Monday, September 6, 2021

CPP/NDF-Sison: In Honor of Comrade Engineer Ramon P. Ramirez

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 5, 2021): In Honor of Comrade Engineer Ramon P. Ramirez


SEPTEMBER 05, 2021

Tribute by Jose Maria Sison & Julieta de Lima

Dear Comrades and Friends,

We convey our sincerest condolences to the entire family of Comrade Ramon Ramirez, especially his beloved wife Divina, and to all his closest comrades and friends who have known his best qualities as a committed revolutionary patriot, as a conscientious and diligent team mate and as a gentle and generous person.

We count ourselves among the comrades of Ka Monram. We have known him since he was a student activist and became a member of the Communist Party of the Philippine and a cadre in the department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines focused on military research and the application of science and technology in the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.

We have always appreciated Ka Monram’s academic exellence as a university scholar, his extracurricular activism, his topping the 1966 board exam for engineers and his success as a professional engineer in major corporations like the San Miguel Corporation and the Meralco. And yet he was active in promoting the national democratic movement among scientists and technologists from the time he joined the Samahan ng Makabayan Siyentipiko during the First Quarter Storm of 1970.

Ka Monram was a stalwart of AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People. In this regard, he fought for the national industrialization of the Philippines by availing of Filipino scientisits and technologists, mobilizing the labor power of Filipino workers and using the rich and natural resource base of the Philippines.

As exponent of science and technology for the people , he won the highest acclaim from the most respected institutions. The UP Alumni Engineers honored him with the National Achievement Award in Public Services in 2019. And the UP Alumni Association bestowed on him an award for social cohesion in 2011.

We give him the Red salute and admire him most for always having the commitment and time to exert his best in serving the people and performing anonymous and vitally important tasks and duties in the revolutionary movement as well as in the legal mass movement related to science and technology.

Ka Monram was never intimidated and deterred by being twice arrested and detained by the reactionary authorities. The first time was when he was arrested while in a youth meeting in Concepcion, Marikina on July 5, 1973 and detained until October 3, 1973. The second time was when he was arrested in December 1992, detained on false charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and kidnapping but was released after three months.

Even when he was already supposed to be retired from his professional work as engineer, he founded the Arkibong Bayan in 1997 and became a founding convenor of the alliance, People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates, whose campaigns won for consumers billions of pesos in refunds from Meralco. He also gave expert advice to the consumer advocacy group in 2001. He always stood for the consumers against the oligarchs and their foreign and local monopoly partners.

In connection with his work as archivist of the Arkibong Bayan in the last more than two decades, he became a daily presence in our lives because we always looked for his photographic postings and comments in his Facebook page and we also shared with him our articles. We often exchanged news and views with him and gave suggestions to each other. We have missed him since his demise.

A number of times in the past, we suggested to him to cover the intermittent GRP-NDFP peace negotitions or even to join the Reciprocal Working Committee of the NDFP on Social and Economic Reforms because of his scientific and eengineering expertise. But he always said that he did not have a passport to travel. Perhaps he was more interested in covering the mass movement in the Philippines without interruption.

The archives that Monram accumulated are important to the people, the historians, the social scientists and social activists. They must be preserved by a trustworthy institution. And the work of Arkibong Bayan must be continued in honor of Ka Monram and in the service of the Filipino people.

All the contributions of Ka Monram to the people’s democratic revolution must be cherished and preserved in order to inspire the current and future generations of our youth and the people in their struggle for national and social liberation. His just revolutionary cause and deeds have strengthened and will continue to strengthen the revolutionary movement.

Long live the memory of Comrade Engineer Ramon Ramirez!
Avail of science and technology to advance the people’s democratic revolution!
Long live the advocates of science and technology for the people!
Long live the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution!

Kalinaw News: AgNor Halfway House, Livelihood Center to prepare FRs for Reintegration

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 6, 2021): AgNor Halfway House, Livelihood Center to prepare FRs for Reintegration

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – A Halfway House and Livelihood Center constructed inside the Headquarters of the 402nd Infantry “Stingers” Brigade (402Bde) was formally handed over by the Department of Interior and Local Government in Caraga (DILG-13) to the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte.

The turnover ceremony held on Friday, September 3, 2021 was graced by Gov. Dale B. Corvera; Agusan del Norte Second Dist. Rep. Maria Angelica Amante-Matba; and DILG-13 Regional Director Lilibeth Famacion.

The center will primarily serve as a training facility to hone the skills of former rebels (FRs) and to prepare them for reintegration to their families and inn the community.

Col. Adonis Ariel G. Orio, the Commander of 402Bde, welcomed the turnover of the facility that will further strengthen the different interventions of the government to the former combatants of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) who decided to abandon the futile armed struggle and returned to the mainstream society.

Col. Orio commended the concerted efforts of the DILG, the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte, and the committee that works under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) for the completion and turnover of the livelihood center.

The construction of the Halfway House and Livelihood Center had a total cost of PHP5 million that was funded under the DILG-ECLIP.

In his message during the turnover ceremony, Gov. Corvera thanked the FRs for the cooperation they have shown with the government.

“The establishment of this center proves the sincerity of the government in helping the former rebels, especially for their future,” Gov. Corvera said.

For her part, Rep. Amante-Matba also thanked the FRs for deciding to go back to the government. She sincerely talked to the FRs to encourage them to utilize properly the benefits of the reintegration program to improve their lives.

One of the former rebel in reply made an appeal to the remaining CTG combatants in Caraga Region to open their minds and consider the offer of the government. He explained that they made a mistake in joining the CTG who only exploited them and gave empty promises.

The turnover ceremony on Friday was also witnessed by PCol. Martin Gamba, the Director of Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office; Ellen Chua, theD of the DILG in Agusan del Norte; and other to Head of Line Government Agencies in the province.

[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:]

US report lifts a lid on People's Liberation Army fighting status

Posted to the Times Now News (Sep 6, 2021): US report lifts a lid on People's Liberation Army fighting status (ANI)

[For a full copy of the document see the following URL:]

US Army released its "Chinese Tactics" document, coded ATP 7-100.3, last month. This comprehensive 252-page report assesses the structure, tactics, capability and limitations of the PLA in minute detail.

Representational image | Photo Credit: ANI

Hong Kong: China possesses the world's largest military, but in many ways the People's Liberation Army (PLA) remains an opaque and enigmatic force. However, some of the aura of the PLA has recently been revealed in a new unclassified document published by the Headquarters, US Army Department.

The world only knows about the PLA what the paranoid Chinese Communist Party (CCP) carefully reveals. Part of that orchestrated narrative is that the PLA is a modern force for good, and that its rise is inexorable and irresistible. A number of China's neighbors, such as the Philippines, have already fallen for that portrayal.

Importantly, the US Army released its "Chinese Tactics" document, coded ATP 7-100.3, last month. This comprehensive 252-page report assesses the structure, tactics, capability and limitations of the PLA in minute detail. The document is designed for US Army training, professional education and leader development, but anyone interested in the PLA's capabilities, or charged with countering Chinese aggression, will find the nuts and bolts in the report extremely useful.

In its preamble, ATP 7-100.3 noted: "Territorial disputes across the Western Pacific and East Asia, aggressive cyber activities, uncooperative diplomacy, questionable trade practices and a horrendous human rights record all undermine the Chinese goal of being seen as a benevolent superpower.

Activities that China views as fundamentally defensive - such as the establishment of artificial island airbases in the South China Sea - are seen as aggressive and provocative by virtually every other party in the region." The report examines only the ground forces of the PLA, so those interested in the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), PLA Navy (PLAN) and PLA Rocket Force will have to look elsewhere.

ANI has read through the report, and perhaps one of the most interesting aspects is the assessment of PLA capabilities as found in the appendices. Without getting ANI readers bogged down in the minutiae of Chinese military structures, task organizations and equipment, these appendices give the US Army's unclassified assessment of what one day may be its opponent.

The appendices are given in the following order: maneuver forces; fire support; air defense; aviation; engineer and chemical defense; networks and communications; and special operations. The conclusions of each area are summarized below.

Beginning with the first appendix, the PLA's maneuver capabilities rest primarily in the ground force's 73 combined-arms brigades, supported by PLAAF airborne units and the PLAN's Marine Corps. While the PLA is undergoing unprecedented investment and modernization, "significant but decreasing numbers of older systems are expected to be fielded throughout frontline formations through 2035".

Whereas the US Army has relatively homogenous formations and equipment, the PLA has a wide variety of vehicles and equipment. Combined-arms brigades with more critical missions are prioritized for newer equipment, while their discarded material tends to be gradually handed down to less important commands. In recent months, for example, the Xinjiang Military District has benefited from a lot of new equipment as the CCP prioritizes that theater in response to Indian resistance in Eastern Ladakh.

Chinese combined-arms brigades are of three types: light (motorized), medium (mechanized) and heavy (armored). As well as these brigades, the PLA has approximately 18 reserve and militia divisions, though their readiness levels are considerably lower. The US Army assessed, "In just over 20 years, the PLA's maneuver capabilities evolved from a force mixture of light infantry conscripts and obsolete tanks to a nearly fully motorized and mechanized force that employs a variety of cutting-edge armored vehicles and advanced guided munitions."

Indeed, that is the picture the CCP paints for the world, but it is incomplete. As the report stated: "A significant number of combined-arms brigades are still equipped with older systems, and they are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. So too has the movement towards professionalization within the maneuver force produced mixed results. While the quality of both recruits and non-commissioned officers has increased significantly, the PLA still struggles with decentralizing planning and operations at lower tactical echelons. The maneuver force has also struggled with the complexities of the informationized battlefield and modern mechanized forces. The technical demands of the informationized soldier are far greater than for conscripts of past generations, and the maintenance and logistics demands of mechanized forces are much greater than those of light infantry forces."

Perhaps the most significant step forward for PLA ground forces has been their expeditionary capabilities, principally in the form of the PLAN Marine Corps. "Despite these efforts, the PLA still cannot deploy or sustain a heavy mechanized force outside of shared land borders and its territorial waters, limiting the combat power of an expeditionary force."

Despite reforms and greater emphasis on independent action, PLA units "still struggle with independent action. Small-unit leaders are afraid to make decisions due to a zero-tolerance culture, and officers remain hesitant to empower subordinates lest they underperform and thus reflect poorly on the officer." This is an important cultural mindset in the Chinese military, and with such a centralized hierarchal power structure with Chairman Xi Jinping at its head, it is difficult to see how the PLA can turn this around.

Nonetheless, "The Chinese soldier is tough, physically fit and deeply loyal to the country and the CCP." This is despite markedly varying quality of training. Whereas some units receive substantial resources and may get to train against a dedicated professional opposing force, other units struggle to even get enough bullets for regular marksmanship practice.

There are lapses or bloopers in this report too. For example, it ascribes psychological warfare as the reason why the PLA employs political officers. In fact, as Professor Anne-Marie Brady of Canterbury University, New Zealand points out, "The PLA is the CCP's military; indoctrination of troops is a core task." Brady highlighted that the report did not recognize the army's role within this CCP ecosystem.

"Chinese Tactics" next appendix addressed fire support, i.e. artillery. Incidentally, the PLA appears ready to roll out its newest and heaviest self-propelled howitzer (SPH), the PLZ-05B that boasts a 155mm gun. Photos of these SPHs on truck transporters, along with accompanying ammunition resupply vehicles, has been circulating on the Chinese internet.

The PLZ-05B uses a chassis consisting of seven road wheels per side, indicating it is a larger and heavier vehicle than preceding members of the PLZ-05 SPH family. The more spacious interior contains an estimated 60 rounds of 155mm ammunition, compared to just 30 in the PLZ-05. Eventually, every artillery brigade will receive this new SPH.

This newest artillery piece is emblematic of the PLA's modernization. The US Army Headquarters said, "No other capability area within the PLA has received greater emphasis during the recent period of reform than fire support. In just over two decades, PLA fire support evolved from a collection of aging Soviet-derived equipment to a largely indigenous, sophisticated, widely varied and numerous collection of gun and rocket systems."

A Chinese artillery brigade contains both tube and rocket artillery, typically 72 and 40 units respectively. "These systems give the group army a significant advantage in both range and firepower over equivalent Western formations." Furthermore, "The density and destructive firepower of reinforcing fires is strongly in the PLA's favor."

Examples of other new artillery systems, increasingly appearing in Tibet and Xinjiang, are the PCL-161 4x4 122mm and PCL-181 6x6 155mm truck-mounted howitzers. Such wheeled systems are better suited to the mountainous terrain there. Moving on to the next appendix, ground-based air defense is found throughout PLA ground units "to offset shortfalls in joint airpower". Mass and depth are key for Chinese air defense, with maneuver units protected by a layered network ranging from cannons through short-range, medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM), the latter owned by the PLAAF.

Short-range systems are "relatively primitive and lack capability against modern air threats," but this is partially made up for by their density across the battlefield. Indeed, no other modern military fields the quantity of gun-based air defense systems that China does. Medium- and long-range SAMs are "significantly more lethal, capable of standing off against advanced air threats at any altitude".

ATP 7-100.3 next addresses aviation, but the PLA ground force has a "very low density of rotary-wing systems compared to other first-order militaries". For example, the US Army has a per capita density of helicopters eight times that of China. This has been changing thanks to heavy investment in recent years, with PLA aviation brigades equipped with a range of helicopter types now present in every group army (e.g. the Z-20 utility, Z-8L wide-body transport and Z-10 attack helicopters).

The US assessed of army aviation, "Its primary limitation is the low density of systems and limited maintenance and sustainment resources, especially at lower tactical echelons. The PLA has enthusiastically pursued an air assault capability and, though it is still developing, this investment will likely continue." Another question mark is how effectively ground forces can integrate with attack helicopters.

Next for review is the PLA's engineer and chemical defense capabilities. The US Army believes Chinese combat engineers "are further along in their modernization timeline than several other Chinese capability sets. Modernized equipment and evolved tactics have been in place for several years, and frontline engineer units have conducted extensive training exercises using all aspects of these updated capabilities," such as obstacle breaching, mine-clearing and fortification construction.

Perhaps their biggest limitation is tactical mobility and sustainment, simply because they reply on heavy tracked systems that cannot move long distances under their own steam. They also require a lot of fuel and maintenance. "The relatively low density of PLA logistics and armament troops may struggle to sustain heavy armored forces over long distances or for an extended period of time. This issue is further compounded by maneuver forces likely having a higher priority for sustainment assets than engineer forces."

China prides itself on its efforts to become an informationized force, and this area of networks and communications is addressed next in ATP 7-100.3. This informationization process still has some way to go, though. "The expansion of modern communications capabilities to lower echelons has been challenging ... The PLA is still developing a modern radio network...and it will inevitably run into significant roadblocks as its forces are modernized. These roadblocks will likely include everything from dealing with frequency management issues in a contested electronic environment to a lack of batteries at lower tactical echelons."

There are also shortfalls in satellite, long-range and non-line-of-sight communications technologies, something that would hobble the PLA on an expeditionary mission. Additionally, its joint data network - similar to Link 16 data-links in the USA - is still in its infancy, and "is likely many years away from being useful in combat".

Importantly, "Integration between land, air, and naval assets is poor to non-existent - a major limitation in achieving an integrated joint force." Advanced equipment such as troposcatter radios are not fielded by tactical echelons, and so communications between tactical units over long distances would be a challenge.

The final appendix examines special operations forces (SOF), the best-trained of any Chinese ground units. Each group army has an SOF brigade tailored to its region, though each focuses on conventional military operations such as special reconnaissance, sabotage, raids, deep targeting and search and rescue.

The report indicated "there are no PLA SOF units specially designed or equipped for long-distance expeditionary operations". Indeed, "Outside of operations in and around Chinese border areas and territorial waters, PLA SOF are generally domesticallyoriented." As the PLA becomes more expeditionary, however, Chinese SOF units may begin to conduct foreign internal defense or unconventional warfare missions.

"In general, it is likely that the Chinese government will prioritize the continued development of its SOF units, as these capabilities provide greater flexibility and deployability than heavy conventional forces, enabling greater force projection andproviding a wider range of military and non-military options to political leaders."

Coming as it does from the US military, "Chinese Tactics" is authoritative. It gives insights into the current state and limitations of the PLA, and no doubt its content will be assimilated by the US Army to better rehearse for a war that one day might be fought between the world's two mightiest strategic competitors.

Civilian killed, another wounded in Maguindanao clash between military, rebels

From GMA News Online (Sep 6, 2021): Civilian killed, another wounded in Maguindanao clash between military, rebels (By Joviland Rita/KG)

A civilian was killed while another one was wounded during the encounter between government troops and suspected New People’s Army members in Buldon, Maguindanao on Thursday, the military said Monday.

In a statement, the Philippine Army 6th Infantry Division’s public affairs office said that
the rebels allegedly fired towards a group of farmers near the site during the encounter.

Two Marines were also wounded in the firefight.

Elements of Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 and 63rd Marine Company Force Reconnaissance Group encountered the suspected rebels in Sitio Kapatagan, Barangay Karim in the municipality of Buldon during a clearing operation.

The rebels were allegedly from the remnants of Guerilla Front 53 and 56, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee under a certain Ka Aber, the military said.

Other Stories
NPA leader in Mindanao surrenders, military says

CHR condemns alleged NPA’s killing of Army officer in Capiz

Intel officer of Reds killed in South Cotabato —military

“With the information and help coming from the residents of Buldon, our troops were able to locate and intercept the [armed rebels],” said Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Tino Maslan.

A 7.62mm converted M1 Garand rifle was recovered from the site.

After the clash, a pursuit operation was conducted by the military that resulted in the arrest of five alleged NPA members in their hideout in Sitio Dimagalen on Saturday.

The military identified them as:

Omar Dimalapang Magarang alias Ka Anghel/Miguel - political guide;
Vedencio E Obsid alias Ka Heron/Alen - former squad leader of GF-4B;
Ginalo Gargar Iladan alias Ka Gengen/Saysay – medic;
Erlinda Gablas Manseguiao alias Ka Angga/Lisa – medic and supply officer; and
Elino Pangasian alias Ka Iko/Tutong.

Authorities confiscated these items from the arrested individuals: two caliber .45 pistols, three magazines with 27 rounds of ammunition for caliber .45 firearm, assorted medicines, and other paraphernalia.

1st Marine Brigade and Naval Task Group Central commander Brigadier General Jonas Lumawag said the NPAs intended to establish a base at the boundaries of Buldon, Maguindanao and Alamada, North Cotabato.

“We will never allow the Communist Terrorists to set a foothold in this part of Maguindanao. The Iranuns are tired of violence and had been longing for peace for decades already,” he said.

Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry Division commander Major General Juvymax Uy lauded the efforts of the troops against the communist rebels.

“Your efforts to track down and thwart any plans of the NPAs within your area of operation is a clear manifestation of your selfless service and dedication to protect our communities from the atrocities of said group,” he said.

The end is near for BIFF – military

From the Manila Times (Sep 6, 2021): The end is near for BIFF – military (By Julmunir Jannaral)

A surge in the surrender of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continues amid the military's efforts to dismantle different threat groups in southern Mindanao, particularly in Maguindanao province, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Sunday.

The BIFF swears allegiance to the Islamic State.

Through the efforts of the Sixth Mechanized Infantry Battalion (6th MIB) and First Brigade Combat Team (1st BCT), according to Maj. Alfie Alonzo, public information officer of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), four more members of the BIFF-Karialan Faction (KF) surrendered to the military in Maguindanao on September 1.

Alonzo identified them as alias Dauto, 20 years of age, single and a resident of Barangay Tapikan, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao; alias Nas, 44, single and a resident of Sitio Damalibi, Satan, same municipality; alias George, single and a resident of Damalibi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao; and alias Rasul, 42, married and a resident of Mudseng, Midsayap, North Cotabato.

He said the four surrenderers handed over one 7.62mm sniper rifle, one 5.56mm Ultimax submachine gun, one cal. 50 Barrett with one empty magazine and one 7.62mm sniper rifle, according to Lt. Col. Ferdinand dela Cruz, commander of the 6th MIB.

READ: BIFF commander, 6 followers surrender

The four were then formally presented to Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1st BCT; Ampatuan Mayor Baileah Sangki; and Anwar Emblawa, municipal administrator of Shariff Aguak at the 1st BCT headquarters, Old Capitol, Satan, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

According to Patrimonio, the surrenderers are currently undergoing custodial debriefing.

"We already coordinated with Agila Haven for their livelihood assistance," he said.

Last month, a total of 59 members of the BIFF-KF surrendered in the Maguindanao area.

READ: BIFF commander, 10 followers surrender

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), said the AFP will assist in processing of benefits the former violent extremists will receive under the Agila Haven program of the province of Maguindanao.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, acting commander of the WestMinCom, lauded troops of the JTFC for their persistent efforts to end terrorism and dismantle the terror groups in their area of operation.

"Our substantial gains speak of our successful campaigns and inter-agency collaboration and cooperation. Let us sustain this so our ultimate goal will soon be achieved," he said.

PNP, AFP to meet anti-insurgency goal

From the Business Mirror (Sep 6, 2021): PNP, AFP to meet anti-insurgency goal (BY RENE ACOSTA)

THE Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are confident they could still meet President Duterte’s objective of ending the communist insurgency and terrorism, citing the surrender and neutralization of members of different threat groups.

The demise of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the other Mindanao-based threat groups like the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was spelled out by Duterte at the beginning of his presidency. He has less than a year to achieve it.

Other than accomplishing the goal within Duterte’s term, the military said it is also working hard to end its internal security operations so that it could fully shift its attention to territorial defense, with the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) as the focus where its modernization program is also called.

Police and military officials said there has been a steady stream of surrender by rebels in Northern, Central and Southern Luzon and by members of different terrorist groups in Mindanao, including the ASG and the BIFF in Western and Central Mindanao.

For the past five days, the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) reported that seven rebels and NPA supporters surrendered to the government, yielding eight firearms. The area command said this is aside from 595 former rebels who yielded from January to August 31 this year, turning in a total of 235 firearms.

Nolcom Commander Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr. said among those who recently surrendered were people they accused as being members of the NPA. These people, Burgos said, were from Barangay Amtuagan and Barangay Tubtuba in Tubo, Abra. He said they also surrendered weapons that included Garand rifles, a Carbine rifle and a Springfield rifle.

Burgos said the implementation of several community development projects are helping in convincing rebels and their supporters to return to the government.

“The end of NPA’s reign in Northern and Central Luzon is in sight,” Burgos said. “It’s only a matter of time that the NPAs will be totally eradicated in this part of the country.”

In Southern Luzon, the government has killed a ranking rebel leader and one of his men and the surrender of two others in Irosin, Sorsogon, last Thursday.

PNP Chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said the rebel leader carried a P5-million reward for his capture or death.

Eleazar said the PNP would continue its operations to curb the rebels’ activities in the countryside.

In Maguindanao, four members of the BIFF-Karialan faction yielded, turning over two 7.62mm sniper rifle, a 5.56mm Ultimax sub-machine gun and a cal. 50 Barrett with an empty magazine to Lt. Col. Ferdinand Dela Cruz, commander of 6th Mechanized Battalion.

The four were subsequently presented to Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team and Ampatuan, Maguindanao Mayor Baileah Sangki.

Last month, a total of 59 BIFF-Karialan faction surrendered to soldiers, with Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Central vowing they would assist in the processing of the benefits the former terrorists.

[Rene P. Acosta covers defense, law enforcement and national security for the paper. He had written for a number of publications, including abroad before he joined BusinessMirror. His works had appeared in the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Asia Pacific Defense Forum, both in the US. He took up regional security with the International Visitor Leadership Program, US. He is currently the chairman of the board of the Defense Press Corps of the Philippines which he had headed in 2009.]

Rebels claim responsibility for killing kagawad, 2 militiamen

From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 6, 2021): Rebels claim responsibility for killing kagawad, 2 militiamen (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The New People’s Army Leonardo Panaligan Command yesterday issued a statement claiming responsibility for the killing of a barangay kagawad they accused of being a military informant, and two government militiamen in Negros Oriental.

Ka JB Regalado, its spokesman, justified the killing of CAFGU member Cirilo Paderna, whom he accused of being instrumental in the successful operation of Army soldiers in Brgy. Bucalan, Canlaon City, where two revolutionary fighters died in 2012, while barangay kagawad Elmer Caratu and Jessie Silva served as government informants.

Regalado reported that Caratu died, while three other Army intelligence operatives of 94th Infantry Battalion managed to escape, during a partisan operation of the Leonardo Panaligan Command on Sept. 3 in Brgy. Nasunggan, La Libertad, Negros Oriental.

He claimed that Caratu, who he claimed had been serving as a commanding officer of a CAFGU unit stationed in Brgy. Tinayunan Hill, Guihulngan City, was also an active intelligence operative, while serving as a barangay kagawad of Nasunggan in La Libertad.

Regalado also admitted that their group was behind in the imposition of the death penalty on Silva, a former CAFGU member, on Aug. 18 in Sitio Bongao, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, who also served as an active military informant of the 62nd Infantry Battalion.

The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade has condemned the atrocious attacks of the New People’s Army against a civilian and two CAFGU members in Negros Oriental. This inhumane act of the CPP-NPA terrorist group must be condemned to full extent, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander,said.


It is a desperate move to kill innocent civilians which just shows that their senseless organization is now in continuing defeat in Negros, Pasaporte added.

Paderna. 51, who was assigned at the Maglahos patrol base in Vallehermoso town, was shot dead by about 10 NPA rebels, who barged into his residence and shot him, in the presence of his family members, in Brgy. Pinocauan, Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental, Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, said.

Recovered from the scene of incident were 10 spent shells and slugs of M16 assault rifle and caliber 45 pistol.

“We pity those NPA members whose spiritual and moral values have been destroyed by a senseless armed struggle and resort to this kind of violence, Pasaporte, who extended his sympathy to the Padernal family, said.

He added that the Philippine Army and National Police will assist the family in filing charges against the perpetrators.

PAF jets keep constant watch over PH skies

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 6, 2021): PAF jets keep constant watch over PH skies (By Priam Nepomuceno)

FA-50 jets (Photo courtesy of PAF)

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) fleet of FA-50 jets are on guard keeping watch of the country's skies even before the Sept. 2 incident of a detected unidentified aircraft flying 120 nautical miles northwest of Bolinao, Pangasinan.

"Your PAF is always on watch for aircraft entering our airspace without proper clearance or permission," PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA). "The FA-50s are always on alert even before the Sept. 2 (scramble)."

Scramble, in military aviation, refers to the immediate deployment of fighter aircraft to intercept an unknown or hostile aircraft.

Through its radars, the Philippine Air Defense Control Center (PADCC) detected last week an unidentified inbound aircraft in the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone.

The unidentified aircraft was heading towards Philippine airspace and upon coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), it was classified to have an "unknown track of interest."

The unidentified aircraft did not respond to radio calls made by the PADCC.

The PADCC issued a "scramble" order to two FA-50 and were given the mission to intercept the unknown aircraft for visual identification.

Four minutes into the intercept, the aircraft changed direction towards the north and increased its speed to 400 knots and headed away from the Philippine airspace. The intercept was terminated at 9:45 a.m.

Mariano said the incident is under investigation and they are trying to determine the exact type of the unidentified aircraft.

Meantime, Mariano said the PAF does not want to speculate on the sighting of an unknown aircraft in Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon, also on Sept. 2, that was posted on social media.

"We might not be able to really know the origin of the said aircraft, and what type of aircraft, and we don't want to speculate on the sighting of our netizen. But it is good to know that our countrymen are beginning to appreciate the importance of the security of our airspace, nagiging aware po ang iilan (they are becoming aware) and this is a big help for us, to help us watch the skies," he said.

Cops, soldiers lauded for seizing NPA’s ‘thousands of bullets’

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 6, 2021): Cops, soldiers lauded for seizing NPA’s ‘thousands of bullets’ (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

SEIZED CONTRABAND. Joint police and Army operatives seize live ammunition, rifle grenades, three motorcycles, and food supplies from three New People’s Army couriers in Barangay Pianing, Butuan City on Sept. 3, 2021. The Caraga police said the suspects belong to the Regional Sentro de Grabidad of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Monday commended the arrest in Butuan City of three suspects, including a barangay official, who were caught transporting thousands of bullets and food supplies for the terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the Caraga region.

This, after Police Regional Office-Caraga chief, Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat, reported the arrest of the suspects identified as Ferdinand Aque Dagium, 27, a barangay kagawad in Agusan del Sur; his brother Rolando Aque Dagium, 34; and Marvin Pepito Merencillo, 26, in a joint police and military operations at a checkpoint in Purok 1B, Barangay Pianing on September 3.

Eleazar said the many bullets are intended for the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“I commend both the policemen and soldiers for this great job and I expect all our forces in other areas to intensify further the campaign against the communist rebels especially with the forthcoming elections wherein the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) remains the biggest threat in terms of election-related violence and extortion,” he in a video message.

He said the arrest of the NPA couriers proved that the government’s campaign to put an end to more than 50 years of communist insurgency is on the track.

“The PNP will continue supporting all the programs to achieve this goal both through aggressive operations and non-military solutions,” he added.

The Caraga police said the three NPA couriers belong to the Regional Sentro de Grabidad of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA.

“The joint operation was launched after we received a report on the transportation of the ammunition and the movement of the NPA rebels in the area,” Caramat said.

Seized from them were 4,800 pieces of 7.62mm AK-47 live ammunition, two pieces rifle grenades, three units of single motorcycles and various food supplies.

The operation was conducted by the Regional Intelligence Division 13, Butuan City Police Station 4, Butuan City Mobile Force Company, Butuan City Intelligence Unit, Butuan City Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Canine Unit, as well as forces from the Philippine Army’s 65th and 75th Infantry Battalion.

The police and the military set up the checkpoint in the area upon receiving reports about the movement of these lawless elements.

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

Zambo Sur-based Army general succumbs to Covid-19

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 6, 2021): Zambo Sur-based Army general succumbs to Covid-19 (By Priam Nepomuceno and Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

A ranking official of the Zamboanga Del Sur-based 1st Infantry Division succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019, his classmates at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1989 announced Monday.

The military official was identified as 1st Infantry Division assistant commander Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan Jr.

He succumbed to the disease around 5 a.m. at a Pagadian City hospital.

"It is with deep sadness that we would like to inform the friends and relatives of our mistah, Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan PMA 89, that he succumbed to the deadly covid virus early this morning. He was the Assistant Division Commander of 1st Infantry Division," Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres, Army Chapter President of PMA Class 1989, said.

Torres said internment details will be posted as soon.

“Our sincere condolences to Lanie and the kids; and prayers for the eternal repose of Baggy's soul," Torres said.

He added that Gaerlan is the fourth member of their class to die due to Covid-19.

Capt. Mary Jephte MaƱebog, 1ID information officer, said Gaerlan was tested positive for Covid-19 through antigen test on Sept. 2.

Gaerlan was transferred to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center in Pagadian City from the 1ID Station Hospital in Labangan town on the same day, she added.

She said Gaerlan underwent a confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that also yielded positive results.

Gaerlan, a 55-year-old native of La Union, has served as the 1ID assistant division commander since Aug. 19, 2019.

The province of Zamboanga del Sur is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

As of Sept. 5, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said 17,133 of its personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 with the death toll reaching 35.

While 15,244 of those infected have been tagged as recovered, the AFP has still around 1,323 active cases.

Senate OKs resetting of BARMM elections

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 6, 2021): Senate OKs resetting of BARMM elections

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the bill seeking to reset the first regular elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with a vote of 15-3-1.

Senate Bill No. 2214, sponsored by Local Government Committee Chairman Francis Tolentino, proposes to move the date of the BARMM elections from May 2022 to May 2025, synchronized with the national elections. It amends Section 13, Article XVI of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

In his sponsorship speech, Tolentino said despite the hard work and the accomplishments of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the global pandemic posed significant challenges to the execution of the priority programs and projects of the Bangsamoro government.

After holding committee hearings and consultation with stakeholders, Tolentino said his committee saw the need to extend the BARMM transition period to implement the political and normalization efforts embodied in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

"However, it (the committee) is also mindful of the Bangsamoro people's right to assert their democracy in the said region and exercise their right of suffrage. Although the BTA has considerably delivered some of its mandates under the BOL, there is much work yet to be done," Tolentino added.

Under the bill, upon the expiration of the terms of the incumbent members of the BTA, the President shall appoint 80 members of BTA who will serve up to June 30, 2025 or until the election of their successors.

"This piece of legislation is a testament to our continued efforts to maintain peace and push for inclusive growth in the BARMM region. Peace is elusive but it is attainable," Tolentino said.

In the House of Representatives, the Committees on Suffrages and Electoral Reform, Muslim Affairs, and Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, approved last week a committee report that consolidated proposals to extend the BARMM elections.