Sunday, August 15, 2021

Philippine Politics At A Crossroads

Posted to the ASEAN Post (Aug 15, 2021): Philippine Politics At A Crossroads (Anna Malindog-Uy)

Philippine politics has been predominantly characterised as an “elite democracy” dominated by elite political parties, personalities, and political clans who are not only “gurus” of political “clientelism,” but are more often than not co-opted and under the tutelage of oligarchs, in which power brokers deliver votes to politicians in exchange for the granting of favours and “special privileges.”

Philippine politics is also very much dictated by personality-based politics and is largely dominated by traditional politicians or “trapos” who in many ways treat and regard Philippine politics most often than not as their personal affairs and playhouse rather than that of the Filipino people.

Many of these politicians claim to have an understanding of the plight of ordinary Filipinos, but in reality have no deep grasp or appreciation of the quandaries, predicaments and plight of the ordinary Filipino.

To note, the word “trapos” is derived from the words “traditional politicians, which means “rags in Filipino. “Trapos” are politicians who will say and do anything – including dirty tricks and publicity –and will spew black propaganda and throw mud against other politicians, just to get elected or what they want for their personal and political interests.

Political Circus And The Clowns

In retrospect, as the 2022 national election is fast approaching, Filipino politicians most particularly those epitomising the “trapo” brand of politics are ready to take centre stage in the political circus of the country, complete with intrigue, suspense, scandals, black propaganda and all sorts of mud-slinging between each other.

Indeed, the political circus has begun in the country and the political stage is now open for clowning and jesting, luring, beguiling, and charming voters to vote for them as they showcase their brand of politics.

One of the most interesting political characters in the Philippine political circus nowadays is Senator Manny Pacquiao who most probably will run for the office of the presidency this coming 2022 elections.

Pacquiao is no doubt celebrated by Filipinos as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time. But his latest bout as a politician against the incumbent president has impacted his political life negatively as evidenced by the fact that his approval and trust ratings have gone down after exchanging tirades with President Duterte.

To add, Pacquaio was ousted on 17 July, 2021 as president of his political party, which further dampens his bid to win the party endorsement for his possible presidential candidacy in the 2022 elections.

The boxing legend is also facing antagonistic party mates and allies, which may propel him to probably move from one party to another soon.

No doubt, Pacquaio as a boxer has all the acumen for sports, but as a politician, he lacks the political acumen and sharpness to even recognise that a political feud against his long-time friend now turned-political nemesis is political suicide.

Another political character that has gained the ire of President Duterte lately, is presidential wannabe and new president of the Aksyon Demokratiko Party, the mayor of Manila, Isko Moreno Domagoso also known as “Yorme”.

Just like most Filipino politicians, Yorme is a “political butterfly.” After transferring from the National Unity Party (NUP), he was suddenly elected as president of his new political party. However, veteran journalist Jay Sonza who is very popular among Filipino netizens raised questions on the election of Yorme as president.

“Wow Isko! Paano nangyare (how it happens) that a political butterfly like you is now the president of the principled political party? AKSYON DEMOKRATIKO IS NOT YOUR PARTY MAYOR,” Sonza argued.

Sonza also contended that the party’s council of leaders were unaware of Isko’s election and were shocked by the news that Yorme had been elected as party president. With Sonza’s contention, it seems that Yorme has a lot of explaining to do in this regard.

Continuity Or Distraction

On the other hand, Vice-President Leni Robredo, another fascinating political personality who belongs to the political opposition has also joined the fray. She recently said, “We can’t last another six years of this kind of governance.”

Robredo, who is likely to run for the presidency in the upcoming 2022 elections seems apprehensive and bothered amid the increasing clamour from the Filipino people for the president’s daughter, the incumbent Mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte-Carpio, and for President Duterte to run for the country’s two highest posts in 2022.

It can be noted that President Duterte has emerged from a recent poll as top choice for vice president, while his daughter, Mayor Sara, remains the most popular pick to be his successor as president in all political surveys conducted recently.

To add, the mayor from Davao city has already gained the backing of at least five political parties via a powerful coalition she heads and has a lot of organised grassroots supporters and volunteers across the country.

It seems that the political opposition until now is ignorant or has not come to terms with the fact that the very impetus that brought Duterte to the seat of power was the failure of the previous administration to recognise and respond to the plight of ordinary Filipinos.

Lest the political opposition forget that the heightened public dissatisfaction with the “business-as-usual” practices of the Aquino administration, had led to Filipinos electing the “blunt-tough-talking” strongman and leader in 2016.

President Duterte who promised a strong, top willed governance has been perceived by the Filipino people as the leader the country needs who not only possesses the critical leadership attributes that were deficient among previous presidents but who can act on the longstanding political challenges facing the country such as corruption, high inequality, poverty, business cartels in many sectors, violent crime, peace and order, the drug menace, the continuing banditry and insurgency in the south, and countering the terrorist activities of the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army).

The likes of Robredo seem to forget that Duterte’s victory in 2016 was a phenomenon that is somehow perceived as not only the “revolt of the poor” but the “protest of the middle class” against the previous administration. Furthermore, the majority of Filipinos are clamouring for continuity and not the other way around.

Filipinos want to build on the achievements of the anti-illegal drug campaign of the Duterte administration which include: (a) 3,736 children rescued during anti-drug operations from July 2016- May 2021; (b) convinced 1,223,195 people involved in drugs to surrender as of June 2021; (c) 22,093 drug cleared barangays from July 2016 to May 2021; (d) PHP 59.93 billion (US$1.18 billion) worth of seized illegal drugs from July 2016 to May 2021; (e) 203,715 anti-illegal drug operations from July 2016 to July 2021; and 807 dismantled drug dens.

Filipinos want continuity, which in many ways is connected to the relative successes of the anti-illegal drug campaign, that was able to arrest 12,356 high-value targets and achieved a 64 percent lower crime volume from July 2016 to June 2021.

Filipinos also want the “Build Build Build” program of the Duterte administration pursued by the next administration. The infrastructure program was able to complete 5,950 bridges to date, and was able to construct 29,264 kilometres of roads as of June 2021.

In terms of education, Filipinos want the next administration to pursue free tuition in public schools, in-state colleges, and universities. This was put in place by the Duterte administration, which benefited around 1,623,628 students.

In the area of poverty alleviation, Filipinos want the next administration to build on poverty alleviation efforts of the Duterte administration, which lifted around six million Filipinos before the pandemic hit the country.

Likewise, Filipinos would like the next administration to continue to pursue the implementation of Universal Health Care that benefited around 109,035,343 Filipinos from June 2019 to June 2021.

Whereas in the area of fighting local insurgency and the terroristic acts of the CPP-NPA, Filipinos want a leader who will seriously build on the successes of the current administration and continue the fight against the CPP-NPA until peace and development in the countryside are achieved.


In retrospect, choosing the next president of the Philippines and a new set of elected officials and leaders in the upcoming 2022 elections is a crucial task Filipinos must seriously ponder on. Whoever becomes the next president, vice-president, senators, congressmen/women, governors, mayors, etc, of the country, will have to confront the challenge of defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, a virulent and formidable enemy that has crippled the country and the world in many ways.

They will also have to confront the mounting challenges of putting back the country on a path of economic recovery alongside responding effectively and efficiently to other socio-economic and political challenges and issues that the country is faced with.

Hence, the Philippines not only needs wise, well-educated, well-rounded, able, strong-willed, compassionate leaders but also a new set of leaders who will continue the legacy and build on the successes of the current administration.

However, the process of choosing elected leaders in the Philippines is akin to a circus and many candidates are clowns. It seems also that anyone with plenty of ego, popularity, and money can run for president and other elected positions despite their lack of experience in governance and grasp of the real plight of ordinary Filipinos.

This circus politics may be entertaining, amusing, and even exciting to watch, but honestly speaking, is profoundly perilous and precarious for the country and the next generation of Filipinos.

Filipinos should rise as well to the occasion by filtering and scrutinising potential leaders before voting them into office in 2022.

In this way, Filipinos will be able to ensure that the country is in good hands after the 2022 elections given the many challenges it is confronted with.

This is Part 1 of a series of articles.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of The ASEAN Post.

[Anna Rosario Malindog-Uy is Professor of Political Science, International Relations, Development Studies, European Studies, SEA and China Studies. She has worked with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other local and international NGOs as a consultant. She is President of Techperformance Corp, an IT-based company in the Philippines.]

AFP Chief lauds PH Army for protecting Filipinos from communists, terrorists, virus

 From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 15, 2021): AFP Chief lauds PH Army for protecting Filipinos from communists, terrorists, virus (By Martin Sadongdong)

Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), has encouraged the Philippine Army (PA) to continue their resolve to protect the Filipinos and the nation against the enemies of the State while also rendering additional duties to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, (left, marching) is welcomed by Philippine Army troops led by Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Andres Centino at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on Aug. 13, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

Faustino expressed his support and commended the Army troopers when he personally visited the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City last Friday, Aug. 13.

The AFP Chief delivered a virtual “Talk to Troops” where he urged the troops to “soldier on” in their efforts to ensure that the communities are safe from the threats of communist insurgents, terrorists, and other internal and external threats amid the pandemic.

“I urge every officer, enlisted personnel, and civilian human resource of the Philippine Army to draw inspiration from our successes, and capitalize on these as we achieve more in the days ahead. Our continued triumphs rest on our collective firm resolve and cooperation to exceed what we have already accomplished in the past,” he said.

During his visit, Faustino was briefed by Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, Army Commanding General, on the command’s current and future operational plans and COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, (left) talks to Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Andres Centino during his visit at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on Aug. 13, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

Part of this is the continuous vaccination of the soldiers against COVID-19 to keep them protected while serving in the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic.

Since the pandemic started last year, President Duterte has tapped the military in delivering medical equipment, personnel, and vaccines around the country. Soldiers have also been manning quarantine checkpoints and isolation facilities nationwide.

Faustino noted that all of these were being done as the Army continues its relentless campaign to finish off the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), local terrorists, and other security threats in and out of the country.

“Karapat-dapat lamang na masigurado nating napupunan ang pangangailangan ng mga tropang sumasabak sa pakikipaglaban sa mga bandido at rebeldeng grupo na nais sirain ang katahimikan ng ating bayan (It is just right that we make sure all the needs of our troops are met as they battle against bandits and rebel groups who want to destroy the peace in our nation),” he said.

Meanwhile, Centino awarded Faustino with the “Combat Kagitingan Badge” level of major service commander for his brief stint as the PA Commanding General.

Prior to being named the AFP Chief last month, Faustino was designated the Army Chief back in February but he was removed three months later since Republic Act 8186 prohibits officers from taking major service command posts, except as the AFP Chief, if they have less than one year of active service prior to compulsory retirement.

Faustino will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 years old for military personnel in November.

Faustino also received from Centino the Sable de Mando of General Emilio Aguinaldo Sword which serves as a symbol of the Philippine Revolutionary Army’s command, combat prowess, and victory in 1989.

4 Abu Sayyaf Group members surrendered in Sulu —military

From GMA News Online (Aug 15, 2021): 4 Abu Sayyaf Group members surrendered in Sulu —military

Four bandit Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members yielded on Friday to military units stationed in Sulu, the military said Sunday.

In a statement sent to media on Sunday, the military said those who surrendered turned up at the 101st Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Bud Bayug, Barangay Samak in the municipality of Talipao.

Brigade commander BGen. Bautista identified the former bandits as:
  • Aharam Dajam under sub-leader Hairula Asbang,
  • Asbi Abraham under the late Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan,
  • Saibi Sawabi under ASG sub-leader Apo Mike, and
  • Alkaab Baki, grandson of sub-leader Sibih Pisih
"This [the surrender] was made possible by the efforts of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 100th Infantry Battalion, and the 11th Military Intelligence Battalion.

These former ASG members will also turn over their firearms today (Sunday), including two Garand rifles, an M16 rifle, and one .357 revolver," BGen. Bautista added.

11th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales personally received the ex-ASG members' return to the fold of the law.

MGen. Gonzales also took interest in Baki who, like his grandfather, was forced to join the ASG because of "rido" or clan war.

Baki's grandfather sub-leader Pisih died in an encounter with the military in 2019. The incident forced other bandits related to him to surrender to government forces.

According to 2nd Special Forces Battalion Commander Ltc Jooney Jay Busiños, they will continue to assist Baki and his family.

"We're working on settling this long-standing conflict so that they could return to their land. If all goes as planned, both parties will be able to live without having to worry for their safety. Katulong namin ang LGU rito" (the local government unit will help us out), said Busiños.

"Ito kasing akala natin na maliliit na bagay nai-exploit ng Abu Sayyaf" (the ASG is exploiting family conflicts forcing some people to join their group), Busiños added.

Four Abu Sayyaf bandits yield in Sulu

 From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Aug 15, 2021): Four Abu Sayyaf bandits yield in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA. Four Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender Friday, August 13, to military authorities in Samak village, Talipao, Sulu. A photo handout shows two of the four Abu Sayyaf surrenderers and the firearms they yielded. (SunStar Zamboanga)

FOUR Abu Sayyaf bandits surrendered to military authorities to live a peaceful life in the province of Sulu, the military reported.

They surrendered Friday, August 13, 2021, at the headquarters of the 1101st Infantry Brigade in Samak village, Talipao, Sulu, through the efforts of the 2nd Special Forces, 100th Infantry and 11th Military Intelligence Battalions.

Brigadier General Antonio Bautista, Jr., 1101st Infantry Brigade commander,
identified the Abu Sayyaf surrenders as Aharam Dajam, Asbi Abraham, Saibi Sawabi, and Alkaab Baki.

They turned over two Garand rifles, an M-16 Armalite rifle and one caliber .357 magnum revolver.

Major General William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander, personally welcomed four Abu Sayyaf surrenderers.

Gonzales told Dajam, who is from Kabbon Takas village, Patikul, that their place is now well-developed and that there is a government program in place for Abu Sayyaf surrenderers.

Gonzales also took interest in Baki who, like his grandfather, was forced to join Abu Sayyaf because of "rido" or clan war. Baki’s grandfather was Abu Sayyaf mid-level leader Sibih Pisih.

Baki said their dispute against another family, who was not identified in the military report, started in 2014 when his brother quarreled over a basketball game that ended in a challenge for a firefight.

Baki said they joined the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) for protection and to have allies in the clan war that lasted for years and resulted in the death of more than 20 followers of their enemy.

“Some of our family members were also killed while 40 houses were destroyed that why we left our place,” he disclosed.

“We also have relatives who died when they joined the ASG,” he added.

Pisih, Baki’s grandfather, was killed in a clash with military troops in 2019. His death forced other Abu Sayyaf bandits related to him to surrender to government authorities.

Lieutenant Colonel Jooney Jay Busiños, 2nd Special Forces Battalion commander, said they will continue to assists Baki and his family.

“We're working on settling this long-standing conflict so that they could return to their land. If all goes as planned, both parties will be able to live without having to worry for their safety,” Busiños said.

‘Soldier’s slay act of terror’

From Panay News (Aug 14, 2021): ‘Soldier’s slay act of terror’ (By Glenda Tayona)

Army Corporal Frederic Villasis, team leader of the Philippine Army’s Community Support Program in Barangay Lahug, Tapaz, Capiz, was killed by New People's Army rebels on Aug. 11, 2021.

ROXAS City – “An act of terror designed to undermine the peace efforts of the government in the hinterland barangays of Tapaz, Capiz.”

This was how the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) described the New People’s Army’s (NPA) killing of a Philippine Army soldier in Barangay Lahug, Tapaz, Capiz on Aug. 11.

Army Corporal Frederick Villasis headed the Philippine Army’s Community Support Program Sustainment Team in Barangay Lahug.

“This barbaric and inhumane act will not go unpunished. Those responsible will be held accountable,” said Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, spokesperson of RTF-ELCAC.

Villasis was on board a motorcycle heading towards the Tapaz municipal hall to follow-up a water system project for Barangay Lahug when around 40 rebels blocked his way.

They reportedly tortured Villasis before shooting him from behind. His motorcycle was also set on fire.

“By this act, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA have shown their true colors. They are terrorists to the core,” said Gonzales.

Peace is not possible until they have surrendered or are neutralized, he added.

The RTF-ELCAC appealed to the people of Tapaz to not let the incident hinder them from working together to attain genuine and sustainable progress in their community.

Ancan reminisces on 11IB assignment with troopers

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 16, 2021): Ancan reminisces on 11IB assignment with troopers (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Lt. Gen Roberto Ancan, AFP Central Command chief, reunited with his former subordinates and those still in active service at the 11th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Siaton, Negros Oriental recently*

Army Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan started his military career in 1987 with the 11th Infantry (Lapu-Lapu) Battalion in northern Negros, and will conclude his service at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City, as commanding general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command.

Ancan, of Victorias City, Negros Occidental, is ending his 38 years of military service on Aug. 21, when he reaches the mandatory age retirement of 56.

During a reunion with his former subordinates Aug. 14 at the 11IB headquarters in Siaton, Negros Oriental, Ancan, who recognized individually the presence of his former subordinates, said that he started his military career as a young lieutenant with the 11IB.

“This is the ground where I learned how to accomplish my mission and to ensure the morale and welfare of my men, as I started to raise my family also,” he told 11IB troopers, who is now being led by Lt. Col. Roderick Salayo.

Ancan also cited the exemplary achievement of the 11IB during his stint as commander of the AFP Central Command.

“This is the unit where I really belong and my heart always belongs here,” he told 11IB troopers, whose infantry unit he had served from 1987 to 1991.


Ancan described his four years assignment with I1IB as the “impressive years of my life.”

“To all Lapu-Lapu troopers, active and retired personnel, thank you very much, and keep that fire burning as defenders in your area of operation,” Ancan added.

Ancan served as a platoon leader of IIB headquarters and Headquarters Service Company October 1987 to October 1988, executive officer of HHSvc Company from October 1988 to January 1989, executive officer and platoon leader of the Delta Company from September 1989 to June 1990, and commanding officer of Charlie Company from June 1990 to June 1991.

Retired AFP chief of staff, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, also started his military career with the 11IB as a platoon leader, as well as former AFP chief of staff Gen. Victor Ibrado, then AFP Visayas Command chief Maj. Gen. Julius Javier, and Maj. Gen. Alphonsus Crucero, 3rd Infantry Division commander, who had served the unit as battalion commanders.

3 civilians allegedly abducted by NPA rebels found dead

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 15, 2021): 3 civilians allegedly abducted by NPA rebels found dead (By Mar Serrano)

A group of armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Saturday abducted and killed three innocent civilians in Palanas, Masbate.

Bicol police spokesperson, Maj. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, identified the victims as Jose Lalaguna, 51, of Barangay Tugbo, Masbate; Jestoni Lalaguna, 22; and Joey Lalaguna, both of Barangay Asid in Palanas, Masbate.

According to the Masbate Police Provincial Office, the victims were on board their motorcycle while selling housewares when they were flagged down and abducted by a 30-man NPA group in the vicinity of Barangay Miabas, Palanas at around 7 a.m.

The bodies of Jose and Jestoni were discovered along the road in Barangay Piña at 4 p.m. on the same day while the body of Joey was found 30 minutes later in sub-village Umawas in Barangay Miabas.

The report added that the bodies of the victims bore fatal wounds in various parts of their bodies that caused their death.

The bodies were brought to a rural health unit of Palanas for post mortem examination.

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.

Gabriela violates PH Constitution by receiving foreign funds

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 15, 2021): Gabriela violates PH Constitution by receiving foreign funds (By Priam Nepomuceno)

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (File photo)

National Security Adviser (NSA), Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., said women’s party-list group Gabriela is receiving financial assistance and support from foreign sources which is a clear violation of the Philippine Constitution.

This was part of Esperon’s testimony given via video teleconferencing before the 2nd Division of the Commission on Election (Comelec) on Aug. 12, in support of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) petition for the
cancellation of registration of Gabriela Women's Party (GWP) and the General Assembly of Women and Reforms (GAWR) in the party-list system

Gabriela is short for General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action, Inc.

The NTF-ELCAC petition contends that Gabriela is violating Section 2, Paragraph 5, Article 9 (C) of the Philippine Constitution by receiving financial assistance from a foreign government and non-government organizations (NGOs).

Political parties found guilty of such offenses can have their registration with the Comelec canceled.

Also, Rule 32, Section 8 (D) of the Comelec Rules of Procedure states that receiving support from any foreign government is one of the grounds for the cancellation of the registration of any political party.

Esperon added that Gabriela is receiving Belgian financial support, through Belgian accredited NGOs that were subjected to external financial audit by international accounting firm Mazars that was contracted by the Belgian government to audit or review its 2014-2016 and 2017-2021 programs.

Mazar's report showed that
Gabriela, together with Ibon Foundation and Karapatan are the local partners of Viva Salud VZW., a Belgian accredited NGO.

Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report, he said, shows that Viva Salud sent a remittance to Gabriela amounting to PHP1,811,867.35 on March 28, 2019, and six remittances from Intl. Fstone Ltd. of London, United Kingdom in amounts ranging from PHP1,058,392.42 to PHP2,190,628.52 from September 2015 to March 2019.


Esperon, who is also NTF ELCAC vice-chairperson, added that Gabriela, Inc, GWP, and GAWR are closely interconnected.

He said the past representatives to Congress of GWP were Incorporator(s) of Gabriela Inc. in their registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

"For example, Rep. Emerenciana de Jesus representing GWP in Congress for the period of 2016-2019 was also an Incorporator and Chairperson of Gabriela, Inc., for the period of 2013-2015," he added.

Esperon also noted that Representatives Liza Maza and Lana Linaban, all of GWP, were also Incorporators of Gabriela, Inc.

The GWP, he said, used the same acronym Gabriela in its 2016 Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) submitted to the Comelec and 2014-2015 General Information Sheet (GIS) with the SEC.

He also presented AMLC report stating that GABRIELA, GABRIELA, Inc., and GWP used their names interchangeably.

It was also noted that GWP representative, Congresswoman Emerenciana A. de Jesus, a Gabriela party-list member and chairperson of Gabriela, Inc., from 2013-2015, contributed a total of PHP930,000.00 to GWP during the 2019 national and local elections as shown in GWP’s 2019 SOCE.

To reiterate, she was also the representative to Congress under GWP from 2016 to 2019.

Esperon said the party-list group has willfully and deliberately circumvented the provisions of the Constitution and Comelec rules.

Kalinaw News: Philippine Army conducted outreach program to Muslim community in Baler

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 15, 2021): Philippine Army conducted outreach program to Muslim community in Baler

BALER, Aurora-Some 650 children from the Muslim community have benefitted from the joint outreach program of the military and local government officials of Barangay Pingit, in this capital town of Aurora on Saturday, August 14, 2021.

The outreach program was organized by the 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, 7th Infantry, “Kaugnay” Division, Philippine Army under the leadership of Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, Battalion Commander, 307th Community Defense Center (CDC), 3rd Regional Community Defense Group (3rd RCDG), Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM), Philippine Army, Major Alfadzhar M. Salim, Director and Aurora Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (ARRIBn) Commander Major Edward Pineda.

Some 200 children benefited in the feeding program, 50 children availed free haircut, while 200 pieces of notebooks and 200 toys were distributed during the activity at the covered court of Barangay Pingit, Baler, Aurora.

The outreach program was led by Lieutenant Colonel Valentino P. Azarcon, Battalion Executive Officer with the participation of Miss Universe candidate Charissa Claire Gonzalez, YFP headed by SK Chairwoman Judith Sindac of Barangay Calabuanan and local barangay Officials headed by its Barangay Captain Lysander Ritual Querijero of Barangay Pingit, here.

Ltc Rubio has lauded the joint efforts initiative in giving importance to the muslim community, explaining that the outreach program show that the government is caring for them.

“Our soldiers will continue to support and provide activities that aim to strengthen our partnership with the local governments, national government agencies and other stakeholders to improve the economic, health and social well-being of our muslim community in the province,” Ltc Rubio said.

Major Salim who is also a muslim said that they deserves free government services as they want to make sure that it reached the people at the grassroots level of the community and would continue to extend aid to the needy, doing it even beyond their supposed duties.

“We are reaching out to the people to provide assistance as part of our mandate to serve the people just like the 91st IB while securing the land,” Major Salim said.

Major Pineda said that with the help of the different stakeholders, the Philippine Army reservist will continue to bridge government programs and stakeholders’ support to help the muslim community.

“We are so grateful to get the chance to talk to them, serving them and hear them out to be able to help them,” Major Pineda said.

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

Kalinaw News: Army’s 65IB Clash against Communist NPA Terrorists in AgSur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 15, 2021): Army’s 65IB Clash against Communist NPA Terrorists in AgSur

SIBAGAT, Agusan del Sur – the 65th Infantry “Stalwart” Battalion Intensified Military Operation resulted in an armed clash against Communist NPA Terrorist’s (CNT) Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 21C of Guerilla Front (GF) 21, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) last August 8, 2021.

The 15-minute firefight at the uninhabited boundary of Barangay Anticala, Butuan City and Barangay Kulambogan, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur resulted to the capture of eight (8) backpacks with personal belongings, six (6) cellular phones, and subversive documents.

The said encounter stemmed from the reports of concerned civilians in the area who spotted an undetermined number of terrorists trying to recruit new members and who are fed-up with the extortion activities of the CNTs.

This also led to the discovery of a CNT lair, which they used to consolidate their forces in terrorizing the peace-loving people of Butuan and Sibagat.

The armed clash is a manifestation that the communist terrorists are continuously losing their support and making them vulnerable to military operations.

Lieutenant Colonel Emerson P. De Vera, Commanding Officer of 65IB, said that troops are in the area to secure peace and ensure the safety of residents as part of their mandate of protecting the people against the terrorists senseless series of harassments and spates of terrorism that gravely affect the line of innocent civilians.

“A lot of innocent lives were lost just because of your unceasing armed struggle and these will only bring death, misery, anger, and poverty. We are once again calling on the NPAs to go back to the folds of the law and choose to live peacefully”.

“Various benefits are enhanced to support you and your families especially when you cooperate with the government and lay down your firearms,” De Vera 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: More ASG Bandits Yield in Sulu

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 15, 2021): More ASG Bandits Yield in Sulu

August 15, 2021, Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Jolo, Sulu – Last Friday, four Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members formally surrendered to military units in Sulu at 1101st Infantry Brigade (1101st Bde) Headquarters in Bud Bayug, Brgy Samak, Talipao, same province.

1101st Bde Commander BGen Bautista identified the former bandits as Aharam Dajam under sub-leader Hairula Asbang, Asbi Abraham under the late Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, Saibi Sawabi under ASG sub-leader Apo Mike, and Alkaab Baki grandson of sub-leader Sibih Pisih.

“This was made possible by the efforts of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 100th Infantry Battalion and 11th Military Intelligence Battalion. This former members will also turnover their firearms today which are two Garand rifles, an M16 rifle and one .357 revolver,” said BGen Bautista.

11th Infantry Division Commander Major General William N. Gonzales personally received the ex-ASG’s return to the fold of the law. “Ikaw, taga-Kabbon Takas ka di ba? Bumalik ka sa barangay mo ngayon, may covered court na, may kalsada na, may streetlights. Ang ganda na ng lugar niyo ngayon. May programa rin na nakalaan para sa pangangailangan niyo na mga nagbalik-loob,” he addressed surrenderor Dajam who hailed from Kabbon Takas, Patikul.

MGen Gonzales also took interest in surrenderor Baki who, like his grandfather, was forced to join ASG because of “rido” or clan war.

“Nagsimula po ang lahat noong 2014. Yung kapatid ko ho at yung isang lalaki sa kabilang pamilya ay nagkainitan sa basketball at naghamon na magbarilan. Tumagal at taon ho ang lumipas ay bmahigit bente ho ang namatay sa kanila. Tapos sa pamilya po namin, may mga namatay din at 40 na bahay ang sinira kaya iniwan na ho namin. Para magkaroon kami ng proteksyon dumikit na lang po kami sa Abu Sayyaf. Pero nagkamatayan din ho ang mga kamag anak ko sa pagsali sa grupo,” Baki shared during an interview.

To note, sub-leader Pisih died in an encounter with the military in 2019. Accordingly, this forced other bandits related to him to surrender to government forces.

Per 2nd Special Forces Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Jooney Jay Busiños, they will continue to assists Baki and his family. “We’re working on settling this long-standing conflict so that they could return to their land. If all goes as planned, both parties will be able to live without having to worry for their safety. Katulong namin ang LGU rito. Itong kasing akala natin na maliliit na bagay nai-exploit ng Abu Sayyaf. Kaya inaayos natin pati yung ugat ng problema,” said Ltc Busiños.

[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: 2ID Aims for Good Governance

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 15, 2021): 2ID Aims for Good Governance

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – The 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army again on its commitment for good governance conducted two days of on-site audit to 80th Infantry Battalion in Pinugay, Baras, Rizal from August 11 to 12, 2021 in connection with the said unit’s application for the Institutionalized Status in the Army Governance Pathway.

The activity is a part of the Army Transformation Roadmap that aims to institute development and embed good governance for the entire Philippine Army. The Army Governance Pathway has four hallmarks that all Army units are to vie for, and these are Initiated, Compliant, Proficient, and Institutionalized. In the Initiated status the unit must put in place their strategic direction; while for the Compliant status, the mechanisms for strategy execution must be emplaced; for Proficient status, the functionality of strategy execution mechanisms must be observed in the unit; and lastly, in the Institutionalized status, the results of the efforts in the three previous levels must translate to a culture of good governance.

Amongst the four statuses, Institutionalized is the highest level. Thus, all units of the Philippine Army would like to be certified and remain as such. In the case of the 2nd Infantry Division, it has been recertified last March 25, 2020, as Institutionalized. 80IB was awarded the Initiated status on October 31, 2015; Compliant on May 30, 2016; and as Proficient on May 2, 2017. Presently, 80IB is applying for the Institutionalized status having achieved and surpassed the first three levels.

During the on-site audit, the said unit was found qualified, having met all the parameters set in the standard of the Army Governance Pathway. The battalion has numerous best practices up their sleeve, but the most notable were the following: First is the Leaflets dropping called ‘Bente sa Bote: Halina, Balik Loob na”; Second is the Mandatory Firing for personnel applying for leaves and privileges, which are all best practices designed to produce results on operations and eventually beating the enemy.

During the audit, the team conducted document inspection, random interviews of personnel giving premium on their respective scorecards, as well as interviews of stakeholders who praised the unit. The accolades given by the interviewed stakeholders were further proven by the numerous awards and recognitions received by the unit from other stakeholders like the different LGUs, Peoples Organization, Civil Society Organization, and other Local and National Government Agencies in their area of operation. Most notable of the unit’s accomplishments is the dismantling of Komite Larangang Gerilya Cesar of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, which contributed not only to the Division’s mission but to the whole Philippine Army as well.

The on-site audit team was composed of officers from the headquarters of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army which was headed by COL DIVINO ARIEL S MABAGOS GSC (INF) PA, the Chief of the Division’s Governance Strategy Management Office. Also present during the activity are the officers and the unit Sergeant Major of 80IB under the leadership of LTC BERNARD ZILDO S FERNANDEZ INF (GSC) PA.

The activity is aligned with 2ID’s strategic objective of Adopting and Institutionalizing best practices in Administration, Operations, and Support Systems which aims to elevate the subordinate units to the next higher AGP status. With the recent achievement of 80IB, it is not far-fetch that the 2nd Infantry Division will be able to contribute to the overall goal of the Philippine Army of becoming a world-class army that is a source of national pride.

[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: Orphaned Children whose parents were murdered by NPA in Central Negros receive financial Assistance

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 14, 2021): Orphaned Children whose parents were murdered by NPA in Central Negros receive financial Assistance

GUIHULNGAN CITY, Negros Oriental – The Guihulngan City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (GCTF-ELCAC) in partnership with the Headquarters Central Command, AFP through the 3rd Civil Relations Group, Civil Relations Service, AFP in Cebu City and 62nd Infantry (Unifier) Battalion, 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, Philippine Army assisted the orphaned children whose parents were killed by Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT). Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php50,000.00) financial assistance from the proceeds of “Heroes Adventure Challenge” was handed over to the orphaned children at the City Mayor’s Office, Brgy Poblacion, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on August 11, 2021.

The said assistance was personally turned over by Chief Petty Officer Renault M Lao PN (Res), a volunteer AFP reservist and Co-owner of Bikes and Brews. His organization, together with the ACTIVEHUB Fitness Center and Smarties, are the organizers of the “Heroes Adventure Challenge,” a virtual 3-leg multi-sporting event that started last July and will end on November 2021. The first leg opened on July 10 to August 10, 2021, and features three (3) events: Run, Bike Distance, and Bike Elevation, to raise funds to support the scholarship for children affected by armed conflict in Guihulngan City.

On May 14, 2021, Leonardo Panaligan Command – New People’s Army (LPC-NPA) in Central Negros ruthlessly murdered four (4) civilians at Sitio Agit, Brgy Trinidad, Guihulngan City, namely: Ronelo Quirante, Roger Fat, Rodrigo Lubay, and his wife Celerina Lubay. These victims were the former refuge of the rebels whenever they hid in military and police operations. They also provided food and other logistical support to the armed group. They were suspected by the CTG as government informants who were accordingly instruments to the major setback they suffered during the encounter in the area on March 23, 2021 which resulted to the neutralization of 10 LPC-NPA personalities, rescue of one (1) child warrior and capture of 11 High Powered Firearms including an M60 machine gun. “This incident will not be a hindrance to achieve the dreams of the orphaned children. We are happy to help people in need especially the victims of NPA atrocities,” says Mr. Lao.

“We were going through a lot, my previous life suddenly became a huge responsibility, after farming, I even took my siblings’ modules so they could continue their studies. Three (3) of them were in elementary school, two (2) were in high school and even me, would have been to college too. We really hated them (NPA), they are heartless, after my parents helped them, they even avenged death and even killed them in front of us,” the angry statement and resentment of Reneboy, 24 years old and the second eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Rodrigo Lubay. He added, “However, we do not lose hope in life, we are grateful to the Army, and to the government officials of Guihulngan City and especially to those who have given us this financial assistance, this would be of great help for us to live and continue to study. We thank you very much, and our heartfelt thanks to those who joined the “Heroes Adventure Challenge.”

Moreover, GCTF-ELCAC under the leadership of Hon. Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes, Guihulngan City Mayor expressed his gratitude of appreciation, “We are very grateful to Army and to our benevolent partner stakeholders for giving value to the people of Guihulngan City, especially to the victims of CNT atrocities. The Local Government of Guihulngan City will provide livelihood assistance, housing and scholarship program. Again, we are sending our grateful appreciation to Bikes and Brews, ACTIVEHUB Fitness Center and Smarties. Let’s always support their great endeavour and care to our constituents.”

Furthermore, Lt. Col Melvin N. Flores, PA Commander, 62IB said, “Every Filipino is a hero. We are grateful to the organizers of “Heroes Adventure Challenge” despite of pandemic they were still able to initiate activities that will help our countrymen especially the victims of CNT atrocities. It’s just a demonstration that we Filipinos care about each other. I hope they will be imitated by other organizations who always say that they are for the people. Relatedly, I also call on our local residents to continue to be vigilant and do not hesitate to report for any presence of armed NPA in your area. This is to prevent the same fate that happened in Brgy Trinidad. Let us all continue in condemning the human rights violations and stop the Communist NPA Terrorists violence and atrocities,” he ended.

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

Kalinaw News: Enlightened BIFF leader, members surrender in Maguindanao

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 14, 2021): Enlightened BIFF leader, members surrender in Maguindanao

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 14, 2021

A leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and 10 of his cohorts yielded to the military in Barangay Kuloy, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on Friday morning, August 13, 2021.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command said combined elements of the 33rd Infantry Battalion and the intelligence operatives facilitated the surrender of a BIFF leader identified as a.k.a. Molawin and 10 of his cohorts known in the following aliases: Rahib, Nasrullah, Salahuddin, Esmail, Rahim, Haron, Tapa, One Eye, Naser, and Kasim.

“A.k.a. Molawin and his followers belong to the BIFF Karialan Faction,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. further stated.

According to Col. Pedro Balisi, Jr., Commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the successful surrender of the BIFF personalities was made possible through the support of the barangay chairpersons of Kuloy and Tapikan, both of Shariff Aguak town.

Surrendered personalities handed over two cal. 30 Barret, one cal. 30 M1 Garand converted to M14 rifle, one cal. 30 M1 Garand, one cal. 5.56mm M16 rifle, one cal. 45 pistol, one cal. 45mm Thongram Submachine Gun, one 60mm Mortar, two improvised explosive devices, four rounds cartridge of 7.62mm ball, and two round cartridge of 60mm high explosives to the military.

Said BIFF personalities revealed that the strength of the military is inevitable and their dwindling manpower is not enough to win a battle. Fearing for their lives, they decided to come out.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central said, “The influx of surrenders exemplifies that we are winning not only the people’s trust but that of the enemies as well”.

JTF Central has reported a total of 87 surrenders for this year alone. It can be recalled that last August 7, 13 members of the same group also surrendered to the military in President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat.

“The spate of surrenders in central Mindanao signifies a breakthrough in our peace efforts to end terrorism in the area. We are hopeful that soon enough we will be able to totally dismantle the BIFF and all other threat groups,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

The surrendered personalities were brought to 33IB headquarters in Barangay Zapakan, Rajah Buayan, the same province for custodial debriefing and proper disposition.

[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: Daulah Islamiyah-Maguid Group sub-leader nabbed in Maguindanao

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 14, 2021): Daulah Islamiyah-Maguid Group sub-leader nabbed in Maguindanao

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – A sub-leader of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maguid Group was nabbed by joint elements of the military and police in Maguindanao on August 11, 2021.

“Kalid Andalani Kalaing, a.k.a. Kumander Kalid was arrested by combined elements of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Shariff Aguak Municipal Police Station, and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company during a checkpoint operation at Lining Patrol Base in Barangay Labu Labu, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. Commander of Western Mindanao Command.

According to Col. Pedro Balisi, Commander of 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, at the time of his arrest, Kalaing was heading from Cotabato to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat onboard a white Toyota pick-up. He was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest docketed under Criminal Case No. 19-5041 for carnapping with homicide issued on June 13, 2019, by Presiding Judge Lorenzo Balo of Branch 19-Isulan.

The apprehended personality is now under the custody of the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company, Maguindanao Provincial Police Office for the filing of appropriate charges.

“With all the positive results of our combined operations, Joint Task Force Central will continue to assist our partners from the police and other law enforcement agencies to deter unlawful activities in our area of operation,” said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of JTF Central.

Patrol bases were alerted for possible retaliation of Kalaing’s cohorts.

“My congratulations to the troops of JTF Central,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

“May your multifarious achievements be an inspiration to all as we bolster our serious efforts to defeat the terrorists and lawless elements here in Mindanao,” the commander added.

Since January 2021, a total of 26 Daulah Islamiyah personalities were neutralized in central Mindanao, of whom four were apprehended, one surrendered, and 21 were killed.

[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: San Luis town declares insurgency free

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 14, 2021): San Luis town declares insurgency free

BALER, Aurora – The local government unit of San Luis, Aurora declared insurgency-free after passing its resolution number 2020-091, a resolution declaring the municipality of San Luis as an insurgency–free municipality.

The said town is an “insurgency-free” municipality following the unanimously joint signing of the Sangguniang Bayan led by its presiding officer Vice Mayor Tristan Eric A. Pimentel and now finally approved by San Luis Mayor Ariel A. de Jesus as an area with “Stable Internal Peace and Security” (SIPS).

The resolution was personally hand-over by Mayor de Jesus and Vice Mayor Pimentel at the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Firing Range in Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

Based on the resolution exclusively sent to Philippine News Agency on Thursday, August 12, 2021, it states that the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.

It furthered that the longstanding conflict between the Philippine government and the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has affected not only the life and livelihood of the people in the municipality but in many parts of the country, thus preventing efforts of the government to introduce development and effect change in the area.

Accordingly, From October 12, 2021, to January 27, 2021, due to persistent effort of the 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division Philippine Army under the auspice of Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commanding officer, the troops has piloted community support program (CSP) in the five barangays of Dikapinisan, Dimanayat, Diteki, L. Pimentel. And Ditumabo.

The 703rd Agila Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, January 27, 2021, after conducting area clearing evaluation (ACE) in consonance with the parameters and conditions imposed by AFP-PNP joint letter directive (JLD number 3), made a pronouncement that the said barangay are cleared from communist terrorist groups (CTGs) influence and affection.

The area clearing validation board (ACVB) of the 7th Infantry Division has, on March 3, 2021, after a thorough validation of the evaluation, affirmed the aforementioned pronouncement of the area clearing evaluation team (ACET).

All other barangays in the municipality have no reported enemy atrocity-related incidents, negative from any insurgency-connected activities, as well as the absence of left-leaning organizations (LLOs), all indicate of a peaceful and conflict-resilient status of a community.

In the motion of town’s councilor Charles A. Wee and duly seconded by all other Sangguniang Bayan Members present.

Be it, as it is hereby resolved to declare the municipality of San Luis as an insurgency-free municipality.

It is also furthered that the said copy of the resolution to personally give to Ltc Rubio.

“Such declaration is the first in this province, a testament of San Luis town’s peace-loving people who has the desire to liberate themselves from the clutches of terroristic activities and instead harness their economic fast development by ensuring peace in their community,” Ltc Rubio said, pointing out that there is now the unified stand of the people and local officials in peace and development.

Mayor de Jesus and Vice Mayor Pimentel are confident that by being known as an insurgency-free area, “businesses will further flourish and prosperity shall become a way of life in every corner of San Luis.

[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:]

CPP/NPA-Ifugao: On pregnancy test kits and AFP’s allegations of sexual abuse inside the NPA

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 13, 2021): On pregnancy test kits and AFP’s allegations of sexual abuse inside the NPA


AUGUST 15, 2021

The Nona del Rosario Command (NDRC, NPA-Ifugao) slams the 54th Infantry Battalion of the AFP for propagating lies regarding the existence of sexual abuse amongst the ranks of the red fighters.

In its FB page, the said AFP unit claims that the presence of pregnancy test kits among the medical supplies sequestered from the NPA during the last armed encounter in the mountains of Hungduan, Ifugao is solid ‘proof’ that cadres of the NPA are molesting female guerillas in its ranks.

“This is pure hogwash,” said Wigan Moncontad, NDRC’s spokesperson. “Clearly, this is just another one of AFP’s fruitless attempts to discredit and malign the NPA by circulating lies and inventing ludicrous stories.”

“They must be fooling themselves if they think that anyone would believe this rubbish. The masses are well aware that the NPA strictly adheres to its core tenets of discipline, one of which is to ‘never take advantage of women’,” added Moncontad.

Moncontad speaks of Point No. 7 in the NPA’s ‘Three Main Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention,’ also called the 3/8 discipline. This is also reiterated in the NPA’s Military Regulations and the Communist Party’s guidelines on marriage and sexual relations among members.

The CPP and the NPA nevertheless reserve the harshest disciplinary actions for violators of the said guidelines. According to Moncontad, in the event that a red fighter is proven to have raped a woman, either a guerilla or a civilian, it could mean a maximum of expulsion of the perpetrator from both organizations. After which, an appropriate Party organ could decide to sentence the perpetrator to death.

Pregnancy test kits are indeed included in the standard medical supplies for each guerilla unit, according to NDRC. These are however reserved for the use of married guerilla couples.

“After all, we respect and promote the rights of our red fighters to love, marriage, and revolutionary family building. We have married couples inside almost every NPA unit, thus the need for pregnancy tests,” explained Moncontad.

The group also pointed out the logical disconnect between the presence of pregnancy test kits among the NPA’s supplies and the claims of sexual abuse within the same.

“This baffling leap of logic is testament to the 54th IB’s perverse way of thinking. Who sees a pregnancy test kit and immediately thinks of rape, if not a rapist himself?” asked Moncontad.

The group cited the 54th IB’s long list of abuses against women and children, the most recent of which is the rape of a 16-year old girl by a soldier from the 54th IB in Tinoc last 2018. A separate case was also reported In Brgy. Lob-ong, Asipulo the same year wherein another soldier groped a married woman.

In 2013-2014, a succession of abuses by members of the 54th IB were reported. Among these are as follows:

1. A soldier courted a married woman in Liwon, Asipulo resulting to the separation of the couple.

2. A soldier got a married woman pregnant in Pula, Asipulo.

3. Soldiers peed in front of teenage girls in Namal, Asipulo. They also frequently knocked on the door of the boarding house where high school girls stay, causing fear to the students.

4. A soldier was heard to have said “Two hundred lang babae dito, virgin pa! (Girls here just cost 200, and they are virgins, to boot!)” in Namal, Asipulo.

“The AFP would do well to study the revolutionary movement’s guidelines and principles on sexual relations, revolutionary family building, and women’s rights. They sure are in bad need of it,” ended Moncontad.

CPP/NDF-Sison: Interview: On the Philippines, US, China and other matters

Propaganda interview posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 13, 2021): On the Philippines, US, China and other matters


AUGUST 13, 2021


Good day Professor Sison. I writing for Red Sails ( We are a small Marxist-Leninist publication and are interested in your thoughts on a number of matters related to the Philippines, China, and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. We heard from the PRWC Twitter account that you would be interested in sharing your perspective.

Without further ado, here are the questions.

1. Let’s start with recent developments in the Philippines. Under President Duterte, the Philippine government has had one of the most ineffective COVID-19 responses in Asia — from slowing the spread, to minimizing economic fallout from lockdowns, to vaccine deployment. In the meantime, this administration has also ramped up its state-sponsored red-tagging effort with the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020, which gave legal backing to the already ongoing practice of cracking down on various social justice and human rights organizations. Previously, you have pointed out the similarities between the Duterte and Marcos regimes, in particular their open embrace of state terror. How is the situation different today? In particular, what is your analysis as to the material and social conditions that have prevented a mass anti-fascist uprising like what we saw with the People Power Revolution?

JMS: I agree with you that Duterte has failed to adopt and implement the necessary measures to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, to minimize the economic fallout from the lockdowns and to promptly acquire and deploy the vaccines. In the first place, he ignored the advice of health experts to restrict travel from China and allowed the pandemic to spread from December 2019 to March 2020 by letting more than 500,000 Chinese tourists and casino players.

The main concern of Duterte during the pandemic has been to steal public money and push forward his scheme of fascist dictatorship. He caused the congressional appropriation of hundreds of millions of pesos and has increased the public debt by two trillion pesos supposedly for mass testing, acquisition of vaccines and medical equipment and economic assistance for those who lost their jobs and other means of livelihood . But most of the money has been wasted on bureaucratic and military corruption, with Duterte taking the lion’s share.

He has put generals, instead of health experts in the national task force in charge of fighting the pandemic. He has militarized the lockdowns in order to intimidate the people; railroaded the legislation of the so-called Anti-Terror Law of 2020; increased the budget for the military and police in the name of anti-communism and anti-terrorism; and has escalated both the bogus war on drugs and counterrevolutionary campaigns of state terrorism in both urban and rural areas.

The Marcos and Duterte regimes are quite similar in unleashing state terrorism against the people. But the difference is that Duterte within the span of 5 years has done far worse in extrajudicial killings than Marcos. Marcos was held accountable for 3500 extrajudicial killings. Duterte has scored 33,000 extrajudicial killings. And the economic, social and political crisis of the ruling system is now far worse than during the time of Marcos. The armed revolutionary movement has therefore become much stronger. Also, we should not underestimate the consequences of the health crisis and the accountability of Duterte for this.

The people are outraged and are desirous of revolutionary change. So many people are joining the people’s army and the urban underground, according to reliable reports. Despite the restrictions by the military and police on mass gatherings, mass protest actions are intensifying and spreading The volcano is already rumbling and is bound to explode soon, especially if Duterte insists on using foul means to prolong his stay in power beyond 2022.

2. The Philippines also has elections coming up in 2022. (I promise this will be the only question about bourgeois elections.) Duterte stands as an obstacle for the resumption of peace talks with the CPP-NPA. Would any foreseeable electoral outcome open up the possibility of a diplomatic approach?

JMS: Duterte is confident that he can get his daughter Sara become president and himself as vice president through the 2022 presidential elections because he controls the national vote count through his Comelec appointees and through the TIM Corp which is owned by him and his crony Dennis Uy and is the Philippine counterpart of Smartmatic. He can do again what he did in rigging the 2019 mid-term elections in order to capture both houses of Congress.
And he is ready to declare a pseudo-revolutionary government before or after the 2022 elections in order to counter the possible mass uprisings of the people as in 1986 against the fascist dictator Marcos. There is yet no clear indication whether the electoral opposition has succeeded in persuading the US to require Smartmatic to follow definite measures to ensure a clean vote count. Otherwise there will be more social turmoil for the ruling system if the elections are fraudulent and manipulated under the current conditions of state terrorism.

If Duterte stays in power, with his daughter as his stooge, there will certainly be no resumption of the peace negotiations. In response, the revolutionary movement will be focused on waging the people’s war. If the electoral opposition wins in the 2022 elections, there is a possibility that the peace negotiations will be resumed. But we have to know first who will be the new president and how different is he or she from previous reactionary presidents who pretended to be for peace negotiations and yet were interested only in the capitulation or military suppression of the revolutionary movement,
In view of the rapidly worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and that of the Philippine ruling system, the conditions are increasingly favorable for the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. If the new president does not like to negotiate a just peace, then there is no choice for the people and their revolutionary forces but to keep on fighting without any distraction by peace negotiations.

If the new president seriously wants peace negotiations, then these can be resumed in accordance with the GRP-NDFP Joint Declaration which sets forth the aims and purposes of the negotiations, the substantive agenda of basic economic, social, political and constitutional reforms and the methods of negotiating and drafting the comprehensive agreements.
3. One aspect of Philippine politics that cannot be ignored is its position in the great power competition between the United States and China. You have made clear that you share the analysis of the CPP and other Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties — that China and the United States are locked in an intensifying inter-imperialist rivalry, and that the only way out for the Philippines is to assert its sovereignty and free itself from domination by both Chinese and US capital. Today, the US enforces sanctions and other limits to the development of socialist states like Cuba and the DPRK, transitional states with socialist governments like Venezuela and Bolivia, and non-socialist states like Iran. On the other hand, the governments of these nations have engaged in extensive diplomatic and economic relations with China’s government, which has helped them survive while under siege. If, say, elements of the NDF gained control within the existing government, or if the CPP established a revolutionary government, it is likely that the Philippines would similarly be subject to economic attack by the US and its allies. Would you recommend that such a government reject a tactical alliance with China in this scenario, and why?

JMS: You are correct in assuming that the CPP and the revolutionary movement of the people will consistently assert, defend and advance Philippine national sovereign and territorial integrity. You are also correct in anticipating the violent reaction of US imperialism to the revolutionary movement when it shall come to power in the Philippines or have a leading role in a coalition government. There is therefore a need for the revolutionary forces and the people to avail of proletarian internationalism and international anti-imperialist solidarity.

If the revolutionary movement wins political power in the Philippines or the CPP becomes the leading force against the US being the No. 1 imperialist power over the Philippines, the Philippine revolutionary government will try to persuade China to respect Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 judgment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration with regard to the West Philippine Sea and will respect and support China’s national sovereignty over Taiwan, Hongkong, the Daoyu islands,Tibet and Xinjiang.

Even now, the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people observes and appreciates how China supports and assists countries and peoples that are resisting US imperialism and are the target of imperialist economic and military blockades and all sorts of sanctions. It sees the possibility of diplomatically settling with China any serious problems to achieve better relations and higher aims. As a matter of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principle, the CPP has been critical of how China has become blatantly capitalist since 1978. But party-to-party relations are distinguishable from state-to-state relations.

4. Regarding the specific issue of maritime territory in the West Philippine Sea, the latest incident just this year concerned Chinese fishing vessels anchoring near the Whitsun Reef, a part of the Spratly Islands widely considered to be a Philippine territory in those islands. The Chinese government, for their part, also considers this an issue of sovereignty, and their operations are likely spurred on by the US’s continuing presence in these waters, which together with their bases in neighboring countries might be said to form a “noose” around that country. Do you see a realistic pathway to a resolution among the Philippines, China, and the other Asian countries involved? Can such an issue even be resolved through diplomatic means?

JMS: In my answer to your previous question, I have already asserted the sovereign and maritime rights of the Philippines over its exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf in the West Philippines and pointed to the need for China to respect these rights, the UNCLOS and the 2016 judgment of the PAC. I have also pointed out that through diplomatic negotiations China can signify its respect for Philippine sovereign and maritime rights over the West Philippine Sea. On the Philippine side, there is no problem about recognizing and supporting China where it legitimately asserts its national sovereignty.

But now and insofar as China continues to disrespect Philippine national sovereign and maritime rights over the West Philippine Sea, the revolutionary movement considers as positive and necessary for all countries to keep the high seas of the South China Sea open for free navigation and reject the false and baseless claim of China that it owns 90 per cent of the entire South China Sea. It is also positive and necessary for the Philippines to demand the withdrawal of China from the artificial islands and military bases that it has made in the West Philippine Sea, pay rent for the duration of the illegal occupation and pay for the damage and destruction of the marine features and environment.

5. An analysis of the United States and China as an inter-imperialist conflict can lead one to the difficult position where denouncing one country’s policy works as a tacit endorsement of the other’s. One example is the CPP’s endorsement of the Hong Kong protest movement in 2020 (a post was briefly on its website before being removed) — there is evidence that some of the civil society groups that drove this movement had material support from the “soft” wings of American regime change apparatus, like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). What does the CPP (and its sympathizers worldwide) need to do to ensure that its “pox on both houses” position does not serve imperialist ends?

JMS: It is just and proper for the CPP and the Filipino people to criticize and condemn the all-round domination of the Philippines by US imperialism and at the same time China’s aggressive transgression of Philippine sovereign and maritime rights in the West Philippine Sea. The issue is clear against each of the two imperialist powers. The CPP and Filipino people can continue to recognize China’s national sovereignty over Hong Kong and distinguish it from the autonomy and democratic rights of the Hong Kong people and the transition measures agreed upon by the Chinese and British states.

In expressing support for the autonomy and democratic rights of the Hong Kong people, the CPP and the Filipino people do not deny the China’s national sovereignty over Hong Kong as qualified by the transition measures agreed to by China itself. Neither do they become responsible for or become identical to all sorts of people and organizations that also support the autonomy and democratic rights of the Hong Kong people, including those US entities that wish to make Hong Kong independent of and hostile to China.

All proletarian revolutionaries are critical of monopoly capitalism and all imperialist countries. But they must consider and evaluate the economic and political circumstances, the differences and contradictions among the imperialist powers. The Bolsheviks were able to take advantage of the contradictions and shifting alliances of the imperialist powers. The Soviet Union was able to join the Allied Powers against the Axis powers which were fascist and aggressive. A socialist country can maintain and develop diplomatic and trade relations with all countries, irrespective of ideology and social system.

6. July 2021 marked the 100-year anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). You have previously made clear that your stance is that the CPC has undergone a revisionist counterrevolution from 1976 onwards. You have also stated that it is only a matter of time before the CPC sheds its branding as a communist party, and that the only hope for the Chinese proletariat is a new communist party that reasserts the primacy of Mao Zedong Thought. It is true that the role of the Chinese party-state somewhat diminished in society after 1976, with the injection of capital introducing contradictions that were not seen in China under Mao. This also fueled a number of new “left” movements within China. Yet in the years since 2012, with the rise of Xi Jinping, there has been something of a reassessment or reappraisal of the CPC leadership, especially among younger left-wing Chinese citizens. With Xi’s anti-corruption drive seen as widely justified and necessary to clean out the corrupt bureaucracy created by Reform and Opening Up, with his strengthening of Marxist education in schools, and with his creative maneuvers to reassert party control over even privately held firms, Xi is starting to look like he’s addressing at least some of the contradictions created since 1976. What do you make of these developments? In your eyes, do they represent a return to a socialist path? If not, what concrete steps would convince you that they have turned away from revisionism and returned to the revolutionary road?

JMS: I do not think that Xi Jin Ping has done anything since 2012 to undo the comprehensive and thoroughgoing capitalist restoration on China since 1978 when the Chinese revisionists or capitalist roaders used their seizure of political power in the October 1976 counterrevolutionary coup to undertake the full restoration of capitalism in China.. The anti-corruption drive so-called has been carried out at best to control the rampant corruption at every level of the Chinese bureaucracy, the mountains of bad debts made by state and private corporations and the scandalous sale of land by local governments to private corporations. As in the revisionist-ruled Soviet Union, it was quite easy for the anti-Marxists to pretend carrying out Marxist education only to misrepresent andridicule Marxist theory and practice and play up the anti-socialist and capitalist-oriented reforms.

I suggest that you read the annotations of the Communist Party of the Philippines on the speech of Xi Jinping in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. The speech reveals how much Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong that Xi Jin Ping has. He consistently refers to the CPC as the party of the entire people and never as party of the proletariat and the people. He is quite skillful at avoiding any reference to the CPC as the advanced detachment of the proletariat, the socialist state as a class dictatorship of the proletarian and proletarian internationalism even in the period of Mao. The CPP annotations try to critique many major points. They can somehow help you in answering the question whether the anti-corruption campaign of Xi Jinpin and his other reported actions will undo the comprehensive and deepgoing restoration and development of private and state monopoly capitalism by the phoney communist party.

I also attach hereto my long article, “Influences and Relations between China and the National Democratic Movement in the Philippines” by way of answering your questions. This can give you a clear view of my summing up and analysis of the background, course and defeat of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution by the Dengist counterrevolutionary coup in October 1976, the arrest and mass expulsion of those CPC cadres and members who supported the GPCR, the proclamation of the blatantly anti-socialist and capitalist reforms and opening up for China’s integration with the world capitalist system in 1978 and the collaboration of US and Chinese monopoly capitalism in promoting and carrying out the neoliberal policy until their recent sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions.

In 1979 the US started its diplomatic relations with China, after making preparations for these since the Nixon visit to China in 1972. US and China carried out in earnest their partnership in promoting the neoliberal policy of imperialist globalization in the 1980s onward. But being cautious in giving concessions to China and pressuring it to bend further, the US promoted sweat shop operations in China, the delivery of low-end technology and Chinese exports of garments, shoes and other consumer goods to the US market. By 1989, the inadequacies of the US-China economic relations showed with the rise of mass discontent against flagrant corruption and inflation in China.

Consequent to the mass uprisings in Beijing and many other Chinese cities in 1989, China under the over-all leadership of Deng begged the US to grant more economic concessions to China and promised to further liberalize the entry of US and other foreign investments and open special economic zones. In turn, the US demanded that China join the World Trade Organization and further open up the Chinese economy. China joined the WTO in 2001 and the US and China became undoubtedly the main partners in promoting and carrying out the neoliberal policy. Since then, the economic growth of China accelerated on the capitalist road to become the largest capitalist power after the US.

To make monopoly capitalism dominant in China, the phoney Communist Party and the monopoly bureaucrats have plundered the social wealth created by the Chinese working people under the Red flag of socialism and have submitted the working people to extreme conditions of exploitation, mass poverty and deprivation. The dismantling of the commune system drove great numbers of peasants to urban poverty and exploitation by Chinese and foreign companies. The
abolition of the right to strike and the lack of labor rights have generalized the 996 rule of wage slavery, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. work for 6 days a week, reminiscent of early 19th century England. Even the highly educated white collar employees are subjected to this rule. Gross inequality and social injustice reign in China.

State monopoly capitalism has served to accelerate strategic economic and military production and to expand private monopoly capitalism to the extent that this has become larger in share values than the state sector. Shares of stocks in state corporations as well as in state-private corporations are publicly traded and acquired by private stock owners. As of 2003, according to a survey report done by the OECD, the private sector share in value-added in the entire Chinese economy was already 59.2 per cent and was growing at an accelerated rate since the 1990s. As of 2020, China claimed that its private sector owned 60 per cent of the economy and accounted for the GDP to the same extent.

As of 2021, according to the Hurun Global Rich List, China had the most billionaires in the world, with 1058 in comparison to 696 in the US. Millionaires and billionaires like Jack Ma of Alibaba are highly honored members of the CPC. In the National People’s Congress as of 2016, more than 100 delegates were billionaires in US dollars (like Pony Ma of Tencent Holdings, Robin Li of Baidu and Kei Jun of Xiaomi) and 209 other delegates had net assets above 2 billion yuan or USD 300 million. In the US Congress at the time, there was no billionaire and the richest was California Republican Rep. Daniel Issa who had as net worth only USD 440 million.

Members of the CPC Central Committee have generally concealed their private assets. But immediate and close relatives have openly become millionaires and billionaires with large shares of stocks in major private corporations, in real estate, technology, energy, manufacturing, commerce, banks and finance. The big bourgeoisie is flagrantly in power in the CPC and the State and in the big private corporations. Corruption has been so rampant in the CPC and the State that President Xi Jinping has so prominently crusaded against it. But Quora researchers point out that the sister of Xi, Qi Qiaoqiao, has accumulated assets of more than USD 1.7 billion.

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

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

7. You’ve stated that the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) is “the greatest epoch-making contribution of Mao.” Do you think that Mao or the Gang of Four made any errors in the implementation of the GPCR? If so, what were they? On a related note, is your view that the Philippines will require a cultural revolution of its own, after political power is seized by its proletarian movement?

JMS: In the course of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1966 onwards, the CPC itself acclaimed it as the greatest epoch-making contribution of Mao. The GPCR was supposed to be the practical application of Mao’s theory of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship through cultural revolution in order to combat modern revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism. It was supposed to be greatest contribution of Mao to the development of Marxism-Leninism on top of his contributions to Marxist-Leninist philosophy, political economy, social science, rectification movement as requisite for Party building and the strategic line of protracted people’s war by encircling the cities from the countryside.

The importance and necessity of the GPCR from 1966 to 1978 could not be underestimated because the Soviet Union was already afflicted by modern revisionism and had become a social-imperialist power and cast a lot of influence and pressures even within the CPC. The Rightists and revisionists within the CPC Central Committee who opposed the Great Leap Forward and wanted to perpetuate the concessions to the bourgeoisie and the rich peasants were influenced by the Soviet modern revisionists. The correctness of the GPCR in posing modern revisionism as a lethal problem for socialism is well verified by the collapse of the Soviet Union and China’s own comprehensive and thoroughgoing restoration of capitalism.

Like the Paris Commune of 1871, the GPCR won great victories before it was defeated. As a result of the GPCR, the youth were mobilized as Red Guards, as revolutionary successors in combination with the toiling masses of workers and peasants. Art and literature were revolutionized to serve the people and honor the revolutionary workers, peasants and soldiers as the heroes. The theatrical models were promoted. The educational system was reformed to stop the phenomenon of university students coming mostly from former exploiting classes and from strata higher than those of the workers and peasants. Barefoot doctors were trained to spread and raise the level of health care in the rural areas.

Revolutionary committees were created as new organs of political power.Three-in-one leading committees were formed in the factories, communes and institutions to combine the representatives of the Party, the masses and the experts. The Anshan Constitution became the model for organizing the workers. The Tachai and Taching models were promoted. Even the economic growth rate during the GPCR averaged more than 10 per cent per year. So, it was successful even in economic terms. The superstructure was revolutionized to put politics in command of production and to enhance production.

The GPCR was defeated but it succeeded in posing the problem of revisionism within socialist society, brought up the principles and methods of fighting it and provided the positive and negative lessons from which succeeding proletarian revolutionaries can learn from. After great victories from 1966 to 1971 in the GPCR, the Left committed errors of ultra-Leftism (which was reflected in the line of condemning both Lin Piao and Chou Enlai) turned off the Middle against the Left and prevented the Left from winning over the Middle to defeat the Right and became vulnerable to intrigues and splitting tactics by the Right which amplified its strength by winning over the Middle.

As in the Soviet Union, when Khruschov rose to power by splitting the Stalinists like Molotov, Voroshilov, Malenkov and others, Deng skilfully got the support of Chou Enlai, Yeh Chingying Chen Yun, Li Xiennian and Hua Kuofeng to bring down one after the other Lin Piao, Chen Boda, members of the Group of Four and posthumously Kang Sheng after the counterrevolutionary coup of 1976. After 1971, the health of Mao was deteriorating but Chou En Lai was most assiduous in consulting him and letting him grace diplomatic occasions. The latter succeeded in putting on record even the informal comments of Mao critical of the Group of Four.

The Rightist-Centrist combine succeeded in undermining and depreciating the class struggle as the key link in favor of diplomatic maneuvers to develop relations with US imperialism against its Soviet superpower rival for the purpose of modernization, access to latest technology, capitalist reforms and integration in the world capitalist system. Indeed, the Chinese monopoly bourgeoisie has been quite successful in the last more than four decades in restoring and developing capitalism. But it has also brought into China the exploitative and oppressive conditions of the capitalist system which can arouse the proletariat and the entire people to fight back and bring back socialism in due time.

On the subject of cultural revolution in relation to he Philippine revolution, I say that there is the appropriate cultural revolution correspondent to every stage of the Philippine revolution. Right now the Filipino proletariat and people are carrying out the new democratic revolution against the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. They are now carrying out a national, democratic and scientific cultural revolution in line with the new-democratic economic, social and political demands. When they reach the socialist stage of the revolution, they will carry out the socialist cultural revolution corresponding to every phase of the socialist revolution and aiming for the ultimate goal of communism.

8. In previous interviews you have said that China is concerned about separatist elements in the regions of Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. In the US and allied countries, where much of our readership resides, the news and discourse about China and the CPC is almost exclusively occupied by allegations of human rights violations in these regions. In our own analysis of the reports about Xinjiang in particular, we have called it an “atrocity propaganda blitz” whose ultimate purpose is to provide grounds for war, much like the US did with Iraq. (To me, they’re reminiscent of stories I heard throughout my childhood about the NPA, as fed by the Philippine government through the bourgeois media.) What is the correct stance for organizations and individuals who are asked to address these allegations? Do you consider it worthwhile to push back against them, even if you regard the CPC as a revisionist party?

JMS: China has national sovereignty over Tibet, Hongkong and Xinjiang as in Taiwan and Daoyu islands. The human rights and the autonomy rights of the people must be respected. Wherever certain transitory measures have been agreed upon by Chinese central and local authorities must be respected. At the same time, US imperialism and its agents should be prevented from interfering with China’s internal affairs and should stop making provocations. They should be condemned for carrying out propaganda and activities for the purpose of interference and possible aggression.

9. Our last question is regarding the Communist Party of Peru – Shining Path. You’ve previously pointed out that Abimael Guzmán committed errors in terms of both being ultra-left sectarian earlier on, and then swinging to the right after his capture. Today, the newly elected Peruvian socialist Pedro Castillo faces many challenges, including smears of being sympathetic toward or similar to the Shining Path. Can you explicate your view of where the Gonzalo leadership went wrong? Are explanations that fault left-adventurism and the romanticization of violence correct? Even if the CPP-NPA has not committed these errors, why does it seem that they have not escaped similar criticism?

JMS: The background of Pedro Castillo as a peasant, rural teacher and union leader is quite impressive and his electoral success is quite spectacular. According to the Libre Peru, he is not a communist. At any rate, he faces tremendous odds because the US is telling him what to do and uses the US-controlled Peruvian army to threaten him and he does not have control over Congress and it will take a great deal of effort o change the Peruvian constitution. I hope that he can find ways of upholding and realizing national independence, democratic rights, social justice and development in Peru. I also hope that he can free Comrade Gonzalo and other political prisoners who have been languishing in jail for so long.

The people’s war started by Comrade Gonzalo is widely reported as having declined since 1992. I think that the cadres and members of his party are the ones in the best position to sum up, analyze and evaluate their experience. Their criticism and self-criticism and their determination to rectify errors and shortcomings are far more important than what outsiders like me can say. The Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples’ Army have summed up their own experiences periodically and made some major rectification movements to learn from positive and negative lessons, to work and fight more resolutely and vigorously and to achieve greater victories in the revolutionary struggle.

10. We appreciate your response to these questions and we’re looking forward to presenting a fair exposure of your viewpoints to our readership. Maraming salamat po.

Carlo Francisco