Saturday, November 6, 2021

WESTMINCOM: Eight communist terrorists surrender to soldiers in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Nov 6, 2021): Eight communist terrorists surrender to soldiers in Sultan Kudarat

4th Civil Relations Group
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Eight communist terrorists surrender to soldiers in Sultan Kudarat

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – November 04, 2021

Eight members of the communist terrorist group surrendered to the military in Sultan Kudarat on November 3, 2021. The eight submitted themselves to the soldiers at the Headquarters of the 7th Infantry Battalion, Old Capitol Compound, Barangay Kalawag II, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. The identities of the former rebels are withheld for their security.
According to Western Mindanao Command Chief, Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., the surrendered personalities felt that it is time for them to end their armed struggle after realizing that their sacrifice is not worth it. “I am positive that the others will soon follow and we encourage them to do so, before it’s too late.” Maj. Gen. Rosario, Jr. stated.
The former rebels handed over their firearms including an M14 rifle with magazine and five ammunition, two cal. 30 Garand rifles with six clips loaded with 45 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one Browning automatic rifle (BAR) with magazine loaded with four rounds of 30mm ammunition; one cal. 45 pistol with magazine; and two 12-gauge Shotguns.
Lt. Col. Romel Valencia, Commanding Officer of 7IB said the eight were members of the Far South Mindanao Regional Committee (FSMRC). “Their successful surrender is attributable to the collaborative efforts of the 7IB, Bagumbayan PNP, Senator Ninoy Aquino PNP, and Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office,” Lt. Col. Valencia said.
The surrendered personalities are currently undergoing custodial debriefing while the surrendered firearms and other war materials were deposited at 7IB headquarters for safekeeping.

“I am personally elated by the turn of events. The snowball of CTG submission is an affirmation of the group’s downfall,” Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central said.
From January 2021 to date, JTF Central successfully neutralized a total of 108 CTG members of which 1 was killed, 105 surrendered, and two were apprehended. The unit also reported a total of 166 firearms gains 29 of which are high-powered and 137 are low-powered.
“I would like to congratulate our Joint Task Force Central for this accomplishment. I am well aware of your efforts to end terrorism and insurgency in Central Mindanao. Your numerous successes are the rewards of your sacrifices. For that, I once again congratulate you all,” Maj. Gen. Rosario, Jr. further stated.

WESTMINCOM: Ex-MILF combatants get financial aid from BARMM

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Nov 6, 2021): Ex-MILF combatants get financial aid from BARMM

4th Civil Relations Group
8Ye9s0fSp35terd8a13y99 atr 93:33 A32M ·


Some 60 former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from Camps Bilal and Busrah in Lanao provinces each received Php10,000 financial aid from the Ministry of Public Order and Safety’s (MPOS) Peacebuilding Towards Normalization program.

This intervention is intended for the vulnerable and marginalized sectors, such as the MILF combatants who did not qualify in the decommissioning program of the national government.

MPOS’ Director-General Atty. Al-Rashid L. Balt and Peace Program Officer Sittie Janine Gamao led the distribution of cash assistance for the beneficiaries on Sunday, October 31, in Marawi City.

Gamao told the former combatants that the Bangsamoro Government will continuously help those who have struggled to achieve sustainable peace in the region.

“Iba-iba man tayo ng pamamaraan sa pagkamit ng kapayapaan… lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa mga katulad ninyo na kung saan sa loob ng ilang taon ay pinaglaban ang kapayapaan sa ating mga komunidad lalo na ang kapakanan naming mga kababaihan,” said Gamao.

MPOS targets a total of 180 former combatants from the six MILF recognized camps in the region as embodied in Executive Order 79 under the Annex on Normalization.

Identified beneficiaries will go through profiling, capacity building, listening sessions, social healing, and provision of assistance.

“Pagkatapos nung profiling, nag-evaluate at nagkaroon tayo ng capacity building sa kanila, more on kung paano ma-normalize yung buhay nila… Parang journey of life siya na activity, pinashare natin sa kanila ano yung mga karanasan nila,” Gamao added.

MPOS is also set to distribute the same cash aid to beneficiaries in Camp Abubakar in Barira Municipality and Camp Rajamuda in Pikit town on November 9, while former combatants in Camp Omar in Datu Hoffer and Camp Badre will receive theirs on November 10.

MILF Front Commanders and Members of Parliament Basit “Jannati Mimbantas” Abbas and Abdullah “Commander Bravo” Macapaar were also present during Sunday’s event.

“We are very thankful to our leaders in the Bangsamoro Government for not neglecting us and to our Front Commanders Jannati Mimbantas and Commander Bravo for their continued guidance among former combatants,” said one of the beneficiaries in his native language.

WESTMINCOM: 55IB conducts outreach program

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Nov 6, 2021): 55IB conducts outreach program

4th Civil Relations Group
8Ye9s0fSp35terd8a13y99 atr 93:30 A32M ·


SAGUIARAN, LANAO DEL SUR—On Monday, November 1, 2021, the 55th Infantry (VIGILANT) Battalion, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army headed by Ltc Franco Raphael H Alano in partnership with the Inner Wheel Club Philippines headed by Ms Rasmila M Cosain, Senior Education Program Specialist conducted an Outreach activity at Headquarters, 55th Infantry (VIGILANT) Battalion, Brgy. Pawak, Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur.

Children and parents from Brgy Lumbayanague and Brgy Pawak both of Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur were the beneficiaries of said activity. A total of eighty (80) children received Hygiene Kits, School Supplies and Story Books. The Inner Wheel Philippines composed of civilian volunteers from different walks of life, facilitated the conduct of psycho-social activities. They also discussed the importance of wearing mask and maintaining personal hygiene and other health awareness that is helpful during this pandemic period. All activities were conducted with the observance of the current health protocols.

The 55IB together with the partners and stakeholders will continue to extend their effort and strong commitment to accomplish its mission to promote peace and development in Lanao del Sur.

The said activity was held in connection with the upcoming 36th Founding Anniversary of the 55IB on November 07, 2021.

Eastmincom gets 4 Blackhawk helicopters

From the Philippine Star (Nov 7, 2021): Eastmincom gets 4 Blackhawk helicopters (By Edith Regalado and Ralph Edwin Villanueva)

The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received four new S-70i Blackhawk helicopters.

Eastmincom chief Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol said the new air assets would enhance the mobility of government troopers in the fight against communist terrorist groups as well as in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

“The arrival of these Blackhawk choppers happened at a very opportune time to aid our hardworking troops in the pursuit of genuine peace and development in Eastern Mindanao,”Almerol said.

Two of the new air assets are stationed at the Tactical Operations Wing-Eastern Mindanao Davao Air Station in Barangay Sasa.

The two other helicopters were brought to the Tactical Operations Group regional headquarters at Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro.

The AFP also deployed Blackhawk helicopters to the Western Mindanao Command for its operations against terrorists in Mindanao.

MILF admits members at fault for uncoordinated troop movement in Maguindanao

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 6, 2021): MILF admits members at fault for uncoordinated troop movement in Maguindanao (By: Bong S. Sarmiento)

KORONADAL CITY—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has admitted that its members were at fault when they traveled bringing high-powered weapons in Maguindanao last Nov. 1.

Von Alhaq, spokesperson of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the MILF’s armed-wing, said they are willing to face the investigation to be conducted by the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the Malaysian-led international body that mainly monitors the implementation of the ceasefire accord between the MILF and the government.

“There’s a lapse on the part of the MILF commander. He forgot to coordinate their movement with the CCCH. We are admitting that it’s a pure ceasefire violation,” Alhaq said in Filipino.

CCCH stands for the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities.

Under the implementing guidelines of the 1997 GPH-MILF agreement on the general cessation of hostilities, it prohibits the massive deployment and/or movement of state and MILF forces which are not normal administrative functions and activities.

The guidelines also provide that the movement of MILF forces outside their identified areas, as jointly determined by the CCCH, shall be coordinated by concerned MILF commanders to the government forces’ commanders for prior clearance.

In keeping with a 2014 peace deal, the BIAF is undergoing phased decommissioning of its forces and weapons.

Alhaq said the Maguindanao police office is filing a complaint regarding the apprehension of at least 35 heavily-armed MILF members and their firearms in Datu Odin Sinsuat town last Nov. 1.

According to Alhaq, the ceasefire violation complaint will be investigated by the IMT, vowing that they would respect the body’s decision on the matter.

He said the MILF members apprehended by state forces belonging to the 105th Base Command were in a convoy on their way home to Talitay town from Sultan Kudarat, via Kabuntalan.

Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the apprehended MILF members have been released from custody but their firearms remain with the military.

Baldomar said the heavily-armed MILF members were apprehended at a checkpoint along the national highway.

On the brink of defeat

 Posted to the Business Mirror (Nov 7, 2021): On the brink of defeat (By RENE ACOSTA)

Top military officials see end of terror group in Mindanao

THE military has declared that it may take some time before the Daulah Islamiyah (DI), the local front of the Islamic State (IS) in the country, could recover following a series of setbacks the extremist group has sustained, the latest of which was the slaying of Salahuddin Hassan, its overall leader.

In fact, the group, the military predicted, may not even be able to withstand its latest loss.

The once-progressive Islamic city of Marawi, after IS-inspired, home-grown terrorist groups ended their siege, is shown in this June 15, 2018, file photo. The military says it is steadily winning the pushback against these groups.

Hassan, the so-called emir of the DI-Philippines, was neutralized during a joint operation by policemen and soldiers in Maguindanao a week ago, according to the military.

He died just months after assuming the mantle of leadership of the DI-Philippines following the military’s killing of Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan in Sulu in July last year.

The death of Hassan was a strategic accomplishment for the military, coming at a time when the terrorist group, intent on reorganizing for yet another offensive following its defeat in Marawi City, is already on the retreat from its traditional grounds in Western Mindanao, particularly Lanao del Sur and Sulu.

“This is a significant blow against the DI and another victory in our thrust against terrorism. With their leader now dead, the terrorist group will certainly crumble,” said Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Jose Faustino Jr.


COL. Pedro Balisi, commander of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Brigade and leader of the operating troops who got Hassan, also believes that the death of the emir will lead to the demise of IS’s local front in Mindanao.

Other military officials see Hassan’s death as greatly weakening the leadership of, and creating a vacuum within, the local front of the IS.

The terrorist group’s search for a new emir—who should be both dedicated and notorious—may not be too easy since most of its potential leaders have also been neutralized in Sulu and Lanao del Sur: Exactly why the group had turned to Hassan, who had previously operated in Central Mindanao and not in Western Mindanao.

“Our hard work and focus in putting our resources to defeat the armed group has come to fruition. I urge you to sustain our operational gains,” Army chief Lt. Gen. Andres Centino said in his address to soldiers in the aftermath of Hassan’s death and even that of Mindanao-based communist rebel Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos.

‘Very telling’

FOR the military, the killing of Hassan in Maguindanao was “very telling.” It confirmed that the DI is already at the lowest ebb in its operations on its traditional grounds in Western Mindanao like Sulu and Lanao provinces, and the group is in retreat.

It also confirmed that the Lanao-based Maute group, from which the bulk of DI’s original members emanated, has degenerated into an insignificant force.

The DI had been operationally inactive during the past months in Western Mindanao, with only the three factions of the Central Mindanao-based Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) allied with the IS putting up an irregular show of force in Maguindanao. The DI is made up of loose local terrorist groups.

The last time the DI proved it was still around in Western Mindanao was when soldiers in Lanao del Sur engaged the group after sighting 30 of its members in the forested area of Madamba and Madalum in August this year.

Right after the relatives of Sawadjaan were killed in a mid-sea operation in Sulare, Parang, Sulu in November last year, Joint Task Force Sulu commander Major Gen. William Gonzales declared that the group’s operations in the province may have been over.

Three of those killed were Sawadjaan’s cousins: Mannul Sawadjaan, Dave Sawadjaan and Madzmar Sawadjaan. Of the three, Mannul was identified as the likely successor of Sawadjaan after his death.

“The death of these seven ASG members, particularly Mannul and Madzmar, will significantly affect the local terrorist group’s organizational hierarchy operations…. Mannul is highly respected within the group,” said Gonzales at that time.

Sawadjaan assumed the leadership of the IS after the death of Isnilon Hapilon during the siege of Marawi City in 2017.

With the death of Hassan and the Sawadjaans, it may be hard for the group to scout for leaders who could steer the terrorist group in Mindanao to possibly rise again, especially given that the three factions of the BIFF are also on the run in Maguindanao.

Hassan, former leader and founder of the Al-Khobar terrorist group before he shifted to the DI, was a Jemaah Islamiyah-trained bomber and was responsible for numerous bombings in Mindanao, including the Davao night market attack, which killed 14 people.

[Images courtesy of Garudeya | and AP/Aaron Favila]

ELCAC allots funds for Barangay Development Program

From Palawan News (Nov 6, 2021): ELCAC allots funds for Barangay Development Program (By Patricia Laririt)

[UPDATED] National security adviser Hermogenes Esperon said on Thursday during his visit to Puerto Princesa that 35 barangays in Palawan will receive their Barangay Development Program (BDP) funds in 2022.

For this year, the provincial government has already received the amount of P160 million for the 2021 BDP for eight barangays, according to a letter from the Bureau of Treasury (BOT) obtained by Palawan News.

The barangays with ongoing BDP projects are Samariniana, Salogon, Saraza, and Amas in Brooke’s Point; Abaroan, Dumarao, and Magara in Roxas, and Kemdeng in San Vicente. Each received P20 million.

The BDP, which is the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF-ELCAC) flagship program, aims to fund improvements in barangays that have been reportedly affected by the armed insurgency.

Esperon said in a speech that there are currently eight barangays in Palawan implementing their BDP, and also bared plans for next year’s BDP allocation.

The Notice of 

Authority to Debit Account Issued addressed to Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez regarding the P160 million that will cover the funding requirement for the implementation of priority programs and projects from the NTF ELCAC.

READ RELATED STORY: Eight barangays in Palawan to benefit from P500M BDP fund for socio-economic projects

“Sa taong ito, walong barangay ng Palawan ang nagpapatupad ng mga barangay development projects. Sa susunod na taon, mayroong 54 dito sa MIMAROPA, 35 sa Palawan. Sa kabuuan, mayroong 1,406 barangays sa buong bansa na makikinabang sa BDP sa 2022,” he said.

He added that President Rodrigo Duterte already approved the BDP budget for the 1,406 barangays in 2022 as early as March this year, and is already in the national expenditure program for the amount of P28.12 billion.

Esperon previously reported to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that around P500 million worth of projects in the MIMAROPA region is now in the implementation stage. Nationwide, a total of 822 barangays were targeted as recipients for the 2021 BDP, with a total of P16.28 million worth of funding from the national government.

According to the task’s force website, the BDP is meant to fund projects such as farm-to-market roads, school building construction, water and sanitation systems, health clinics, reconstruction of public spaces, and electrification of rural communities.

Army trains more reservists to boost security vs. ASG in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2021): Army trains more reservists to boost security vs. ASG in Sulu (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

MORE RESERVISTS. The trainees stand in formation as they listen to the instructions given by one of the training staff in this undated photo. The Army Reserve Command on Saturday (Nov. 6, 2021) said another batch of 300 Tausugs is being trained to further boost the community-based security forces against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Sulu. (Photo courtesy of the 11th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office.

Some 300 Tausugs are undergoing a 45-day Basic Citizen Military Training (BCMT) to become members of the community-based security forces against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the province of Sulu.

Lt. Col. Andres Soriano, Army Reserved Command’s (ARESCOM) 906th Community Defense Center commander, said in a statement Saturday the trainees, belonging to the BCMT Class 02-2021, are being trained on basic soldiery and relief and rescue operation in Barangay Liang, Patikul, Sulu.

“The course shall also include subjects on disaster response, moral virtues, patriotism, and discipline that will arm them with knowledge on how to assist in their community in terms of socio-economic development,”
Soriano said.

Laurel Ahajan, 40, one of the trainees, thanked ARESCOM for the opportunity to join the reserve force.

“Extending help to other people is not a new thing to me since I am a member of the Kabalikat Civicom, whose purpose is almost similar to that of the reservists,” Ahajan said.

The Kabalikat Civicom is the largest group of responsible and active radio communicators engaged in public assistance particularly during disasters and natural calamities or whenever there is a need to ensure public comfort and convenience.

“I decided to join the reservists to gain more knowledge and learn new skills and above all is to help my own province,” Ahajan added.

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander, noted the number of interested Tausugs to join the reservist has increased.

Gonzales said the BCMT Class 01-2021, which is the first-ever Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion in Sulu, consisted only of 215 Army reservists, three of which are reservist officers.

The BCMT 02-2021 is the second batch of reservists the Army trained in Sulu.

“Many individuals were inspired to join the reservists that’s why the second batch reached 300 members. These volunteers undergoing training will also be part of the Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion,” Gonzales said.

“I'm glad seeing that we have volunteers from all walks of life. They consist of old, young, men and women. There are farmers and some are office personnel,” he said.

Soriano said the training of the BCMT Class 02-2021 will end on December 14.

However, he said those who have full-time jobs and are only available to attend during weekends will graduate after completing 45 days program of instruction.

Ka Oris terrorist, not revolutionary martyr: anti-commie groups

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2021): Ka Oris terrorist, not revolutionary martyr: anti-commie groups (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

BERDUGO, NOT MARTYR. Members of anti-communist groups refer to slain NPA leader5 Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oros as a terrorist, not a revolutionary martyr, during a rally outside the Commission on Elections main office at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila on Nov. 5. The groups also urged the disqualification of party-list groups Kabataan and Gabriela from the 2022 elections because of their links with the CPP-NPA-NDF. (Contributed photo)

Anti-communist groups composed of parents on Saturday urged militant groups and youth organizations to stop romanticizing the late ranking New People's Army (NPA) leader Jorge Madlos alias "Ka Oris" as a revolutionary martyr.

In an interview, League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP) chair Remy Rosadio said Madlos' death should serve as a warning to the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and remaining NPA rebels "that engaging in the armed revolution will only lead them to a darker path".

"He is not a revolutionary martyr. NPA is the armed wing of the CPP. Madlos is a terrorist and a top leader of the communist terrorist group. Why would call him a martyr if he is making people suffer? How can you call him a martyr if he lures our children to go against their parents?," Rosadio said, referring to militant organizations "glorifying Madlos' struggles" during his time in the revolutionary armed movement.

She said CPP-NPA sympathizers should weigh in on the atrocities and violence committed by NPA rebels against innocent individuals before "calling Madlos a revolutionary martyr."

Instead of romanticizing a rebel's death, she said the CPP-NPA and the National Democratic Front (NDF) should "caution their members that armed conflict will never give solutions to these societal problems."

"We want to have a communist-free country for the sake of our children and for the next generation," she added.

Meanwhile, Yakap ng Magulang founder Relissa Santos Lucena said Madlos death serves as another downed instrument of the communist terrorists in its recruitment of new members.

Undeserved praises

"Ang sino mang nabubuhay sa baril ay mamamatay din dito (Whoever live with guns will die into it)," she said, noting that the Madlos doesn't deserve all the praises given to him by some militant organizations.

Lucena said Madlos has done nothing for the country but "put his fellow Filipinos in suffering conditions," by leading NPA extortion activities, kidnappings, and killings of civilians.

She added that Madlos' death "only showcases" the government's strong commitment to ending the long-standing atrocities of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

"Naipakita natin sa CPP-NPA-NDF na mas malakas ang gobyerno at kayang kaya silang ikahon ng gobyerno sa tulong ng mamamayang Pilipino (This only shows that the government is stronger than the CPP-NPA-NDF and that the government can corner them with the help of the Filipino people)," said Lucena, whose daughter Alicia Jasper or AJ was recruited by militant group Anakbayan and went missing for years.

AJ was reunited with her family on April 20 this year but was again taken from her family.

Meanwhile, Liga Independencia Pilipinas spokesperson Nolan Tiongco said, "a revolutionary martyr will die in the name of his beloved nation and his comrades."

But, with the CPP-NPA's revolution, Tiongco added that "no one among them should be called as a martyr".

"There is no such thing as revolutionary martyrs that have bloodstains in their hands, the blood that comes from their comrades, blood from ordinary civilians, and blood from extortions. Their kind of revolution is not martyrdom. They are terrorists," Tiongco said.

He said nothing happened with more than 53 years of the CPP-NPA's armed revolution.

"How can it be that joining NPA is a martyrdom if they are recruiting more members through deceptions," he said.

Tiongco questioned CPP-NPA's use of "anti-personnel mines (APMs) in their attacks that is a violation of International Humanitarian Law.

"Using landmines is not martyrdom. That's why they are red-tagged because they are covered with the red blood of their victims," he said.

Madlos was the commander and spokesperson of the NPA National Operations Command and NDF in Mindanao.

He died in an encounter between NPA rebels and government troops in Bukidnon on October 30.

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