Friday, September 10, 2021

Editorial: Is PH safer from terror threat 20 years after 9/11?

Editorial posted to the Manila Bulletin (Sep 10, 2021): Is PH safer from terror threat 20 years after 9/11?

Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and commercial airline flights in the United States that killed 2,996 people, Filipinos join the rest of the world in reflecting on the continuing threats posed by terrorism.

In July last year, Congress passed Republic Act No. 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that replaced the Human Security Act of 2007. Thirty-seven petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court seeking to strike down this new law.

Chief concern is the removal of a previous safeguard against wrongful detention and the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council that is perceived to pose a threat to human rights. Incidents of Red-tagging against human rights and activist groups, including well- known show business personalities apparently fueled the opposition to the new law.

The five-month long siege of Marawi City in 2017 staged by militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the Maute and Abu Sayyaf was the “longest urban battle in the modern history of the Philippines. Although it resulted in a “decisive victory for government forces” after five months of intense fighting, the long term scarring effects on the people’s sense of security could not be minimized. The government’s martial law declaration over the entire Mindanao area was not lifted until the end of 2019 or 953 days later.

The formal establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in January 2019 is widely believed to be a stabilizing factor after decades of violent conflict. While observers cite the difficulty of coalition building among erstwhile rival factions, hopes remain high that, especially with robust support from friendly nations, the peace dividends will produce long-term stability in the five provinces of Basilan, Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Before the Marawi siege, the “deadliest terrorist attack in the Philippines” killed 130 persons aboard an interisland vessel that had just left Manila Bay en route to Cagayan de Oro City on February 27, 2004.

Active support from the United States government as shown during the Marawi siege, along with surveillance assistance from Australia, are vital factors in enabling the government to maintain the upper hand as terror elements continually to lurk. These two countries maintain defense agreements with the Philippines.

While the threat of local communist insurgency may have been reduced significantly, sporadic attacks continue in the countryside.

While the fight against global terror threats is being carried out principally by national governments, countries are also recognizing the need for community-based approaches that increase the awareness and vigilance of citizens to the possible intrusion of radical elements that could escalate their activities and sow violence.

The takeaways from the 9/11 catastrophe are clear. Terrorism has deep roots that could take decades to upend. All countries and peoples of the world who disdain terrorism need to exercise constant vigilance and foster solidarity.

South-east Asia fears what Taliban victory will bring

 Posted to Australia's Financial Review (Sep 10, 2021): South-east Asia fears what Taliban victory will bring (By Emma Connors/Southeast Asia correspondent)

National and international policing since the 2002 Bali bombings has come a long way, but hundreds of terrorists are thought to be still active in the region.

Singapore/Jakarta | When the Taliban triumphantly returned to Kabul last month, Indonesia’s counter-terrorism police were arresting extremists in 11 locations across the archipelago nation.

The security blitz was carried out by specialist police unit Detachment 88. Without the November 11, 2001, terror attacks and the atrocities that followed, including the 2002 Bali Bombings, Detachment 88 – funded, equipped and trained by the US and Australia – would most likely never have existed.

Members of the Indonesian police anti-terror unit Special Detachment 88 move into positions as they prepare for a raid. AP

The history of terrorism and the fight against it in the last two decades in south-east Asia is one of global and regional networks. While much attention is focused on the reach of al-Qaeda and Islamic State, on the other side police, military and intelligence organisations have also come together.

This week Australia and Indonesia defence ministers discussed the possibility of Indonesian troops training on Australian soil. The two countries also renewed a memorandum of understanding on counter-terrorism. It’s the latest in a series of agreements that date back to the dark times when Australia realised its alignment with the United States in the war on terror came with a high cost.

On Thursday in Jakarta Foreign Minister Marise Paye said the co-operation formed with Indonesia following “some of the most critical events in our shared history is once again critical” and “we must continue to deepen that co-operation”.

On October 12, 2002, two bombs detonated in the Kuta tourist hotspot on Bali killed 202, including 88 Australians. Then came the Australian embassy attack on September 9, 2004. A year later came the second Bali bombing. It was clear that Australia had to improve its relationship with Indonesia, so that the two nations could jointly take on the extremists.

A bilateral security agreement in the 1990s hadn’t lasted. It was blown apart by Australia’s role in the 1998 East Timor crisis, and a view by many in Jakarta that it was a poor choice for a nation that prizes its non-aligned status.

But, in October 2004, Indonesian diplomat Arif Havas Oegroseno was with foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda and his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer when a different type of security arrangement was discussed.

A few guys with hand grenades and Kalashnikovs – as we saw in [the 2008 terrorist attacks in] Mumbai – can do a tremendous amount of damage.— Donald Greenlees, Australian University’s Strategic & Defence Studies Centre

“In line with Indonesia’s ‘independent and active’ foreign policy, this would not be a military-alliance-style agreement but rather a comprehensive bilateral arrangement that would address modern security threats and issues,” Havas explains.

Havas went on to be Indonesia’s lead negotiator for what would become the Lombok treaty, which sets out co-operation and exchanges in security, defence, combating terrorism, transnational crime, law-enforcement training, emergency response and maritime security. It was signed on November 13, 2006, in Bali.

“I believe this treaty is one of the fundamental aspects of the bilateral relationship,” Havas tells AFR Weekend.

In some ways, the treaty was putting the cart after the horse. It provided a framework for co-operation already under way. The Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation (JCLEC), a joint venture of the Australian and Indonesian governments, opened in 2004 in Semarang. It’s since trained tens of thousands of people drawn from Indonesia and many other nations.

In 2002, the Megawati administration was horrified by the Bali bombing and determined to stop the terrorism, recalls David Engel. a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute who served two terms during his diplomatic career at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

Family and friends of the victims of the 2002 Bali bombing sit among the rubble of the Sari club during a Hindu cleansing ceremony in November 2002. Kate Geraghty

At the same time, there was “still a lot of lingering resentment and suspicion of Australia that had flowed from East Timor and other things”, Engel recalls.

“It took a bit to persuade them that it was in their interests to do much more with us. In the end, of course, there were all these remarkable developments that led to the cracking of that particular case and that helped put in train the levels of police co-operation that came to fruition with the establishment of JCLEC.

In addition to what it accomplished on the ground, JCLEC came to be “a totem” of a much closer relationship between Indonesia and Australia, Engel says. “It was a manifest symbol that we had reached something beyond where we had been.”

Some degree of suspicion and distrust remains and from time to time there are developments that stoke those sentiments in Jakarta. “But overall JCLEC has been a positive in the relationship while bolstering Indonesian and regional capability in the field of transnational security,” Engel says.

Global indices show deaths from terrorism in Indonesia declined in subsequent years, while global terrorism fatalities increased, notes Donald Greenlees, a visiting fellow at the Australian University’s Strategic & Defence Studies Centre.

“The policing effort domestically and internationally has been very effective in the last 20 years, and we have seen a very sophisticated and effective collaboration between the Indonesian policing and international policing, and the AFP [Australian Federal Police] have been a key part of that.”
Rise of the lone wolf

In addition, the relentless pressure on extremist groups led by Jemaah Islamiah has diminished capacity. “We’ve seen the emergence of the lone-wolf attacker as one of the biggest threats in the last year or so and that reflects a deterioration of their capability to mount the carefully planned, elaborate bombing they have done in the past,” says Greenlees.

“But a few guys with hand grenades and Kalashnikovs – as we saw in [the 2008 terrorist attacks in] Mumbai – can do a tremendous amount of damage.”

Such attacks are not very sophisticated and only require access to weapons, Greenlees notes. These are not difficult to get hold of in South-east Asia where there is a “thriving trade in arms smuggling”, he says.

Indonesia has also exported terrorism. The Philippines, in particular, has been a favoured destination for Islamic State terrorist fighters from Indonesia and elsewhere.

According to the Global Terrorism Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, ISIL and affiliated groups in the Philippines have waged four suicide bombings resulting in 44 deaths since they emerged in 2016. Compared to other active groups, ISIL attacks have been significantly more lethal, causing an average of 3.4 deaths per attack.

A security expert in Manila says authorities estimate there are about 200 active extremists in the country. There is concern the propaganda value of the Taliban victory will inspire some of these to action, or attract new converts to the cause. However, co-operation across nations in the region is tight.

Some say the biggest threat from extremists is a step-up of a lucrative kidnapping trade in the southern Philippines. Some military are also involved, one diplomat tells AFR Weekend.

This is curtly rejected by Nasir Abbas, the former chairman of the Eastern Region of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), who was also a member of a separatist group in the Philippines. “Not true”, he says via WhatsApp when asked by AFR Weekend about collaboration between terrorists, the government and the local military in the kidnappings.

Al Chaidar, a terrorism expert from the University of Indonesia, says extremism still flourishes in the southern Philippines because of the Abu Sayyaf group, which is affiliated with Islamic State. It is difficult to eradicate because the area is hard to reach; it functions like a separate enclave.

“In addition, there are also ideological factors, Wahabi Takfiri is forceful,” he says. Wahabi Takfiri, or Wahhabism, is a rigid view of Islamic reform.

“This ideology surpasses other factors such as economic, political, geographical, and can easily be transmitted through social media.

“Islamic State is still brutal. People who believe in, and support, IS think this is the only way to everlasting life. There is no alternative for them. They won’t’ give that up.”

2 Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender

Posted to the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Sep 10, 2021): 2 Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender

SURRENDER. Two Abu Sayyaf bandits, who are involved in high-profile atrocities, surrender Wednesday, September 8, to government authorities in Basilan province as they are exhausted from fleeing due to continuous military offensive against them. A photo handout shows one of the surrenderers hands over his rifle to a military official when they surrendered. (SunStar Zamboanga)

TWO Abu Sayyaf bandits, who were involved in high-profile atrocities, surrendered to government authorities in Basilan province, the military reported.

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MILF: UNYPAD - NCCII Committee on Research and Information holds writers meeting

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Sep 8, 2021): UNYPAD - NCCII Committee on Research and Information holds writers meeting (By Jomar M. Marquez)

Photo courtesy of UNYPAD NCCII

The United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD)- North Cotabato Cluster II (NCCII) Committee on Research and Information held a meeting last August 07, 2021 at UNYPAD Sub- office at Batulawan, Pikit to discuss issues and concerns.

Writers from different municipal chapters of the organization attended the activity.

Badrodin Mamendig, UNYPAD- NCCII Vice Chairman for Internal Affairs, reminded everyone on the importance of being part of the team and gave emphasis on the essence of teamwork in attaining the goals of the organization.

He said writers play an important role in documenting and publicizing the programs and activities of the organization.

They also discussed the common issues and concerns of the writers. Part of the discussion was the need to recruit new writers who can also help in the documentation and publicity of the chapter’s programs and activities.

The importance of data banking and using various media platforms in disseminating information were also tackled.

Health protocols when holding gatherings were observed to avoid the spread of the dreaded corona virus.

UNYPAD continues to conduct various capability-building activities that includes Islamic leadership and management training, peace advocacy initiatives and regular meeting and planning sessions.

[Luwaran is the official online publication of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Committee on Information, MILF Central Committee]

MILF: Minister Sinarimbo reminisces company with Sheikh Abdulkadir Abdullah

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Sep 8, 2021): Minister Sinarimbo reminisces company with Sheikh Abdulkadir Abdullah (By Gandhi Kinjiyo)

Photo courtesy of Minister Naguib Sinarimbo

Minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government Atty Naguib G Sinarimbo reminisce his company with Shekih Abdulkadir Abdullah citing the latter’s contribution providing religious guidance to the Bangsamoro people.

In his post at Facebook on Sunday (Aug 29), Minister Sinarimbo recalled the moments they were together in giving services to the Bangsamoro communities.

“He was a constant in these trips providing us and our people with religious guidance,” Minister Sinarimbo said.

He also narrated their travel to different camps and communities of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2015 to explain the provisions of the peace accord.

“We reached as far as the southern tip of Palawan and the islands in BASULTA,” Minister Sinarimbo further recalled.

He also related his last engagement with the demised Islamic scholar that was during the launch of the program for the rehabilitation of our communities in the 63 barangays from North Cotabato.

“I received the sad news from Von Al Haq whom I am supposed to meet that afternoon who told me we needed to cancel the meeting as Ustadz just passed onto the mercy of Allah,” the Interior minister related.

Sheikh Abdullah was sent to his final resting place at Talitay, Maguindanao Province.

[Luwaran is the official online publication of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Committee on Information, MILF Central Committee]

NDF/CPP Negros Island Regional Committee: Emulate Ka Ella’s conviction of serving the people and the revolution

Posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Sep 8, 2021): Emulate Ka Ella’s conviction of serving the people and the revolution

Negros Island Regional Committee

Communist Party of the Philippines 

Highest revolutionary tribute to Ka Ella and all our people’s martyrs and heroes! Fight and frustrate the counterrevolutionary war of the tyrannical US-Duterte regime and carry on the people’s war to new and greater heights!

The Negros Island Regional Party Committee accords the highest revolutionary honor to Kerima Lorena “Ka Ella” Tariman and Joery Dato-on “Ka Pabling” Cocuba who died in the fascist hands of the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion in an encounter on August 20, 2021 at Brgy. Kapitan Ramon, Silay City, Negros Occidental. Ka Ella, 42, was a member of the regional Party committee on the Island and the secretary of the front Party committee in Northern Negros. Ka Pabling, 38, was a long-time peasant organizer who had just joined a unit of the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command of the the New People’s Army (RJPC-NPA).

We share in the grief of the family, friends, comrades and the countless oppressed and exploited masses that our new martyrs have selflessly served in Negros and, in the case of Ka Ella, in other parts of the country. We are one in the call to turn such deep sorrow over the loss of exemplary proletarian revolutionaries into a powerful collective resolve to fight and frustrate the counterrevolutionary war of the tyrannical US-Duterte regime and carry on the people’s war to new and greater heights.

The news of Ka Ella’s death immediately prompted her closest colleague’s and various other quarters to offer their thoughts in remembrance of her invaluable contributions to the student movement, cultural work, human rights defence and struggle for genuine land reform. This has highlighted Ka Ella’s personal journey and noteworthy achievements as artist and activist, poet and patriot.

More importantly, this has also brought to the fore, in no uncertain terms, the justness and necessity of armed revolution, the path towards which appears to be getting wider each day in the midst of tyranny and crisis, and also on account of the profound inspiration and courage that could be drawn from Ka Ella’s supreme sacrifice and those of other revolutionary martyrs.

Three years ago, Ka Ella brought with her to Negros not only an unwavering commitment to take part in the people’s war on the Island but also an already rich accumulation of revolutionary practice with the New People’s Army from her earlier assignments in other regions.

In 2003, shortly after giving birth to her son, Ka Ella joined the National Cultural Bureau’s armed cultural squad that was attached at different times to various guerrilla platoons in the Bicol Region. She played a crucial role in the successful breakthroughs of the said unit in integrating cultural work in mass base building, agrarian revolution and armed struggle in the guerrilla zones of Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate.

Ka Ella was the chief writer of the cultural training modules of the Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan (ARMAS-NDFP) which are now standards in both the countryside and the cities. She was also part of the editorial team of the 2005 Ulos, the cultural journal of the national democratic movement, which featured the works of Red fighters and peasant mass activists of Bicol that participated in the literary workshops that Ka Ella herself facilitated.

There were two instances during this period when Ka Ella had to leave the guerrilla zone to recover from successive miscarriages. Yet even in such state of physical and emotional distress, she didn’t allow herself to idle away her time and be detached from any practical or theoretical revolutionary activity. In these brief intervals she volunteered to curate a couple of Ulos issues, mobilizing in the process a number of artist friends and allies for translation or illustration work. She also wrote several cultural reviews while following a strict reading regimen of the Marxist classics.

In 2007 Ka Ella took on a more comprehensive duty and direct territorial responsibility when she was assigned to a guerrilla front in Camarines Sur. There she took the helm of a guerrilla platoon as its political instructor. A recent statement by the East Camarines Sur’s Tomas Pilapil Command in honor of Ka Ella, or Ka Akira and Ka Kyla as she was known in those parts, attests to her tireless and thorough efforts at social investigation, mass and Party education, mass base expansion and consolidation, anti-feudal campaigns, as well as military work, the fruits of which the people and revolutionary forces in the Partido areas and the Caramoan Peninsula continue to reap up to this day.

Ka Ella found herself several times in the thick of armed battles with fascist enemy troops in Bicol. In all these, she was always brave and alert. She was always the first one to tell the comrades not to panic or to rouse them from demoralization. She personally attended to the wounded and made sure that basic guerrilla items that were left behind like clothes and hammocks were immediately replenished.

Already way past her teens when she was deployed to Camarines Sur, Ka Ella, because of her petite frame and youngish features, was nonetheless fondly referred to by the masses as the intelligent nene who carried an armalite and chewed betel. Chewing betel, she found out, was one of the easiest ways to start a conversation with the barrio folk whom she genuinely cherished as her teachers, and who loved her in return for exemplifying, in her own simple ways, the essence of being one of the best daughters of the people. On many occasions she became mother, too, to barefoot children of poor peasants, even as she constantly had to overcome the pain of being away from her own child.

In 2010 Ka Ella transferred to the Eastern Visayas. As Ka Conching, she served as deputy secretary of the main front of the Arnulfo Ortiz Command in Western Samar.

She was vocal of her appreciation of the theoretical fluency of the revolutionary forces, organized masses and children of comrades in Samar which she found quite high and humbling. Ka Ella particularly admired the region’s KPA or Kurso Para sa mga Aktibista, an all-in-one manual for revolutionaries which she said every guerrilla front in the country should have.

She was likewise very open about her views on the need to decisively combat conservatism in military work and mass base building. Ka Ella was one among those who proposed that the guerrilla front resolve to establish Red political power in the middle terrains and coasts in order to reach a greater number of peasant communities and to have a wider space for maneuver.

Her stint in Samar was, however, cut short when her husband was captured by the military in 2011. This forced her to go back to Metro Manila to better supervise the campaign for his release which, thanks largely to her relentless endeavours, gained broad national and international support and eventually compelled the Department of Justice in 2013 to dismiss his case.

Returning to the guerrilla zone in 2018, this time in the country’s hacienda capital, Ka Ella set out to quickly readjust herself physically and mentally to the rigors of armed revolutionary life. That she was able to master both Hiligaynon and Cebuano in so short a time was proof not so much of her unique sense of language but of her sheer determination to fully and effectively perform her new tasks.

As a regional cadre, Ka Ella actively took part in the formulation of the current five year program of the Party in Negros. She participated in the summing up of the last twenty-five years of revolutionary experience on the Island which enriched her understanding of the region and where she was generous in sharing her insights.

Ka Ella contributed a vital segment to the updated regional social investigation and class analysis (SICA) document, particularly on the history of the hacienda system in Negros and its present operation. She wrote a detailed primer on the current situation of sugar farm workers and mill workers on which the regional antifeudal campaign plan of 2020 was based.

As secretary of the front Party committee in Northern Negros, Ka Ella worked closely with responsible cadres and Red fighters in rectifying tendencies of conservatism and empiricism in various aspects of political and military work amid the brutal implementation of Memorandum Order 32 and Executive Order 70 on the Island.

The front was able to expand to other areas to deny the AFP of effective focus while still maintaining political guidance among the revolutionary masses in highly militarized communities. Collective food production and medical missions were organized in response to the COVID 19 pandemic in Northern Negros. The RJPC also heeded the people’s demand to punish the operators of destructive large-scale quarrying.

The RJPC, in a eulogy, expressed its gratitude to Ka Ella for consistently striving to share her knowledge to her comrades and the masses while humbly learning from them as well. She inspired them to persevere and be competent in their duties. She was pivotal in revitalizing revolutionary propaganda and education in Northern Negros.

Even before Ka Ella’s death, fascist 303rd and 302nd brigades had long been bragging that the Northern and Southeast Negros fronts had already been reduced to insignificance. Now they delude themselves further with the belief that the Northern Negros front had finally been dismantled with the passing away of its leader. While Ka Ella’s death certainly amount to a great loss, many more cadres and revolutionary forces including those whom Ka Ella herself had helped develop, are all willing and capable to collectively lead the people’s army and the masses in fighting and frustrating the brutal counterrevolutionary campaign of the fascist armed forces in Northern Negros.

As of this writing, Ka Pabling’s family has yet to claim his remains for fear of what the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) might do to them. Meanwhile, there is reason to believe that Ka Ella was an hors de combat (a combatant who was no longer in a position to fight) when the 79th IB found her. The fascist military troops either left her to bleed to death or just finished her off.

There is no other way of seeking justice at this time for Ka Ella and Ka Pabling’s death, no higher tribute to their martyrdom, than to persevere in intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever widening and deepening mass base. The revolutionary movement in Negros must launch greater resistance to heightened oppression and exploitation on the Island as the tyrannical Duterte regime’s end is fast approaching. The fascist AFP must be punished for all violations of human rights and utter disregard of international humanitarian law and protocols of war.

We call on the finest sons and daughters of the people to emulate Ka Ella’s conviction of serving the people and the revolution. Join the New People’s Army and take part in advancing the people’s war to new and greater heights.

Long live the martyrs and heroes of the people’s democratic revolution!
Take Ka Ella and Ka Pabling’s place and carry forward the people’s war!
Join the New People’s Army!

CPP/Ang Bayan: Du­ter­te’s stench of corruption

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): Du­ter­te’s stench of corruption

Rodrigo Duterte can no longer hold off the rotten stench of his regime. In the past weeks, big cases of plunder involving his closest factotums and anomalous favored companies have been continually unearthed.

From the onset, Duterte maneuvered to monopolize public funds in the name of fighting the pan­demic. The rubberstamp Con­gress passed the Bayanihan 1 which gran­ted him ₱275 billion in funds and the authority to bypass al­lo­ca­tion and procurement procedures.

Duterte appointed Wendell Avisado and Christopher Lao, law­yers who both served him before becoming president, to the De­part­ment of Budget and Management (DBM). Using their positions, Du­terte pocketed at least ₱1 billion in government purchase of overpriced face masks, face shields, personal protective equipments (PPEs) and test kits. He even decreed the wea­ring of face shields to create and maintain demand for the pro­duct.

On Duterte’s orders, the agency bought face masks at ₱27 each and face shields at ₱120 despite having supplies at only ₱13 and ₱27 apiece. It also bought test kits at ₱1,720 each, even when these can be bought at ₱925 apiece, and PPEs at ₱1,910 when there were supplies at ₱945 each.

Two Chinese companies were favored—Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation and Philippine Blue Cross Biotech Corporation. Phar­mally was only incorporated in September 2019 with a capital investment of ₱260,666 but Lao granted it eight contracts worth ₱8.7 billion. The company raked in profits amounting to ₱7.5 billion in 2020 from zero in 2019. Meanwhile, Blue Cross Biotech’s net income rose from ₱260,666 in 2019 to ₱12.2 million in 2020. Pharmally is owned by Huang Wen Lie and his son Huang Tzu Yen, both partners of Michael Yang, one of Duterte’s special economic advisers. Yang’s name first surfaced in 2017 when he was named by a retired general as a drug lord involved in smuggling shabu in the country.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Oppression against i-Kalingas and their struggle against dams

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): Oppression against i-Kalingas and their struggle against dams

The people of Kalinga are facing a huge threat with the impending implementation of 15 hydropower projects which were recently awarded to nine companies directly or indirectly owned by big capitalists. At least three of these can be considered as megadam projects which will require reservoirs with a minimum depth of 15 meters capable of containing 3 million cubic meters of water. In general, these dams aim to generate 468.43 megawatts of electricity or 5.4% of the total Luzon Grid output.

The reactionary state has long claimed that such projects will spur development and should not be opposed by national minorities. This reasoning highlights the national oppression minorities face on top of their basic problems of landlessness, lack of decent livelihood, and exploitation as workers and farmers.

The i-Kalinga minorities, in particular, will mainly face landgrabbing of their ancestral lands by private companies. These lands are the primary source of their livelihood, and crucial to their culture and history. Even if they will not be immediately displaced, they will eventually lose ownership over the land as it will be under the control, operation and infrastructure of private companies..

These projects will change the residents way of life. They will no longer be able to catch fish or work in the area.

The construction of dams will result in massive floods and environmental destruction. By changing the natural course of the rivers, communities are set to experience worse floods during strong typhoons, especially those near the Chico river and tributaries linked to it.

The floods and construction of facilities for the said projects are expected to result in soil erosion. Trees will have to be cut to pave way for the construction of facilities. This will adversely affect the fauna and flora of Kalinga.

The construction of these projects are accompanied by fascist attacks and threats against the i-Kalingas by energy companies and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed to harass and threaten people who oppose the destructive projects. For instance, the Charlie Company of the 50th IB was assigned to secure the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and ensure the immediate completion of the project.

These projects will result in the ethnocide of the i-Kalinga people. These hydropower projects will aggravate the people’s hardships to ensure superprofits for a few capitalists.

Contrary to claims by capitalists that these dam projects will give free electricity to residents, the power that will be generated by these dams will exclusively be transmitted to the national grid and sold to the National Power Corporation.

All these hydropower projects are owned by private companies. For example, the Chico Hydropower Project is owned by Enrique Razon Jr., in partnership with Oscar Violago. Like other businesses, these projects are profit-driven and not service-oriented.

These projects will only generate limited and temporary jobs. The Chico Run-Of-River Hydropower Project, for instance, will only generate 2,000 temporary jobs for construction workers, in addition to 19 workers who will ensure the daily operation of the project.

The i-Kalinga people have long been defending their rights by struggling against the construction of dams. They do so in the various forms of resistance and struggle even amid the pandemic.

Affected residents also did not give their free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) to the project. This is despite intense attacks and deception employed by electricity companies in connivance with the National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples.

Among those they oppose vigorously is the Upper Tabuk Hydropower Project which has failed to start its construction since 2008 in the face of resistance by affected tribes and residents. The same is true with the status of the Chico Run-Of-River Hydropower Project which started to secure the FPIC of residents in 2016 and was supposed to have been completed in 2019. FPIC proceedings are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The i-Kalingas continues to unite and struggle in the face of attacks, deception and bribery employed by the companies along with armed state agents. Their united clamor is clear: Botad tako losan!

Correspondence from Ilocos-Cordillera

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Lawyer, activist, killed

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): Lawyer, activist, killed

Suspected state agents ambushed Atty. Rex Fernandez who was aboard his vehicle in Banawa, Cebu City on August 26. Fernandez gave legal assistance to vendors of the Carbon public market in their fight against privatization. He also gave legal assistance to the activists who were arrested for protesting against the Anti-Terror Law last June 2020. Fernandez is the 57th lawyer killed under the Duterte government.

Meanwhile, the lifeliess body of a missing activist from Cebu was recently surfaced. Suspected state agents surfaced the body of Elena Tijamo, development worker and member of the Farmers Development Center last month. They made it appear that Tijamo died of complications following a goiter operation in Metro Manila. She was abducted on June 13, 2020 from her house in Barangay Kampingganon, Bantayan Island.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: 89th IB guns down peasant leader in Bukidnon

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): 89th IB guns down peasant leader in Bukidnon

Farmer Veneranda Guinanao, member of the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women-Bukidnon, was killed after elements of the 89th IB strafed her house at Purok 5, Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon on August 19. Her husband Reynaldo Guinanao and son Christian were wounded in the incident. The couple are members of the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL), while Reynaldo is a leader of KASAMA-Bukidnon. BTL is a local peasant organization opposed to landgrabbing by the Central Mindanao University. In 2020, the NTF-ELCAC coerced members of the said organization to “surrender” as “Red fighters.”

In Misamis Oriental, suspected state agents gunned down Gerald Ral, member of the Balingasag Farmers Association and Hiniusang Mag-uuma sa Blanco in Lagonglong town on August 21. He and his brother were on their way to the market to deliver bananas when he was killed. Ral has long been subjected to harassment by the 58th IB and accused of being an NPA member.

In Gamay and Mapanas, Northern Samar, five farmers were strafed by the Special Action Force on August 6 and 15. The policemen mistook the victims as Red fighters.

In Sorsogon, state forces illegally arrested farmer Ruel Habitan Escolano, 59, in Barangay San Pascual, Casiguran on August 20, whom they accuse of being an NPA member. He was slapped with trumped up charges of rape and frustrated murder.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Public funds squandered in counterinsurgency

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): Public funds squandered in counterinsurgency

The criminal prioritization of the defense sector and counterinsurgency war amid the public health crisis is evident in reports issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) in recent months. On top of the huge chunk of funds allocated to the military and police, COA exposed the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) cornered million of pesos of funds from other civilian agencies.

During the second week of July, COA exposed anomalies on how the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) utilized billions of pesos allocated to them. COA pointed out that the agencies failed to utilize ₱9.4 billion allocated for various contracts and projects. COA revealed that the AFP and AFP failed to deliver on time 41 projects worth ₱6.8 billion, while nine military projects worth ₱940.5 million were suspended. The PNP Special Action Force also failed to deliver projects worth ₱1.7 billion. The AFP and PNP failed to explain where these funds are.

COA also questioned the anomalous transfer of ₱162.9-million funds of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to the NTF-ELCAC for the implementation of its programs. COA revealed that around ₱160 million in scholarship funds was tranferred by TESDA to its regional offices for the implementation of NTF-ELCAC programs in 2020. More than a fourth of the said funds (₱41.95 million) were allocated to the Davao Region which is dominated by the Dutertes. Additionally, the DILG transferred ₱2.9 million to its regional offices in Mindanao also for the implementation of NTF-ELCAC activities without proper documentation.

The National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-Caraga was also flagged for its anomalous and lavish utilization of more than ₱1 million for a “workshop” by the NTF-ELCAC in Agusan del Norte on November 2020. The said activity was held at a beach resort in Agusan del Norte at the time when mass gatherings were still prohibited. The NCIP is notorious for squandering public funds lavish expenses. Last year, the commission was also flagged for spending ₱4.8 million on expensive hotels and restaurants.

The COA pointed out that government agencies cannot just use the Executive Order 70, which created the NTF-ELCAC, to transfer funds without the approval of Congress.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: 50 join KM-EV

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): 50 join KM-EV

Around 50 young peasants pledged membership to the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) during a conference in a guerrilla front in Eastern Visayas on August 21.

Under the theme “Let the youth support the mass movement in the barrios! Join the New People’s Army! Fight AFP fascism,” they united and reviewed the historic tasks of the sector in advancing the revolution. The conference discussed various issues faced by the sector including the safe opening of schools, and the continuing harassment and fascist attacks mounted by the fascist regime.

“The youth sees no future under the Duterte regime,” said Ka Mori, chairperson of the local KM chapter in the barrio. New members pledged to uphold the unity to fight and overcome the intensifying militarization in their respective communities. They also pledged to continuously tread the revolutionary path and serve as a wellspring of revolutionaries.

CPP/Ang Bayan: CPP pays tribute to martyrs of Samar and Negros

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): CPP pays tribute to martyrs of Samar and Negros

The Communist Party of the Philippines and the revolutionary movement paid tribute to the Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) who were killed in Eastern Samar and Negros Occidental in August while performing their revolutionary duties.

The Party declared the 19 individuals who perished in Barangay Osmeña, Dolores, Eastern Samar last August 16 during the brutal bombing operation of the military as “best sons and daughters of the people. The Dolores Martyrs were part of a 50-strong NPA unit conducting political, economic and education work for the peasant masses in the said area. The unit included a team of medics who were scheduled to provide medical training, and perform a minor operation in the area.

“The deaths of the Dolores martyrs is a big loss,” said the Party. “It is, however, a temporary setback and does not negate the overall forward direction of the people’s war.”

The Party also paid tribute to Kerima Lorena Tariman (Ka Ella) who was captured and killed by the military on August 20 in Barangay Kapitan Ramos, Silay City, Negros Occidental. She was killed along with another Red fighter Joery Dato-on Cocuba (Ka Pabling). Based on the investigation of NPA-Negros, Ka Ella was only slightly wounded when she was captured during an encounter, and was later summarily executed by the soldiers.

Many paid tribute to Ka Ella, a Red fighter and Party cadre who was known for her poems and literary pieces which reflect the plight, aspirations and struggle of the toiling masses. The NPA-Negros gave a heartfelt recognition of Ka Ella’s contributions to the armed revolution in the island. She was also given tribute by Makibaka, Kabataang Makabayan, and various NPA units, as well as the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in Kurdistan.

She was also remembered by the organizations she once was part of. Before joining the NPA, she was known for being a poet, writer and activist for peasants. She became a part of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura for a decade. She was first organized when she was still a student at the University of the Philippines.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA mounts 4 offensives in Samar

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 7, 2021): NPA mounts 4 offensives in Samar

Units of the New People’s Army (NPA) mounted successive armed actions in Samar last August.

In Northern Samar, two elements of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were killed in Barangay Happy Valley, San Isidro on August 21. On the same day, a soldier of the 43rd IB was killed during an encounter in Barangay Palanit.

Earlier on August 19, a police operative was killed during an encounter in Barangay Geparayan, Silvino Lobos. On August 17, Red fighters sniped at elements of the 20th IB in Barangay Epaw, Las Navas. A soldier was killed during the said action. The operating military unit also retreated from the area after two days.

The NPA-Western Samar (Arnulfo Ortiz Command) mounted a harassment operation against a 7-man unit of the 63rd IB at Sitio Burabod, Barangay Mabini, Basey, Western Samar on August 7.

In Negros Oriental, two military officers and a CAFGU element were killed in partisan operations mounted by the NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command). An Ingram pistol and ammunition were confiscated from them. The first operation was mounted in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City on August 18, while the two other military actions were mounted on September 2 and 3 in Barangay Pinukawan, Vallehermoso, and Barangay Nasunggan, La Libertad, respectively.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/NEWS: NTF-ELCAC orchestrates legal offensive against Ka Joma, et al.

Propaganda news story posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 8, 2021): NTF-ELCAC orchestrates legal offensive against Ka Joma, et al.

SEPTEMBER 08, 2021

A series of filing of trumped-up charges against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Founding Chairman and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison has been mounted and directed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) the past weeks. Other peasant and social activists have also been maliciously implicated in these cases.

Orchestrated by the NTF-ELCAC, self-declared ‘rebel’ returnees under have lodged charges of child abuse, human trafficking and rape against Sison and other activists. Three separate batches have filed charges on August 23, September 1 and 3 on the Department of Justice thru the assisstance of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

Responding to the allegations, Ka Joma said in a statement: “Charges of terrorism and common crimes being made against me by the Duterte regime are patently false, puerile and futile and do not bother me a bit.” These trumped-up cases are not new to Ka Joma and his lawyers. To recall, the Arroyo regime, with Gen. Hermogenes Esperon as National Security Adviser, also prodded the Dutch government to file charges of multiple murder against Sison causing his arrest in August 2007. Sison won his case resulting in acquittal by the District Court of The Hague and by the Appellate Court of the Netherlands.

“But once more, Gen. Esperon is in the GRP as the top henchman of Duterte in his scheme of fascist dictatorship and campaign of state terrorism,” said Sison on yet another vain attempt to repeat these tactics.

Sison explained that he cannot be arrested nor extradited to the Philippines as he enjoys the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the principle of nonrefoulement in the Refugee Convention.

It was established before the Dutch courts and the European Court of Justice that from the time of his arrest and detention in November 1977 by the Marcos fascist regime, he ceased to be the Chairman of the Central Committee of the CPP and likewise ceased to be the operational leader of the CPP, the New People’s Army (NPA) or any other armed revolutionary organization in the Philippines.

“All these false charges against me are intended to distract public attention from the crimes of treason, mass murder and plunder committed by the Duterte regime,” Ka Joma said, “from the well-founded charges of crimes against humanity against Duterte before the International Criminal Court and from the glaring failure of the Duterte regime to destroy the armed revolution of the Filipino people.”

CPP/IB: CPP-SMR is intact, claims of collapse are false—CPP

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 10, 2021): CPP-SMR is intact, claims of collapse are false—CPP


SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) dismissed today as fake news and “completely without basis” the recent claims of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that the Party’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee is on the “brink of collapse.”

Last Tuesday, the AFP’s 10th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen Ernesto C. Torres Jr. bragged that their “focused military operations and community support programs,” are set to spell the defeat of New People’s Army (NPA) fronts and units in Southern Mindanao. In their press conference, the 10th ID presented 12 “surrenderees” whom they claim are “former high-ranking leaders” of the SMRC.

CPP Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena said that these pronouncements “are false declarations that will fail to deceive and demoralize the Red fighters and the revolutionary forces of Southern Mindanao.” Valbuena pointed out that “despite the brutal suppression unleashed by the AFP, the peasant masses and Lumad people in the region continue to support and take part in the revolutionary struggle to fight worsening forms of oppression and exploitation.”

“The CPP’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee is intact,” said Valbuena. “Members of the SMRC are steeled in revolutionary struggle and are determined to lead the NPA in fighting and frustrating the brutal all-out war of the AFP and defend the peasant and Lumad masses.”

“The ‘surrenderees’ presented by the 10th ID are misrepresenting ‘high-ranking’ regional cadres in Southern Mindanao so they can pocket more funds and boost their credentials,” said Valbuena. He pointed out that ‘surenderees’ included Noel Legazpi, who in fact came from another region, and had defected to the AFP years ago.

“All the key leadership duties of the Party in the region are being performed by high-caliber and experienced revolutionary cadres,” he said. Valbuena further pointed out that the Party committee in SMR has a deep pool of cadres. “who can be promoted when necessary to take on bigger and heavier tasks of leadership,” Valbuena said.

Valbuena also noted that some of those presented by the AFP as “surrenderees” are in fact captives. “They are being denied proper legal representation and misrepresented before the public,” he said. “They are kept inside AFP camps where they cannot go out and are denied free access to information and communication.”

Valbuena stressed that they are prisoners who do not have free access to lawyers and are not allowed to speak before the public. “They are being subjected to intense psychological pressure to force them to give up their principles and mouth AFP propaganda in their activities,” Valbuena added.

CPP/CIO: Promotion of Gen. Parlade is nauseating

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 10, 2021): Promotion of Gen. Parlade is nauseating


SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

To say the least, Duterte’s appointment of Gen. Antonio Parlade to his National Security Council (NSC) is disgusting and nauseating. The appointment of the unrepentant red-tagger and human rights violator is clearly reward for dutifully serving and defending Duterte’s reign of fascist tyranny, treachery and corruption.

By placing Gen. Parlade in the NSC, Duterte is promoting the abusive practice of red-tagging to the level of national policy. It will surely embolden Gen. Parlade and his ilk in their incessant attacks against democratic people’s organizations which have invariably been subjected to suppression on the pretext of counterinsurgency.

Gen. Parlade must still answer for all his fascist crimes against the people of Southern Tagalog and Bicol. As former commander of the Southern Luzon Command, he is responsible for the string of murders committed by the military and police forces, from the coordinated killing of nine activists last March 7 in Southern Tagalog, the extrajudicial killing of NDFP consultants Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio in November 25, 2020 to the successive murder of peasant leaders across the Bicol region.

He deserves to be indicted before the revolutionary people’s courts and be made to face punishment.

Kalinaw News: Former NPA supporters receive P700,000.00 worth of TUPAD Cash Assistance

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 10, 2021): Former NPA supporters receive P700,000.00 worth of TUPAD Cash Assistance

The City Government of Davao, Public Employment Service Office (PESO), DOLE XI and 27th Infantry “Action” Battalion facilitate the distribution of TUPAD cash assistance to eight (8) People’s Organizations (POs) from Paquibato and Marilog District Davao City on September 3, 2021.

The members of the people’s organizations organized by 27IB through its Community Development Team (CDT) receive P726,000.00 worth of TUPAD cash assistance as additional financial assistance to support their livelihood activities. These beneficiaries are former NPA supporters and members of the underground mass organization (UGMO) deceived and manipulated by the communist terrorist group (CTG). It can be recalled that these individuals were the previous participants of the Peace Building Seminar (PBS) who voluntary surrendered, condemned and withdrew support from CTG after undergoing the 3-day seminar exposing the real and evil intent of the CTG. The TUPAD assistance is one of the government interventions in support of the Executive Order 70, Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) given to former rebels and supporters as additional financial grant. The 181 beneficiaries who receive P3,960.00 each are members of Kialao Farmer’s Association, Kamanyan-Riverside Farmer’s Association, Salindua Farmer’s Association, Meluya Farmer’s Association, Magwasay Farmer’s Association, Pandaitan Farmer’s Association, Paradise Embac Farmers Association, and San Miguel Farmers Association from Paquibato and Marilog Districts.

The TUPAD assistance provides the POs additional capital to increase their production and engage in other livelihood activities to generate additional income. The activity is a collaborative effort of the Local Government of Davao City, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI, Public Employment Service Office (PESO), and the Philippine Army which demonstrate the sincerity of the government in continuously reaching out vulnerable communities in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAS) and Conflict Affected Areas (ConAAs).

Aside from the TUPAD assistance, the said POs are also beneficiaries of other government programs such as livelihood trainings offered by TESDA and starter kit offered by BFAR, DA, TESDA and other concerned stakeholders such as Tilapia and Hito fingerlings, native and broiler hatchlings, vegetable and fruit bearing seedlings, feeds and fertilizers.

“Dako namo nga pasalamat sa suporta na gikan sa atong gobyerno pinaagi sa 27IB tungod sa dako na tabang sa amoang tribu,” Dante Mondagay said. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Victorino M Seño INF (GSC) PA expresses his gratitude to Davao City PESO and DOLE XI for allocating slots intended for the POs and the CDT led by Lieutenant Maunahan for assisting and preparing the necessary documents of all the beneficiaries. He also encourages the members of the PO to ensure that their additional capital should multiply. “Ako po ay naniniwala na sa dagdag na ayuda na ipinaabot ng Gobyerno sa inyo, lalo pang lalago ang inyong pinagkakakitaan. Bilang sukli, patuloy nating suportahan ang gobyerno at makiisa sa pagpapanatili ng katahimikan, kapayapaan at kaauyusan sa Paquibato at Marilog District.”

[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: NPA combatant surrenders in Sarangani Province

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 10, 2021): NPA combatant surrenders in Sarangani Province

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – The Local Government Unit of Municipality of Kiamba, Sarangani Province facilitated the surrender of alias Jubert, an NPA combatant under Guerilla Front Musa at Purok Dingkaling, Brgy Tambilil, Kiamba, Sarangani Province on September 8, 2021. The former combatant was presented to 38th Infantry Battalion along with his firearm, an M2 Carbine Cal. 30 with two (2) magazines and 26rds of ammunition.

The surrender came after the Local Chief Executives and the residents of the Municipality of Kiamba pledge their commitment to cooperate and partner with security forces in defeating the Communist Terrorist Group who have long been terrorizing their communities and have prevented peace and development in their area.

Just recently, various stakeholders which include the LGU, non-government organizations, and the community have joined hands and supported the Community Support Program (CSP) Teams of 38IB in bringing development and ensuring peace in far-flung barangays and sitios of Kiamba and Maitum, all of Sarangani Province.

“Through our strong partnership with the community, it was then when members of the NPA started to return to the folds of the law knowing that the government is serious in achieving peace and development in this area,” said Lieutenant Colonel Anhouvic Atilano, the Commanding Officer of 38IB.

It can be recalled a few months earlier that hundreds of loose firearms and scores of NPA surrenders were recorded in the coastal towns of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat Provinces and in the Daguma Mountain Range which has been the hotbed of NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Committee (FSMRC).

“Our troops will never stop in our efforts to partner with the LGUs and communities in putting an end to communist terrorism in South and South-Central Mindanao,” said Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of the Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry ‘Kampilan’ Division.

“The government is always willing to accept and welcome former NPA combatants who decided to turn their backs from the Communist Terrorist Group. The people of South and South-Central Mindanao are now yearning to have peace and development in this part of the country that is why they have actively took part in undermining the communist terrorist group in their area,” Major General Uy added.

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

Kalinaw News: Former UGMO members participate in Peace Building Seminar initiated by the LGU, Army in Kitaotao, Bukidnon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 9, 2021): Former UGMO members participate in Peace Building Seminar initiated by the LGU, Army in Kitaotao, Bukidnon

ARAKAN, COTABATO – The Local Government Unit of Kitaotao, Bukidnon in collaboration with Army’s 72nd Infantry “Gabay” Battalion formally opened the 3-Day Peace Building Seminar (Live-in) to 80 residents who were identified as former members of Underground Mass Organizations (UGMOs), sympathizers/supporters organized by the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) coming from the barangays of Cabalantian, Sagundanon, Calapaton, and White Kulaman held at Covered Court, Barangay Cabalantian, Kitaotao, Bukidnon on September 08, 2021, and will culminate on September 10, 2021.

The said live-in seminar with the theme “Pagkakaisa tungo sa Mapayapa at Masaganang Pamumuhay” aims to give the participants sufficient knowledge and information on current social, economic, health, and political awareness on the different plans, projects, and programs of the Government for them to avail. The 3-Day Peace Building Seminar will be steered thru a series of lectures, discussions, group activities, workshops, and consultations; and a sort of Deradicalization Program for them to be re-oriented and re-directed from the communist ideologies and wrong beliefs. It will be facilitated by the representatives from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Kitaotao, Local Government Agencies (LGAs), Philippine National Police (PNP), and from the Philippine Army (PA).

Further, the activity was the culmination of the Community Support Program (CSP) Immersion of 72IB in the 13 barangays of Kitaotao which will later be sustained by the Local Government by supporting the organized People’s Organizations of each barangay. These POs were former UGMO members, supporters/sympathizers of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) that will be part and essential components of the Barangay-Based Institution (BBI) and the Integrated Territorial Defense System (ITDS) of their respective barangays.

As part of the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 70 in institutionalizing a “Whole of Nation Approach” in attaining a peaceful and conflict-resilient community in the municipality and the strong commitment and unending support of the Local Government of Kitaotao headed by Hon Lorenzo Gawilan Jr, the participants will be provided with necessary materials and financial support particularly for the meals, snacks, and transportation/fuel during the whole duration of the seminar.

“Our barangay is very fortunate to host such peace initiative activity of our Government. I strongly urge everyone to maximize everything we will learn in this seminar and totally eradicate in our minds and hearts the wrong beliefs and ideologies perpetrated by the CTGs. Let us all focus on achieving a just and lasting peace in our respective barangays. In doing so, we will surely achieve the development we all long for.” Hon. Thelma Hilaria, Barangay Captain of Barangay Cabalantian said in her message.

In addition, Hon. Geofrey Gawilan, Barangay Captain of Barangay Sagundanon said in his message, “Let us not put into waste the efforts and dedication of our Army in helping us to attain lasting peace and prevent further infiltration and recruitment of CTGs in our barangays. Let us not be fooled by the false beliefs and promises of the NPAs. Let us end our struggle against insurgency. Thus, we must first start in our barangays.” He ended.

In response, Maj Elesio Marcolino Jr, Executive officer of 72IB, expressed his deepest gratitude to the untiring support of the local officials and other agencies that worked together in making the activity possible. He assured that 72IB will give its best effort to help the constituents of Kitaotao in achieving lasting peace and facilitate the development effort of the LGU.

The Barangay Captains of the four (4) barangays, YFPM TALBOS; and troops and officers of 72IB also attended the ceremony.

[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: 188 Loose Firearms Stenciled And Inventoried, Locals Grateful to SALW Program

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 9, 2021): 188 Loose Firearms Stenciled And Inventoried, Locals Grateful to SALW Program

Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan – A new record of one hundred eighty-eight (188) loose firearms were stenciled and inventoried by the Provincial Government of Basilan headed by Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman together with the Joint Task Force – Basilan here at Brgy. Seronggon on September 6, 2021.

The Stenciling and Inventory of loose firearms is part of the sustainment of the Small Arms and Light Weapons Program of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process which controls the proliferation of unregistered firearms and limits its movement within their respective area.

It has been known that twenty-three (23) loose firearms were turned over last May 21, 2021, by the Local Government Unit of Hadji Mohammad Ajul headed by Municipal Mayor Ibrahim Ballaho to the Provincial Government. The success of this activity is through the intensified peace efforts of the 15th Special Forces Company led by Captain Sherwin Latiera together with all the supportive Barangay Chairmen of HMA.

Captain Sherwin D Latiera praised the collaborative efforts of the local leaders of HMA in supporting the Small Arms and Light Weapons Program of the National Government which highlights the voluntary turned-over of loose firearms, inventory and stenciling of unregistered ones, and the signing of memorandum of understanding which greatly contributes to the overall peace and development of Basilan.

Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Santander, the Brigade Executive Officer of Joint Task Force Basilan, emphasized the importance of the relationship of the military and the civilian towards nation-building. He also quotes the mandate of the Philippine Army that is to “Secure the Land, Serve the People” in which without the cooperation from the local leaders, keeping the community in peace is difficult.

“Isa sa mga mission namin ay panatilihin mapayapa ang bansa natin pero hindi namin ito magagawa kung hindi tayo magtulong-tulungan. Ang aktibidad na ito ay pagpapakita ng tiwala ng ating mga mamayan sa ating kasundaluhan kaya dapat suportahan ng bawat mamayan ang programang pangakapayapaan lalong lalo na dito sa Basilan.”

Present in the activity were the Basilan Police Provincial Office, Provincial Government of Basilan, Local Government Unit of Hadji Mohammad Ajul, different government agency, and stakeholders.

[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: 88IB neutralized 4 NPAs, Captures 9 members, including 12-Year Old Child-Soldier; Seizes 16 High Powered Firearms in a Running Gun Battle in Bukidnon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 9, 2021): 88IB neutralized 4 NPAs, Captures 9 members, including 12-Year Old Child-Soldier; Seizes 16 High Powered Firearms in a Running Gun Battle in Bukidnon

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The troops of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division encountered CPP-NPA Terrorists (NPAs) today at a forested area in Brgy Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon. The incident resulted in the killing of 4 NPAs, the capture of 9 other NPAs including a 12-year old child-soldier, and the seizure of 16 high-powered firearms.

In response to information from residents that a group of NPAs is on recruitment and extortion activities at their community, the elements of 88IB under the operational control of the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division immediately conducted strike operations to protect the populace in the said area from NPA atrocities. The troops subsequently encountered more or less 20 NPAs under alias MIGZ, Front Secretary, Guerilla Front Malayag of the Sub Regional Committee 2 (SRC2) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (MRC).

Maj. Gen. Romeo S Brawner Jr., Commander of the 4ID, disclosed that a 1-hour running gun battle ensued around 8 o’clock in the morning that initially resulted in the seizure of 3 AK47 Rifles, 4 M16 Rifles and 1 M203 Grenade Launcher, the killing of 4 unidentified NPAs, and capture of 2 others.

“It is a running gun battle wherein our troops were eventually chasing after the NPAs who are scampering towards different directions after the initial firefight. With the persistence of our troops during pursuit operation, they were able to subsequently capture another 7 NPAs including the 12-year old child-soldier, and seized another 8 high-powered firearms composed of 2 AK47 Rifles, 3 M16 Rifles, 1 M14 Rifle, and 2 M653 Rifles. The pursuit operations are still ongoing”, Maj. Gen. Brawner Jr. said.

Maj. Gen. Brawner Jr. also conveyed his sincerest condolences to the families of the dead NPAs. He added that the tragic demise of the said NPAs and the recruitment of a 12-year-old minor is a manifestation of the futility of the armed struggle. The series of victories against the NPAs this past weeks, he said, is a testament of the people’s trust and confidence in our soldiers.

“The people are fed up and tired of the never-ending violence and treachery perpetrated by the NPA including their wanton disregard of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in recruiting minors to bear arms. I assure you that they will not win against the government especially with the people on our side, as the people have long wanted to live in peace and collectively pursue development initiatives”, Maj. Gen. Brawner stressed.

He lauded the courage and bravery of the troops of the 88IB and cited the troops as a beacon of gallantry and selfless commitment in protecting the people and fighting for peace.

“We congratulate the 403rd Infantry Brigade under Brig. Gen. Ferdinand T Barandon and 88IB under Lt. Col. Christian James P Vingno for the successful encounter against the NPA. Surely this victory is another setback that will encourage perhaps most NPA members to return to the peaceful path and abandon the armed struggle”.

On the other hand, troops of the 23rd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Julius Cesar T. Paulo Jr. under the operational control of 402nd Infantry Brigade under Col. Adonis G. Orio, also seized 3 AK47 Rifles, 2 M203 Grenade Launchers, and 1 Anti-Personnel Mine during an encounter on Monday around 2:20 PM at Sitio Manawang, Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

Maj. Gen. Brawner Jr confirmed the said encounter and said that a platoon from 23IB that is conducting Focused Military Operations encountered more or less 25 NPAs believed to be remnants of GF4A of NCMRC led by Jelan Pinakilid alias Baking and 1st Platoon of HQF NEO of NCMRC led by Crisanto Ligayna alias Tazar.

“I would like to convey also my congratulations to 23IB and 402nd Brigade for the job well done. This bespeaks the professionalism of our troops and their commitment to ensure that our people are protected from those who advocate violence in furtherance of their own agenda”.

Moreover, a certain Benito Cagas Gumapac @Dave/Ben, Squad Leader of Banacon Squad of Sentro De Gravidad (SDG), GF16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), voluntarily surrendered without a firearm to Lt. Col. Aristotle F Antonio, Commanding Officer of 29th Infantry Battalion on Monday morning, September 6, 2021.

“Alias Dave is 22 years old, single and a resident of Brgy Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte and was exploited by the NPAs by targeting his vulnerabilities and weakness. This is how the NPA deceives their potential recruits and lures them to join the armed struggle. With his decision to return to a peaceful path, another life will be saved and will be given better opportunities under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP)”, Maj. Gen. Brawner Jr. explained.

It can be recalled that last September 2, 2021, a 15-minute encounter also ensued at the mountainous area of Sitio Sutton, Brgy Cagdianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte between the troops of the 30th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta and more or less 10 NPAs of SYP Platun 16C1, GF16, NEMRC under Roel T Neniel alias “Jacob” on September 2, 2021, resulting in the death of one (1) NPA alias “Asyong”, the Vice Platoon Commander and Political Officer of SYP Platun, 16C1, GF16, NEMRC and the capture of two (2) AK47 Rifles, one (1) M14 rifle, one (1) bandolier, two (2) AK47 magazines, seven (7) M14 magazines with ammunition, and assorted medicines.

Maj. Gen. Brawner Jr. concluded that the 4ID campaign against the NPA is on the right track because civilians are now vigilant and participating in the fight against the NPA by providing vital information that led to the series of victories against the NPA.

[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:]

3ID chief: Wipe out all guerilla fronts in Panay, Negros

From Panay News (Sep 9, 2021): 3ID chief: Wipe out all guerilla fronts in Panay, Negros (By Ruby Silubrico)

Brigadier General Noel Baluyan, newly installed acting commander of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) based in Jamindan, Capiz, directed his men to fast track the dismantling of New People’s Army (NPA) guerilla fronts in Panay and Negros islands.

“We may not totally wipe them out but at least they should not operate in groups. We have to dismantle their fronts para hindi sila makapag-operate,” Baluyan said.

Guerilla fronts so far dismantled were the eastern front in Panay and northern and southeast Negros fronts.

Baluyan said the remaining active fronts in Panay are the central front based in the towns of Calinog, Iloilo and Tapaz, Capiz; and the southern front based in the towns of Miag-ao, Tubungan and San Joaquin, Iloilo, and Hamtic and Sibalom in Antique.

However, these fronts are weakening, Baluyan said.

“There is no letup in our effort to render the NPA irrelevant,” he stressed.

Baluyan’s predecessor, Major General Eric Vinoya, neutralized 3,261 rebels in Central and Western Visayas in 267 combat operations and 83 encounters.

A total of 352 firearms were seized. Also, 2,886 rebel supporters surrendered.

12 top rebel leaders surrender

From the Mindanao Times (Sep 9, 2021): 12 top rebel leaders surrender (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

Photos courtesy of 10th Infantry Division

THE MILITARY reported that 12 top ranking officials of the New People’s Army who surrendered were the ones who claimed that armed group’s ranks have been weakened.

Those who surrendered, who were all under the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, wereJoy James A. Saguino, deputy secretary of Sub Regional Command 1; Christian B. Pastor, commanding officer of Guerrilla Front 33; Eddie S. Genelsa, vice commander Regional Operations Committee; Paulette M. Santos-Castillo, regional coordinator of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines; Daniel Louis S. Castillo, second political instructor of Guerrilla Front 55; Pedro B. Arnado, regional chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Region; Kurt Russel O. Sosa, secretary of Guerrilla Front 3; Roberto O. Rosete Jr., former commander Pulang Bagani Battalion; Ivan Conan S. Cael, secretary SRC3; Noel M. Legazpi, 1st deputy secretary of Far South Mindanao Region; Arian Jane O. Ramos, secretary of Guerrilla Front 55; and, Rurelyn Bay-ao of Youth Bakwit.

During a press conference at Balunto Hall, Camp General Manuel T Yan Sr., Tuboran, Mawab, Davao De Oro on Tuesday, those who surrendered claimed that the rebel movement has been falling and that it has also taken advantage of the indigenous communities.

They added that they also wanted to take advantage of the offer for them to return to their families and earn livelihood through the government programs.

They added that their surrender does not end their cause of fighting for justice and equality.

Lt. General Greg Almerol, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the military unit will continue running after the rebels.

“We are confident that the LGUs ((local government units) and government agencies will sustainably address the issues being exploited by the CTGs. I believe that the only way we can end local communist armed conflict is through our collective efforts and performing our mandates religiously,” Almerol said.