, who was a required witness to the executions of the warrant, testified that he stood by the door of the house of Salas for 30 minutes. That statement was contrary to the police's claim that the barangay official was inside the living room the whole time.

The barangay official also said that in the 30 minutes he was by the door, he didn't see the gun and ammunitions on the computer table. He saw the said weapons only when he was told to come near the table and sign a document.

On further grilling during trial, one of the police officers said they actually searched all the rooms in the house upon the consent of Salas' partner.

The pistol was traced to Salas but the license had long expired. Still, the judge said the pistol was seized in an illegal way.

"Lingering doubts now arise if they indeed saw the confiscated items in plain view or a product of a deliberate, intentional and meticulous search, thus violating the constitutional right of the accused against unreasonable search and seizure making the seized evidence proverbial fruit of the poisonous tree," said the judge.

The prosecution later claimed that it was a valid search incidental to a lawful arrest.

"Be that as it may, even in a hypothetical scenario, the warrantless search has no reasonable factual basis because the accused did not exhibit any overt act that would put them into danger or any injury or the accused will destroy the evidence," said the judge.

Latest win

This win was the latest in a streak of victories for activists who were searched, and were found with illegal firearms and explosives. Activists have accused authorities of planting these evidence.

As a response to mounting calls from human rights groups, the Supreme Court is reviewing relevant rules, has scrapped the power of Manila and Quezon City judges to issue search warrants for faraway places, and has required the police to wear body cameras when executing warrants.

Salas' lawyer Camille Parpan from FLAG said that as learned in this case, "it would also be helpful for the litigation of cases if the barangay officers present in the service of warrants would also be required to use body-worn cameras and/or recording devices to prove their presence in the operation."

Presumption of regularity has always been invoked by law enforcers in these types of cases, but for Salas, the judge said the presumption was rebutted.

"This concept of law is a mere presumption that can be rebutted – in this case by the testimony of their own witness in the person of Kagawad Buenafe and the contradiction that flowed from their own mouths," said the judge.

Rebel killed; soldier, civilian injured in renewed clashes

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 6, 2021): Rebel killed; soldier, civilian injured in renewed clashes (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The high powered firearms recovered by 94th Infantry Battalion soldiers during an encounter with NPA rebels in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental Tuesday* PA photo

A suspected member of the New People’s Army died, while an Army soldier was injured in renewed armed clashes in Sitio Bugalo, Brgy. Santol in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental Thursday.

A civilian was also slightly injured after he was hit by a stray bullet, Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said.

Soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion, who were in pursuit operations of the fleeing rebels they had encountered on Aug. 3, chanced upon the five suspected NPA rebels and that led to a five-minute gun-battle that claimed the life of a still unidentified rebel, who was left by his fleeing comrades at the encounter site, Pancito said.


Injured in his right leg was Army Pvt. Wilhelm Paul Tabafa, 25, while Henry Prial, 56, was grazed by a stray bullet in his left ear, P/Capt. Ellende Rebusquillo, Binalbagan police officer-in-charge, said.

Recovered at the encounter site was a .38 caliber pistol with ammunition.

Tabafa and Prial were immediately brought to the Isabela District Hospital for treatment of their injuries, Rebusquillo said.

The renewed armed clashes were offshoots of an encounter Tuesday in the same barangay, that led to the capture of two suspected NPA members identified as Eduardo Mission, alias Ka Edo, and George Francis, with aliases Pakyaw and Partner, both of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, and members of the Central Negros Front1.


The Aug. 3 encounter led to the recovery of an M653 assault rifle, M16 and M14 rifles with 10 magazines containing ammunition, a homemade shotgun with two bullets, two handheld radios, two cellular phones, two backpacks, and a medical kit.

Rebusquillo said that Mission had a pending arrest warrant for murder, while Esoy admitted being a member of the NPA. Both are now in the custody of the police.

Soldier killed, 7 others injured in IED attack in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): Soldier killed, 7 others injured in IED attack in Maguindanao (By Noel Punzalan)

Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar (Photo grabbed from Baldomar's Facebook page)

A military soldier was killed while seven others were wounded in a roadside bombing in Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Maguindanao, an Army spokesperson here announced Friday.

Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, speaking for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID), said the incident took place at 10 p.m. Wednesday along the highway in Datu Hoffer Ampatuan town as the soldiers were returning to their barracks aboard a military truck.

“The improvised explosive device (IED) exploded as the military truck was passing by near the Poblacion area, hitting some of the soldiers aboard the truck,” he said in a radio interview.

Baldomar said all the wounded soldiers were rushed to a nearby hospital, but one later died while undergoing treatment. “The remaining seven other soldiers are now in stable condition."

He declined to reveal the identities of the victims pending notification to their respective families.

“The hardest thing to do is always the part where we have to inform the families of the soldiers on what happened to them in the field,” he said.

He also declined to identify the type of IED used in the attack but hinted it bore the signature style of the extremist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

“Rest assured we are continuously tracking down remnants of the BIFF in Maguindanao,” he said.

Army intelligence reports indicated that BIFF terrorists operating in the so-called “SPMS box” of the province have dwindled to some 50-60 combatants from its previous strength of more than 250 since January this year.

“Many of the BIFF members have either opted to surrender to the 6ID or killed in continuing military operations in the province,” Baldomar said.

The SPMS box is a military term referring to the contiguous towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi Ampatuan town), Mamasapano, and Shariff Saydona, where the BIFF operates.

NPA rebel killed, 2 wounded in Negros clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): NPA rebel killed, 2 wounded in Negros clash (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

A Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel died while a soldier and a civilian were injured during a clash between government troops and communist-terrorists in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental on Thursday afternoon.

This is the second encounter that took place in the town's Barangay Santol this week after the clash on Tuesday afternoon that led to the capture of two NPA rebels.

A report of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division on Friday showed that troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) engaged about five communist-terrorists at around 5 p.m. in Sitio Bugalo.

After a five-minute firefight, the rebels withdrew, leaving behind their dead comrade, who has yet to be identified, and a .38 caliber pistol with ammunition.

In a report of the Binalbagan Municipal Police Station, the injured were identified as Private Willien Paul Tabafa, 25, of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, and a 50-year-old resident of Sitio Alilas, Barangay Santol. Both were treated at the Isabela District Hospital.

Authorities said they received information about the armed encounter from Santol village chief Jojo Ogatis.

The fatality was declared dead on arrival by an attending physician at Isabela District Hospital and his remains were brought to Sabino Funeral Parlor in Barangay San Teodoro, Binalbagan.

During the clash on Tuesday in Sitio Agbagacay, soldiers captured George “Pakyaw/Pakner” Esoy and Eduardo “Edo” Estrada, both members of the NPA’s Central Negros Front 1.

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

Mati turns over P2-M mess hall to PH Army

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): Mati turns over P2-M mess hall to PH Army (By Che Palicte)

NEW MESS HALL. The Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade gets a new mess hall inside its camp in Sitio Magay, Barangay Don Martin Marundan, Mati City on Friday (Aug. 6, 2021). The facility, worth PHP2 million, was turned over by the City Government of Mati and will be called the “Kagitingan Mess Hall”. (Photo courtesy of Mati CIO)

The City Government of Mati, Davao Oriental turned over a mess hall, worth PHP2 million, to the Philippine Army on Friday.

Ben Jason Tesiorna, Mati City Information Office head, said in an interview the mess hall was constructed inside the camp of the 701st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army in Sitio Magay, Barangay Don Martin Marundan, Mati City.

“The groundbreaking was held last year. They made the request for a new mess hall that could also be used for other purposes,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

In a simple turnover, 701st Infantry Brigade commander, Col. Oliver Maquiling, personally accepted the ceremonial key to the new building that will be called the “Kagitingan Mess Hall”.

Upon the Army’s request to establish a mess hall, Mayor Michelle Rabat readily allocated funding for its construction.

“The funding came from the 20 percent Local Government Development Fund,” Tesiorna added.

In her short message during the turnover, Rabat said the construction of the new mess hall is a simple expression of gratitude of the people of Mati for the dedication and service rendered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ensure the safety and security, not only of the Matinians but also the Filipino people.

More maritime assets deployed in Sarangani Bay

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): More maritime assets deployed in Sarangani Bay (By Richelyn Gubalani)

COASTAL PATROL. A high-speed patrol boat of the Philippine National Police Maritime Unit-12 maneuvers near the shores of Barangay Calumpang in General Santos City as it prepares to patrol the area’s coastal waters on Friday morning (Aug. 6, 2021). The regional maritime unit and the Philippine Coast Guard deployed additional patrol assets in parts of Sarangani Bay to prevent the illegal and unregulated entry of people, especially those from areas with cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 Delta variant. (Photo courtesy of the city government)

Maritime units have deployed additional patrol assets in parts of Sarangani Bay to secure the area from the entry of vessels and boats that could be carrying persons infected with the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Delta variant.

This, as the city government formally launched on Friday its newly activated Task Force Bantay Dalampasigan to prevent possible breaches of travelers, traders, and other individuals from nearby islands of Indonesia.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) deployed one of its modern patrol vessels, the BRP Tubbataha, while the Philippine National Police Maritime Unit-12 assigned high-speed patrol boats to lead the operations.

Capt. Rejard Marfe, commander of PCG District Southern Mindanao, said they adopted a systematic approach to protect the area from the entry of unauthorized vessels and fishing boats, especially those that have passed foreign ports.

He said they will monitor and control the entry of vessels to prevent the movement of people from countries that are grappling with a surge in Delta variant cases, especially Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

“We’re already under heightened alert status even before the national government declared the travel restrictions from the affected countries,” he said during the launching and sendoff ceremony for the patrol assets.

Marfe said their substations in the Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat provinces will also assist the task force’s operations, especially in monitoring the coastal waters.

BRP Tubbataha, which is one of the newest patrol vessels of the PCG, will lead the intensified patrols in the sea borders with Indonesia, he said.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, the task force commander, said the local government will provide the necessary support to sustain the sea border and coastal operations.

“We need to do this to protect our area from the Delta variant as well prevent illegal activities involving our shorelines,” he said.

The task force, which was created based on Executive Order No. 32 signed by the mayor on July 30, consolidates all coastal and maritime monitoring agencies of the government to help intensify the monitoring against the illegal and unregulated entry of people to the area.

It aims to intensify maritime security, shoreline patrolling, and coastal monitoring in Sarangani Bay.

“We know that our shoreline is very open and anyone can just enter our area. We’re now maximizing our efforts to heighten our coastal monitoring and patrols to prevent the possible spread of the Delta Variant,” he said.

ASG urged to surrender, avail of gov’t reintegration program

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): ASG urged to surrender, avail of gov’t reintegration program (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

SURRENDERER. A courier of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan province is the latest recipient of the reintegration program of the government. The courier, Samatan Aknalun Imban (left), 41, voluntarily surrendered on August 4, 2021, and handed over a Garand rifle to Lt. Col. Renante Besa (right), commander of the Army’s 64th Infantry Battalion. (Photo courtesy of 64IB)

A top military official advised remaining members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to surrender and take advantage of the government reintegration program intended for them.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, issued the advice after a courier of the ASG has become the latest recipient of the government’s programs for rebel returnees.

The reintegration program includes the grant of livelihood assistance, remuneration of the firearms they yield, and other assistance that will help them reintegrate into the mainstream of society.

The ASG courier, Samatan Aknalun Imban, 41, voluntarily surrendered and yielded a Garand rifle
to the Army’s 64th Infantry Battalion (64IB) in Sumisip, Basilan province on August 4.

“Take advantage of the government’s integration programs. It will provide you with an opportunity to return to your families and communities, and together we shall peacefully solve our problems,” Ponio said.

He said they could become productive citizens of the society through the programs of the government intended for ASG surrenderers.

Lt. Col. Renante Besa, 64IB commander, said the surrender of Imban is a result of the efforts of the 16th Military Intelligence Company (16MICO) under the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (MIB) and the 64IB.

“The 64IB will continue its peace campaign projects with the local government unit to convince the remnants and supporters of the Abu Sayyaf Group to return to the fold of the law,” Besa said.

NPA leader, aide yield in Sultan Kudarat

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): NPA leader, aide yield in Sultan Kudarat (By Edwin Fernandez)

SURRENDER CEREMONY. Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Mangudadatu (2nd from left) receives a rifle from one of two NPA rebels who surrendered to the military in Isulan town in the province on Friday (Aug. 6, 2021). One of the surrenderers, identified as Nelson Dulunan alias Jerick, is the leader of NPA Platoon West, Sub-Regional Command, Far South Mindanao Region. (Photo courtesy of Army’s 7IB)

A ranking communist rebel and his aide have surrendered to the military in their desire to be reunited with their families, an Army official here announced Saturday.

Lt. Col. Rommel Valencia, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion (7IB), presented the New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderers to Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Mangudadatu, also chair of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict, at the province’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall on Friday.

Valencia identified the two latest surrenderers as Nelson Dulunan alias Jerick, leader of NPA Platoon West, Sub-Regional Command, Far South Mindanao Region, and his aide, Arthur Masot.

“They also turned over a Garand and M4 rifles with ammunition,” he said.

Before his surrender, Dulunan was responsible for organizing a communist mass base in the hinterlands of Palimbang, Kalamansig, and Senator Ninoy Aquino towns, all in Sultan Kudarat.

“Constant and continuing military offensives in the mountains of Sultan Kudarat forced us to surrender,” he told reporters over a phone interview. “Primarily, my reason for yielding is to be with my family and my 10-year-old son.”

Valencia said his unit would continue to offer the hand of peace to communist rebels wanting to surrender and reform.

“However, we will also continue using force to those who prefer to sow terror in communities,” he warned.

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.

No use of anti-insurgency funds for 'census' in villages: PNP

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): No use of anti-insurgency funds for 'census' in villages: PNP (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (File photo)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Friday maintained there is no misuse of anti-insurgency funds allotted to the police force.

Eleazar made the remark in response to Senator Panfilo Lacson's allegation that the PNP used funds from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) to conduct a census in the different barangays nationwide which might be linked to next year's elections.

“The PNP is not conducting nor instructing our chiefs of police to ask 30 percent of barangay residents to give their names, contact numbers, and addresses for census. We have no use for any census,”
Eleazar said in a virtual presser.

In support of Executive Order No. 70 mandating a whole-of-nation approach against the communist insurgency, he said the PNP implemented the Intensified Cleanliness Policy - cleanliness in the office, cleanliness in the ranks, and cleanliness in the community.

He said another approach that the PNP has done is to deepen police-community relations programs by working with different communities nationwide, including non-government organizations (NGOs), and advocacy groups.

“We are promoting cooperation and coordination between the PNP and the community to improve our services and work hand in hand with members of the community for our anti-drug and anti-criminality efforts, as well as protecting the community, especially the youth from falling prey to syndicates and being recruited by communist fronts. Everything that is being done by the PNP in relation to the NTF ELCAC funds is above board, and we welcome any investigation that may be conducted,” he added.

He said the PNP units are also conducting humanitarian assistance and related disaster relief operations through its Barangaynihan food and help bank which is a grassroots engagement effort to address the devastating social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as natural and man-made disasters.

“We would like to thank Senator Lacson, 'cause this has given us an avenue to air the side of the PNP and to show the projects and programs for the people. The PNP is not disheartened by such unfounded statements, we know that they are by people who would not want us to succeed, especially the fronts of CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front), for our success will make people know and realize that they have been deceiving people all along to advance their interest. For the only way they are relevant is when they make it appear that the government is inept and indifferent to the needs of the people,” he said.

Eleazar said the government and the PNP are just bent on directly helping the people including those long-neglected communities.

“The PNP's programs are good and they directly help the people. Anti-government forces notice what we are doing, and they are probably the ones spreading these rumors to try to stop our community mobilization and cleansing programs. Fortunately, Senator Lacson opened up about these rumors that came to him. We will use this opportunity to finally bring out and let the people see the projects of the PNP that directly impacts the community,” he said.

AMLC tags 18 foreign NGOs as CPP-NPA-NDF donors

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2021): AMLC tags 18 foreign NGOs as CPP-NPA-NDF donors (By Christine Cudis)

Lawyer Emet Manantan, Anti-Money Laundering Council Deputy Director and Head of the Financial Crime Investigation Group (Screengrab from RTVM)

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has discovered at least 18 foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been financing the operations of local communist terrorist groups (CTGs).

This, according to lawyer Emet Manantan, AMLC Deputy Director and Head of the Financial Crime Investigation Group, during a recent virtual briefing of the National Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“Nakita po namin dito mga euros and US dollars po na pumapasok dito (The currencies deposited in their accounts are in euros and US dollars). May nakita kaming (We found) 440,000 euros (about PHP26 million) in their remittances,” he said, adding that they validated the information with counterparts from intelligence agencies. =

The transactions, Manantan said, exceeded the threshold amount.

“These were intelligence information which was shared already to our counterparts and these 18 were validated as existing transactions,” he added. “There is money in terrorism, very huge in fact. And it’s very unfortunate that probably with or without the knowledge of the donors, their donations go to these (terroristic) schemes.”

Four cases were already filed against local NGOs funneling financial assistance to CTGs -- the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The AMLC also froze a total of PHP5 million and about PHP17 million worth of assets of communist terrorist groups.

Manantan added that they are going after local terrorist groups’ assets that include 126 hectares of land and eight vehicles, among others.


He said law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and witnesses proved vital in monitoring dubious transactions.

Once, the agency took in as witness a former CTG finance officer, who shared that they allocate funds from overseas “60-40”.

He said 60 percent will go to the armed groups while the 40 percent will be for officials.

“The 60 percent of that fund would be distributed to the regional party committees, to their front guerilla units,”
NICA Director-General Alex Monteagudo said.

He said corruption also happens among CTG officials.

“This is one of the reasons why some of the former rebels surrendered. One of our witnesses’ testimonies was how officers eat lavishly while they almost have nothing and they are the ones who do face-to-face extortion,” he added.

As the cases are already in court, Manantan said the public should be aware of the real intentions of terrorist groups.

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

In July, the Anti-Terrorism Council officially designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist group.