Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Kalinaw News: Government Breaks Ground for “Road to Peace” Project in Patikul

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 13, 2021): Government Breaks Ground for “Road to Peace” Project in Patikul

October 13, 2021, Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Jolo, Sulu – Yesterday, a groundbreaking ceremony for concreting of Sitio Tambang – Minjay – Sinumaan road was held at Tambang Covered Court, Brgy Kabbon Takas, Patikul, Sulu.

Facilitated by the Patikul Municipal Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC), Ministry of Public Works – Sulu and 11th Infantry Division (11ID), the road to peace will connect Sitio Tambang and Sitio Minjay of Brgy Kabbon Takas to Brgy Lower Sinumaan, all of Patikul.

To recall, Brgy Kabbon Takas was the ground zero of several skirmishes between the government forces and violent extremist group Abu Sayyaf. On November 20, 2020, MTF-ELAC brought home the internally displaced people (IDP) of the aforementioned town following 11ID’s successive gains of the campaign for peace.

Hon Ahajuli Ahajani, Brgy Chairman of Brgy Kabbon Takas expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the continuous support given to their town. “Nagpapasalamat po ako dahil sa suporta na binibigay sa aming barangay. Napaka laking tulong ito sa mga residente ng Kabbon Takas dahil 60% ng aming kabuhayan ng mga tanim namin ay nasa Minjay. Ngayon hindi na kami mahihirapan magdala ng mga produkto dahil may maayos nang daanan.”

“Parang panaginip lang sa akin na ngayon ay nakabalik kami at ang dami nang pagbabago sa aming barangay, ang mga bata nakapaglalaro kahit gabi dahil may solar streetlights na dito,” he added.

Last August, Sulu Task Force ELAC turned over infrastructure projects to the mentioned streetlights and covered court to the residents of Brgy Kabbon Takas. Moreover, the former IDPs became beneficiaries of Special Area for Agricultural Development Program of the Department of Agriculture empowering the locals to manage a poultry farm.

For his part, Joint Task Force – Sulu and 11ID Commander MGen William N Gonzales pledged the full commitment of the military for an inclusive and sustainable economic devolepment.

“Nakakataba ho ng puso na nakikita na natin ang resulta ng pagtutulungan natin. Pagtutulungan natin para seguridad ng mga barangay sa Patikul, pagtutulungan natin na magkaroon ng panibagong simula ang mga nag-bakwit. Asahan niyo ho na patuloy ho kami susuporta sa LGU para sa kaunlaran ng buong probinsiya. Asahan niyo hong hindi na makakabalik ang Abu Sayyaf dito dahil palaging kasama niyo kami,” MGen Gonzales Said.

The event was also graced by Patikul Mayor Kabir E Hayudini, Sulu 1st District Engineer Patikul Engr Ajan S Ajijul, 11ID Assistant Division Commander BGen Antonio I Bautista Jr, 1103rd Infantry Brigade Commander BGen Benjamin G Batara Jr and 6th Special Forces Battalion Commander Ltc Rafael P Caido.

[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: 5ID renders Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 13, 2021): 5ID renders Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region

CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela- Troops of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army continuously respond to the aftermath of severe tropical storm Maring in Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Regions.

On October 11, 2021, the typhoon made a landfall in the province of Cagayan leaving hundreds of families in evacuation sites, damaged agricultural products and destroyed households. In response, the troops of 5ID together with the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (LDRRMOs) of the affected municipalities in Cagayan and Cordillera, personnel from Local Police Stations, and other rescue teams joined hands in reaching the typhoon-affected families.

Before the onslaught of TY Maring, the 5ID Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) contingency plan- Bayanihan Kaagapay Star Alpha-III was launched. The 501st and 503rd Infantry Brigades activated their HADR “OPLAN Sagip-Buhay” in Cagayan province and “OPLAN Sagip-Cordillera” respectively. Meanwhile, the 502nd Infantry Brigade based in Isabela province alerted its HADR teams for possible deployment and augmentation in affected areas.

Upon launching “OPLAN Sagip-Buhay,” the Marine Battalion Landing Team 10 (MBLT-10) proceeded to the LDRRMO for the pre-emptive evacuation in Sta. Teresita, Cagayan wherein six families consist of 18 individuals were immediately transferred to the evacuation area in Barangay Aridowen. Other troops of the said unit coordinated with the officials of LDRRMO in Barangay Flourishing, Gonzaga. On the other hand, the “OPLAN Sagip-Cordillera” teams were deployed in the different provinces and municipalities in CAR.

In addition, the 5th Civil-Military Operations Battalion and MBLT-10 evacuated 58 families in Barangays Dungeg (23 families) and Aridowen (35 families) of Sta. Teresita, Cagayan. While the troops of 77th Infantry Battalion extended help to the residents of Baggao evacuating 489 families consisting of 1,766 individuals. They also responded to the locals in recovering the wooden bridge in Asinga Via that was destroyed by typhoon Maring. In Peñablanca, Cagayan, Bravo Company of the said unit utilized rubber boat for rescue operations. While the other troops conducted feeding program to the typhoon-affected residents of Brgy Pinutulan, Gattaran.

Other Army personnel in Cagayan rendered manpower assistance in packing and in distribution of relief goods for the typhoon-affected families.

One casualty was recorded and was identified as Sheryl Guim, a resident of Ajat, Iguig, Cagayan who drowned in flashfloods. According to her family, the victim might have suffered from her epilepsy that caused the drowning.

Meanwhile in Cordillera Region, some provinces have experienced soil and rock erosion, landslide, and mudflow. The deployed troops in the provinces of Benguet and Mt. Province conducted road clearing operations. The 54th Infantry Battalion with its CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) have been on the move to clear the roads from obstructions caused by the typhoon.

The Tactical Operations Group 1 (TOG1) also reached out to the residents in Baguio City by handing over family food packs. They also conducted retrieval operations together with the other disaster response teams to the reported three missing persons due to landslide in Barangay Dominican, Baguio City. The responders were able to retrieve the body of Alfredo Acosta, 49 years old, while the two children identified as Judy Tolipas and Talia Ocampo are still missing. There are five deaths and three injured individuals in the region.

MGen Laurence E Mina, Commander of 5ID commended the immediate action of the troops in responding to the typhoon-affected families. “I commend the deployed Disaster Response Teams (DRT) for their quick action in the most critical times during the onslaught of TS Maring. We will continue to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Operations in coordination with the Provincial and Municipal DRRMOs.Our deployed troops are equipped with proper training and are experienced in rescue operations.”

He also reminded everyone in Cagayan Valley and Cordillera to remain proactive and be updated with the announcements of their LDRRMO for their safety.

[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: Housing Units awarded to 52 Former Rebels

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 13, 2021): Housing Units awarded to 52 Former Rebels

Maco, Davao de Oro – So much happiness manifested in the eyes of Fifty-Two (52)Former Rebels (FRs) as they received their housing units. Housing assistance is just one of the benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) awarded to the former members of the New Peoples’ Army.

The FR beneficiaries are surrenderees of the units under the 1001st Infantry Brigade covering the period from 2018-2020, who signifies intentions to avail such benefit.

The turn-over ceremony was conducted at the Freedom Residences, Barangay Cuambugan, Tagum City in collaboration with the National Housing Authority Region 11(NHA11), 1001st Bde, 10ID Philippine Army, LGU Tagum City, Freedom Residences Homeowners’ Association and other stakeholders.

“Walay sukod ang among kalipay nga nakab-ot jud namo ang among pangandoy. Nakita gyud namo nga sinsero ang gobyerno sa iyang mga programa, kay karon atong nasaksihan ang katumanan sa iyang mga saad. Kining balay nga gihatag sa ato-a, ato kining ampingan ug tagaan ug bili. Alang sa mga kaubanan namo nga hangtod karon anaa pa sa kaluhukan (NPA), tan-awa ninyo ning nahitabo sa amoa karon, nindot kaau, busa giawhag ko kamo, balik na sa sabakan sa balaod”. Said Kaloy, one of the beneficiaries.

For his part, Brigadier General Jesus Durante III, 1001st Brigade Commander congratulated the FRs for their new home. “I congratulate all the beneficiaries for receiving your new house. May this new home bring you new opportunities, new beginnings and new lives. Rest assured that our partnership will not end here. We will still be always ready to assist you, as you start your new lives.” Durante in his address to the beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, Durante reiterated his call to the NPAs who are still in the mountains, waging armed struggle against the government. “I call on the NPAs who are still out there, still believing this futile armed struggle to come down, return to the folds of the law and avail the benefits of the ECLIP.

Look at your former comrades who chose to surrender; they are now living normal lives together with their families. Help us to help you, let us work together for the betterment of our communities. Let us put an end to this 53 years of deceit, lies, atrocities and terroristic activities which put so much sufferings to the our fellowmen.” Durante added.

ECLIP is a program of the government specifically designed to help the former rebels start new lives. Its implements includes PhP 15,000 pesos initial cash assistance, PhP50,000 pesos livelihood assistance, Housing assistance, capacity building and trainings, among others.

[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: Indigenous People’s Community Warned on NPA Deception in Nueva Ecija; Army, NGO distribute school supplies

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 13, 2021): Indigenous People’s Community Warned on NPA Deception in Nueva Ecija; Army, NGO distribute school supplies

Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija- The troops of the 84th Infantry (VICTORIOUS) Battalion, Philippine Army has warned the parents of children in an Indigenous Community on the deceptive recruitment of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and exploitation during its Outreach Program at Sitio Binbin, Brgy Gen Luna, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija on October 10, 2021.

The Outreach Program was in partnership with Igorot Warriors International Foundation (IWIF) and Destura Construction & Interior Design Services, in which they distributed school supplies for the IP children.

Each IP student received one school bag; two notebooks; one long-pad paper; one 1/2 crosswise paper; one learning pocket flashcards; one box of crayons; one scissor; two pencils; one set design ruler; four ball-pens and slippers during the activity.

“The foundation is so much grateful for the untiring efforts of the 84IB for our IP brothers and sisters”, said Mr. Gabriel P. Chaclag and Mr. John Paul O. Santos, representatives of the Igorot Warriors International Foundation.

Meanwhile, during the orientation, Lieutenant Colonel Enrico Gil C. Ileto, Commanding Officer of 84IB gave the parents an orientation on the deceptive recruitment process of the CTG and how the latter exploit the Indigenous People’s community for their propaganda against the government.

“Ang inyong kasundaluhan ay hindi magsasawa at titigil sa pagbibigay ng mga kaalaman at impormasyon sa ating mga kapatid na katutubo at sa lahat ng sektor ng ating lipunan upang wala ng malinlang at magamit pa ng mga Komunistang Teroristang Grupo para sa kanilang pagsusulong ng terorismong mga gawain,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ileto.

On the other hand, Datu Wilson Bugtong, the Bogkalot Tribal Chieftain in the area expressed his gratitude to the sponsors and facilitators of the activity.

“Ang boung tribu ng Bogkalot at Kalanguya ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa mga gamit pang eskwela na naipagkaloob para sa mga mag-aaral, ito ay napakalaking tulong upang mas lalo pa nilang mapabuti ang kanilang pag-aaral sa kabila ng hamon ng pandemya,” Bugtong said.

“Nagpapasalamat din kami sa walang humpay na tulong na ipinagkaloob ng 84IB lalo na sa pagpapabatid at pagbibigay kaalaman upang kami ay hindi magamit at malinlang sa komunistang Teroristang Grupo na naglalayong sirain ang pamahalaan,” he added.

The Acting Commander of the 7th Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division, Philippine Army Brigadier General Luis Rex D. Bergante PA said that the Army has been maximizing its efforts to disseminate the rightful information regarding the deceptive recruitment of the CTG and exploitation, especially among our IP community.

“Let us help our IP community and other vulnerable sectors of our society to be aware of the CTG deceptive recruitment process because this is one way to protect them from the exploitation brought by the terrorist organization,” said BGen Bergante.

[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:]

NTF-ELCAC personalities in 2022 party-list race worry poll watchdog

From Rappler (Oct 13, 2021): NTF-ELCAC personalities in 2022 party-list race worry poll watchdog (By DWIGHT DE LEON)

'We’re seeing here the possibility of intensified red-tagging against certain party-list groups, particularly the Makabayan bloc,' one poll watchdog warns

Poll watchdog Kontra Daya and leftist group Bayan Muna sounded the alarm over the rise in the number of anti-communist insurgency personalities seeking to join the 2022 party-list race.

At least three personalities closely associated with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) are nominees of party-list groups which filed their papers before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in early October.

The NTF-ELCAC is notorious for red-baiting progressives and other government critics. Some of those tagged also became victims of extra-judicial killings.

Those aspiring to join the party-list polls are NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Celine Pialago of Malasakit Movement, NTF-ELCAC ambassador Michelle Gumabao of Mothers for Change, and NTF-ELCAC informant Eric Celiz of Abante Sambayanan.

In a phone interview with Rappler on Tuesday, October 12, Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao said their group was worried over the possibility of a concerted effort from the government to field NTF-ELCAC personalities in the 2022 party-list election.

"We can see that in the context of red-tagging, even the hijacking of the party-list race may be part of the whole-of-nation approach as reflected in Executive Order 70," Arao said, referring to the document which institutionalized the NTF-ELCAC.

"We’re seeing here the possibility of intensified red-tagging against certain party-list groups, particularly the Makabayan bloc and most likely, some other senatorial aspirants who are identified with progressive efforts," he added.

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate shared sentiments similar to Arao's.

"This is another example of the bastardization of the party-list system with personalities, appointed officials of the government using their offices to advance their candidacies," the House Deputy Minority Leader told Rappler.

Party-list groups of NTF-ELCAC personalities

Rappler reached out to Malasakit Movement, Abante Sambayanan, Mothers for Change, and NTF-ELCAC for a reaction, but we have yet to receive a response. We will publish their comments as soon as we receive them.

Malasakit Movement, of which Pialago is the first nominee, seeks to represent frontline workers at the grassroots level such as barangay personnel.

When asked during the candidacy filing whether it was willing to work with the Makabayan bloc in Congress, Pialago deflected and instead vouched for the integrity of the anti-communist insurgency task force.

"The NTF-ELCAC has nice goals. The NTF-ELCAC can expect me to be its voice in Congress," Pialago had said in Filipino.

Abante Sambayanan, meanwhile, seeks to represent in the legislature former communist rebels.

Its first nominee, Celiz, claimed that party-list groups under Makabayan bloc are led by communists. Celiz did not present any evidence to support her claim. Her accusations, the same line used by the NTF-ELCAC, have been repeatedly denied by progressives.

Mothers for Change, meanwhile, as the name suggests, hopes to represent mothers in Congress. Gumabao is the second nominee, only behind known disinformation peddler Mocha Uson.

Aside from the three, Duterte Youth, which is controversial for red-tagging campus groups, also submitted its list of nominees for the 2022 polls.

Why does this matter?

The Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly warned about the dangers of red-tagging by the Duterte administration, noting that it comes with the context of increasing extrajudicial killings in the country.

There has been massive pushback against the NTF-ELCAC over its red-tagging of leftists and critics of the government.

Earlier in 2021, the task force sparked outrage after admitting it profiled community pantry organizers to check whether they had ties to rebel groups. The incident has prompted senators to consider defunding NTF-ELCAC in 2022.

The task force has also petitioned the Comelec to bar Gabriela and Kabataan from joining the 2022 party-list race. The cases have yet to be resolved.

Makabayan and other dissidents of the government have feared that NTF-ELCAC's red-baiting was part of efforts to suppress criticism against the Duterte administration.

1 CAFGU killed in Calinog clash

 From Palawan News (Oct 14, 2021): 1 CAFGU killed in Calinog clash (By Ruby Silubrico)

A member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) was killed in Wednesday’s clash against the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Masaroy, Calinog town.

Tipsters alerted the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 12th Infantry Battalion and CAFGU about the NPA’s presence around 8 a.m., said Army Captain Eric Faller, civil military officer.

The government troops indeed encountered five armed men. A gun battle ensued.

“The rebels were planning to burn heavy equipment of contractors of farm-to-market roads because the latter refused to give money,” Faller said. “This manifests that the rebels are too weak to stage a big attack.”

On Sept. 24, a CAFGU was killed while two others were wounded when attacked by communist rebels in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic, Antique. The three were fetching water in a nearby well when ten armed men shot them.

The 3rd Infantry Division said these incidents were the same with what happened to Corporal Frederic Villasis who was abducted and killed by rebels in Tapaz, Capiz on Aug. 11.

Authorities probe how NPA amassed a cache of dynamites

From MindaNews (Oct 13, 2021): Authorities probe how NPA amassed a cache of dynamites (By FROILAN GALLARDO)

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (MindaNews / 13 Oct) – Authorities are investigating construction companies who have road infrastructure contracts here as the possible supplier of the cache of dynamites seized by the military from a hidden pit of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Master Sergeant Gilbert Melendez, of the PNP explosives unit in Malaybalay City, shows reporters on Tuesday (12 October 2021) the 1,026 dynamite sticks found by Army soldiers in the hinterlands of Malaybalay City. A former rebel led the soldiers on October 8 to the pit allegedly hidden by the new People’s Army. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Operatives from the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) under the 403rd Infantry Brigade found 1,026 dynamite sticks on Oct. 8 in a pit in Sitio Malinao, Barangay Kalasungay.

Brig. Gen. Fernando Barandon, 403IB commander, said the dynamites with “Superpower 90” marking are made by leading Indian explosives and defense manufacturer Solar Industries India Limited.

“It is unlikely that the NPA smuggled them here all the way from India. It is either the NPA pilfered or stole them from the companies,” he pointed out.

A former rebel led Army soldiers to the NPA cache of explosives.

Master Sergeant Gilbert Melendez, of the Bukidnon PNP explosives and ordnance unit, said they have asked the Philippine National Police national headquarters in Camp Crame to provide them with the list of companies permitted to have a supply of explosives for their infrastructure projects.

Melendez said companies are required by law to report theft or pilferage of explosives. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

The 1,026 dynamite sticks found by Army soldiers in Sitio Malinao, Barangay Kalasungay, Malaybalay City on 8 October 2021. A former rebel led the soldiers to where the New People’s Army cache was hidden. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Communist Terrorist Group in Central Mindanao on the Verge of Collapse: 8 NPA Combatants Surrendered Anew

From Tempo (Oct 14, 2021): Communist Terrorist Group in Central Mindanao on the Verge of Collapse: 8 NPA Combatants Surrendered Anew

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Eight members of a Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) with 13 firearms and numerous explosives surrendered at Barangay Masiag, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat on October 13, 2021 through the collaboration of the MTF-ELCAC of Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, and of the security forces coming from 7th Infantry (Tapat) Battalion and Municipal Police Station of Bagumbayan.

The surrenderees belonging to the Platoon My Phone of East Daguma Front South Regional Command – Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region was led by a certain Aley Danyan alias Dandan.
He revealed to the security forces how the Communist NPA recruited them and forced them to leave their families which he regreted.

“Pila ka tuig ko sa kalihukan pero ang gawas ako ang gipahimuslan sa CO, walay naitabang sa akoang pamilya ang organisasyon pasaad-saad pa sila nga naay suporta sa pamilya o SUPAMIL, pero taman lang sila sa saad. Nabiyaan nako ang akoang pamilya sa walay pulos nga hinungdan. Mao nga dako ang pasalamat nako sa 7IB nga maoy nagtabang kanamo nga maka gawas mi sa kalisdan ug maka pagbag-ong kinabuhi kaoban sa matag namong pamilya (I have been with the group [NPA] for several years as the CO and it did no good to my family. They [NPA] promised to support my family through SUPAMIL but it only stayed as a promise. We left our families for useless cause. Now I am thankful that 7IB helped us to surrender and start a new life with our families),” alias Dandan said.

The surrendered firearms and explosives include eight 12 gauge shotguns, two (2) cal. 22 rifles, one (1) cal. 22 carbine rifle, one (1) cal. 38 revolver, one (1) 12-gauge pistol, two (2) hand grenades, and one (1) improvised explosive device (IED).

Lieutenant Colonel Romel S Valencia, Battalion Commander of 7IB expressed his gratitude to the surrenderers for leaving the CTG and for laying down their firearms and going back to the folds of the government. This was made possible in close collaboration with the Local Government Units who are tireless in assisting the former rebels who decided to go back the mainstream society and start a new life with their respective families. “Let us move forward to end this long decade of insurgency for the future of our generation”, Lt. Col. Valencia stressed.

The newly surrendered NPA combatants received initial assistance from Hon. Jonallete E de Pedro, Mayor of Bagumbayan and were further endorsed to the Local Government Unit of Sultan Kudarat Province through the PTF-ELCAC in order to avail of the assistance under the E-CLIP program.

Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central lauded the efforts of the security forces and LGUs involved. “Through the support of the local government units, it enabled the government troops to successfully encourage the NPA combatants in Sultan Kudarat Province to return to the folds of the law,” Maj. Gen Uy stated. He further reiterated his call to the remaining members of the BIFF to abandon their armed struggle and start a peaceful and sustainable life with their families.

Perisik ESSCOM gagalkan aktiviti Abu Sayyaf (ESSCOM spies thwarted Abu Sayyaf activities)

From BH Online (Oct 13, 2021): Perisik ESSCOM gagalkan aktiviti Abu Sayyaf (Oleh Ahmad Suhael Adnan)

Gambar hiasan

KUALA LUMPUR: Operasi khas Kawasan Keselamatan Khas Pantai Timur Sabah (ESSCOM) berjaya menggagal serta melumpuhkan tujuh aktiviti kumpulan Abu Sayyaf (ASG) sepanjang tahun lalu dan tahun ini.

Timbalan Menteri Dalam Negeri I, Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said, berkata empat aktiviti yang berjaya digagalkan itu adalah pada tahun lalu, manakala tiga lagi aktiviti yang dilumpuhkan pada tahun ini.

Katanya, kejayaan mengekang ancaman ASG itu adalah hasil penggunaan kaedah perisikan manusia (human intelligence) yang menjadi antara aspek penting yang dititikberatkan ESSCOM bagi mengekalkan tahap pengoperasian yang tinggi.

"Kaedah ini menekankan pengumpulan maklumat daripada individu atau kumpulan sasaran tertentu melalui libat urus agensi dengan individu, kumpulan atau komuniti.

"Kaedah interaksi sosial yang dilaksanakan sekarang memberi impak positif dengan perubahan persepsi masyarakat bahawa kerajaan sentiasa menitikberatkan faktor keselamatan nyawa dan harta benda rakyat di kawasan terbabit.

"Kejayaan kerajaan menggagal serta melumpuhkan empat aktiviti ASG pada 2020 dan tiga aktiviti ASG pada tahun ini membuktikan keberkesanan elemen perisikan yang dilaksanakan pada masa ini," katanya ketika sesi jawab lisan di Dewan Negara, hari ini.

Beliau menjawab soalan Senator Datuk Bashir Alias yang bertanyakan tahap persediaan keselamatan ESSCOM dan Zon Selamat Timur Sabah (ESSZONE) dari aspek perisikan manusia bagi mengatasi ancaman pencerobohan kumpulan pengganas, terutamanya Abu Sayyaf.

Bashir kemudian bertanya soalan tambahan mengenai sejauh mana prinsip perisikan manusia diterap dalam ESSCOM dan ESZONE bagi tangani pencerobohan, penyeludupan dan jenayah rentas sempadan.

Menjawab soalan itu, Ismail memaklumkan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) komited memastikan keselamatan dan kedaulatan negara, khususnya membabitkan ASG yang sentiasa memberi ancaman kepada negara.

"Kita sentiasa lakukan pemantauan perjalanan operasi di lapangan, serta jika berlaku penyelewengan dan kebocoran maklumat sama ada daripada pegawai atau mana-mana anggota, kita akan kenakan tindakan tegas.

"Saya juga ucap ribuan terima kasih kepada masyarakat setempat dan kumpulan komuniti tertentu yang sentiasa memberi maklumat sekiranya ada ancaman pencerobohan ke dalam negara," katanya.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: ESSCOM spies thwarted Abu Sayyaf activities

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sabah East Coast Special Security Command (ESSCOM) special operation has failed and paralyzed seven activities of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) last year and this year.

Deputy Home Minister I, Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said, said the four activities that were successfully failed were last year, while three other activities were disabled this year.

He said, the success in curbing the ASG threat is the result of the use of human intelligence which is one of the important aspects emphasized by ESSCOM to maintain a high level of operation.

“This method emphasizes the gathering of information from specific target individuals or groups through agency engagement with individuals, groups or communities.

“The current method of social interaction has had a positive impact with the changing public perception that the government has always emphasized on the safety of life and property of the people in the area.

"The government's success in failing and crippling four ASG activities in 2020 and three ASG activities this year proves the effectiveness of the intelligence element currently being implemented," he said during an oral answer session at the Dewan Negara, today.

He was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Bashir Alias ​​who asked about the level of security preparedness of ESSCOM and the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) from the aspect of human intelligence to overcome the threat of aggression by terrorist groups, especially Abu Sayyaf.

Bashir then asked additional questions on the extent to which human intelligence principles are applied in ESSCOM and ESZONE to tackle intrusion, smuggling and cross -border crime.

Answering the question, Ismail informed that the Home Ministry (KDN) is committed to ensuring the security and sovereignty of the country, especially involving the ASG which always poses a threat to the country.

“We are constantly monitoring the course of operations in the field, as well as in the event of misappropriation and leakage of information either from officers or any members, we will take stern action.

"I would also like to thank the local community and certain community groups who always provide information if there is a threat of intrusion into the country," he said.]

Bukidnon LGU, 4ID facilitate social reintegration of 30 ex-rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 14, 2021): Bukidnon LGU, 4ID facilitate social reintegration of 30 ex-rebels

WELCOME BACK. Officials of the Bukidnon provincial government and the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division welcome former rebels (FRs) at a ceremony at Camp Osito D. Bahian, Malaybalay on Tuesday (Oct. 12, 2021). The FRs were each given PHP25,000, a hygiene kit, a sack of rice, a carton of food packs, and were promised houses. (Photo courtesy of 4ID)

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The provincial government of Bukidnon and the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division officially welcomed 30 former rebels (FRs), who used to be members and leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front.

They were subsequently reunited with their respective families during the 403rd Infantry Brigade’s press conference on Oct. 12, 2021, at Camp Osito D. Bahian, Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

The said FRs who surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion, 88th Infantry Battalion and 43rd Military Intelligence Company (43MICO) that are under the operational control of the 403rd Brigade were presented to Bukidon Gov. Jose Maria R. Zubiri Jr. as a symbolic acceptance for the official reintegration of the FRs back to peaceful lives in the province.

Also in attendance during the activity were Maj. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., Commander of 4ID; Brig. Gen. Ferdinand T. Barandon, Commander of 403rd Brigade, Raymund D. Lopez, Assistant Regional Director of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency 10 (NICA10); Police Lt. Col. Daryl Aramton, Police Provincial Office of Bukidnon; Charmaigne Tadlas, Capability and Development Officer of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 10; and 403rd Bde’s Deputy Brigade Commander, Col. Jose Arn M. Real, together with the Battalion Commanders of 8IB, 88IB and 1st Special Forces Battalion.

Barandon disclosed that the FRs who are all from Bukidnon surrendered out of fear for their lives and brought along different calibers of 22 high-powered firearms and three low-powered firearms.

“Six high-value individuals were among the surrenderers who led their members to give up the armed struggle as they realized the sincerity of the government. The CTG (communist terrorist groups) have led them to extreme exhaustion all while running from the relentless military operations of the government troops. As such, we welcome them with open arms and commitment as we guide and assist them in peacefully transitioning into the mainstream society," Barandon said.

Meanwhile, Zubiri pledged to build 200 houses for the FRs in Bukidnon, wherein the 30 FRs are included as among the beneficiaries, as his commitment to provide better opportunities for them and continue to inspire remaining CTG members to surrender.

“Ang akong kalipay [karong adlawa] murag dili matupungan. Nalipay ko kay ania mo karon galingkod ug naghulat nga makadawat kamo sa gamay na hinabang gikan kanamo tungod sa inyung desisyon sa pag-surender kay tutal usa raman tang tanan, Pilipino man tang tanan. Kitang Pilipino dili ta mag away away pa,” Zubiri said. (My joy [today] cannot be measured. I am happy seeing each of you here today waiting to receive our simple assistance due to your decision to surrender. After all, we should not fight against each other and instead be united as one since we are all Filipinos.)

“Kung naa pa kamoy mga amigo sa bukid, palihug hangyoa sila. Magsurender na kamo, igarantiya ko kamo sa inyung pagsureder sama sa nagsurender diri. Dawata ang akong kinasing-kasing na pagpasalamat. Isip usa ka amahan sa probinsya sa Bukidnon, ginadawat ko kamo isip akung mga anak. Manaog na sila arun malipay ilang pamuhi, ilang asawa, ilang mga anak ug arun matipon sila”, Zubiri added. (If you still know someone fighting for the CTG, encourage them to surrender. I will guarantee their peaceful and proper surrender the same as that with the FRs who surrendered here. Accept my heartfelt gratitude, as the father here in the province of Bukidnon, I accept you as my children. Retreat from the mountains in order to have a happy life with your wives and children and so that you will all be reunited.)

During the activity, the FRs were given PHP25,000 each by the provincial government of Bukidnon, as well as a hygiene kit, a sack of rice, and a carton of food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 10 (Northern Mindanao).

Likewise, Zubiri pledged an additional PHp25,000 for each of the 30 FRs as financial assistance of the provincial government of Bukidnon.

Since 2016, a total of 1,419 FRs have already received financial assistance package and other benefits from different government agencies under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in the 4ID’s AOR, while in the 403rd Brigade AOR alone, 548 FRs already received their E-CLIP benefits and 361 are still for funding.

In a statement, Brawner thanked the FRs for voluntarily returning to peaceful lives and reuniting with their families.

He highlighted the capture of more than 1,000 sticks of dynamites that can be used to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which were voluntarily divulged by a recent surrenderer.

He commended the Brigade Commander of the 403rd Brigade and its Battalion Commanders as prime movers for the successful surrender of the CTG. He also reiterated his offer to the CTG to surrender or “magbalik-loob sa mapayapang pamumuhay” or face the consequences.

“We will continue our campaign against the CPP-NPA-NDF but more than the combat accomplishment, this act of yielding to the government is more important because we are all Filipinos and we do not want to kill each other. Your soldiers are committed to respect Human Rights and to adhere to the International Humanitarian Law particularly in confronting the CTG,” Brawner added.

“The FRs can return now to their normal lives and do not need to fight the government anymore. Different agencies are present to give the FRs the benefits deserved. The EO70 that created the Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict is very much alive”, Brawner said.

Soldier killed in clash vs. NPA in MisOr

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 13, 2021): Soldier killed in clash vs. NPA in MisOr (By Franck Dick Rosete)

PEACEKEEPERS. Photo shows the welcome marker of the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion in Claveria, Misamis Oriental. On Wednesday, a soldier was killed in an encounter against communist New People’s Army guerillas in the hinterland village of San Juan, Gingoog City in the same province. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

A soldier was killed during an encounter between the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) and communist New People’s Army (NPA) at the hinterland village of San Juan, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental province on Wednesday.

In a statement, the 58IB withheld the identity of the fallen soldier pending notification of his family.

The troops encountered around 20 NPA combatants while they were conducting operations against the latter's Sub-Regional Committee 1 (SRC1) of North Central Mindanao Regional Command around 5 a.m.

On September 16, two SRC1 top leaders, identified as Manuelito Satur alias Mosong, 56, and his wife Merlyn alias Maya, were apprehended during a joint military and police operation in Alagatan village, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

The 58IB used the duo’s revelation in launching successful focused military operations that resulted in two armed engagements with the NPAs on September 27 and 28.

Meanwhile, the number of casualties on the NPA side has yet to be determined, as bloodstains were discovered at the encounter site as reported by Army troopers pursuing the retreating communist combatants.

Lt. Col. Ricky L Canatoy, 58IB commander, has assured the continuous combat operation against the NPAs after they have extracted vital information on the next move of the SRC1 from the two top leaders.

“Since the capture of Mosong and Maya last month, we were able to extract vital information as to their next intentions and likely dispositions of the remnants of SRC1,” Canatoy said.

Since then, he said the 58IB’s combat operations have been ramped up with forces chasing down the NPAs to prevent them from disrupting peace in the area and committing terrorist acts.

Canatoy has sent his condolences to the family of the slain soldier and underscored the latter’s sacrifice in doing his sworn duty to promote peace and protect the people.

“In the name of attaining lasting peace and inclusive development for the people and the Filipino nation, we do our very best and give our all, including our lives,” Canatoy said.

He added that it saddens him greatly that another life of a comrade was sacrificed in the service of a noble cause.

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

60 housing units for IPs to rise in Pampanga

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 13, 2021): 60 housing units for IPs to rise in Pampanga (By Zorayda Tecson)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – At least 60 housing units will soon be built for indigenous peoples (IPs) in Porac town.

This, as Porac municipality, Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), and non-government organization Philippine Business for Social Progress, joined hands for the relocation and resettlement of the IPs in Barangay Sapang Uwak.

Nolcom chief Lt. Gen Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., said in a statement on Wednesday “this community development initiative will aid in the construction of much-needed homes for indigenous people living in high-risk zones”.

Aside from the housing units, a barangay hall, and a community cultural center will also be put up in the area.

The materials and budget for the "Sapang Uwak Housing Project" will come from pledges and donations of various stakeholders.

The 522nd Engineer Construction Battalion, an Army engineer unit under the operational control of Nolcom, will be leading the project in terms of manpower and technical expertise, with the support of the local government.

“By our collaboration, we will make housing more accessible to our indigenous people in Barangay Sapang Uwak while integrating creative programs, and assistance that will improve the quality of their living condition,” Burgos said.

The Nolcom has initiated various capacity-building programs that aim to create an environment of inclusivity with the tribal sectors in Northern and Central Luzon since the IPs remain to be the most vulnerable sector of the society from the exploits of communist terrorists.

Last January 11, the Nolcom created the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Desk (IPAD), in partnership with the National Commission on Indigenous People, to efficiently address the issues of the IPs that might be exploited by rebel groups and their front organizations.

A Tribal Chieftains Summit was launched last March 20, and an IP Youth Leadership Summit on July 30, all orchestrated to strengthen the culture of peace and inclusive development among the IPs.

With almost 30 percent of the IP population in the country residing in the Northern and Central Luzon, Nolcom is committed to its campaign against the exploitation of the tribal people.

More NPA surrenderers under EO 70: Army exec

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 13, 2021): More NPA surrenderers under EO 70: Army exec (By Nef Luczon)

BETTER APPROACH. Brig. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., the Army’s 4ID commander, speaks during the program for former rebels who surrendered to the government in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon on Tuesday (Oct. 12, 2021). Brawner said the "whole-of-nation approach" of Executive Order 70, has led to more surrenders from communist guerillas. (Screengrab via 403rd Bde)

The signing of Executive Order (EO) 70 by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in 2018 proved to be effective in convincing more New People Army (NPA) guerillas to surrender, according to an Army official.

At a livestreamed conference in Bukidnon on Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., Army’s 4th Infantry Division commander, said for the longest time, the approach of the government in ending communist-led insurgency was through military offensives.

"It did not address (fully) the root of the problem, but it's the delivery of basic (government) services to the people (that is the bigger solution),"
he said during the program at the 403rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, where a total of 30 former rebels officially surrendered.

They will receive amnesty projects under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, he said.

Brawner said with EO 70's "Whole-of-Nation Approach," both government agencies and the citizens can help in providing projects and programs to the former rebels who have surrendered.

EO 70 pursues to institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach for collective participation and action in harmonizing government development efforts and services to support, facilitate and pursue the country's peace agenda.

"Before, local governments had no direct involvement (with anti-communist insurgency campaigns), but now we can see them in the forefront," Brawner said.

Charmaine Tadlas, a community relations officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), said former rebels are gradually made to integrate into communities after their surrender.

"Before we prepare them (former rebels) to the communities, we prepare the communities first," she said.

Tadlas said around PHP300,000 worth of projects and rehabilitation are conducted in every community that will receive former rebels for reintegration into mainstream society.

She said their agency also provides psycho-social support for former rebels who experience bullying and discrimination.

New life

One of the recent surrenderers was a family of four who were once part of the NPA's Guerilla Front 89, Sub-Regional Committee 2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

Led by Ronald Landasan, 47, and wife Diden, 43, a finance officer, they surrendered at the 8IB's headquarters in Impasugong, Bukidnon on Oct. 8, 2021.

With them are their two daughters - Honey Mae, 21, a medic; and Yassi, 16, a platoon member.

"We want to live peacefully. My daughter Yassi was only 14 years old when she joined (the NPA). My daughter Honey is seven months pregnant. I am afraid that they will die in the mountains fighting for the wrong ideals," Diden said in the vernacular.

Ronald was the one who divulged locations of NPA hideouts and arms cache in Bukidnon which led to the recent discovery of 1,076 pieces of dynamites used as anti-personnel landmines (APMs).

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

Navy disaster teams conduct rescue ops for 'Maring' victims

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 13, 2021): Navy disaster teams conduct rescue ops for 'Maring' victims (By Priam Nepomuceno)

SAVING LIVES. Members of the Philippine Navy's Naval Forces Northern Luzon disaster response and rescue team (DRRT) evacuate flood victims in Luna, La Union on Tuesday (Oct. 12, 2021). The Navy deployed DRRTs to areas in northern Luzon that were severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring. (Photo courtesy of NFNL)

The Philippine Navy's Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) has deployed two disaster response and rescue teams (DDRTs) to areas in the Ilocos region that were affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring.

In a statement late Tuesday, NFNL public affairs office chief Lt. Madel Ladera said the DRRT 1’s 11 personnel assisted the regional Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and were dispatched to conduct road clearing operations in Barangay Pallogan, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur and hauling and distribution of relief goods in Barangay Pudoc in the same town.

Meanwhile, the DRRT 2’s team of divers, equipped with rubber boats and outboard motor, was deployed to Barangay Sucoc Sur, Luna, La Union to conduct rescue operations.

"Navy reservists from Baguio City also were augmented to the CDRRMC (City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) Baguio City for the evacuation, search, and retrieval of victims flooding and landslide in Barangay M. Roxas, Baguio City," Ladera said.

The DRRT of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 10 stationed in Barangay Aridowen, Sta. Teresita, Cagayan also evacuated 35 families from the village’s Purok 1, 2, and 3 to the Aridowen Elementary School.

"The Northern Luzon Command, through the NFNL, is one with the local government units in bringing prompt, responsive, and effective assistance to the communities affected by the typhoon amid the ongoing pandemic," Ladera said.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commended police officers in northern Luzon and other parts of the country who are assisting ongoing disaster relief efforts.

“I commend all our personnel in Northern Luzon and other areas severely affected by widespread flooding for their hard work and sacrifices in responding to the calls for assistance of our kababayans,” he said in a statement.

Eleazar also lauded the police officers for heeding the call of duty even though they have their own families to take care of.

Last week, he directed unit commanders to coordinate with their respective local government units (LGUs) to prepare for the possible adverse effects of “Maring”.

Part of the order was to place on standby PNP resources and personnel who would immediately respond to any untoward incident related to the weather disturbance.

Police officers were also tasked to assist in preemptive evacuations of residents in storm surge-, flood-, and landslide-prone areas.

Shun CPP-NPA legal fronts' poll bets, ex-cadre to voters

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 14, 2021): Shun CPP-NPA legal fronts' poll bets, ex-cadre to voters

Former CPP-NPA-NDF cadre Ka Arkins Evangelista (Screen grab)

A former Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) cadre, who was once a coordinator of a party-list group in the Zamboanga area, urged Filipino voters to shun candidates and party-list groups fielded by the different communist legal front organizations in the 2022 elections.

During an interview over SMNI’s Laban Kasama ang Bayan Program on Oct. 11, Ka Arkins Evangelista revealed his work as a cadre operatorof the Bayan Muna party-list during the 2019 elections.

Evangelista said he was recruited into the CPP-NPA when he became a scholar of the Mindanao Interfaith Foundation Services Inc. (MISFI) in 2015.

After that, he became a member of the Katipunan ng Gurong Makabayan (KAGUMA), an underground organization whose members are teachers and educators that support the communist armed struggle.

He was also once a volunteer for the human rights group Karapatan.

After graduating from college, Evangelista said he was told by a CPP-NPA Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee secretary, whom he named Ka Precy Alvarez, to go up to the mountains and attend a meeting in preparation for the 2019 elections in support of Bayan Muna party=-list and of the whole Makabayan bloc in Western Mindanao.

During the meeting, it was decided that Evangelista be appointed as the provincial coordinator for Bayan Muna in Zamboanga del Norte.

“Pagbaba ko ng bundok, may nag email na sa akin ng letter na galing kay Jennifer Agoob, dating finance secretary sa region. Tapos ayun sinend sa akin yung authorization letter na ako ang tinalagang provincial coordinator ng Bayan Muna sa Zamboanga del Norte. Pirmado ito ni Atty. Neri Colmenares (When I got down from the mountains, I immediately received an email from Jennifer Agoob, former finance secretary in the region. After that, I received an authorization letter stating that my appointment as the provincial coordinator of Bayan Muna in Zamboanga del Norte. This was signed by Atty. Neri Colmenares),” Evangelista narrated.

After formally receiving his appointment documents, Evangelista said he was sent to gather volunteers that will act as the Bayan Muna and the Makabayan Bloc poll watchers

He said they assigned as poll watchers for every barangay and municipality for the entire Zamboanga del Norte.

Another former CPP-NPA cadre Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz explained they are already expecting Colmenares and the Bayan Muna party-list to deny their knowledge of Evangelista, including their connection to the communist terrorist group CPP-NPA-NDF.

Celiz, however, said it would be ridiculous if Colmenares indeed denies it, especially that he has been a party-list representative of Bayan Muna.

“Ridiculous yan kasi in a normal organization, you do not sign papers if you do not know where it is going and hindi mo alam kung sino ang gagamit niyan (That would be ridiculous because in a normal organization you do not sign papers if you do not know where it is going and you do not know who will be using it),” Celiz said.

Colmenares has already filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) with the Commission on Elections for senator in the May 9, 2022 elections under the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) bloc, composed of party-list groups that include Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, ACT Teachers, and Kabataan.

With his experiences as former CPP-NPA-NDF cadre and former provincial coordinator for Bayan Muna, Evangelista appealed to all voters not to vote for Colmenares, and all the party-list organizations under the Makabayan Bloc, whom he calls CPP-NPA puppet in Congress.

“Sa mga botante, sana wag nyo iboto si Neri Colmenares at yung nasa Makabayan Bloc, ang Act Teachers, Gabriella, Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Anakpawis. Huwag na sila iboto kasi konektado sila sa CPP-NPA kasi yung pondo imbes na mapunta dun sa mga projects para sa mga nangangailangan, ang pondo napupunta sa CPP NPA para gamitin at sirain ang gobyerno at para mang recruit ng mga kabataan (To all the voters, please do not vote for Neri Colmenares and the entire Makabayan Bloc, the Act Teachers, Gabriella, Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Anakpawis. Do not vote for them because they are connected with the CPP-NPA and the funds are use are meant to destroy the government and recruit more youth),” Evangelista added.

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

The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.

Navy HQ deploys 4 teams to augment northern Luzon rescue ops

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 14, 2021): Navy HQ deploys 4 teams to augment northern Luzon rescue ops (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office

The Philippine Navy (PN) headquarters in Manila has deployed four disaster response and rescue teams (DRRTs) on Wednesday to augment the humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) missions being conducted by the Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) in areas severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring.

In a statement Wednesday night, NFNL public affairs office chief, Lt. Madel Ladera, said the DRRTs deployed by PN headquarters have water, search-and-rescue (WASAR) capabilities.

"The additional four DRRT (are) composed of two officers and 43 enlisted personnel led by (Marine) Capt. Marlon Ladrido came from different units of PN. They arrived on board three M-35 trucks and one KM-250 truck from Bonifacio Naval Station in Taguig City,"
she said.

Ladera said all of these DRRT members are trained on WASAR which is very much needed on rescue operations in flooded areas.

"Upon arrival, said personnel were subjected to the standard operating procedure of rapid antigen tests. After which, two teams were immediately deployed to MDRRMO Tagudin, Ilocos Sur for the conduct of relief operations," she noted.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Ladera said the PN is continuing with its mandate of supporting local government units during natural calamities or disasters.

"Likewise, these efforts of the PN will support the thrust of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for HADR operations," Ladera said.

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar sea trials set in November

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 14, 2021): BRP Gregorio Del Pilar sea trials set in November (By Priam Nepomuceno)

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (File photo)

The dock and sea trials for offshore patrol vessel BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-15) which ran aground off Hasa-Hasa Shoal in August 2018, have been scheduled for November.

Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson, Commander Benjo Negranza, made this statement when asked for updates regarding the repairs of the ship.

"BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-15) was undocked and moved to Subic Bay Freeport Zone SBMA, Zambales. All other outstanding repairs are being completed now that PS-15 is back on the water. Dock and sea trials are scheduled for the end of November this year,"
he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday night.

One of the ship's two variable pitch propellers was damaged, along with its propeller hub, after its grounding.

Negranza earlier said the drydocking and other related repairs of BRP Gregorio Del Pilar are expected to be completed by September.

"Nevertheless, the PN exerts all efforts to remain vigilant and to uphold its mandate in guarding the country's waters. We are one with our countrymen in looking forward to PS-15's repair completion," he added.

The PN said difficulties in procuring parts and the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic have moved the completion of the repairs of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar to the latter part of 2021.

PNP, AFP to boost info sharing in crackdown vs. loose firearms

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 14, 2021): PNP, AFP to boost info sharing in crackdown vs. loose firearms (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

File photo

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it will strengthen coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on information-sharing to further intensify the campaign against loose firearms.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar made the remark after five people, including two soldiers and a policeman, were arrested for selling firearms during an entrapment operation in Barangay Tamontaka, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Tuesday.

Arrested were Pat. Eliver Jay Anggot Soverano, assigned to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Crime Laboratory Office; Army Staff Sgt. Glenn Sangyao and Army Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Dichosa II, both assigned to 6th Infantry Division; Datu Morjan Kunakon Tumindig and Adams Tumindig.

"Due to this incident, your PNP will liaise with the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to strengthen monitoring and operations against anyone who sells and buys loose firearms, whether these are police officers, soldiers, or civilians. We will not allow this trend, especially amid the election season,” Eleazar said in a statement.

Eleazar commended the chief of police and the personnel of the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station for their aggressive campaign against loose firearms.

“This translates to nine less firearms at the hands of criminal elements who may be tapped to sow violence in the May 2022 elections,” he added.

The operation was conducted after a police poseur-buyer was able to transact with the suspects for the sale of assorted firearms.

Seized from the suspects were a 5.56 mm Bushmaster rifle, two 5.56 rifle, an M4 Carbine, two cal. 45 pistols, and three 9mm pistols.

He said the PNP personnel arrested will be charged with both criminal and administrative charges.

Eleazar earlier ordered early election security preparations that include aggressive operations against loose firearms and private armed groups.