Friday, September 3, 2021

2 suspected NPA rebels killed in Sorsogon clash —military

From GMA News Online (Sep 3, 2021): 2 suspected NPA rebels killed in Sorsogon clash —military

Two suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed after an encounter with government troops in Irosin, Sorsogon on Thursday.

In a statement, Joint Task Force Bicolandia said police and military personnel conducted the operation at the boundaries of Barangays Patag and Cawayan in response to a report on the presence of rebels in the area.

Arriving at the scene, the government forces encountered at least 40 armed rebels, it added.

The ensuing firefight resulted in the killing of the two suspected rebels.

Two others, meanwhile, surrendered to the military including the leader of Platoon 1 Larangan 2 of Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC), the task force said.

Recovered from the site were six M16 rifles, three anti-personnel mines and personal belongings.

Colonel Aldwine Almase, commander of the 903rd Infantry (Patriot) Brigade, said the surrender of the two suspected rebels shows the openness of the military in accepting insurgents returning to the fold of the law.

JTF Bicolandia commander Major General Henry Robinson Jr., for his part, lauded the efforts of the troops against the communist rebels.

"Despite our series of successful operations, we are not letting our guard down. We are not finished yet with this fight,” he said.

“Thus, we will go even further, we will scour every hills and mountains of Bicol to find these terrorists and bring them down to their knees,” he added.

Opinion: The red menace in UP

Opinion piece in the Manila Standard (Sep 3, 2021): The red menace in UP (By Louis "Barok" Biraogo)

"Parents send their children to UP to study and to finish college, and to become law-abiding citizens of the country."

Two weeks ago, Kerima Tariman, died in a clash between cadres of the communist New People’s Army and soldiers of the Philippine Army in Negros Occidental. Tariman joined the underground movement when she was a student in the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Communists in UP should be held accountable for Tariman’s death, and the deaths of many other UP students like Tariman whom they recruited to fight and die for the NPA.

The NPA is the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines headed by the aging Maoist Jose Maria Sison. While idealists like Tariman die for Sison’s so-called “protracted people’s war” against the government, Sison is living a luxurious life in exile in Holland, financed by “revolutionary” taxes NPA rebels extort from hapless businessmen in the countryside.

During the martial regime of President Ferdinand Marcos, The Reds had a difficult time recruiting UP students to the communist fold. When Corazon Aquino was President, UP authorities and the national government made a deal to the effect that police and military personnel may not enter any UP campus without the prior permission of university authorities.

Because of that deal, the main UP campuses in Diliman and Los Baños became havens for red recruiters. It was almost impossible to track down the reds there because the UP campuses became vast and convenient “safe houses.”

In my view, that deal is legally indefensible. To paraphrase Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, “What is so special about UP to allow its exemption from the law?” UP campuses are covered by the law, and it is absurd for law enforcers to get the permission of UP officialdom before they can carry out their law enforcement duties inside a UP campus.

Secretary Lorenzana did what his predecessors were afraid to do. He abrogated that illegal deal.

As expected, the Reds among the students and faculty in the biggest UP campuses protested, saying that the termination of the deal threatens the academic freedom in UP.

That argument is preposterous because assuring safety in public places, and UP campuses are public places, is the obligation of the police, and in extreme cases, of the military. Policemen patrol campus streets, and cannot enter classrooms or libraries at their whim. So what’s the big deal about academic freedom?

There is nothing in the UP charter that exempts UP campuses from the law. If there is, that provision is unconstitutional on the ground of class legislation.

UP claims that its campuses constitute “democratic space” where anyone, regardless of political creed, religious dogma, or sexual orientation is free to express himself, without fear of reprisals. That’s a myth. The truth is, UP has become shamelessly intolerant and overbearing.

In August 2018, UP students and professors criticized UP President Danilo Concepcion for attending a Christmas party of the Kabataang Barangay, a Marcos-era youth group of which Concepcion was a leading personality, held at a rented pavilion inside the UP Bahay ng Alumni in Diliman. Even though it was a simple reunion of members with no political speeches delivered there, the radicals threatened to unseat Concepcion. The incident subsided only after Concepcion publicly apologized.

What happened shows that UP condemned a Marcos-era organization just for renting space in UP Diliman for a peaceful activity. In contrast, UP donated valuable land in the same campus for the construction by anti-Marcos groups of an “anti-Martial Law” museum, with the late President Corazon Aquino as the star of the exhibit.

Irene Marcos-Araneta attempted to watch a play at UP Diliman in 2010, the radicals tried to manhandle her. Fortunately, campus security guards helped Irene escape unharmed.

A Christian group was harrassed by the LGBTQ sector in UP Diliman after the group’s leader, speaking during a religious service inside the UP Film Center which they rented on Sundays, told his flock that the Bible frowns on homosexuality.

Radical activists are allowed to enter UP Diiiman anytime. Pro-government youth groups are not.

Critics observe that Concepcion seems to be afraid of antagonizing the Reds in UP, as seen in the way he appeases those radicals by yielding to them. By doing that, the critics believe, Concepcion thinks he is buying peace during his time. Thus, today’s radicals in UP behave with a misplaced sense of entitlement because they can do what they want anytime, with impunity.

Concepcion should realize that in 1938, England resorted to appeasement in dealing with Adolf HItler of Nazi Germany, who was bullying Western Europe. Appeasement only emboldened HItler to start World War II a year later.

Someone should also remind Concepcion that parents send their children to UP to study and to finish college, and to become law-abiding citizens of the country. They did not send their children to UP to join the underground.

Ranking rebel ‘Asyong’ killed in Surigao Norte clash, says military

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 3, 2021): Ranking rebel ‘Asyong’ killed in Surigao Norte clash, says military (By: Frances Mangosing)

A ranking New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla was killed in a clash with government soldiers in Surigao del Norte province, according to the military on Friday (Sept. 3).

Maj. Alex Mindalano, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, identified the slain communist rebel only through is alias, Asyong. Asyong was vice commander and political officer of a platoon of guerrillas of the rebels’ Guerrilla Front 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Asyong was killed in a firefight with soldiers from the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion at the village of Cagdianao, Claver town, Surigao del Norte on Thursday (Sept. 2), according to Mindalano.

He said two AK-47 assault rifles and an M-14 Armalite rifle with magazines and a bandolier were found at the clash site.

Another rebel was killed. in a clash with the military last Aug. 29 in the province of Misamis Oriental, Weapons believed used by the guerrillas were also recovered in the clash site.

Abu Sayyaf follower yields in Sulu town

 From the Sun Star-Zamboanga(Sep 2, 2021): Abu Sayyaf follower yields in Sulu town

SURRENDER. Hamja Hajirol Hambali, an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member (center), surrenders Monday, August 30, to government authorities in Panamao, Sulu. A photo handout shows Hambali together with Lieutenant Colonel Eduard Olaso, Marine Battalion Landing Team-7 (MBLT-7) commander (3rd from left) and Panamao Mayor Al-Frazier Abdurajak (3rd from right) and other officials in a souvenir photo session. (SunStar Zamboanga)

A MEMBER of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has surrendered to government authorities in the municipality of Panamao, Sulu, the military reported Thursday, September 2, 2021.

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COA: No need yet for NTF-ELCAC special audit

From Rappler (Sep 3, 2021): COA: No need yet for NTF-ELCAC special audit (By LIAN BUAN)

COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo reiterates intel funds are hard to audit. A lawmaker recommends an audit of communication expenses to see if the government pays trolls.

There is no need at this time to do a special audit of the government's anti-insurgency or National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) funds, Commission on Audit (COA) chairman Michael Aguinaldo said on Friday, September 3.

"The recommendation of the assistant commissioner in charge, they cannot find material matter that would merit a special audit as of this time," Aguinaldo told the House Committee on Appropriations during COA's budget hearing on Friday.

A special audit is a different audit from the regular annual audit reports (AARs) that COA produces and publicizes every fiscal year.

NTF-ELCAC funds are audited through the implementing agency. So far, for 2020, different agencies had been flagged for their use of NTF-ELCAC funds.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), for example, was flagged for potential technical malversation for diverting P160 million from their scholarship funds to NTF-ELCAC without authority.

Aguinaldo said their special audit division is "overburdened," as it is the same unit that is continuously doing special audit of the now-unconstitutional pork barrel.

The Duterte government is proposing P28.1 billion for the NTF-ELCAC in 2022, which is P11.66 billion more than the P16.4 billion NTF-ELCAC received in 2021.

[PODCAST] Law of Duterte Land: The law of NTF-ELCAC

Hard to audit intel funds

The 2020 audit report of the military dedicated only one paragraph to its P120 million NTF-ELCAC funds, only saying it was "all utilized." It did not say if these were an intelligence fund.

COA earlier confirmed to Rappler that in 2019, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) got P1 billion in NTF-ELCAC funds "but such was in the form of Intelligence and Confidential Fund."

"A Credit Notice was already issued on said fund by the Intelligence and Confidential Fund Audit Office," said COA's public information officer Jonathan Beltran.

A credit notice means it was liquidated.

Aguinaldo said on Friday that intelligence funds are really hard to audit.

There are guidelines on how not to use intel funds. Some of the guidelines are you cannot use it to buy a car, and to pay salary, according to Aguinaldo. But, Aguinaldo added, there was nothing much that COA could do to scrutinize on what they spent it for.

For example, Aguinaldo said if they used the intel funds for an informant, no intel officer would ever reveal who their informant was.

"You only know if they haven't been used properly if something really happens, God forbid there's a bombing, you can ask, what did you do [with the intel funds], why were you not able to detect it?" Aguinaldo said in a mix of English and Filipino.

"We can just assume that if nothing happens, siguro nagagamit nila ng tama (probably they're using it correctly)," said Aguinaldo.

Aguinaldo said they "really cannot give an assurance" that they can comprehensively audit intelligence funds, and that it's more of the Congress that can do something.

"Perhaps the control will really fall on Congress insofar as how much you will allocate in confidential funds," said Aguinaldo.

How about communication expenses?

ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro asked Aguinaldo for a report on the communication expenses of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Finance (DOF), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Department of National Defense (DND), AFP, Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Castro said there was a need to examine if communication expenses were used to employ trolls, prompted by the 2020 audit report of PCOO that shows "massive, unrestricted" hiring of 375 contractual workers, leading to unnecessary expense of P71 million.

PCOO, which is a member agency of NTF-ELCAC, has defended its hiring and said these were creatives personnel who worked in the social media operations of Malacañang.

"As regard the troll armies, do we have observation about the increase in communication expense of these agencies, based on your annual financial reports, can you give me a detailed breakdown of the communication expenses of these agencies?" Castro asked in a mix of English and Filipino.

Castro said government-employed trolls may be used to red-tag.

Aguinaldo affirmed the request.

New station building in WPS ‘fitting symbol’ of Coast Guard’s significance

From Palawan News (Sep3, 2021): New station building in WPS ‘fitting symbol’ of Coast Guard’s significance

The prefabricated station building of the Coast Guard Station (CGS) Kalayaan on Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. (Photo from CGDPal)

A four-unit prefabricated modular structure was formally handed over recently to the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDPal) to serve as its new station building on Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan municipality in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The prefabricated station building, which was virtually turned over on August 31, “is a fitting symbol of the continuing and growing significance of CGDPal as one of the foremost sentries of the Philippine Western Frontier,” according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in a post on September 2.

It is a joint project between the PCG under commandant Adm. George Ursabia and the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) headed by Aux. VAdm. Manuel Luis Idquival

“The newly-constructed Coast Guard Station (CGS) Kalayaan building is fully-equipped to improve living conditions of the personnel deployed on the island and to boost the performance of our mandated duty in securing life and property in Philippine waters,” the PCG said in the statement.

CGDPal personnel unload the construction materials for the prefabricated structure building of the CGS Kalayaan.

CGDPal commander Genito Basilio, in receiving the station building, expressed his gratitude to the PCG and PCGA, and other key personalities who made the project possible.

He said the PCG has marked another milestone in pursuing infrastructure development and service excellence in the Kalayaan Islands Group (KIG) in partnership with the PCGA.

“The simple idea of improving the facility has now been made a reality, became a major undertaking, and turned out to be a glorifying success. I am happy and I am proud to say that we have innovated, we have been creative, and we have made a difference… in our own ways, we have made things happen as we have imagined. And that is responsible and responsive public service,” Basilio said.

12 na miyembro ng BIFF sumuko sa Philippine Army

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Sep 2, 2021): 12 na miyembro ng BIFF sumuko sa Philippine Army

ABOUT SA labindalawang mga miyembro ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF)-Karialan Faction na nag o-operate sa Maguindanao ang nagbalik-loob kamakailan sa pamahalaan.

Ito ay matapos silang sumuko sa headquarters ng 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (1MIBde) sa Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Kasabay ng kanilang pagsuko, dala nila ang isang M16 rifle, dalawang M14 rifles, dalawang homemade .50 caliber sniper rifles, dalawang .30 caliber sniper rifles, tatlong rocket-propelled grenade launchers, dalawang improvised explosive devices, explosives, at mga bala.

Sinabi ni 1MIBde Commander Col. Pedro Balisi na ang patuloy na pagsuko ng mga miyembro ng BIFF ay ang resulta ng mas pinaigting na operasyon ng militar sa nasabing probinsya.

Ang mga sumukong BIFF ay isinasailalim sa custodial debriefing, habang pinoproseso ang kanilang livelihood assistance packages ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Shariff Saydona Mustapha.

Samantala, base sa record ng 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division abot na sa 150 BIFF ang sumuko sa militar at pulis sa Central Mindanao simula Enero ngayong taon. ( Lean Twinkle Bolongon)

Mataas na kalibre ng baril, granada at bala ng mortar ng CTG, boluntaryong isinuko sa magkahiwalay na operasyon sa San Mariano, Isabela

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 1, 2021): Mataas na kalibre ng baril, granada at bala ng mortar ng CTG, boluntaryong isinuko sa magkahiwalay na operasyon sa San Mariano, Isabela (By 98th Infantry Battalion)

CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela - - Sa magkahiwalay na operasyon ng mga kasundaluhan ng 98th Infantry (MASINAG) Battalion sa Barangay Disulap, San Mariano, Isabela ay matagumpay na narekober ang limang pirasong granada at isang bala ng 60mm mortar.

Boluntaryong sumuko rin ang isang miyembro ng Yunit Milisyang Bayan kasabay nito ang pagturo ng kinaroroonan ng nakatagong mataas na kalibre ng baril isang M653 Rifle nito lamang ika-30 ng Agusto taong kasalukuyan sa Sitio Diwagden, Barangay Disulap, sa parehong bayan na nasa kustodiya ni Alyas Roderick, 65 taong gulang, na ilang taon na ring naging tagasuporta ng mga Komunistang Teroristang Grupo sa nasabing bayan.

Ayon kay Alyas Roderick, ang nasabing mga granada at bala ay pinatago umano ng mga Komunistang Teroristang Grupo taong 2019 upang gamitin laban sa mga kasundaluhan na papasok sa kanilang lugar at gawing primary compenent para sa pag gawa ng Improvised Explosive Device o IED kapag papasok ang mga tropa ng militar o kapulisan.

Ngunit dahil sa takot at pangamba, naisipan niyang isuko na lamang ito sa mga kasundaluhan at tuluyan ng magbalik-loob sa pamahalaan dahil wala namang naidudulot na maganda ang pagsuporta nito sa kabilang grupo.

“Bilang isang mamamayan, gampanin ko ang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng aking mga ka-barangay, kaya’t ito na ang pinakamagandang magagawa ko, ang tumalikod at itigil na ang pagsuporta sa armadong grupo at tuluyan nang magbalik-loob sa pamahalaan” aniya.

Sa kabilang dako naman, sa pamamagitan ng puspusan at patuloy na pagpapatupad ng EO #70 o End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) ng mga kasundaluhan ng 98th Infantry (Masinag) Battalion, 95th Infantry (Salaknib) Battalion, 52nd MICO, kasama ang PNP San Mariano ay nagresulta sa matagumpay na pagtalikod at boluntaryong pagbabalik - loob ng isang armadong miyembro ng Yunit Milisya na si Alyas FED, 26 taong gulang sa Sitio Nursery, Barangay Disulap, San Mariano Isabela noong ika-31 ng Agosto taong kasalukuyan sa pamunuan ng 98th Infantry (MASINAG) Battalion.

Dahil sa salaysay at impormasyon na ibinigay ni Alyas FED kasama ang dating kasamahan na sumuko na si @JIM, sa araw ding iyon ay natuntun ng mga kasundaluhan ng 98th IB ang kinaroroonan at pinagbaunan ng isang mataas na kalibre ng baril (M653 Rifle) na may serial number na 167837.

Ayon sa dating taga suporta at sa sumukong miyembro ng Yunit Milisya ng Komunistang Teroristang Grupo ay lubos ang kanilang pagsisisi sa kanilang ginawang pagsuporta at pag-anib sapagkat wala itong naidudulot na maganda lalo na sa kanilang pamumuhay bagkos nagdulot lamang ito ng matinding bagabag at suliranin sa kanila, kaya nagpasya silang magbalik loob sa pamahalaan dahil gusto na nilang mamuhay ng tahimik at payapa kapiling ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.

Samantala, ikinagalak at pinuri naman ni Lieutenant Colonel Abraham M Gallangi JR INF (GSC) PA, commanding officer ng 98th IB ang naging desisyon ng dating tagasuporta at dating miyembro ng Yunit Milisya ng Teroristang Grupo sa kanilang pakikipagtulungan at tuluyang pag-iwan at pagtalikod sa armadong pakikibaka.

“Ang pagbabalik-loob ng mga nasabing miyembro sa ating pamahalaan ay isang malaking indikasyon na namulat na ang mga kababayan natin sa mga kasinungalingan, panloloko at maling ideolohiya ng mga Komunistang Teroristang Grupo at patunay na humihina na ang kanilang pwersa dahil sa sunud-sunod na pagbabalik-loob ng mga miyembro nito”.

Maliban dito, patuloy ang panawagan ng 98IB sa pamumuno ni Lieutenant Colonel Gallangi Jr sa mga natitirang kasapi ng komunistang grupo na magbalik-loob na at huwag nang hayaang mawasak o masira ng maling ideolohiya ang kanilang buhay,

“Kami ay patuloy na nanawagan sa mga natitira pang kasapi ng makakaliwang grupo na huwag matakot na bumaba at yakapin ang tunay na kapayapaan sa pamamagitan ng programa ng pamahalaan na Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program o E-CLIP, laging bukas ang himpilan ng 98th IB upang kayo ay tulungang magbagong buhay kasama ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay," sinabi pa ni Lt. Col Gallangi Jr. (Ulat mula sa 98th Infantry Battalion)

2 DI-MG members surrender, embrace peace

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 2, 2021): 2 DI-MG members surrender, embrace peace (By 103rd Infantry (HARIBON) Brigade, Philippine Army)

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur--Two (2) members of the Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) terrorist group embraced peace and surrendered to JTG HARIBON in Kampo Ranao, this city, Wednesday, September 1.

They were identified as alias MOSAB, 19 years old, resident of Brgy Kalangnan in the municipality of Piagapo, and alias HODAIFA, resident of Brgy. Tambo, also in Piagapo.

Their surrender is a result of the joint efforts of JTG HARIBON under Brig. Gen. Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II and the local government unit of Piagapo led by the Vice Mayor Hon. Ali L. Sumandar.

MOSAB revealed that he was forced sometime in January, this year, to join the terrorist group by the DI-MG. He was involved in sowing atrocities in the province to include numerous firefights against government forces that caused fear and even displaced some families in the hinter areas of Madalum and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur and Munai and Tangcal in Lanao del Norte.

Likewise, HODAIFA left the group this year upon realizing the deceptive intent of the DI-MG of capitalizing on violent extremism as the true Jihad. He was part of the group that terrorized and attacked Marawi City in 2017.

The two surrenderees brought with them two M-16 rifles with ammunition.

Cuerpo, also the commander of the 103rd Infantry (HARIBON) Brigade, assured that their safety and their well-being will be given utmost priority. He also emphasized that each life saved from the violent influence of the terrorists is a worthy undertaking.

"The 103rd Infantry Brigade along with the local government of Lanao del Sur will continue to encourage terrorists to surrender and settle down with their families, dedicate their lives to peace and development, and become productive citizens of the province," he said.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Sumandar urged the remaining DI-MG members to surrender. He also encouraged the residents to report to the nearest military unit or to the 103rd Infantry Brigade on the presence of the terrorist group in their area. (103rd Infantry Brigade)

Army hails opening of new FMR in Butuan City

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 3, 2021): Army hails opening of new FMR in Butuan City (By 402nd Infantry Brigade)

BUTUAN CITY -- The 402nd Infantry “Stingers” Brigade (402Bde), Philippine Army on Tuesday participated in the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in Barangay Camayahan, this city.

The activity was led by the Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Security Alexander L. Macario of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Mayor Ronnie Vicente C. Lagnada of Butuan City; and Regional Director Lilibeth Famacion of DILG Caraga.

Col. Adonis Ariel G. Orio, the Commander of 402Bde, also witnessed the formal opening of the new road project. The barangay officials of Camayahan, together with community leaders, Indigenous People leaders, and representatives from the different people’s organizations were also present during the ceremony.

“The FMR will provide the residents of Barangay Camayahan a direct link to the market and trading centers in Butuan City and to the other towns in Agusan del Norte. The road is vital to the farmers in the area,” Col. Orio said.

Barangay Camayahan is among the farming communities in Butuan City where farmers are engaged in the production of palay, corn, vegetables, and varieties of high-value crops. Around 350 families from Barangay Camayahan will directly benefit from the road project.

The new FMR, with a length of 1,043 meters has a total budget of PHP20 million under the Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program LGSF-SBDP. The said project is among the 13 FMRs that will be implemented in 14 barangays of Butuan City under the LGSF-SBDP with other projects such as two (2) school buildings, six (6) water and sanitation projects, one (1) health station, and one (1) electrification project.

These SBDP projects are manifestations of the sincerity and commitment of the government to bring development to communities affected by armed conflicts caused by the presence of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG). These projects are the product of the convergence of efforts of government agencies and other stakeholders under the Whole-of-Nation approach of the administration of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“Far-flung communities have suffered enough from the terroristic activities of the CTGs for years. The conflicts caused by these insurgents also hindered government development initiatives such as roads and other important infrastructures,” Col. Orio said.

The 402Bde, especially the operating units under its command in Butuan City and the rest of Caraga Region will work hand-in-hand with its partner agencies to fully implement SBDP projects that are essential to the lives of the people in communities, he added.

“The different operating units of the 402Bde will work with your leaders and other community stakeholders to realize the completion of SBDP projects. Together, we can defeat the evils of insurgency brought by the CTGs. Our unified efforts will bring in sustainable development and lasting peace, not only in Barangay Camayahan but also to the other communities in Butuan City and the rest of Caraga Region,” Col. Orio said. (Cpt. Jonald D. Romorosa, CMO Officer, 402nd Infantry Brigade/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Army turns over body of slain NPA, gives aid to his family

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 3, 2021): Army turns over body of slain NPA, gives aid to his family (By 58th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental (PIA)--As part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP’s) efforts in adhering to human rights and giving respect to the lives of fellow Filipinos, an NPA killed during an encounter with the 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Troopers (58th IB) in Gingoog City was given a decent and proper turn-over to his family at a funeral home in Barangay Lawaan, August 31, 2021.

The encounter that occurred in the hinterlands of GIngoog resulted in the troops’ recovery of three high-powered firearms and the fatal death of 38-year old Aldo Cahinlo “ alias Ramon” Higyawan, a member of Platoon Ryan, SRC1, NCMRC, and a resident of Purok 1, Barangay San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon.

Higyawan’s family traveled from their hometown in San Luis to Gingoog after being contacted by the 58th IB to retrieve and bring Aldo’s body home.

According to Elsie Higyawan-Comcom, one of Aldo’s aunts who retrieved the body, their nephew left home years ago and cut off contact with their family, only to resurface as part of the Communist Terrorist Group-New People’s army (CTG-NPA), since then they longed for Aldo to change his mind and return to the folds of the law instead of fighting for a losing war.

Heartbreaking Reunion. Higyawan’s family traveled from their hometown in San Luis to Gingoog after being contacted by the 58th IB to retrieve and bring Aldo’s body home. (58th IB)

“Nadawat na namo na sir ang nahitabo sa iyaha. Kay kung kami ang paisturyahon, kaming mga ginikanan, mga ayaan, supak man gyud mi ana sa iyang gibuhat. Salamat gyud kaayo kay bisag patayng lawas na lang nakaabot sa amo, nakita gihapon namo sya sa katapusan nga higayon aron mahatagan ug maayong paglubong,” said Higyawan-Comcom.

(What happened to him has already been accepted by us. Because, if we're being honest, as parents and aunts, we strongly oppose what he was doing. Thank you very much for allowing us to see him one last time and give him a decent burial, even though he is now deceased)

Despite overwhelming public support and consistent victory in firefights against the CTG-NPA, Commanding Officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion Lt. Col. Ricky L Canatoy shares his grief for losing another Filipino brotherhood because of misguided principles.

“Yet again, another life has been lost in the war against the failed ideology of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs). I am appealing to those members of the NPA who are still hiding in the hinterlands to come down in peace, lay down their arms, and return to the folds of the law while there is still time and opportunity. Put an end to this way of life; constant suffering in vain, with little regard for your own life or the lives of others,” he said. (58IB/PIA10)

More than 22k TESDA training certificates awarded to former rebels

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 3, 2021): More than 22k TESDA training certificates awarded to former rebels (By DND)

QUEZON CITY -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has awarded 22,752 certificates to former rebels (FRs) for completing various skills and livelihood training from 2017 to July 2021, according to Dir. Rolando V. Bade of the Office of the Director General for Communities and Local Government Unit Services.

Under the Enhanced Cooperation Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), eligible FRs and former violent extremists receive various assistance to help them reintegrate and become productive members of the society.

“With E-CLIP, we present to the victims of this radical and violent ideology a different story -- a government that cares, serves the people, and gives second chances even to the rebels,” Dir. Bade said, adding that he is hopeful that the progress achieved through E-CLIP will continue to be sustained. (DND-TFBL)

58th IB strengthens security ties with eastern MisOr corps

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 3, 2021): 58th IB strengthens security ties with eastern MisOr corps (By 58th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental (PIA)--In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for a whole of nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict, the 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion (58th IB) alongside the Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (MisOr-PPO) recently facilitated its Security Management Forum at the 58IB Headquarters in Poblacion, Claveria.

Spearheaded by 58th IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col Ricky L Canatoy together with MisOr PPO Chief PIU Police Lt. Col. Adolfo C Mercado and 58th IB Executive Officer Maj. Hermilando T. Corvera Jr, the gentlemen met with various security managers and officers from Eastern Misamis Oriental corporations to discuss critical investment, Infrastructure, and Protection Security Operations (CIIPSO).

The notable participating security officers and representatives were from national and international companies such as the Del Monte Philippines Incorporated, Coca Cola Beverages Philippines Misamis Oriental Plant, San Miguel Corporation SL Harbor, San Miguel Brewery, amd STEAG State Power Inc, among others which comprises the bulk of the province’s economic activity.

Capacitating the Private Sector. An exchange of ideas transpired to intensify the campaign against NPA’s extortion activities and atrocities against heavy equipment and machinery during the Security Management Forum. (58th IB)

During the forum, 58IB discussed the current threat situation thereby affecting the critical installations and projects all around Eastern Misamis Oriental, followed by questions and concerns that were answered by the panelists, and an exchange of ideas transpired to intensify the campaign against NPA’s extortion activities and atrocities against heavy equipment and machinery by these huge firms.

“This isn't just for our benefit, it goes above and beyond. We are here to work together for the greater good, which is why you are here in the first place. This entire discussion, as well as the formation of your security organization, is just the start,” 58th IB Lt. Col. Ricky L. Canatoy said, expressing his gratitude to the members of the Security Organization for their support and cooperation.

The participants agreed to create an organization called Security Organization for Eastern Misamis Oriental or SOFEMO, with induction of officers followed upon its creation while the 58IB and PPO-MISOR commanders serve as advisers.

“You can rest confident that the Army is doing all possible to prevent the NPA's atrocities and other violent activities. What we ask from you is your fervent cooperation in not succumbing to their extortion tactics or engaging in negotiations with them. I'm looking forward to working with you to build a stronger, more fruitful partnership,” Canatoy said. (58th IB/PIA10)

CPP: Strike the Duterte tyranny from all sides

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 3, 2021): Strike the Duterte tyranny from all sides

SEPTEMBER 03, 2021

Read in: Pilipino | Bisaya

The fascist tyrant Rodrigo Duterte has been making more frequent prerecorded television appearances recently where he rambles and issues endless tirades and threats amid his government’s gross failures to respond to the pandemic, a deepening economic crisis, exposés of corruption and worsening cases of state terrorism and abuses.

Despite projecting himself a strongman, the tyrant and terrorist Duterte is, in fact, a monster cornered, screeching and scratching, hitting in all directions, regarding everyone as sworn enemies. In doing so, he is making himself more vulnerable to attacks and inviting and inspiriting more and more people to strike blows to end his tyrannical regime. Indeed, he is now being hit from all sides as he confronts a brewing political crisis which threatens to blow up in the coming few weeks.

His schemes to perpetuate himself in Malacañang beyond 2022 and further monopolize power through the electoral route is hitting snags as his political alliances start to crumble due to his increasing inability to accommodate everyone at the power center. The mutual distrust within the Duterte alliance is clearly emerging. Contrary to his declared intention of strengthening his position, his announcement of plans to run as vice president with his daughter or minion running as president in the same or different party is causing the further isolation of the ruling clique. Wary of being laid aside, the Marcoses, Arroyos and other allies are pushing initiatives to prevent all power going to the Dutertes.

The Dutertes’ scheme to grab even more power has caused the breakup of the ruling political party PDP-Laban and dissension from his once closest political supporters. The PDP-Laban’s National Council under the Pimentel-Pacquiao faction, which boasts of broader mass-based support, recently ousted Duterte from his position as chairman, weeks after Duterte’s faction selected him as its vice presidential candidate together with his underling Bong Go as presidential candidate.

The Duterte ruling clique is now more isolated than ever. Cases of large-scale corruption involving Duterte himself and closest officials are being exposed in quick succession. Ordinary Filipinos are outraged by reports of the Commission on Audit which revealed anomalies in almost all the biggest agencies of government under Duterte. They are seething with anger over how bureaucrats and military officers grew fatter by wasting, plundering and squandering hundreds of billions of pesos during the pandemic while majority of the Filipino people suffered from joblessness, poverty and hunger.

Filipinos are acutely incensed over how Duterte’s health secretary, budget officers and other minions were involved in an anomalous ₱8-billion contract to purchase overpriced face masks and face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical needs from a shady Chinese company that had Duterte’s backing. Duterte’s links where exposed in a recent hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee where a video showed Duterte meeting with officers of Pharmally Corporation in 2017 whose Chinese officers are wanted for criminal embezzlement in Taiwan.

More and more threads of corruption leading to Duterte are set to be untangled in further hearings set to be conducted by senators. Despite Duterte’s vituperative speech against them, these senators are standing their ground and have declared that they will not bow to demands to stop their investigations. Their hearings are being anxiously awaited by the people who demand the truth hidden behind Duterte’s facade and bombast.

Duterte reeks of corruption and crime. He is the top-most bureaucrat capitalist and is in league with big business operators out to make a killing from government contracts and other deals. He also uses his power to protect and collect bribe money from big drug syndicates whose illegal trafficking of shabu and other drugs have thrived since 2017. Given the scale of the corruption and criminal activities of the ruling Duterte clique, their malfeasance cannot forever be kept hidden.

The gargantuan dimensions of Duterte’s corruption are magnified by the fact that people are suffering from a worsening health crisis brought about by Duterte’s failure of governance to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Daily cases continue to hit record highs as Covid-19 infections run uncontrolled, overwhelming hospitals and health facilities, and overstretching health workers.

The real number of cases are likely three or four times more than the reported numbers since Covid-19 testing is grossly lacking with positive cases comprising almost 30% of the daily tests (as against the positivity rate standard of 5% set by the World Health Organization). Daily Covid-19 testing stands at more or less 60,000 when it should already be at least 400,000 to 450,000 a day.

The Covid-19 health crisis in the Philippines is set to turn for the worse after the Duterte regime practically surrendered to the virus when it announced that their lockdowns are no longer effective in curbing the spread of the infections. Facing grave economic losses as a result of year-long lockdowns, Duterte’s officials declared they will just implement “granular lockdowns.” However, given the gross inadequacy of mass testing and contact tracing which renders health officials blind to the speed and direction of the spread of infections, the government is too late and utterly incapable of effectively identifying areas where local lockdowns should be imposed. In the face of the continued rapid spread of the virus, and failure to prioritize the strengthening of the health system, it is only a matter of time that the regime will again resort to large-scale lockdowns in different parts of the country or face overwhelming numbers of infections.

Duterte continues to ignore demands to increase the country’s capacity at mass testing, contact tracing and to expand the capacity of public hospitals and health facilities. It has utterly failed to address the welfare of nurses and health care providers who are suffering from oppressive working conditions, low salaries and lack of compensation. The regime is one-sidedly relying on vaccines as solution to the pandemic, yet has not allotted enough money for the purchase of vaccines and relies heavily on donations and foreign borrowing. The vaccination drive is also impaired by political favoritism, especially with the run up to the 2022 elections. In the end, relying solely on vaccines as solution to the pandemic will prove insufficient in the absence of a comprehensive public health response, and worse, will be used to justify discriminatory policies that will trample on people’s basic rights. There are no funds allocated to expand the capacity or set up new laboratories, nor are there plans to set up an effective system of contact tracing. The planned 2022 Covid-19 budget of the DOH was cut by 73%.

The entire population of Filipinos has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic because of the epic failure of governance of Duterte and his officials to put into place the necessary correct measures. His attempt to downplay the deaths of 30,000 Filipinos as being “comparatively small” is utterly callous and shows his deep-seated contempt for the sufferings of the Filipino people.

The regime’s failure of governance amid the pandemic has also deepened and worsened the economic crisis. This is made worse by the drive to further liberalize imports causing widespread losses in the agricultural sector. Several million people lost their jobs and source of income in the past year, both in the cities and rural areas. The global slowdown of production due to capitalist oversupply and pandemic lockdowns has weighed down on the Philippine economy with investments drying up. To draw in foreign investors, Duterte implemented tax incentives to allow foreign capitalists to operate tax free, after imposing heavier taxes on ordinary Filipinos.

Duterte has bankrupted his government with large-scale corruption and squandering of resources for its costly counterinsurgency war. He has resorted to relentless foreign borrowing which pushed public debt to record levels. He has raised the level of public debt to ₱11.6 trillion, almost twice the level of ₱5.9 trillion when he assumed he became president in 2016. It is expected that public debt will further rise to more than ₱13 trillion by Duterte’s end of term in 2022. Debt repayments are sucking in almost half of the state’s resources which are passed on to the people in the form of additional tax burdens.

Over the past year, the socioeconomic conditions of the people deteriorated at unprecedented rates due to the repeated and prolonged imposition of military and police lockdowns without the necessary public health measures. The sharp rise in the prices of food, petroleum prices, medicine and other basic commodities and the sharp fall in the people’s purchasing power have resulted in massive numbers of people suffering from poverty and hunger. Long queues in mutual aid community pantries are an indictment of the regime’s failed response to the crisis.

Despite the desperate straits which millions of people were forced into by Duterte’s failures, he has ignored the widespread demand for substantial amounts of economic subsidies to allow the downtrodden masses to tide over the crisis. Worse, the paltry amount distributed was subjected to corruption by Duterte’s agencies and private companies. The public health insurance system under PhilHealth is failing massively due to corruption and is threatening to cause losses and bankruptcies among private health facilities.

Even as millions of Filipino families suffer from poverty and hunger, Duterte continues to pour hundreds of billions of pesos into the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) and intensify its brutal war against the Filipino people. It squanders billions of pesos into costly use of helicopters and jet fighters, dropping 500-pound bombs and indiscriminate artillery shelling and strafing in the countryside which endanger and terrorize civilian populations and cause damage to the environment and natural sources of people’s livelihood. The Duterte-directed military and police campaign of mass murder, arrests, abductions, torture, occupation of communities, forced “surrender” and other brutal forms of suppression is unabated.

The broad masses of the Filipino people are being subjected to worse forms of oppression and exploitation amid the pandemic. They are left with no other choice but to express their outrage and fight the corrupt, oppressive and tyrannical regime. Mass protests are breaking out and are bound to gain strength as the Duterte regime continues to display utter callousness to the plight of the impoverished and oppressed masses. The recent mass protest actions of nurses and healthcare providers starkly expose the Duterte regime’s failure to govern amid the pandemic and crisis. More protests and coordinated mass actions are bound to erupt in the coming weeks as the pandemic continues to worsen, as corruption is exposed and as people’s sufferings due to the Duterte crisis intensify and become intolerable.

The people are confronted with a health, economic and political emergency which can only be addressed by the urgent and immediate action to end Rodrigo Duterte’s inept, corrupt, treacherous, tyrannical and terrorist regime. To fight back is the only viable course of action for the Filipino people to survive the current crisis. Over the next few weeks, the broad masses of the Filipino people must strike at the monster Duterte from all sides.

As the anti-people and tyrannical Duterte regime is rocked by an intensifying political crisis, all Party-led revolutionary forces must step up their efforts to rouse the people and guide them to action. They must serve as the solid core of the broad people’s mass protests in both the cities and countryside.

They must undertake untiring efforts to rouse the people in great numbers. They must carry out widespread education and propaganda efforts to raise the people’s political consciousness and militance. Mass organizations must be continually built, expanded and strengthened to unite the people in their millions and mobilize them in collective action.

Every sector suffering from worsening conditions must carry out organized action to raise their voices and put forward their demands. Streams of community meetings, factory and office assemblies and online fora can merge into street demonstrations in the coming few weeks drawn by the people’s collective outrage and demand to end the reign of the monster Duterte.

The upcoming senate hearings on large-scale corruption involving Duterte and his most trusted underlings are eagerly being awaited by the broad masses. They can organize around these hearings. They can support these with mass actions to amplify their demand for those involved to be made accountable and punished for their unforgivable crimes.

The conditions favor the bold expansion and strengthening of the united front of all anti-Duterte forces. The broad-based mass movement of democratic and patriotic forces, the political opposition and other progressive-minded sectors and organizations must firmly unite to take action in the face of the brewing political crisis and take advantage of the factors to further weaken, isolate and oust the Duterte regime at the soonest possible time.

In the guerrilla zones, all units of the New People’s Army must exert all efforts to mount big and small tactical offensives in the coming few weeks to strike blows against the Duterte regime and punish its fascist armed thugs for their crimes against the people. Let the victories of the NPA reverberate across the country to embolden the people to stand and wage their difficult fight against the tyrannical regime.

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Jaymar at Marlon, huwarang artista ng Bayan

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 3, 2021): Jaymar at Marlon, huwarang artista ng Bayan


SEPTEMBER 03, 2021

Ngayong Setyembre 3 ang ika-40 araw ng pagkamatay ng Guinobatan 2, sina Jaymar Palero at Marlon Naperi, mga aktibistang karumal-dumal na pinaslang ng PNP Albay habang nasa proseso ng kanilang pagtupad sa kanilang karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag. Mailap ang hustisya para sa dalawa.

Malinaw ang inilabas na resulta ng autopsy report para sa Guinobatan 2, lahat ng tama ng bala ay sa likod makikita, may black eye at tanggal ang tatlong kuko sa paa ng isa sa dalawa. Ganito ba ang nanlaban? Sa kabila nito, wala pa ring naging hakbangin ang PNP, hindi nila tinukoy kung sino ang mga sangkot sa krimen na ito. Ano ang resulta ng imbestigasyon ng Commission on Human Rights ng Bikol? Bakit hindi nailalabas ang resulta nito hanggang sa kasalukuyan? Ano na ang resulta ng pinamamadaling imbestigasyon mula sa NBI? Bakit nahihirapan silang ilabas ang resulta ng mga ito? Ano ang naging hakbangin ng punong bayan ng Guinobatan? Gapos ang mga kamay at may busal ang bibig habang pinapatay ang kanyang mga residente?

Nananawagan ang ARMAS – Albay sa mga katulad naming artista at manunulat, itambol natin sa buong Pilipinas at internasyunal na komunidad ang talamak na pagpatay ng PNP sa mga magsasaka, myembro ng midya, abogado at iba pang sektor ng ating lipunan na ang tanging layunin ay ipahayag sa iba’t ibang porma ang kanilang panawagan at kahingian sa rehimeng US-Duterte.

Walang ibang biktima ang pinatinding kampanya laban sa kriminalidad at droga kundi ang mahihirap na anakpawis. Palaging atrasan ng PNP ang gasgas nang linyang “nanlaban kaya napatay” sa kanilang mga operasyon. Nag-aapoy ang galit ng paparaming kapamilya at komunidad ng puu-puong libong biktima na sistematikong pamamaslang, iligal ng pang-aaresto at pagtatanim ng ebidensya ng PNP. Marami sa kanila ang sumasalig sa makatarungang dahas ng demokratikong rebolusyong bayan upang mapagpasyang labanan ang brutalidad ng rehimen.

Katarungan para kina Jaymar Palero at Marlon Naperi!
Ilantad ang myembro ng PNP Albay na pumaslang sa Guinobatan 2!

CPP/NPA-Northern Samar: 5 magsasaka, inistraping ng PNP-SAF sa Northern Samar

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 2, 2021): 5 magsasaka, inistraping ng PNP-SAF sa Northern Samar


SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Limang magsasaka ang inistraping ng mga naghuhuramentadong elemento ng Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) sa Northern Samar.

Inistraping ng mga pulis ang isang magsasaka nang mag-operasyon sa Barangay Rizal, Gamay, Northern Samar noong Agosto 6. Sa ulat ng BHB-Rodante Urtal Command (BHB-RUC), inakala ng mga pulis na sila ang binaril ng nasabing magsasaka. Ang totoo, nangangaso lang ang inosenteng sibilyan. Umilag at kumaripas na lang ito ng takbo upang makaiwas sa mga punglo ng mga pasistang tropa.

Apat pang magsasaka ang inistraping malapit sa isang ilog sa Barangay San Jose, Mapanas noong Agosto 15. Magdidilim na nang makita ng mga pulis ang mga magsasaka kaya pinagkamalan sila bilang mga Pulang mandirigma.

Kinundena ng BHB-RUC ang sunud-sunod na paghuhuramentado ng mga pasistang tropa ng estado sa kanayunan. Nangyari ang mga insidente ng istraping sa gitna ng pinatinding todo-gerra at pagwasak ng rehimeng US-Duterte sa kabaryuhan.

CPP/NPA-Northern Samar: Mga sundalo ng 20th IB, inisnayp ng BHB-RUC

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 2, 2021): Mga sundalo ng 20th IB, inisnayp ng BHB-RUC


SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Inisnayp ng mga Pulang mandirigma mula sa Rodante Urtal Command (RUC) ang mga elemento ng 20th Infantry Battalion na nag-ooperasyon sa Barangay Epaw, Las Navas, Northern Samar noong Agosto 17. Isang sundalo ang napatay at napilitang umalis ang mga tropa ng militar sa erya noong Agosto 19.

Pinakatan naman ng 20th IB ang magkakatabing baryo ng Victory, El Empon, at Poponton ng parehong bayan kasabay ng brutal na pagpaslang kay Nilo Ogacho, kapitan ng Barangay Victory noong Agosto 18. Maalalang pinatay ng 20th IB ang upisyal ng barangay bilang ganti sa isnayp na ginawa ng BHB-RUC sa isang abusadong sundalo sa barangay.

Samantala, patuloy ang okupasyon ng militar sa 10 na baryo ng Catarman, Northern Samar at ilang baryo naman sa mga bayan ng San Isidro, Lope de Vega, at Bobon sa tabing ng Retooled Community Support Program o RCSP.

CPP/NPA-Northern Samar: Ahente sa paniktik ng 87th IB, pinarusahan ng BHB-Northern Samar

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 2, 2021): Ahente sa paniktik ng 87th IB, pinarusahan ng BHB-Northern Samar


SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Pinarusahan ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan-Rodante Urtal Command ang kumpirmadong aset at impormer ng 87th Infantry Batallion na si Elok Padrikis (alyas Longhair, Yonilo, Arnel), 34, noong Agosto 26 sa Barangay San Isidro, Las Navas, Northern Samar.

Inaresto ng BHB-RUC si Padrikis noong Agosto 23 sa Kilometro 3 ng naturang barangay habang galing sa pag-uulat sa militar sa San Jose de Buan, Western Samar. Nakumpiska kay Padrikis ang isang kalibre .45 na pistola, cellphone, tatlong sim card, memory card, at mga gadget para sa paniniktik.

Inamin niya mismo na tinanim siyang aset ng militar mula pa noong Agosto 2018. Sa sweldong P3,000 kada buwan, iprinoyekto sa kaniya ng 87th IB na makapasok sa isang larangang gerilya bilang pultaym, makapatay ng isang upisyal ng BHB, makakuha ng armas, at makapagtanim ng gadget sa himpilan ng BHB para mareyd ito.

Bago pa man siya magtangkang maniktik sa mga kasama, kilala nang kriminal at mamamatay-tao si Padrikis sa kanilang lugar sa Sityo Arisona, Hinabangan, Western Samar. Pinatay niya sina Toto Tabuena at Lito Abog sa nasabing barangay. #

Kalinaw News: Acting WestMinCom Chief visits troops in Sulu

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 3, 2021): Acting WestMinCom Chief visits troops in Sulu

September 3, 2021, Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Jolo, Sulu – In an effort to boost the morale of soldiers confronting local terrorist groups in Sulu, Major General Generoso M Ponio, 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division Commander and newly installed Western Mindanao Command (WMC) Acting Commander, visited troops of the 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division (11ID) at its headquarters in Jolo, Sulu.

On Thursday morning, Major General Ponio was welcomed by Joint Task Force – Sulu and 11ID Commander Major General William N Gonzales. “We feel honored as this is the first division visited by Major General Ponio as the newly installed WMC Chief. He is still the incumbent commander of the Tabak Division yet he made time to congratulate us and see for himself the fast-improving state of the province,” said Major General Gonzales.

During his talk to troops, Major General Ponio reiterated that the all-out offensive of Sulu troops since the August 22, 2021 bombing prevented Abu Sayyaf Group in launching another terroristic attack.

“My first time in Sulu was during my lieutenant days as a team leader of the scout ranger. Now, when I look at Sulu, it just feels different. Same majestic scenery, but totally safer,” the WMC Acting Chief shared.

“We should keep in mind that this became possible not only because of our military offensives, but more on the effective partnership with the local chief executives,” he added.

Earlier that day, Major General Gonzales accompanied Major General Ponio in paying courtesy to Sulu Governor Abdusakur M Tan. The governor told the WMC Chief that the mountains that were previously infested with terror groups are now treking sites.

“Finally, our local tourism is booming. People go out and enjoy our white sand beaches. They trek at Mt Tukay, Bud Talipao and Mt Sinumaan. Because of this, many are venturing into small scales business,” the governor said.

During his visit, Major General Ponio also awarded bronze cross medals to 10 military personnel for their valiant act as responders to the July 4, 2021 C-130 crash. Additionally, he visited the headquarters of 45th Infantry “Gallant” Battalion at Brgy Tugas, Patikul, Sulu wherein he donned the ranks of newly promoted enlisted personnel and delivered an inspirational message.

To note, the WMC Chief previously served as battalion commander of the mentioned unit from 2008 to 2010 wherein the unit was deployed in Isabela and later on in Maguindanao.

[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: Isang Political Officer ng NPA, Patay sa Engkwentro, matataas na kalibre ng Baril, Nasakmit

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 3, 2021): Isang Political Officer ng NPA, Patay sa Engkwentro, matataas na kalibre ng Baril, Nasakmit

Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte – Patay ang isang Political Officer ng New People’s Army o NPA pagkatapos ng sagupaan sa mga kasundaluhan ng 30th Infantry (Fight On) Battalion, Philippine Army sa bulubunduking bahagi ng Sitio Suoton, Brgy Cagdianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte nitong ika-dalawa ng Setyembre 2021.

Siya ay kinilala ng kanyang dating kasamahan bilang si Alyas “Asyong”, ang Vice Platoon Kumander at Political Officer ng SYP Platun 16C1, Guerilla Front 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (SYP16C1, GF16, NEMRC).

Naganap ang sagupaan matapos naging aktibo ang mga tauhan ng 30IB sa pagpapatrolya simula noong ipinagkaloob ng 4th Infantry Division ang pangangalaga sa seguridad ng buong Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) Area ng tatlong malalaking kumpanya ng minahang TMC, THPAL at PGMC sa bayan ng Claver mula noong ika-isa ng Setyembre sa taong kasalukuyan.

Sa pamamalagi ng mga kasundaluhan sa bundok, sila ay kakatanggap ng sumbong mula sa mga mamamayan hinggil sa presensiya ng armadong terorista at myembro ng NPA kung kaya agad ipinag-utos ni Lt. Col Ryan Charles Callanta, pinuno ng 30IB ang pagsasagawa ng security patrol upang tugisin ang mga armado.

Habang nagsasagawa ng patrol ang mga tropa, kanilang nakasagupa ang mga armadong terorista na tinatayang nasa mahigit o kumulang na sampung katao at pinaniniwalaang kasapi ng SYP Platun 16C1, GF16, NEMRC na pinamumunuan ni Roel T Neniel o mas kilala bilang alyas “Jacob”. Ang nasabing bakbakan ay tumagal ng labin limang (15) minuto at nagresulta sa pagkasawi ni Ka Asyong.

Nakuha din sa pinangyarihan ang mga matataas na kalibre ng baril tulad ng dalawang (2) AK47 rifle, isang (1) M14 rifle, isang (1) bandolier, dalawang (2) magazine ng AK47 at pitong (7) magazine ng M14 na may kasamang mga bala, at iba’t-ibang supply ng mga pagkain at medisina.

Sa pahayag ni LtCol Ryan Charles G Callanta, taospuso siyang nagpasalamat sa kooperasyon ng mga mamayan sa pagbibigay ng agarang impormasyon tungkol sa mga gawain ng teroristang NPA. Ayon sa kanya, “Isa itong patunay o batayan sa patuloy na suporta ng mamamayan sa kampanya ng Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict o ELCAC. Nais naming ipaabot mula sa aming hanay ang aming pakikiramay sa pamilya ng nasawing NPA. Nawa’y ang pangyayaring ito ay magsilbing aral sa mga natitirang miyembro ng teroristang NPA na wala silang mapapalang maganda sa kilusan kundi gutom, pagod, at maaari pa nila itong ikasawi. Kung kaya patuloy naming hinihikayat ang lahat ng natitirang miyembro na sumuko na at tanggapin ang hatid na tulong ng Gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program o E-CLIP bago pa mahuli ang lahat.”

“Asahan lang din po ng ating mamamayan sa buong probinsya ng Surigao del Norte na patuloy naming proprotektahan at aalagaan ang ating bayan ng sa ganon patuloy tayong .umunlad at maging mapayapa.” Dagdag pa ni LtCol Callanta.

Sa ngayon agad ng ibinaba ng mga tropa ng 30IB ang nasawing NPA at dinala sa GADES Funeral Service upang mabigyan ng maayos na libing at patuloy pa ding inaalam ang pagkakakilanlan nito upang maipaalam sa kanyang pamilya.

[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: JTF Bicolandia and PRO5 PNP Gain Massive Score Against CTG in Sorsogon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 3, 2021): JTF Bicolandia and PRO5 PNP Gain Massive Score Against CTG in Sorsogon

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-Two communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) were killed in another successful operation initiated by government troops against the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in the boundaries of Barangay Patag and Cawayan, Irosin, Sorsogon on Thursday, September 2.

Joint elements of 22nd Infantry Battalion, 903rd Infantry Brigade, Irosin Municipal Police Station, 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company (2PMFC), PIU, Sorsogon Police Provincial Office (SPPO), and R2, PRO5 were conducting an operation in response to a report about the presence of CNTs in the area when they encountered at least 40 armed communist insurgents.

After the fierce gun fight, two CNTs were killed, two others surrendered to the troops, including the leader of Platoon 1, Larangan 2 of Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC), while six M16 rifles, three anti-personnel mines and personal belongings were seized.

Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Mico, Battalion Commander of 22IB, attributed the accomplishment not just to the extensive operations of the security forces to hunt down the remaining CTG in Sorsogon, but also to the cooperation of the local populace.

Colonel Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry (Patriot) Brigade, said that the massive and continuing gains of government forces reflect the continuing debacles of the CTG.

“Ang pagsuko ng isa sa mga batikang lider ng grupong nakasagupa ng ating mga tropa ay patunay na napipilitan na lang makipaglaban ang teroristang grupong ito pero ang totoo, ayaw na rin nilang masayang ang kanilang buhay sa walang saysay na pakikipaglaban. Ito rin ay isang patunay na tinatanggap natin ang kanilang pagbabalik-loob upang sila ay mabigyan ng panibagong pagkakataon kahit pa nga sa gitna ng sagupaan ang kanilang pagsuko,” Colonel Almase added.

Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General Jonnel C Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office-5 (PRO-5) underscored that with the effective synergy of efforts of JTF Bicolandia and the PRO5 PNP, the CTG can no longer stay hidden and evade the government forces even in the mountains.

“Katuwang na natin ang mga mamamayan sa paghahanap sa kanila kaya wala na silang pagtataguan pa. Mas mabuting magbalik-loob na lang sila at mamuhay ng payapa sa piling ng kanilang pamilya,” Police Brigadier General Estomo said.

Furthermore, Major General Henry A Robinson Jr PA, Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia commended the persistence of the troops and for staying committed to the government’s all-out war against the CTG.

“Despite our series of successful operations, we are not letting our guard down. We are not finished yet with this fight. Thus, we will go even further, we will scour every hills and mountains of Bicol to find these terrorists and bring them down to their knees. Sa muli, binabalaan namin kayo, kung ayaw ninyong matulad sa mga napapaslang na mga terorista sa mga laban, gayahin ninyo ang dalawa ninyong kasamahang sumuko ngayong araw at ang napakaraming iba pa na nauna nang nagbalik-loob sa pamahalaan. Bukas ang gobyernong tulungan kayong makapagbagong buhay,” Major General Robinson said.

It can be recalled that just last August 28, a CTG member also died in an armed encounter with government troops in Iriga City while a major CTG training camp was seized in Masbate that disrupted their planned atrocities in the Bicol region.

[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:]

Surrender of 282 rebels, allies weakens NPA in Northern Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2, 2021): Surrender of 282 rebels, allies weakens NPA in Northern Samar (By Sarwell Meniano)

LEAVING NPA. Some of the 282 fighters and supporters of the New People's Army (NPA) in Silvino Lubos, Northern Samar pledging allegiance to the Philippine government after formally abandoning the NPA on this Aug. 2, 2021 photo. The mass surrender has further weakened the communist terrorist group in the province, a Philippine Army official said on Thursday (Sept. 2, 2021). (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

The surrender of 282 New People’s Army (NPA) fighters and die-hard supporters in Silvino Lubos, Northern Samar has further weakened the communist terrorist group in the province, a Philippine Army official said on Thursday.

Lt. Col. Ferdinand Engcot, commander of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion, said in a phone interview the mass surrender is a big blow to the NPA since majority of the surrenderers have been their source of strength, logistics, supplies, and information.

Those who formally withdrew support include 65 members of the NPA Yunit Militia, 65 members of Batakang Organisasyon ng Pampartido, and 152 Legal na Organisadong Masa.

The surrenderers came from the 11 barangays covered by the Army's people-centered Community Support Program designed to bring peace and development in conflict-affected villages.

“These underground mass organization and mass base supporters of the communist terrorist bandits pledge allegiance to the Philippine government and withdraw their support to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF),” Engcot said.

Empty promises, rebel’s extortion activities, and challenges brought by the health crisis prompted the NPA members and supporters to abandon the communist ideology.

Clearing operations are ongoing in 11 villages where these NPA supporters reside while the military is digging deeper to find out the extent of participation in the armed struggle of these surrenderers.

The 282 NPA members and supporters signed a pledge of allegiance on Aug. 27 at the town auditorium and joined a peace rally held around the town center. They also burned the CPP-NPA-NDF flags.

“This is not the end of our campaign in Silvino Lubos, but this is just the start. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with supportive officials of the local government,” Engcot added.

The mass surrender is just one of the outcomes of the deployment of the CSP to 16 villages in Silvino Lubos town, carrying out President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which institutionalizes a whole-of-nation approach in ending insurgency.

Silvino Lubos is a 4th class town about 30 kilometers away from Catarman, the provincial capital of Northern Samar.

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

In June, its political wing, the NDF, has also been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council.

10 suspected NPA rebels kill CAFGU member in NegOr

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2, 2021): 10 suspected NPA rebels kill CAFGU member in NegOr (By Mary Judaline Partlow)

SPENT SHELLS. Empty shells and slugs of different calibers recovered from the house of the victim. Cirilo S. Paderna, a CAFGU member, was killed by 10 suspected New People's Army rebels inside his house in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental on Wednesday night (Sept. 1, 2021). (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

Ten gunmen suspected to be New People's Army (NPA) rebels killed a militiaman inside his home in Sitio Basyao, Barangay Pinocawa in Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental on Wednesday night, the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army has said.

Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary (CAA) member Cirilo S. Paderna, 51,
was shot dead in the presence of his family by suspected NPA members of the Central Negros 1, a media release from the 62nd IB said on Thursday.

Paderna was assigned to the Barangay Maglahos Patrol Base in Vallehermoso.

The body of the slain CAFGU member was brought to the town police station for autopsy and investigation.

Recovered from the crime scene were three spent cartridges of M-16 rifle; five caliber .45 spent shells; one caliber .45 cartridge; one caliber .45 slug; and one caliber 5.56mm slug.

Juanita, Paderna's wife, called for justice for her murdered husband while Pinocawa barangay chairman Danilo C. Salmo condemned the killing.

“Wala kaming record na nagkaroon siya ng paglabag sa barangay o kanino mang tao. Nagpapasalamat pa nga kami sa kanyang boluntaryong pagpasok sa CAA dahil siya ay nakakatulong upang mapapanatili ang katihimikan sa aming lugar at iba pang barangay (We do not have any records of him being involved in any misdeeds in the barangay or against any person. In fact, we are thankful for his voluntary enlistment as a CAA at it helped maintain peace in our village and nearby barangays),” Salmo said.

Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62nd IB commanding officer, appealed for the people’s cooperation for the arrest of the perpetrators and to bring justice to the victim and his family.

He also called on the people to continue helping the government in the fight against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

2 construction workers hurt in Basilan roadside bombing

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2, 2021): 2 construction workers hurt in Basilan roadside bombing (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

Policemen and soldiers are tracking down the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits tagged as responsible for the roadside bombing Thursday in Basilan province.

The Basilan Provincial Police Office (BPPO) reported that two workers of a construction firm undertaking a government road project were injured during the incident around 8:40 a.m. Thursday in Sitio Tando, Barangay Lower Benembengan in Sumisip, Basilan.

The BPPO identified the victims as Hadji Adzhar Akram and Alih Yagao Abbah, both workers of the RR JAM Construction company.

The victims were supervising a road construction project in Sitio Tando, Barangay Lower Benembengan when an improvised bomb exploded on the side of the road.

The victims, who suffered shrapnel wounds, were rushed to a hospital in Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province.

The police said the perpetrators of the roadside bombing are members of the Basilan-based AS bandits led by Tawakkal Bayali.

The motive of the incident is believed to be extortion, the police said.

Policemen, in coordination with the military, have strengthened security to ensure the completion of the road project.

Women in conflict-affected village in Surigao Sur get P500-K aid

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2, 2021): Women in conflict-affected village in Surigao Sur get P500-K aid (By Alexander Lopez)

COMMUNITY SUPPORT. Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel hands over on Aug. 31 the PHP500,000 financial assistance to KM9 Simowao Kabudagan Association (KSKA), a women’s group in Barangay Diatagon in Lianga town. KSKA members are among the vulnerable sectors in the area previously victimized by the terroristic activities of the New People’s Army. (Photo courtesy of 3SFBn)

Members of a women’s association in a conflict-affected barangay in Surigao del Sur received PHP500,000 cash assistance for livelihood projects and other development endeavors aimed to improve their quality of lives.

In a statement Thursday, the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) of the Philippine Army said the provincial government granted on Aug. 31 the cash aid to KM9 Simowao Kabudagan Association (KSKA), a women’s group
in Barangay Diatagon in Lianga town.

Led by Thelma Tejero, members of KSKA are now working with the help of the Community Support Program team of the 3SFBn.

“This endeavor will help to uplift and alleviate the lives of the people of Barangay Diatagon and will further insulate vulnerable sectors of the IP (indigenous people) community against violent activities and recruitment schemes of the CTG (communist terrorist groups). The establishment of which will help eradicate the root cause of the unending decades of insurgency in Surigao del Sur,” the 3SFBn added.

The KSKA is a women’s organization which started on Feb. 20, 2020 with 30 active members.

Its members are among the vulnerable members of the IP community in Barangay Diatagon, who for years, have been the victims of recruitment and other terrorist activities of the New People’s Army (NPA), the 3SFBn said.

Governor Alexander Pimentel handed over the cash assistance to the leaders of KSKA.

In his message, Pimentel hoped that the support would aid the KSKA as an effective, dependent, self-sustaining, and fully operational livelihood program that could facilitate progress and development in the community.

He also lauded the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the 3SFBn, in their desire and sincere efforts to stop CTG exploitations and deradicalizing the different CTG-affected sectors to end local armed conflict in Surigao del Sur.

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, and New Zealand.

NPA political officer killed in Surigao Norte clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3, 2021): NPA political officer killed in Surigao Norte clash (By Alexander Lopez)

SLAIN. The political officer and the vice commander of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda Platun 16C1 of Guerrilla Front 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the New People’s Army (NPA), identified as alias "Asyong", was killed in a clash with the troopers of 30th Infantry Battalion Thursday in Sitio Suoton, Barangay Cadianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte. The Army troopers were on security patrol upon receiving reports on the presence of the NPA rebels when the encounter took place in the area. (Photo courtesy of 30IB)

A political officer and platoon leader of the communist terrorist New People's Army (NPA) was killed in a clash in Surigao del Norte on Thursday.

In a statement on Friday, Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, commander of the Philippine Army's 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB), identified the rebel as alias "Asyong", who was slain in an encounter with government troops in Sitio Suoton, Barangay Cadianao, Claver.

“The 30IB troopers were conducting a security patrol in the hinterlands of Sitio Suoton after receiving reports on the presence of armed NPA insurgents when the encounter happened,” Callanta said.

The clash lasted for 15 minutes before the insurgents, led by a Roel T. Neniel alias Jacob abandoned their position and retreated.

Callanta said a unit from the 30IB was tasked by the 4th Infantry Division to provide security in areas under the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Claver where big mining companies are operating.

The companies, he added, have been the victims of attacks of the NPA rebels by burning their heavy equipment after failing to extort money.

Government troops also recovered from the encounter site two AK-47 rifles, an M-14 rifle, a bandolier, two magazines for AK-17, seven magazines for M-14, assorted ammunition, food supplies, and medicines.

The cadaver of the slain NPA political officer was brought to a local funeral parlor in Claver.

Callanta cited the support of the residents in the area that helped the 30IB repulse the plan of the NPA rebels, especially in terrorizing the big mining companies.

“The residents in the area are truly supporting the campaign of the government to end the local communist armed conflict,” Callanta said.

He also urged the remaining NPA rebels in Surigao del Norte to consider the offer of the government, especially the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“It’s not too late for the remaining NPA rebels to surrender and avail of the ECLIP program of the government,” Callanta said.

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

S. Kudarat IP community receives P1.2-M aid from DA-12

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3, 2021): S. Kudarat IP community receives P1.2-M aid from DA-12 (By Edwin Fernandez)

INCOME-GENERATING ASSISTANCE. The Department of Agriculture distributes PHP1.2-million worth of livelihood assistance to 200 farmers of a Manobo indigenous community in Barangay Domolol Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat on Thursday (Sept. 2, 2021). Among the items were farm implements such as tillers, wheelbarrows, shovels, spades, rakes, and small motor machines for irrigation. (Photo courtesy of DA-12)

A government livelihood program has reinforced the belief of an indigenous peoples (IP) community in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat that communist terrorist groups (CTGs) cannot give them anything, except empty promises.

On Thursday, a team from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 12. (DA-12) traveled six hours to the mountain village to extend aid to the IP community through the Barangay Extension Service Operation Outreach Program.

Two-hundred farmer-members of the Aromanon Manobo community of Barangay Domolol received PHP1.2-million worth of livelihood assistance that included farm implements such as tillers, wheelbarrows, shovels, spades, rakes, and small motor machines for irrigation.

DA-12 also gave fertilizers, pesticides, and rice and corns seeds.

Lumawan Dawig, speaking on behalf of the IPs’ Palimbang Sangguniang Bayan, said they are now convinced that the government also exists for them.

“This is the first time that agricultural livelihood projects from the government were given to our IP community,” Dawig said during the ceremony.

Joseph Diza, village chair of Barangay Domolol, said IPs will no longer believe the rebels who said the government is not helping them.

"For the reason that the DA reached out to us through livelihood packages, the IPs will continue to support the government’s peace and development programs that will, in the end, benefit all of us,” he said.

DA-12 Director Arlan Mangelen said there will be more assistance soon under the “Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran Para sa Kababayang Katutubo” or 4Ks Program for the development of indigenous communities.

“Our mandate is to help all farmers increase their yield through government intervention that is why we are here,” he told the beneficiaries in the vernacular.

In a statement on Friday, Palimbang Mayor Joenime Kapina said the DA programs will help combat insurgency in the area, particularly in IP communities that have been a constant target by CTGs for recruitment.

He said New People’s Army (NPA) rebels dupe IP members with the promise of a better future than what the government has to offer.

“The IP communities in Palimbang, however, have realized that the NPAs only lied and gave them empty promises and they have regarded them persona non grata,” Kapina said.

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

Honor victims by denouncing NPA brutality: Army exec

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3, 2021): Honor victims by denouncing NPA brutality: Army exec (By Sarwell Meniano)

CALL FOR JUSTICE. Residents of Inopacan, Leyte join a candle-lighting activity at the town plaza on Aug. 28, 2021. It has been 15 years since the discovery of the remains of some of the victims of a massacre perpetrated by the New People’s Army in the 1980s. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

Fifteen years after the discovery of the remains of the victims of the Inopacan massacre perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) in the 1980s, more groups are joining the cause to end the atrocities of communist terrorist groups.

Thousands of bikers will join a ride for justice event on Saturday in Leyte and Samar Island and other parts outside Eastern Visayas
to raise awareness on NPA purging activities, the Philippine Army said in a press briefing on Friday.

“The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so for them,” Brig. Gen. Zosimo Oliveros, commander of the Army’s 802nd Brigade, said.

He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued a memorandum directing field officials to facilitate the cycling event.

“The Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict together with bikers and civic groups are working hand in hand to create awareness to the public about the heinous and inhumane crimes by the NPA,” Oliveros added.

Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said a road project leading to Caulisihan is ongoing while the provincial government will open a memorial park at the mass grave site.

“We will put up a memorial park for people to learn the story. We should take a stand for these people and the park is the best way to immortalize the message,” he said.

On Aug. 28, 2006, the skeletons of 67 individuals were unearthed from shallow graves in Caulisihan village through the help of residents.

The mass purging, tagged by the NPA as Oplan Venereal Disease, claimed the lives of about 300 residents in Leyte province, based on estimates of former rebels and the victims’ relatives.

According to accounts of the military and witnesses, most of the victims bore brutal marks of crushed skulls still wrapped with blindfolding cloth.

They suffered severe flesh wounds and broken bones even before they were shot several times.

After the mass grave discovery, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, under then Chief of Staff and now National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, filed 15 counts of murder before the Manila Regional Trial Court against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and 37 others for their alleged involvement in the massacre.

Also sued were couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Satur Ocampo, Vicente Ladlad, Randal Echaniz, Rafael Baylosis, and Exusperado Lloren, among others.

The European Union, through Council Decision 2011/70/CFSP dated Jan. 11, 2011, designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

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