Monday, September 20, 2021

‘Makamandag’ battalion builds separate inspection area

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Sep 20, 2021): ‘Makamandag’ battalion builds separate inspection area

INSPECTION AREA. The Army’s 35th Infantry 'Makamandag' Battalion constructs a separate inspection area for male and female at the checkpoint at Kilometer 3 in Tagbak village, Indanan, that serves as the gateway for the people coming from far-flung areas in Sulu to the town of Jolo, the capital of the province. A photo handout shows troops manning the male inspection area checkpoints on in-bound passengers from the outskirts of Sulu. (SunStar Zamboanga)

THE Army’s 35th Infantry “Makamandag” Battalion (IB) has constructed a separate inspection area for male and female to better serve the public in the province of Sulu.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilfredo Borgonia, Jr., 35IB commander, said Monday, September 20, 2021, that the inspection area is at the checkpoint of the battalion at Kilometer 3 in Tagbak village, Indanan, Sulu.

Borgonia said the checkpoint area is the busiest checkpoint as it is the gateway for the people coming from far-flung areas in Sulu to the town of Jolo, the capital of the province.

He said they also provide hands-on security and is daily deploying enlisted women at the checkpoint to conduct inspection to women, who travel coming from different municipalities in Sulu.

Borgonia said aside from ensuring the security of the people, they are also implementing Covid-19 protocols as a way of helping the province prevent the spread of the virus.

He said the “Makamandag” troopers always opt for everyone’s safety and security.

“Rest assured that this unit will provide services for the people of Lupah Sug,” he added.

NTF-ELCAC: 99 percent of P16.44-B fund for BDP delivered to LGUs

From the Manila Bulletin (Sep 20, 2021): NTF-ELCAC: 99 percent of P16.44-B fund for BDP delivered to LGUs (By Martin Sadongdong)

Around ninety-nine percent of the total P16.44 billion intended for the Barangay Development Program (BDP) had already been distributed to its recipients, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) reported Monday, September 20.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (REY BANIQUET/Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

NTF vice chairman and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said that P16.289 billion (99.03 percent) of the total P16.44 billion BDP fund had been released to the provincial and city governments as of September 9.

“I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of the pandemic, regional task forces are already facilitating the pre-procurement stage of 1,244 projects, the procurement process of 823 projects, and the implementation of 211 projects,” Esperon said in a statement.

He said there were 822 barangays that were included in the first batch of beneficiaries of the BDP after they were “cleared of” and “freed from” the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) from 2016 to 2019.

He said each of the beneficiaries were entitled to receive P20 million for the delivery of development package which includes the building of farm-to-market roads, health stations, classrooms, water and sanitation systems, rural electrification, and livelihood projects.

Meanwhile, the second batch of beneficiaries include 1,406 barangays that were also “cleared of” and “freed from” CPP-NPA-NDF’s influence from 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, the top security adviser noted.

For this, the NTF-ELCAC is asking the government for a budget of P28.12 billion in 2022 to fund the BDP and allot P20 million each to the barangays.

In total, the two batches of BDP beneficiaries were mostly from:

– Sorsogon: 156 barangays

– Bukidnon: 153 barangays

– Davao de Oro: 106 barangays

– North Cotabato: 93 barangays

– Agusan del Sur: 90 barangays

– Davao City: 85 barangays

– Camarines Sur: 69 barangays

– Surigao del Sur: 69 barangays

– Other provinces/ cities: 1,407 barangays

By region, Bicol (Region 5), Davao (Region 11), and Caraga have the most number of beneficiaries with 329, 317, and 285 recipient barangays respectively.

They were followed by Northern Mindanao (Region 10) with 266 barangays, Eastern Visayas (Region 8) with 206 barangays, and Western Visayas (Region 6) with 165 barangays. The remaining 660 recipient barangays were scattered in the other regions.

The Congress has been deliberating the NTF-ELCAC’s proposed budget next year, including the allocation for the BDP. Lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives were divided as to whether or not it would practical to spend too much money on the insurgency problem amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was once supportive of the NTF-ELCAC’s budget, now thought that their proposed budget was “a bit too much.” Meanwhile, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas had said that she saw the task force’s budget next year as an “election war chest” in reference to the forthcoming May 2022 national and local elections.

But Esperon defended the BDP as he stressed that the implementation of the NTF-ELCAC’s flagship project is estimated to benefit around 5.22 million Filipinos.

“For decades, the CPP-NPA-NDF Triad had ruined dreams, destroyed families, abused children, oppressed indegenous peoples, and held back the country’s progress,” Esperon said.

“This program is the government’s commitment to rebuild what the Communist Terrorist Group have devastated,” he added.

Esperon defends budget allocation for NTF-ELCAC

From the Business Mirror (Sep 20, 2021): Esperon defends budget allocation for NTF-ELCAC (BY JOVEE MARIE DE LA CRUZ)

AS some lawmakers continuously oppose the budget allocation for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the National Security Adviser on Monday said an estimated 5.2 million Filipinos are expected to benefit from the Barangay Development Program (BDP) for this year and next year.

In defending the budget of the BDP, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., in a news statement, said the BDP became instrumental in addressing the conditions of conflict-affected communities in far-flung areas, and in realizing the long-sought development in rural areas.

For 2022, about 1,406 barangays will be included in the BDP program to which each will be given P20 million worth of various projects that include farm-to-market road, barangay health centers, potable water system, school buildings and livelihood.

The proposed budget for the BDP in 2022 is pegged at P28.2 billion.

“Through the BDP, we at the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict see that this batch of 1,406 barangays will be emancipated from the influence of the Communist Terrorists and become peaceful and productive societies Testimonies abound from the youth, barangay captains, and local residents on the efficacy and effectiveness of the BDP,” said Esperon, vice chairman of the NTF-ELCAC.

The first batch of 822 barangays was funded from the General Appropriations Act of 2021 at P20 million each, or a total of P16.44 billion.

Esperon said the second batch of BDP beneficiaries or the 1,406 barangays went through the Community Support Program, initiated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. The funds for these projects are now included in the National Expenditure Program being deliberated by Congress.

For 2022, in terms of region, most of the beneficiaries will be from, Region 5 (Bicol); Region 11 (Davao Region); Region 13 (Caraga); Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); Region 8 (Eastern Visayas); Region 6 (Western Visayas) and others.

While in terms of provinces, most barangays that were already free from New People’s Army (NPA) threat and influence are from Sorsogon, Bukidnon, Davao de Oro, North Cotabato, Agusan del Sur, Davao City, Camarines Sur, Surigao del Sur and others.

As of September 9, he said, about 99.03 percent or P16.289 billion of the P16.44 billion funds for the BDP implementation in 2021 had already been released to the provincial and city governments.

“On the status of project implementation, I am pleased to report that despite the challenges of the pandemic, regional task forces are already facilitating the pre-procurement stage of 1,244 projects, the procurement process of 823 projects, and the implementation of 211 projects,” Esperon said.

The Makabayan bloc is calling for the abolition of the task force and demanding that the funding given to NTF-ELCAC be rechanneled to education and pandemic response in 2022.

[Jovee Marie Dela Cruz is working as a reporter in the country's leading business newspaper the BusinessMirror since 2013. Ms. Dela Cruz, who is in the media industry for 8 years, is currently covering the House of Representatives. She graduated from Universidad De Manila with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2008. At present, Ms. Dela Cruz is finishing up her master's degree in communication at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).]

NPA rebel surrenders in Tarlac

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 20, 2021): NPA rebel surrenders in Tarlac (By: Jun A. Malig)

A former New People’s Army rebel turned over these rifle grenades to Tarlac authorities. (Photo from the Police Regional Office 3)

A New People’s Army member surrendered and turned two rifle grenades over to authorities in San Jose town, Tarlac province, the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) said Sunday, Sept. 19.

Tarlac police director Col. Renante Cabico
identified the man only as “Ka Renz” or “Ka Mandy,” 47, a resident of San Jose.

In a statement, PRO3 director Brig. Gen. Valeriano De Leon said the former rebel had surrendered to avail himself of the benefits for returnees under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

The benefits for a rebel-returnee include some P186,000 in cash and livelihood assistance, payment for the surrendered firearms, and housing, legal, medical, educational, and related assistance.

Philippines-US defence treaty needed more than ever as Taliban’s rise sparks fears of global terrorism

Posted to the South China Morning Post (Sep 20, 2021): Philippines-US defence treaty needed more than ever as Taliban’s rise sparks fears of global terrorism (By Chester B. Cabalza)
  • The Mutual Defence Treaty between Manila and Washington marked its 70th anniversary this month, but it has been criticised for obsolete practices
  • Amid concerns over a resurgence of militant behaviour, the pact needs to be reviewed to ensure Washington aids Manila in combating threats to national security

US Army Special Forces at a Philippine army base in the southern Philippines. Photo: AFP

The September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, in which the financial and political capitals of the US were gutted by non-state actors, changed the contours of the international security landscape.

The Philippines, Washington’s oldest treaty ally in the Indo-Pacific, is no stranger to terrorism and violent extremism, as seen in the 2013 stand-off with a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City, as well as the 2017 siege of Marawi by militants affiliated with Islamic State (Isis).

These major terrorist incidents took place despite the passage of the Human Security Act of 2007, Manila’s primary anti-terrorism law, which did not succeed in quashing the activities of al-Qaeda-linked local groups such as Abu Sayyaf or Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiah, which is known to be operating in the Philippines. As such, the more stringent Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was enacted.

Meanwhile, the Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT) between Manila and Washington marked its 70th anniversary last month, making it one of the world’s longest-lived agreements of its kind. However, it has been criticised for obsolete practices amid the evolving global security landscape that hinges on sovereignty issues in terms of addressing transnational crimes like terrorism, and it was recently challenged by the wider Philippine security sector, which called for a review of its provisions in anticipation of changes in the country’s defence and foreign policies.

The Philippines must consider banning foreign forces from directly engaging in combat on its soil. Its failure to do so thus far has become a handicap and is one of the main reasons why the terrorist conundrum has lasted so long in the southern Philippines despite tactical and strategic support from major powers to crush jihadis in Marawi.

A Philippine marine takes part in a joint exercise with US troops. Photo: AFP

September 11 and the signing of the MDT were important and symbiotic events for the Philippines. The treaty with the US was instrumental in the Philippines’ participation in the “war on terror” under president George W. Bush, during which Afghanistan was invaded in 2001.

In December that year, Washington sent its ground and Special Operations Forces to Mindanao to quell Islamist terrorists, in what was the second-largest American deployment outside Afghanistan. Two years later, the Philippines deployed a contingency force to support the US-led coalition that occupied Iraq. This was cut short in 2004 after Iraqi militants kidnapped an overseas Filipino worker; to secure his release, then president Gloria Arroyo agreed to their terms that the Philippines would withdraw from Iraq.

Maritime insecurities over the presence of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea – Manila’s designation for the parts of the South China Sea that are in its exclusive economic zone – have troubled presidents from Fidel Ramos to Rodrigo Duterte, and have needed the support of the MDT.


But the country’s protracted internal security situation, where insurgency and terrorism overlap – and where foreign militants often exploit local grievances and resentments to spread an ideology of enmity and violence – also requires the treaty’s support. As a reminder, through the MDT, the Philippines received indirect support from US counter-intelligence and counterterrorism operations in halting Isis-inspired jihadist groups, as seen in the siege of Marawi.

This support is needed again. A year before the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was passed, there was a jihadi suicide bombing at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, in the province of Sulu. Twenty people were killed and more than 100 others injured in the attack, which used improvised explosive devices containing ammonium nitrate – similar to the tactic used by Southeast Asian terrorists in the 2002 Bali bombings.

Philippine soldiers on patrol in Zamboanga City on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Photo: AFP

The Philippines has also not been spared the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, which developed in four waves: from mostly educated and Middle Eastern Arabs who joined al-Qaeda in
Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s; elite expatriates from the Middle East who attended universities in the West, and were self-recruited or globally connected through the internet; individuals who formed fluid and informal networks, who were self-financed and self-trained; and fighters who joined the rise of Isis’ network formed through family and friends and linked up with each other on the battlefield. Foreign terrorists, including Isis-linked groups, continue to thrive in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao.

As a response to the increasing threat posed by the foreign terrorist fighters, the United Nations Security Council promulgated Resolution (UNSCR) 2178 on September 24, 2014, requiring all UN member-states to implement criminal justice measures to criminalise foreign terrorists.

This resolution has been included in Manila’s amended anti-terror law of 2020. Only last year amid the pandemic, attacks by Islamic militants in May 2020 prompted the evacuation of over 6,000 people in Mindanao. The MTD could be an instrument for military cooperation in combating foreign terrorist fighters, which have become a collective problem for Manila and Washington.

Philippines’ VFA with US in full force after Duterte ‘retracts’ termination letter
30 Jul 2021

Now that the Taliban has successfully retaken Afghanistan – following the chaotic withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of war in the country, and as the US limits its engagement as a global police force and looks to transform itself into a protectionist superpower – observers are apprehensive that there might be a resurgence in global terrorism, complicated by the pandemic.

Insurgency and terrorism remain the top internal security threats in the Philippines, and while Manila prepares for the election of a new president next year, the robust MDT should remain – though it needs a review in light of these geopolitical changes.

This review would not mean a revocation or renegotiation of the treaty, but instead a look at what has been done before to address the resurgent terrorist threats that will challenge Philippine national security. The next Filipino president must adhere to the spirit of the new anti-terror law and address the bigger socioeconomic problems in Mindanao to prevent the escalation of terrorism in the Philippines.

[Chester B. Cabalza is the founder and president of the International Development and Security Cooperation (IDSC), a Manila-based think tank]

MILF: ‘There’s no shortcut to peace, because peace is a process’ – MP Susana Anayatin

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Sep 20, 2021): ‘There’s no shortcut to peace, because peace is a process’ – MP Susana Anayatin (By Muhammad Musa, Luwaran)

COTABATO CITY – Dr Susana S. Anayatin, a non-Muslim Member of Parliament, said, ‘There is no shortcut to peace because peace is a process’ in Kaunlaran sa Bangsamoro talk show of the Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN) Inc. on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

Anayatin was invited to guest the talk show to discuss her contributions in the parliament and initiatives in call for Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Extension up to 2025.

“To President Duterte, Senate, Congress and Bangsamoro Leaders, there is no short cut to peace because peace is a process. That's why we are calling on all of you to give way to the extension of Bangsamoro Transition Authority as an institution of peace in Mindanao," she said.

When asked on the current status of her office and its mandate, Anayatin said, “Well provided naman kami nung aming mga pangangailangan in terms of equipment and budget as well. Sa pamamagitan ng provision na ‘yon naitataguyod at nagagawa natin ang mga mandato para sa Bangsamoro at ang unang mandate ng office ay legislation. In terms of legislation we were able to facilitate the creation of an Office for Settlers Communities in the BARMM. Naipasa na siya kasama ang Administrative Code at last month naitalaga na ni Chief Minister ang mamumuno sa tanggapan nayan sa katauhan ni Mr. Edgar Ramirez.”

[Our needs in terms of equipment and budget are well provided. With this provision, we are able to execute our mandate for the Bangsamoro and our primary mandate is legislation. We were able to pass it together with the Administrative Code and last month the Chief Minister designated Mr. Edgar Ramirez to manage the said office.]

Anayatin conveyed that she is one of the authors of the Administrative Code, Civil Service Code and Education Code.

The lady legislator further disclosed that she is also a member of the Committee on Rules, Committee on Budget and Management, Committee on Education and Committee on Trade and Industry.

Aside from a being lawmaker, Anayatin is also inclined in initiating tangible projects. “Meron din kaming mga function to identify projects under TDIF or Transitional Development Impact Funds. Out of that initiative, nakapag sponsor po tayo ng road construction sa SPDA, DOS (Datu Odin Sinsuat), Maguindanao, water system sa Sapalan also in DOS, School Fish Landing sa Kakar DOS, at dalawang ambulance sa residente ng Datu Odin at Datu Piang,” Anayatin said. [We also have function to identify projects under TDIF or Transitional Development Impact funds. We were able sponsor road construction at SPDA, DOS, Maguindanao, water system at Sapalan also in DOS, School Fish Landing at Kakar DOS, and two ambulances for the residents of Datu Odin and Datu Piang.]

According to Anayatin, as part of her regular humanitarian services, their office gave food packs to the four orphanages in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat and they were able to provide hygiene kits and school supplies to some schools in the city.

Meanwhile, Anayatin said that participation in the regional government is one of the concerns of the Settler Communities being addressed by the BARMM Government.

“Kasi noong ARMM wala talagang partisipasyon ang settlers sa ARMM. Meron ngang posisyon for Deputy Vice-Governor for ARMM [ngunit] wala namang siyang tanggapan, wala namang programa, pero sa ngayon sa ginawa nating batas may programa, may upisina at tao na magpapairal ng proyekto at programa ng Bangsamoro. Unang pinakamalaking kaibahan sa ARMM na mabebenepisyuhan ng mga settler communities [sa kasalukuyang Bangsamoro government]. [During the ARMM stint there was no participation of the settlers in the regional government. There was a position Deputy Vice-Governor for ARMM but no office, no program and now we pass a law creating program, office and personnel that will handle projects and programs of the Bangsamoro. The first huge difference in the ARMM is that settlers will be benefitted.]

Anayatin has also relayed the feedbacks of people in the community and said “Some feedback sa BARMM na naririnig ko ay ‘Mapia ged i BARMM anya ka pakatabang ged.’ Nakakataba ng puso sa pamamagitan noong maliliit nating proyekto naipapadama natin sa ating mga kababayan na may gobyerno tayo, na pwedeng takbuhan.” [Some feedback in BARMM that I heard was that “This BARMM is nice for it really helps us.” It is heart-warming that through our small projects we were able to let the people feel that we have government which they can ask for help.]

“The BARMM Government is far different from the previous ARMM,” she emphasized. “Road constructions, monthly distribution of food packs in some orphanages are some of the manifestation that this government is really governing morally.”

Anayatin also expressed that three years is not enough for a transition from rebel to civil life and related that in other countries, they were given six years.

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

MILF: BARMM Chief Minister Ebrahim hails approval of bill for BTA extension by HoR

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Sep 20, 2021): BARMM Chief Minister Ebrahim hails approval of bill for BTA extension by HoR

In photo BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao— Chief Minister Ahod (Al Haj Murad) Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM hailed the passage on its third and final reading of the House Bill 10121 Wednesday, September 15 resetting the elections in 2022, thus extending the transition period of the BARMM to 2025.

Ebrahim said that the passage of the bill on third reading, by a vote of 187-0-0, “puts us in a better position to ensure that the provisions and agreements in the GPH-MILF peace process are properly implemented.”

“The extension of the transition period will allow the interim Bangsamoro Government to pour in all its efforts in establishing an institution that acknowledges the circumstances of the Bangsamoro, and will provide opportunities for everyone to take part in reshaping our homeland,” he added.

On September 14, President Rodrigo Duterte issued the certificate of urgency on “the necessity of the immediate enactment of House Bill 10121 to give the Bangsamoro transitional government sufficient time to complete its mandate, establish a strong bureaucracy and enact foundational codes essential to the achievement of the aspirations of unity, genuine autonomy, and development in the BARMM.

Ebrahim expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for reassuring the success of the Bangsamoro peace process.

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

CPP/NPA-Negros Island ROC: AFP/PNP will fail in destroying the revolutionary movement in Negros Island

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 20, 2021): AFP/PNP will fail in destroying the revolutionary movement in Negros Island


SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of the New People’s Army – Negros Island Apolinario Gatmaitan Command (AGC-NPA), through a statement said that the efforts of succeeding regimes to defeat the revolutionary movement in Negros Island will end in failure.

Magbanua asserted that the guerrilla fronts in Negros are deeply rooted among the broad masses and enjoys the never-ending support of the people, thus, he is sure that the ruling class and its mercenary instruments, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) cannot render it inconsequential.

“The leaders of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) and its brigades are shameless in squandering the people’s coffers to finance a campaign of deception under the ‘anti-insurgency’ program for the purpose of covering the worsening crisis further aggravated by billions of corruption of the Duterte regime amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He criticized the AFP/PNP’s boastful declaration of “dismantling the north and southeast front of the NPA” and its intrigues against the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The AFP/PNP fights for the interest of the ruling class not because of its sincerity in serving the people but to preserve the oppressive and exploitative system and due to the salary they receive, he said.

If the military and police serve the people, they should not follow the “counter-insurgency” program of the tyrant and butcher Duterte regime that does not serve the interest of the people instead wreaks massive havoc to lives and livelihood and terrorizes the people. To the AGC-NPA, they [AFP/PNP] launch an unjust war.

Meanwhile, the NPA is adeptly and absolutely led by the CPP in the national and regional level.

“As true fighters of the people, it struggles for the interest of the broad masses of the people especially the workers and peasants,” said Magbanua.

It wages a just war to eliminate the oppressive and exploitative semifeudal and semicolonial system ruled by the big landlords, big comprador bourgeoisie and imperialist US, he added.

Furthermore, revolutionary practice teaches that through wholeheartedly serving the interest of the people one can surely attain their inexhaustible support.

Magbanua said that “because hunger and poverty continues to worsen due to massive corruption and the inutile and militarist response of the Duterte regime to the COVID-19 problem, certainly armed revolution will intensify and spread throughout Negros island and the entire country.”

He pointed out that the harm caused by the butcher and mercenary AFP/PNP under the Joint Task Force Negros is but temporary and will not hinder the aspiration of all revolutionary forces to resolutely advance the armed struggle that has been showered with the blood of revolutionary martyrs.

Finally, he said that the best tribute to the departed heroes and martyrs of the revolution is mounting tactical offensives to make those with blood debts against the people and the revolution pay dearly.###

CPP/NPA-Negros Island ROC: Malig-on nga naka-ugat sa malapad nga masa ang rebolusyonaryong kahublagan sa Negros

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 20, 2021): Malig-on nga naka-ugat sa malapad nga masa ang rebolusyonaryong kahublagan sa Negros


SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Madamu na sang pagpaninguha sang mga nagbulos-bulos nga mga rehimen agud wasakon ang rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan sa Isla sang Negros apang ini tanan nag-ani lang sang mga kapaslawan. Segurado nga indi mawasak sang nagaharing sahi kag sang iya instrumento nga mga mersenaryo nga Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) kag Philippine National Police (PNP) ang mga larangan gerilya sa isla sang Negros tungod malig-on ini nga naka-ugat sa malapad nga masa kag naga-angkon sang madalum nga suporta sang pumuluyo.

Wala huya nga ginawaldas sang mga nagapamuno sang 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) kag mga brigada idalum sini ang kaban sang kwarta sang pumuluyo para pinansyahan ang kampanya sa pagpatalang idalum sa programa sa “kontra-insurhensya” nga gustong hinabonan ang nagalala nga krisis nga mas ginpagrabe pa gid sang binilyon nga korapsyon sang rehimen Duterte tunga sa COVID-19 pandemic. Puno sang tikal ang mga ginama-gama nga pahayag nga “pagkawasak sang north kag southeast front sang New People’s Army (NPA)” kag pangintriga sa pagpamuno sang Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Ang AFP/PNP nagapakig-away sa interes sang nagahari nga sahi kag indi sinsero sa pagserbisyo sa pumuluyo agud ipreserba ang mapiguson kag mahimuslanon nga sistema kag sa sweldo nga ila ginabaton. Kon matuod ang militar kag pulis nga nagaserbisyo sa pumuluyo, indi nila dapat pagsundon ang programa sa “kontra-insurhensya” sang tiraniko kag berdugo nga rehimen Duterte nga klaro nga wala nagaserbi sa interes sang pumuluyo sa baylo makatuga sang lapnagon nga halit sa kabuhi kag palangabuhian kag nagaterorisa sa pumuluyo. Amo ini ang indi makatarungan nga gera.

Ang New People’s Army malig-on kag absolutong ginapamunuan sang CPP sa pungsodnon kag rehiyonal nga lebel. Bilang matuod nga hangaway sang pumuluyo, nagapakig-away ini sa interes sang malapad nga pumuluyo ilabi na sa mga mamumugon kag mga mangunguma.

Nagalunsar ini sa isa ka makatarungan nga gera agud dulaon ang mapiguson kag mahimuslanon nga sistema nga malapyudal kag malakolonyal nga ginaharian sang dalagku nga agalon may duta, dalagku nga komprador burgisya kag imperyalista nga US. Ang rebolusyonaryong praktika nagtudlo nga ang pag-alagad sang tampad para sa interes sang pumuluyo ang segurado nga makakuha sang indi mahubsan nga suporta bangud ila ini nga interes.

Bangud ang gutom kag kapigaduhon padayon nga nagalala dala sang madata nga korapsyon, inutil kag militarista nga pagsabat sa problema sa COVID-19 sang pasista kag tiraniko nga rehimen Duterte, pat-ud nga ang armadong rebolusyon magasingki kag magadilaab sa bilog nga Isla sang Negros kag sa bilog nga pungsod.

Ang temporaryo nga halit sang mga berdugo kag mersenaryo nga PNP kag AFP sa idalum sang Joint Task Force Negros indi makapugong sa handum sang tanan nga rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa pagpursigi sa pagpadayon sang armadong paghimakas nga gin-ula-an sang dugo sang mga rebolusyonaryong martir. Wala sang katumbas nga pagpasidungog ang mahalad sa mga nagtaliwan nga mga baganihan kag martir sa rebolusyon kundi ang paglunsar sang mga taktikal nga opensiba agud pabayaron sang mahal ang mga may utang nga dugo sa pumuluyo kag rebolusyon.

Isulong ang armadong rebolusyon tubtob san kadalag-an!
Mabuhay ang masang pigos!

CPP/NDF-Cagayan Valley: Tama Na! Sobra Na! Isakdal ang Rehimeng US-Duterte!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 20, 2021): Tama Na! Sobra Na! Isakdal ang Rehimeng US-Duterte!


SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Makalipas ang 49 taon, ginugunita ng sambayanang Pilipino ang pagpataw ng diktador na si Ferdinand Marcos ng batas militar kasabay ng pagpapaalingawngaw ng kanilang panawagang isakdal ang rehimeng US-Duterte sa kanyang patong-patong na krimen laban sa mamamayang Pilipino at sangkatauhan.

Hinding-hindi maiwawaglit ng mamamayan ang mga ala-ala ng kabagsikan, karahasan, pagyurak sa karapatang-tao at panggigipit na kanilang naranasan sa panahon ng diktadurang Marcos lalo na’t patuloy pa ring nasasaksihan ng sambayanang Pilipino ang mga katulad na eksena sa war on drugs ng rehimeng US-Duterte at sa katauhan ng mga militaristang upisyal ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Patong-patong na kriminal na pananagutan ang nailalantad habang nalalapit ang pagwawakas ng termino ni Duterte bilang pangulo. Sa kanyang kinakaharap na kasong maramihang pamamaslang (mass murder) bilang krimen laban sa sangkatauhan (crime against humanity) na kasalukuyang nasa imbestigasyon ng prosekusyon ng International Criminal Court (ICC), maraming mga naulilang mga anak, nabalo na asawa at mga kamag-anak ng mga biktima ng walang habas na pamamaslang ang nabuhayan ng loob upang tumindig at igiit na isakdal ang mastermind ng krimeng ito na si Duterte. Dagdag pa sa listahan ng utang na dugo ni Duterte ang mga pinaslang nito na mga peace consultant, lider-magsasaka, aktibista at mga karaniwang mamamayang biktima ng karahasan dulot ng walang pakundangang pambobomba at panganganyon sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa.

Habang umuugong ang panawagan na isakdal sa krimeng maramihang pamamaslang, sumasambulat sa gitna ng krisis sa pandemya ang katiwalian ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Lalong nagpupuyos sa galit ang sambayanang Pilipino nang kanilang malaman na kumikita ng bilyon-bilyon ang mga alipores at ng mga alipores ng alipores ni Duterte sa maanumalyang transaksyon ng mga ahensya ng gubyerno sa Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. Sa pamamagitan ng dummy na kumpanyang ito na kinakasangkutan ng dating economic adviser ng kasalukuyang rehimen na si Michael Yang at ni Christopher Lao, na alipores ni Bong Go na alipores ni Duterte na naging senador, nagkakahalaga ng P42 bilyon mula sa kaban ng bayan ang ginastos ng rehimeng US-Duterte upang bumili ng overpriced na face masks at iba pang kagamitang pangmedikal.

Inilalantad ng karahasan, kurapsyon at anomalya sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte ang nagpapatuloy na bulok na sistemang nilabanan ng mga martir ng sambayanan na nabuwal sa madilim na panahon ng batas militar ng diktadurang Marcos. Walang makabuluhang pagkakaiba, bagkus lalo lamang pinabagsik ang pasistang atake sa mamamayan at pinasahol ng kasalukuyang rehimen ang krisis ng mala-kolonyal at mala-pyudal na lipunan.

Kung may Juan Ponce Enrile at Danding Cojuanco noon si Marcos, may Dennis Uy, Manny Villar, Enrique Razon at Michael Yang ngayon na kroni ni Duterte.

Kung may Fidel Ramos at Fabian Ver noon si Marcos, may mga retiradong heneral sa loob ng junta militar na gabinete ngayon si Duterte na mga militaristang upisyal.

Kung may batas militar noon si Marcos na nanggipit sa demokratikong karapatan ng sambayanang Pilipino, sa ilalim ni Dutere may war-on-drugs, NTF-ELCAC, IATF at batas militar sa Mindanao na naghasik ng karahasan na pumaslang sa higit 30,000 mamamayan at milyon-milyong biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang-tao.

Kung may pasistang diktador na Marcos noon, may tiraniko at uhaw-sa-dugong kriminal na Duterte ngayon na kapwa epektibong rekruter ng Pulang mandirigma ng New People’s Army (NPA).

Tulad ng rehimeng Marcos, bigo ang rehimeng Duterte sa ilusyon nitong pulbusin ang NPA. Hangga’t nangangayupapa sa tigreng papel na imperyalistang US ang reaksyunaryong gubyerno, pasistang atake laban sa mamamayan ang natatanging kakayahan ng reaksyunaryong AFP sa pagpapatupad nito ng iba’t ibang kontra-insurhensiyang programa. Pinapahusay lamang ng AFP ang mga estratehiya, taktika at mga modernong kagamitang pandigma nito upang hadlangan ang rebolusyonaryong adhikain ng mamamayan na kamtin ang tunay na pambansang kasarinlan at demokratikong interes ng sambayanang Pilipino.

Wala nang ibang panahon upang igpawan ang takot, pahigpitin ang pagkakaisa at sama-samang kumilos upang biguin ang rehimeng US-Duterte sa tangka nitong takasan ang kanyang kriminal na pananagutan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapanatili nito sa poder. Pagtakas mula sa napipintong imbestigasyon at pagkakasakdal ang pagkakapit-tuko ni Duterte sa poder at pagtakbo nito sa nalalapit na eleksyon bilang bise-presidente.

Tama na! Sobra na! Hindi na hahahayan pa ng sambayanang Pilipino na manatili sa poder ang kriminal, tiraniko at kurap na rehimeng US-Duterte na naghasik ng terorismo ng estado.



CPP/CIO: Denounce government data massaging to downplay severe unemployment

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 20, 2021): Denounce government data massaging to downplay severe unemployment


SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

The Filipino people must denounce government data massaging to downplay the real extent of the jobless crisis. The press statements of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) paint a false picture of an improving employment situation in the country by focusing on the percentages and downplaying the absolute numbers of jobless workers.

The claim that unemployment dropped to its lowest level at 6.9% last July from 7.7% last June deceptively obscures the fact that the number of workers with jobs was 3.4 million less during the same period. The same survey said that the number of employed workers dropped from 45.1 million in June to 41.7 million in July.

The real extent of joblessness in the Philippines is also attenuated by classifying people as underemployed which rose to the highest level of 8.7 million since the pandemic. These are workers who have turned to temporary and contractual jobs, including around 1.5 million delivery riders, who do not make enough income and whose labor rights are relentlessly violated.

Duterte’s economic managers are masters of statistical deception. They massage the data to convey a message that is completely detached from reality. They make it appear that unemployment is becoming less severe by simply not counting millions of jobless workers by classifying them as “not in the labor force.”

The PSA statistics itself pointed out that the labor force participation rate in July 2021 dropped to 59.8% or 2.67 million “dropped” from the 63.2% in April 2021. The July data is the lowest since the outset of the pandemic last year. The worst drop in employment is in the agricultural sector (1.7 million jobs loss), likely as a result of the rice liberalization law and other policies causing economic displacement of farm workers.

This statistical sleight of hand has the effect of making jobless workers think that they are alone or that only a few of them are suffering from what is in fact a severe jobs crisis in the country due to the regime’s economic policies and priorities.

Workers and the mass of unemployed must protest this deception and amplify their call for more jobs and an end to the job-killing neoliberal policies of the Duterte regime and heighten their call for genuine national industrialization and genuine land reform.

Kalinaw News: Responding to Residents’ Tip-off, Gov’t Troops Capture Terrorist Group’s War Materiel in Masbate

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 20, 2021): Responding to Residents’ Tip-off, Gov’t Troops Capture Terrorist Group’s War Materiel in Masbate

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-A bulk of war materiel were captured by the government troops as they continue to scour every nook and cranny of Masbate province to hunt down communist NPA terrorists.

On September 20, residents in Aroroy reported about the suspicious materials left behind by CNTs in their area to which the elements of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) and PNP immediately verified.

The troops were able to capture an M16 rifle, two magazines, assorted ammunitions, one plastic bag containing ammonium nitrate (the primary component in making anti-personnel mine), dynamite, one roll of detonating cord, and personal belongings.

According to Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB, the discovery of these war materiel is a proof that the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) can no longer hide even their firearms because of the vigilance of the Masbateños.

Meanwhile, Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, sees this as a manifestation of the continuously deteriorating capabilities of the terrorist group and declining support from the far-flung areas which the CTG enjoyed prior the intensified campaign of government forces against terrorism in Masbate.

“Iniiwan na lang nila ang mga armas nila kasi wala ng magbibitbit dahil kulang na ang kanilang mga miyembro gawa ng sunod-sunod na mass surrender sa Masbate. Muli naming pinapaalalahanan ang naiiwan pang mga miyembro ng komunistang terorista upang sila ay sumuko at magbagong buhay. Binabalaan din namin sila na hindi titigil ang hukbo ng pamahalaan upang pigilan ang dahas at panganib na dinudulot ng teroristang grupong ito. Paliit na ng paliit ang inyong ginagalawan bunga ng pagsuporta at kooperasyon ng buong sambayanan laban sa karahasan at hindi makataong pamamaraan ng komunistang terorista sa lalawigan ng Masbate at iba pang lugar sa Bicol,” Col. Almase said.

Moreover, PBGen. Jonnel Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5), underscored that the security forces are beyond grateful for the public’s support which makes the campaign of the government to make Masbate armed conflict-free attainable.

“Hindi po namin makakamit ang sunod-sunod na tagumpay na ito kung wala ang suporta ninyong mga Bicolano,”PBGen. Estomo said.

MGEN HENRY A ROBINSON JR PA, Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia assured the Masbateños of its continuous extensive operations to finally extricate the CTG in the island province.

“Sa mga Masbateño lalo na sa ating mga local chief executives, tuloy-tuloy lang tayo sa paglulunsad ng iba’t ibang mga aktibidad at programa upang itakwil ang CTG sa inyong lalawigan. Nakikita nating nagbubunga na ang ating mga pagsisikap kaya ngayon natin higit na kailangang magkapit-bisig upang tuluyan nang maubos ang mga komunistang teroristang ito,” MGen. Robinson said.

Last September 18, a CTG member was captured in an armed encounter in San Pascual while firearms and explosives were also seized.

[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: LGU of Quezon Facilitated Surrender of an NPA Rebel

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 20, 2021): LGU of Quezon Facilitated Surrender of an NPA Rebel

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – The local government unit of Lopez, Quezon facilitated the surrender of a former New People’s Army rebel from their town at 2:00 p.m. yesterday, September 18, 2021.

Through the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, Honorable Rachel A Ubana, the Local Chief Executive, spearheaded the negotiations that led to the eventual surrender of a certain “Ka Jona”. The actual surrender of “Ka Jona” was assisted by the military and police units operating in the area of Lopez, Quezon.

A member of Platun Reymark, Sub-Regional Military Area 4B of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, “Ka Jona” decided to surrender to government authorities after successive feelings of disdain, having witnessed the gross corruption among their leaders and within their ranks. According to the former rebel, she had observed and realized that the government is sincere in its campaign in achieving peace as attested by what her former colleague “Ka Ley” had benefited after returning to the folds of the law on January 18, 2019.

Lopez Mayor, Hon Rachel A Ubana, also called out to those remaining NPAs in the mountains of the Bondoc Peninsula to return to the folds of the government saying “Sa mga kapatid naming naiwan pa sa hanay ng New People’s Army, kami po ay nakikiusap sa inyo na magbalik loob na sa ating pamahalaan. Wala pong maidudulot na maganda ang paghawak ng armas. Kung ano man po ang problema ay ating pag-usapan ng mahinahon at sama-sama nating solusyonan.”

The surrender of “Ka Jona” is a testament to the effectiveness of the town’s effort to contribute to putting an end to the communist insurgency in their area. The creation of the Municipal Task Force ELCAC was brought about by Executive Order Number 70 which was signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on December 4, 2018. The said executive order aims at institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, create a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, and adopting a national peace framework.

[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:]

Kabataan to Comelec: Junk NTF-ELCAC petition seeking to cancel our registration

From Rappler (Sep 20, 2021): Kabataan to Comelec: Junk NTF-ELCAC petition seeking to cancel our registration (By DWIGHT DE LEON)

Kabataan asserts NTF-ELCAC's cancellation petition against the progressive group should be dismissed for 'utter lack of merit'

Party-list group Kabataan urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismiss a petition filed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) seeking to bar the progressive organization from participating in the 2022 polls.

Kabataan, led by Representative Sarah Elago
, filed before the poll body on Monday, September 20, a 33-page answer to the anti-communist task force's petition to cancel its registration in June.

"It is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court [to] order the immediate dismissal of the instant petition for failure to state a cause of action, absence of the real party in interest, lack of standing of petitioner NTF-ELCAC, among others; or alternatively, to order the dismissal of the petition, after notice and hearing, for utter lack of merit," read in Kabataan's formal reply.

The party-list group called on the Comelec to order NTF-ELCAC to pay the cost of the lawsuit and/or damages. If granted, Kabataan said the money will be awarded to frontline health workers of the Philippine General Hospital.

What are the allegations?

NTF-ELCAC listed numerous allegations in the submitted petition, a copy of which was obtained by Rappler.

It listed supposed youths "who have been deceived and beguiled" by Kabataan, which allegedly serves as "open gates for the recruitment of youths to a declared terrorist organization."

The task force also argued that Kabataan violated a provision of the Comelec Rules of Procedure which stated that the registration of a party-list group may be canceled if the said organization is "pursuing its goals through violence or other unlawful means."

But Kabataan, in its reply, asserted that such a measure is obsolete, following the passage of Republic Act No. 7941 of the Party-List System Act.

"As the basis for the instant cancellation case no longer exists, this would mean that this petition would state no cause of action and, hence, should be dismissed outright," Kabataan's answer read.

Kabataan added that while RA 7941 states that the Comelec may cancel the registration of any organization if it advocates violence or unlawful means, such a provision does not apply to the party-list group.

"To be a ground for cancellation, the act of advocating violence or any unlawful act or means must likewise be open and public, not clandestine or in secret," Kabataan's camp said.

"In the present case, petitioner has not alleged or submitted evidence that respondent has publicly or openly advocated the commission of rebellion or taking of arms against the government," it added.

Kabataan also insisted that no provision in Executive Order No. 70 which established NTF-ELCAC gave it the authority to pursue the lawsuit, and that the task force did not fulfill the requirement of "interest" in RA 7941 to file the cancellation case.

Opposition under attack

Aside from Kabataan, party-list group Gabriela, which is also under the House's Makabayan Bloc, has been facing a cancellation case before the Comelec since 2019, over accusations that it was supporting the communist struggle.

Both groups – which are utterly vocal against the Duterte administration – have filed manifestations of intent to join the May 2022 polls.

Defying red-tagging, Kabataan submits intent to join 2022 party-list elections

Elago told Rappler on Monday the cancellation case against Kabataan is yet another attempt by the administration to suppress its critics.

"[This is] part of the broader attempt to silence the opposition, and remove all forms of accountability since they are attacking a party-list member of the House," Elago said.

NTF-ELCAC, established in 2018, has drawn criticism for hurling red-baiting claims at critics, sometimes even despite a lack of evidence.

Raps filed vs suspected NPA leader, two others

From Panay News (Sep 20, 2021: Raps filed vs suspected NPA leader, two others (BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA)

BACOLOD City – Five criminal charges were filed against a captured suspected New People’s Army (NPA) leader and two others, according to the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO).

Complaints for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and RA 9516 (illegal possession and manufacture of explosives) were
filed against Nilda Bertulano, Ronel Bordago and Joebel Mabayag, said Police Lieutenant Abegael Donasco, NOCPPO spokesperson.

Bertulano was a suspected secretary for the NPA’s South West Front in Negros.

The three were captured in a gun battle in Sitio Balik-balik, Barangay Tabu, Ilog town on Sept. 14.

Authorities recovered several firearms and explosives at the encounter site.

The clash also resulted in the death of four suspected NPA insurgents.

New 3ID commander assumes post on Sept. 21

From Panay News (Sep 20, 2021): New 3ID commander assumes post on Sept. 21 (By Ruby Silubrico)


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has assigned a new chief to the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) based in Jamindan, Capiz.

Army Major General Benedict Arevalo, former commander of 301st Infantry Brigade based in Camp Hernandez (Dingle, Iloilo) and 303rd Infantry Brigade (Negros Occidental), will assume his post tomorrow, Sept. 21.

Arevalo will take over after several days that Brigadier General Noel Baluyan took care of the 3ID following the retirement of Major General Eric Vinoya on Sept. 6.

“Our new 3ID chief is not new in this area. He was assigned here for 10 years. He already mastered the terrain of Panay and Negros islands,” said Major General Cenon Pancito III, 3ID spokesperson.

Arevalo was a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), class 1990.

He hails from Manila but has roots in Iloilo. He is also fluent in Hiligaynon.

Arevalo was a Tactical Officer of then 3rd Division Training Unit of the 3ID from Oct. 16, 2020 to Feb. 16, 2021. He also served as Delta Company executive officer and platoon leader of the defunct 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB) in early 1990s.

Arevalo used to be an operations officer of the defunct 3ID’s 7th IB from 1992 to 1994, and once served as the 3ID’s intelligence and operation officer.

Arevalo is a recipient of various military awards and decorations to include distinguished service star, bronze cross medals, silver wing medal, long service medal, anti-diss campaign medals and numerous military merit and civic action medals, on top of several commendations and honors both from the military and civilian sectors.

He finished various military trainings both local and international to include platoon leader course, special operations training course, marksmanship training course, basic airborne course, intelligence officer course, and preparatory course (language).
Arevalo completed his Command and General Staff Course in Indonesia.

On the other hand, Baluyan will return his former assignment as assistant division commander.

Arevalo will focus on the dismantling of New People’s Army guerilla fronts in Panay and Negros islands.

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

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.

Sayyaf financier killed in Sulu

 Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Sep 20, 2021): Sayyaf financier killed in Sulu

Security forces killed an Abu Sayyaf financier in a firefight in Luuk town in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, the military’s 4th Civil Relations Group said on Monday.

It said policemen, backed by soldiers, were trying to arrest Aldair Makumbong in his hideout in the village of Niog-Niog on September 17 when he opened fire on security forces, igniting a gun fight that eventually killed him. It was unknown why the report was only released yesterday.

“The subject of the arrest warrant fired at the approaching government forces prompting the latter to retaliate in defense of themselves. The firefight lasted for several minutes which resulted in the neutralization of Aldasir Makumbong,” the 4th Civil Relations Group said.

It said troops also recovered the dead man’s rifle, ammunition and a box containing dried marijuana leaves. Makumbong was also the prime suspect in the killing of a businesswoman in Zamboanga City and financier of the terrorist group and involved in drug trafficking, according to the 4th Civil Relations Group.

The body of the slain gunman was handed over to his family in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Army, LGU execs say BIFF rebels behind Maguindanao blast

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 20, 2021): Army, LGU execs say BIFF rebels behind Maguindanao blast (By Edwin Fernandez)

BLAST VICTIMS. Photo shows some of the victims being treated at a local hospital following the explosion during a volleyball game in Datu Piang, Maguindanao on Saturday (Sept. 18, 2021). Local authorities have blamed the BIFF terror group for the bomb attack. (Photo courtesy of Datu Piang MPS)

DATU PIANG, Maguindanao – Military and local officials have tagged the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to be behind the explosion at the town plaza here on Saturday that left eight persons wounded.

“The improvised bomb used by the perpetrators were similar to those that were used by the BIFF,” said Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, speaking for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, referring to the local terror group.

Mayor Victor Samama corroborated Baldomar’s statement here Monday saying the BIFF is behind the attack.

“There is no other lawless group staging terror attacks here but the BIFF,” he said.

An improvised bomb was set off during a volleyball game at the town’s covered court Saturday, leaving eight players and spectators injured.

Among those hurt were Norodin S Musa, 21; Fahad A Tato, 22; Samsudin D. Kadtugan, 21; Benzar Macogay, 24; Amid B. Miparanun, 19; Carlo Mobpon, 25; Mohamad Wanti, 29; and a 13-year-old boy.

Civilians and police rushed the victims to Abpi-Samama Clinic and Hospital while one was transferred to Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City due to serious shrapnel injuries.

Samama said the volleyball games were not coordinated with the local government unit and that the organizers have violated quarantine restrictions.

The mayor has ordered the local police to prevent the gathering of people outdoors, including basketball and volleyball games, to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Samama was convinced that Saturday’s bombing and those who harassed the town in December 2020 were the same BIIF group.

On Dec. 3 last year, a band of BIFF terrorists stormed this town shortly before midnight and burned a police car while firing at the police station. Local police personnel bravely fought the BIFF attackers and repulsed them after an hour-long gun battle.

Ritual condemns Bayan Muna solon’s sins against Manobo tribe

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 20, 2021): Ritual condemns Bayan Muna solon’s sins against Manobo tribe (By Alexander Lopez)

TRADITION. Leaders of the Manobo tribe in Surigao del Sur perform the ‘boney’ ritual in Tandag City to condemn the violations of Bayan Muna party-list Representative Eufemia Cullamat against their members on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 19, 2021). They said Cullamat misrepresented the tribe and maligned the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and its chair, Secretary Allen Capuyan. (Photo courtesy of PIA-Surigao del Sur)

BUTUAN CITY – Leaders of indigenous peoples (IP) communities in Surigao del Sur gathered Sunday afternoon for a ritual called “boney”, a ceremony intended to impose penalties on fellow tribe members who committed offenses.

Different IP Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the province want Bayan Muna party-list Representative Eufemia Cullamat punished for the insults and transgressions she committed against the Manobo tribe where she belongs.

Datu Rico Maca, the IPMR of San Miguel town, said 50 tribal leaders from different towns expressed their outrage against Cullamat and wanted to make her accountable for her wrongdoings against the tribe.

“A number of tribal leaders wanted to show up and join the boney but we limited the attendance due to the strict health protocols in the province,” Maca told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Sunday night.

He emphasized that Cullamat committed three major offenses against the tribe -- misrepresentation, lack of concern for the IP youth and children, and dishonor against the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Cullamat is no longer allowed to enter and step into the ancestral domains of the Manobo tribe in Surigao del Sur, Maca said.

“She is not a recognized leader of the Manobo tribe in Surigao del Sur. She does not represent us. For years, Cullamat has been advocating the doctrines and advancing the cause of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the National Democratic Front (NDF), and the New People’s Army (NPA),” Maca said.

Solon’s sins

The Bayan Muna solon, he added, refused to condemn NPA rebels for the killings of IP leaders in Surigao del Sur and has not introduced any development programs and projects to the IP communities in the province.

“Instead of providing support for the education of our children and youth for better future, Cullamat pushed for their radicalization through the CPP-NPA inspired teachings inside the TRIFPSS and ALCADEV,” Maca said.

TRIFPSS (Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur) and ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development) are alleged to be maintained by the CPP-NPA.

Maca said Cullamat is also culpable for maligning the NCIP, the agency which he said has supported IP communities.

He added that Cullamat also disrespected the agency and its chair, Secretary Allen Capuyan, after suggesting a one-peso budget during budget deliberations earlier this month.

“Cullamat is not aware how the NCIP is helping the IP communities in the country for years. The agency has facilitated livelihood projects, basic services, and scholarships for the IP youths. It’s the NCIP that stands with the IP communities. We are hurt with what Cullamat has done towards the agency,” Maca said.

NCIP mandate

The representation of IPs in different local legislative bodies, from the village level to the municipality and provincial levels are among the major accomplishments of the NCIP, he pointed out.

“Now, the voices of the IP communities are heard in the different legislative bodies through the IPMR. This is among the milestones of the NCIP as an agency working for us. Truly, the NCIP carries the voice of the IPs while Cullamat works for the interest of the CPP-NDF-NPA,” Maca said.

The activity was also graced by Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy of the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict where she is one of the spokespersons.

Badoy was joined by Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel, who also serves as the chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council in the Caraga Region.

In a statement on Monday, Pimentel acknowledged that the government’s whole-of-nation approach implemented programs and projects in the province that benefited IPs.

Among the projects are the School of Living Tradition in Barangay Diatagon in the town of Lianga, the ongoing PHP20 million road concreting project, and the release of the PHP500,000 livelihood assistance from the provincial government.

He added that the tribal council in Surigao del Sur, through a resolution, already declared Cullamat as persona non grata for violating customs and traditions and misrepresenting IPs in the province.

The Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the CPP, NPA, and NDF as terrorist groups.

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

Southern Leyte village officials lure 4 rebels to give up

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 20, 2021): Southern Leyte village officials lure 4 rebels to give up (By Sarwell Meniano)

NEW LIFE. One of the four New People's Army members who surrendered to Barangay San Francisco Mabuhay officials in Sogod, Southern Leyte on Sept. 14, 2021. The Philippine Army lauded the village officials for encouraging members of the communist terrorist group to return to the fold of the law. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

Village officials in Sogod town, Southern Leyte were instrumental in the recent surrender of four members of the New People’s Army (NPA), according to the Philippine Army on Monday.

The Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade said the Barangay Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in San Francisco Mabuhay village
encouraged the four NPA couriers to completely abandon the communist ideology on September 14.

The military identified the four surrenderers by their aliases "Correano", "Mark", "Roger", and "Bebot".

They were tasked to gather and carry food and other supplies for NPA fighters in Leyte Island.

“They admitted that the NPA terrorists agitated, organized, and mobilized them using the issue on low prices of abaca, copra, and other agricultural products amid rising costs of basic commodities,” the Army said in a statement on Monday.

San Francisco Mabuhay village chief Reynaldo Aguillon facilitated the formal surrender of the four rebels after he recently witnessed how the NPA abandoned fighters killed in clashes.

He also noticed how the local government ensured the decent burial of slain rebels who are residents in their community.

“I’m expressing my sincere appreciation to the local task force of San Francisco Mabuhay and profound thanks to the former couriers of NPA for returning back to the fold of the law,” 802nd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Zosimo Oliveros said.

Their surrender came two days after 18 NPA rebels in lie-low status yielded to village officials in Ormoc City, blocking attempts of the communist terrorist group to recover their former strongholds.

Oliveros asked the remaining NPA members to surrender since people are no longer supporting their lost and senseless cause.

The Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the Communist Party of the Philippines, NPA, and National Democratic Front as terrorist groups.

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

Close to 900 Army soldiers in NegOcc now fully-vaccinated

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 20, 2021): Close to 900 Army soldiers in NegOcc now fully-vaccinated (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

JABBED. Personnel of the 14th Civil-Military Operations Battalion, which is under the operational control of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Murcia, Negros Occidental, get vaccinated against Covid-19 at the Barangay Minoyan Gym in this undated photo. They are among the more than 800 soldiers under the 303rd IBde and its two line battalions who are now fully vaccinated against the virus. (Photo courtesy of 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)

BACOLOD CITY – Some 887 personnel of the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (300rd IBde) and its two line battalions in Negros Occidental are now fully-vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Data provided by the 303rd IBde on Monday showed that as of Sept. 18, those vaccinated comprise 98 percent of the troops assigned within its area of operations.

These include 76 troops (99 percent) stationed at the brigade headquarters in Murcia town, including those from the 14th Civil-Military Operations Battalion; 345 personnel (99 percent) of the 79th Infantry Battalion based in Sagay City; and 466 troops (95 percent) under the 62 Infantry Battalion in Isabela town.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commanding officer of the 303rd IBde, said they are grateful to the local government units, including the Negros Occidental provincial government, for allocating vaccines for military personnel.

“Being vaccinated allows us to carry out our duties of serving the people and securing the land especially the Negrenses. Our troops will make good use of this opportunity to confidently and carefully bestow our duties as we jointly seek an end to this pandemic,” he added.

The Army troops were inoculated with either Sinovac’s CoronaVac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Janssen vaccine.

Before vaccination, the 303rd IBde briefed its personnel through the troops’ information and education program to address issues, concerns and apprehension of soldiers about being vaccinated.

NPA ‘finance officer’ wanted in Caraga nabbed in Bulacan

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 20, 2021): NPA ‘finance officer’ wanted in Caraga nabbed in Bulacan (By Manny Balbin)

ARRESTED. A female finance officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in Barangay Patubig, Marilao town in Bulacan on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 19, 2021). She is linked with members of the Guerilla Front 21, who were tagged as primary suspects in the killing of an Army soldier and a militiaman in Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City on April 22, 2018. (Photo courtesy of the City of San Jose Del Monte Police Station)

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan – A female finance officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in Barangay Patubig, Marilao town, this province, on Sunday afternoon.

In a report on Monday, Lt. Col. Julius Alvaro, chief of police of the City of San Jose Del Monte, identified the suspect as Ma. Lorena Sigua, 44, presently residing in Residence de Muzon Subdivision, Barangay Muzon of the said city.

Alvaro said she was arrested by combined elements from the City of San Jose Del Monte Police, Regional Intelligence Unit 3, Bulacan Police Provincial Office personnel, 24th Special Action Company and other government forces by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Lou A. Nueva of Regional Trial Court Branch 7, Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur.

The NPA official is facing a murder charge under criminal case No. 5965.

"The suspect is also a regional top most wanted person of PRO-13 (Police Regional Office-Caraga)," Alvaro said.

Sigua belongs to the NPA's Regional Operations Command North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (ROC-NEMRC) under Edelberto Reponte Dabal alias Bong Wako/Bel.

She is also linked with members of the Guerilla Front 21 of NEMRC, who were tagged as the primary suspects in the killing of Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary Bebot Bayong Sag-ob and Private First Class Jerald Dela Cruz Giron in Sitio Virtudazo, Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City on April 22, 2018.

The arrested suspect is now detained at the City of San Jose Del Monte Custodial Facility for proper documentation.

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