Monday, January 31, 2022

Military airstrikes pound rebel lair in Cagayan

 From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Feb 1, 2022): Military airstrikes pound rebel lair in Cagayan

BOMB RAID: A resident of Barangay Santa Clara in Gonzaga, Cagayan province, flees his village at the height of the military airstrike on Mt. Cagua on Jan. 29. (Photo courtesy of MARIVIC ASCUETA)

Government aircraft dropped bombs on a suspected stronghold of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Gonzaga town, Cagayan province, on Jan. 29 as the Philippine Army’s 501st Infantry Battalion fought off alleged communist rebels on Mt. Cagua.

Air support from the Tactical Operations Group bombarded the uninhabited mountain in Sitio Maging, Barangay Santa Clara, said Army Capt. Rigor Pamittan, spokesperson of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division (ID), the military’s primary anti-insurgency unit in northern Luzon based in Isabela province.

The government troops fought members of the NPA’s East Front Komiteng Probinsya Cagayan, who had been holed out in the mountain, Pamittan told the Inquirer by phone on Sunday.

On Monday, the Army said it was still gathering information on whether there were casualties among the rebels, as it cautioned the public against photos circulating and going viral on social media showing several bodies of suspected communist rebels that were reportedly retrieved from the clash site.

‘Causing confusion’

In a statement, the Army’s 5th ID said the photos were “causing confusion” since these were unrelated to the Cagayan clash.

He said the photos of the armed encounter were between the military’s 62nd Infantry Battalion and the communist rebels in the City of Guihulngan, Negros Oriental province, that happened in March 23 last year.

During the airstrike in Gonzaga, villagers in Barangay Santa Clara confirmed spotting truckloads of soldiers being transported to Cagua. They also reported hearing explosions at the foot of the mountain, which is about 8 kilometers from the village center.

Villager Rod Erick Sola said he was at Barangay Rebecca, which is about 16 km from Mt. Cagua, and could hear gunfire and explosions there during the airstrike.

Ferdinand Cortez, public relations officer of the Department of Agriculture in Cagayan Valley, on Monday said his relatives also heard gunfire from Barangay Maging, another village in Gonzaga.

Gov’t should continue LPE peace program

Posted to the Manila Standard (Jan 31, 2022): Gov’t should continue LPE peace program

The Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) on Monday has urged the next administration to continue the Local Peace Engagement (LPE) with the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) as it is the most effective way to end local communist armed conflict.

At the virtual press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, chief-of-staff and OPAPRU spokesperson said they are recommending that LPE should remain in the peace process to finally put an end to the more than five-decade-old insurgency of the Communists Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

“Like any other administration who has their own policy and directions, LPE is only part of our recommendation to the next administration, an effective way, to sustain the gain of peace we have experienced,”
Mayor said, as results proved that LPE had placed the CPP-NPA-NDF in the losing end.

Mayor explained that when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discarded the peace negotiations at the national level for the lack of sincerity from the CPP-NPA-NDF panel, this has been replaced by “the 6-points peace and development agenda” under Executive Order No. 70, which adopted a ‘whole-of-nation approach’ that centered mostly through LPE and the creation of NTF-ELCAC.

That move, Mayor said, paved the way to fast-track development projects in areas earlier declared as CTG strongholds with all the government agencies joined in 12 clusters working hand-in-hand with the local executives and even local and community leaders, including village chiefs (barangay chairmen) in two tracks of approach—community consultations and problem-solving.

“OPAPRU believes that LPE while nationally orchestrated and locally implemented has been effective in most conflict-affected communities, preventing the communities to be exploited, (by CTGs),” Mayor explained.

“Peace is possible in direct consultations nationwide,” he added. And while LPE was adopted and implemented by previous administrations, the Duterte Administration “enhanced” the process “that provides platforms for former rebels to directly be involved in the peacebuilding process.”

Interior and Local Government Director Rene Valera on the other hand, said the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) under the LPE proved “that communicating for a perpetual end to extreme violence and forming alliance towards positive change,’ has made many communities free of CTGs.

Valera explained that RCSP involved all the stakeholders, starting from the national government to local executives and leaders down to citizens of communities bothered by CTGs “to secure peace and development’ and unhampered delivery of basic services.

Major General Edgardo De Leon, Commander of the 8th Infantry “Stormtrooper” Division of the Philippine Army, now handling the insurgency in Eastern Visayas said LPE “is a proof of an effective concept.” It placed their military operations though successful, secondary to non-military aspects of the concept.

The army official added that these discoveries and disclosures made by ‘whistleblowers’ prompted Joma Sison to prove that he is the one leading the CPP-NPA-NDF by claiming that revelations made by surrenderees were ‘fake’ and concocted by the military.

He added that the NPA surrenderees no longer cover their faces when they surrender to the government and return to the folds of the law. Previously, the government forces do not show their faces, with respect to them and their families. But now these former rebels are insistent to show themselves and tell everyone that they are not fake surrenderees. And many of them are already part of the government’s nation-building programs.

2 suspected communist rebels killed in Bukidnon clash –military

From GMA News Online (Jan 31, 2022): 2 suspected communist rebels killed in Bukidnon clash –military (By GISELLE OMBAY)

The military killed two alleged Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) rebels and captured two others during a Saturday encounter in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

In a statement, the Philippine Army said its 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion and the 8th Infantry Battalion (IB) responded to a report of armed men in Sitio Lamana, Barangay Kibalabag.

According to the military, a firefight broke out with five members of Headquarters Force Neo, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).

The two suspected rebel fatalities were identified as Alias Draw and Alias Paet, while the two captured were 72-years-old Nisy Sante Alias Arnold 20-year-old Gelloye Lipanya Sagula alias Janjan.

Three .45 caliber pistols, a 9mm pistol, five magazines, one cellphone, and medical supplies were seized at the encounter site.

During a search in the area, government troops were also able to rescue seven civilians including four minors.

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Bacus, 8th IB Commander, said the alleged NPA rebels threatened the rescued civilians.

Bacus added that the suspected rebels were extorting vegetables from the civilian farms and they “immediately fired” when they saw the soldiers approaching.

The military is waiting for the family members of the killed individuals to claim the bodies.

Bacus reiterated the call for rebels to surrender and avail of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Meanwhile, 403rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Ferdinand Barandon lauded the troops for the operation, which was part of their goal to end local insurgency in the area.

“We also thank the residents who reported the presence of the CNTs which led us into stopping their terroristic activities against the innocent people of Bukidnon,” he added.

Weapons expert very much alive

 From The Star (Jan 31, 2022): Weapons expert very much alive (By MUGUNTAN VANAR)

KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has dispelled talk that notorious Abu Sayyaf gunman Mudzrimar @ Mundi Sawadjan is dead, saying that he has remained active in a number of fire-fights.

Citing intelligence information shared by Philippine security forces, Joint Task Force Sulu and Western Mindanao Command Esscom commander Deputy Comm Datuk Hamzah Ahmad said Mundi is very much alive.

He said the Philippine security forces confirmed that Mundi was active and has been involved in fire-fights with the military in the southern Sulu province since July last year.

In a statement yesterday, DCP Hamzah said Mundi remains on Esscom’s wanted list.

Doubts over Mundi’s death were raised after a news report claimed that the gunman was killed in a battle with the Philippine security forces in May last year, thus raising questions on why his name was added to Esscom’s updated list of “wanted men” last Thursday.

On Saturday, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Razarudin Husain asked Esscom to recheck the status of Mundi amid media reports that he was dead.

Regional intelligence sources said that Mundi, who is seen as a possible Emir of the Philippines Darul Islamiyah linked to the Islamic State, remains on the run and is in hiding following the Philippines’ on-going military operations against the group.

Mundi was listed among 20 Abu Sayyaf gunmen linked, or involved in, cross border kidnappings in Sabah’s waters.

He was a sub-commander in the Abu Sayyaf group and identified as the mastermind behind two major attacks in Jolo that included the bombing of a cathedral.

Mundi is also the nephew of Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawdjaan. He is widely seen as a key person to lead Darul Islamiyah.

Police to beef up security to prevent Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, bombmaker from entering Sabah

From the New Straits Times (Jan 31, 2022): Police to beef up security to prevent Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, bombmaker from entering Sabah (By Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah)

Federal police Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Hazani Ghazali said police, especially the Special Branch, have been told to monitor the situation. -NSTP file pic

KOTA BARU: Police will beef up security to ensure the Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and bombmaker Mudzimar @ Mundi Sawadjaan does not enter Sabah.

Federal police Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Hazani Ghazali said police, especially the Special Branch, have been told to monitor the situation.

He said they would also work closely with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to prevent the entry of the Abu Sayyaf sub-leader into Sabah.

"I would like to confirm that we were informed that Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and bombmaker Mudzrimar @ Mundi Sawadjaan, who is a suspect wanted by Esscom, is still alive.

"Therefore, Esscom as well as Special Branch police personnel are directed to check on this and to increase their operations.

"We will do whatever necessary to prevent his entry into Sabah," he said today.

Hazani said Esscom would also continue to share information with the Joint Task Force of Western Mindanao Command (J2 Westmincom) and Philippine National Police.

It was reported that the sub-leader who had been previously reportedly to have been shot dead last May in the Philippines was confirmed to be still alive.

Esscom commander Deputy Commissioner Hamzah Ahmad had said this was confirmed through the sharing of information by the Philippine security forces involving the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) and J2 Westmincom.

He added that Mudzrimar has been confirmed to be still alive following a series of clashes and encounters between Philippine security forces and the suspect since July 2021.

Hamzah said after that, Mudzrimar, who was removed from the list of individuals wanted by Esscom last year was now listed again following a kidnapping for ransom case in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone.

Mudzrimar is a nephew of Abu Sayyaf senior leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, besides having the expertise in making bombs as well as planning the bombings in a number of incidents in Jolo, the Philippines, in 2020, including at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral.

53IB inaugurates circumferential road

 From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Jan 31, 2022): 53IB inaugurates circumferential road

ZAMBOANGA. As part of its 37th founding anniversary, the Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur, inaugurated on January 28, 2022 the First Lieutenant Sahiron A. Gumampang circumferential road at Camp Major David Sabido, home of the 53IB in the town of Guipos. (SunStar Zamboanga)

THE Army's 53rd Infantry "Matapat" Battalion (IB), in partnership with the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur, inaugurated the circumferential road at Camp Major David Sabido, home of the 53IB in the town of Guipos.

The circumferential road, named after the later First Lieutenant Sahiron A. Gumampang, was inaugurated Friday, January 28, in a simple ceremony as part of its 53IB's 37th founding anniversary.

The 37th Founding Anniversary is anchored on the theme "Matapat @ 37: Victory in Time of Convergence."

Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB commander, said in a statement Monday, January 31, that the circumferential road was constructed last year and donated to the command by the Provincial Government headed by Governor Victor Yu.

Herrera expressed his gratitude to Yu for the continued partnership and convergence in bringing progress and development in Zamboanga del Sur.

"This circumferential road significantly contributed to the uplifting of our troops' morale and welfare. Let us continue this close partnership to sustain progress and development in the province of Zamboanga del Sur," he said.

The circumferential road was constructed in honor of Gumampang, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the people of Sulu during the encounter against the Abu Sayyaf Group on September 4, 2005 in Karawan village, Indanan town.

Kalinaw News: Injured NPA Combatant Surrenders to Government Troops in South Cotabato

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 31, 2022): Injured NPA Combatant Surrenders to Government Troops in South Cotabato

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – An injured member of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG), identified as a certain Ricky Lumbay alias Jeric, voluntarily surrendered with his caliber 5.56 M16A1 Carbine Rifle to the 11th Special Forces Company, 5th Special Forces Battalion (5SFBn) and the Local Government Unit of T’Boli, South Cotabato today, January 31, 2022, at Barangay Edwards of said town.

Brigadier General Pedro Balisi Jr. disclosed that the alias Jeric was among the CTG members encountered by government troops at Brgy Tudok, T’Boli, South Cotabato
during the combat operations launched last January 5, 2022, wherein 6 NPA terrorists were believed to be wounded based on the testimonies of some witnesses.

Alias Jeric narrated that he was left injured by other NPA members during the armed clash last January 5, 2022. “Noong narinig naming nagputukan na, tumalon ako sa bangin at ung ibang kasama ko nagtakbuhan na rin, lalo na narinig nila yung helicopter. Kaya ako napilay at nasugatan dahil sa pagtalon ko sa bangin,” alias Jeric said. “Naligaw ako sa aking mga kasama, pagod, gutom at masakit ang aking katawan kaya gumawa ako ng paraan para makalapit sa mga tao at magsurrender,” he added.

Residents from Sitios of Motosom, Salabanog and Mangga of Brgy. Laconon, T’Boli, South Cotabato immediately reported to authorities the presence of alias Jeric. It can be recalled that said communities were among the barangays that received help through the Community Support Program (CSP) and Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) conducted by the Local Government Unit of T’Boli and the 5th SFBn.

Mayor Dibu S. Tuan expressed that the NTF-ELCAC mechanisms are effective because of the recent surrenders of CTG Local Guerilla Units/Milisyang Bayan and NPA terrorist members from October 2021 to date. “Our conduct of CSP and RCSP is gaining grounds and it must be sustained. These development-oriented approaches coupled with the AFP and PNP’s peace, law enforcement, and development support activities and combat operations is a good practice that every LGU must adopt and sustain further,” Hon. Mayor Tuan said.

The LGU of T’Boli provided the surrenderee with immediate medical and financial support. Further, he will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) as part of the overall government program for those CTG members who returned to the folds of the law.

Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry Division commended the Local Government Unit within their area of operations for the great partnership in implementing the NTF-ELCAC mandate which positively results in peaceful surrenders and combat encounters against the CTGs in South Cotabato.

“With the help of the LGUs and the communities, the defeat of the CTG is inevitable wherein with the recent surrenders of CTG members and accomplishments of the NTF-ELCAC, our efforts towards peace are gaining grounds and will be realized in the near future,” Maj. Gen. Uy added.

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

Kalinaw News: NPA Sectoral Organization Nagbalik-loob sa Gobyerno

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 31, 2022): NPA Sectoral Organization Nagbalik-loob sa Gobyerno

Narvacan, Ilocos Sur – Tuluyang nilisan ng 41 myembro ng Kasigudan Aywanan Takderan Binangon di Kabunyan Organization (KATABIKO) ang CPP-NPA-NDF sa isinagawang Oath of Allegiance sa Bunga National School, Bunga, Tadian, Mountain Province noong ika-30 ng Enero 2022.

Sa pamamagitan ng Localized Peace Engagement sa panunguna ng 69th Infantry (COUGAR) Battalion sa isinagawa na Joint Community Support Program ng mga kasundaluhan ng Alpha Company, 69th Infantry Battalion; 2nd Civil-Military Operations (KABALIKAT) Company at 1502nd Maneuver Company, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 15 katuwang ang Local Government Unit ng Tadian, Mountain Province, naisagawa ang pagbabalik loob nila sa gobyerno at pagbasura sa idelohiya ng CPP-NPA na patuloy na sumisira sa mapayapang pamumuhay sa Cordillera.

Pinagtibay ng Cordillera People’s Alliance ang KATABIKO bilang kanilang pundasyon sa sector ng Indigenous Peoples para maging hayag na organisasyon para sa armadong pakikibaka ng terroristang CPP-NPA sa mga liblib na lugar bilang kanilang baseng masa.

Nagpasalamat si Heneral Krishnamurti A Mortela, Philippine Army, Commander, 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade sa 41 myembro ng KATABIKO na nagbalik-loob at karagdagang sinabi, “ginamit ng CPA ang KATABIKO bilang kanilang hayag na organisasyong upang higit nilang palakasin ang armadong pakikibaka ng CPP-NPA sa Mountain Province na pumapatay sa mayaman at matatag na kultura ng mga taga Cordillera.”

[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: 10ID will share best practices; Releases One Battalion to Samar

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 31, 2022): 10ID will share best practices; Releases One Battalion to Samar

MAWAB, DAVAO DE ORO – The 3rd Infantry “Regardless of What” Battalion now heads to Eastern Visayas under the jurisdiction of the 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division after its six-year deployment in the area of 10th Infantry “Agila” Division as an operational control unit.

Arriving in 2016, 3rd IB has become a guardian and protector of the masses of Paquibato District in the hinterlands of Davao City as its area of operation. Paquibato for many years became a hotbed of the Communist Terrorist Group. However, with the relentless operations of 3IB and other nearby units, the area progressed under numerous projects from National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict dismantling numerous guerilla fronts under its watch.

Meanwhile, in its six years as 10ID’s operational control unit, 3rd IB accomplished numerous feats geared towards the counter-insurgency efforts of the Agila Division.

In 2018, 3rd IB dismantled the Guerilla Front 54 operating in Davao City, followed by the annihilation of Pulang Bagani Command 2 and 3 in 2019. Meanwhile, in 2020, Guerilla Front 56 was also erased in its area of operation.

Recently, 3rd IB led by its Battalion Commander COL JUVENAL MARK T TAYAMEN played a huge role in the dismantling of Sub-Regional Committee 5 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee. The annihilation of SRC5 came after the surrender of its Secretary Ida Marie Montero alias Ka Mandy along with other SRC5 leaders and members.

Acting Agila Division Commander BGen Allan D Hambala said that moving of 3rd IB to Eastern Visayas is a strong manifestation that insurgency in the area of 10ID has reached its end-point.

“We are now watching the end-game of insurgency in Agila Division. We believe that there’s much work to be done in other parts of our country as we hasten to defeat the CTG. With the victories of 10ID, we can still meet the deadline set by the President despite the transfer of 3IB.” BGen Hambala added.

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

Kalinaw News: Two NPA killed; two captured and civilians rescued in a new Bukidnon clash

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 31, 2022): Two NPA killed; two captured and civilians rescued in a new Bukidnon clash

IMPASUGONG, BUKIDNON – The Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) continues to disintegrate as troops of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion and 8th Infantry (Dependable) Battalion, Philippine Army were able to neutralize two CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) and capture two others in a recent encounter at the hinterlands of Sitio Lamana, Barangay Kibalabag, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon last January 29, 2022.

The soldiers were responding to reports of the presence of the CNTs when the firefight ensued against five members of Headquarters Force Neo, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (HQF Neo, NCMRC). Afterward, government troops were able to recover two CNT cadavers identified as Alias Draw, member of dismantled squad 1, Platoon Dario, Sub-Regional Committee 2, NCMRC; and Alias Paet, Communication Staff/Special Operations Group/Intel of Regional Operations Command, NCMRC, and captured two CNTs namely; Nisy Sante Alias Arnold, 72 years old, Supply Officer, Squad 1, Regional Sentro De Gravedad (RSDG) Compaq, NCMRC; and Gelloye Lipanya Sagula Alias Janjan, 20 years old, member, Squad 2, Team Abe of the same unit. Three caliber 45 pistols, one 9mm pistol, five magazines, one cellphone, and medical supplies were also seized at the encounter site.

Further, upon searching the area, troops were also able to rescue seven civilians including four minors namely: Alias Jecko, 30 years old, and his son Alias Gerald, 11 years old, Alias Raffy, 28 years old, his wife Alias Jennifer, 24 years old, and their children Jepoy, 5 years old, Junray, 3 years old, and Shantal 1-year old.

LTC Anthony Bacus, Commander 8IB said, “Nasalbar nato ang mga sibilyan nga gihadlok og gipangilkilan sa mga Teroristang NPA. Giadtuan sila sa ilang umahan og ginapangayoan sila og mga tanum nga gulay. Sa dihang nakit-an sa mga NPA ang atong personahe og ila kining gipabuthan.” (We rescued the civilians who were threatened and extorted by the NPA Terrorists. They were approached at their farm and the CNTs extorted vegetables from them and when they saw the soldiers approaching, they immediately fired.)

“Karon among ginahulat ang pamilya sa mga namatay nga CNTs aron sila hingpit nang mapahiluna. Kami nasubo sa nadangatan nila tungod sa pagpanglinla sa Teroristang NPA. Tungod niiini, padayun ang among panawagan sa nahibilin pang mga CNT nga mosurrender na ug pahimuslan ang Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) tungod sayang ang kinabuhi,” Bacus added. (We are waiting for the family members of the dead CNTs in order for them to finally rest in peace. We are saddened of their demise and it is because of the deception of the NPA Terrorists. We continue our call to the remaining CNTs to surrender and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) because life is precious.)

BGen Ferdinand Barandon, the Commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade also expressed, “I congratulate the troops of the 2nd SRB and the 8IB for your recent accomplishment as we continue ending the local insurgency in our area of responsibility. We also thank the residents who reported the presence of the CNTs which led us into stopping their terroristic activities against the innocent people of Bukidnon.

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

3ID races vs time to wipe out rebels

From Panay News (Jan 31, 2022): 3ID races vs time to wipe out rebels (By Ruby Silubrico)

“Patuloy ang ating campaign. We are now doubling our effort. Ang mga sunod-sunod na encounters at mga pag-surrender or pagkahuli ng mga rebelde ating ginagawa,” says Major General Benedict Arevalo, commander of the Philippine Army’s 3rd infantry (Spearhead) Division based in Jamindan, Capiz.

Will the Philippine Army succeed in ending the insurgency in Panay and Negros islands before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends this June 30?

The 3rd infantry (Spearhead) Division is doubling its effort, according to Major General Benedict Arevalo, division commander.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) chief of staff General Andres Centino committed to stop the 52-year rebellion by the time the President steps down from office.

“Patuloy ang ating campaign. We are now doubling our effort. Ang mga sunod-sunod na encounters at mga pag-surrender or pagkahuli ng mga rebelde ating ginagawa,” Arevalo said.

The New People’s Army (NPA) has three options, he said – die in an encounter, be captured or surrender voluntarily.

Surrender is the best option, stressed Arevalo.

Surrenderees are offered financial and livelihood assistance under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to start a new life.

“As your Chief of Staff, I am taking the lead in this final push of our campaign. I enjoin everyone to maintain our momentum, sustain our gains and remain victorious. Let us finish the local armed conflict within the President’s term. As the Armed Forces of the Filipino people, we shall not fail them in their desire of having a peaceful and secure society,” Centino said during last month’s 2021 yearend command conference at the AFP general headquarters.

Centino directed AFP commanders to intensify their operations against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the NPA, through intelligence-driven combat operations aiming to destroy the rebels’ leadership, cut-off their source of funds and disrupt their logistics support.

“Let us once again be reminded to isolate ourselves from partisan politics so we can focus on our noble mandate of protecting the people and the state. We must avoid participating in any partisan political activities, except to exercise our individual right to vote,” Centino added.

According to Arevalo, in Panay Island, the 3ID’s biggest accomplishment in Panay was the death of 16 rebels in an encounter on Dec. 1, 2021 in Barangay Alimodias, Miag-ao, Iloilo.

“Once again, I call the rebels to surrender kasi kahit kami ayaw namin ng away. Kung willing kayo magbalik-loob sa gobyerno, we will help you through the E-CLIP program,” Arevalo said.

NoCot village execs asked to back gov’t drive vs. unlicensed guns

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2022): NoCot village execs asked to back gov’t drive vs. unlicensed guns (By Edwin Fernandez)

SURRENDERED UNLICENSED FIREARMS. Colonel Jovencio Gonzales, (3rd from right, 1st row), commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade poses with local officials of Carmen, North Cotabato after the turnover of firearms by town’s village officials in support of the Army’s disarmament campaign on Saturday (Jan. 29, 2022). The village officials handed over five M1 Garand rifles and two US-made Carbine rifles. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

Army officials in North Cotabato have urged village officials in the province to emulate seven local executives who supported the government’s disarmament program.

Colonel Jovencio Gonzales, commander of the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade based in Carmen, North Cotabato, made the appeal Monday after seven village chairpersons in the area have voluntarily surrendered assorted firearms in support of the campaign against loose firearms.

“The disarmament program also forms part of the 602Bde preparation for peaceful elections this year,”
Gonzales said in a statement.

Gonzales, together with Lt. Col. Rommel Mundala, commander of the 90th Infantry Battalion, received the firearms from the Carmen local officials on Saturday.

He identified the town's village officials as Jimmy Cabrillo of Kibudtungan, Percival Bacudo of Aroman, Reynaldo Camique of Tonganon, Acob Guiamilil of Palanggalan, Ronald Akmad of Kibenes, Robert Baguat of Ranzo, and Pepito Calibara of Tacupan .

They handed over five M1 Garand rifles and two US-made Carbine rifles.

“The activity is part of the Balik Baril Program of our unit in partnership with the municipality of Carmen. This is to eradicate illegal firearms in our area of operation,” Mundala said in a separate statement.

Speaking for the group, village chair Cabrillo said their decision to turn over the guns signifies their full support of the government’s disarmament campaign.

Major General Juvymax Uy, Army 6th Infantry Division commander and chief of Joint Task Force Central, commended the 602Bde and 90IB for successfully convincing the village leaders to support the Army “Balik Baril” program.

Uy said he hopes other leaders in the province and the 6ID area of jurisdiction in Central Mindanao will reach out to their constituents and urge them to also voluntarily turn in their unlicensed firearms.

Suspected NPA rebel nabbed in NegOr town

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2022): Suspected NPA rebel nabbed in NegOr town (By Mary Judaline Partlow)

COLLARED. Policemen arrest a septuagenarian, believed to be a member of the New People's Army, in the municipality of Sta. Catalina in Negros Oriental on Saturday (Jan. 29, 2022). He was nabbed by virtue of an arrest warrant in relation to charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. (Photo courtesy of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office)

Police led by the Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) arrested a suspected Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel in Barangay Nagbalaye, Sta. Catalina town in Negros Oriental over the weekend.

Lt. Col. Ruben Verbo Jr., head of the Police Community Affairs and Development Unit (PCADU) and Public Information Officer of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office, on Monday, identified the suspect as Fedelino Villahermosa Arañez, 74, married, resident of Sitio Payawpayawan, Barangay Nagbinlod of the same town.

The rebel was arrested on Saturday at his temporary residence in Sitio Nalbog in Barangay Nagbalaye, by virtue of an arrest warrant in relation to cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives under Republic Act (RA) 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and RA 9516 or the Illegal/Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, Dealing In, Acquisition or Disposition of Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives, respectively.

Verbo said Arañez is the No. 10 Most Wanted personality at the municipal level and is allegedly a member of the NPA’s South East Front-Komiteng Rehiyon Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor.

He is also one of the subject personalities during the simultaneous implementation of five search warrants in Sitio Payawpayawan on March 29, 2021, but he was not around at the time.

The suspect is now temporarily detained at the Sta. Catalina Police Station.

A bail bond of PHP100,000 has been set for the charge under RA 10591 but no bail has been set for the RA 9516 case.

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

The National Democratic Front 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.

More resources to meet insurgency deadline: Brawner

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2022): More resources to meet insurgency deadline: Brawner (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

The chief of the Philippine Army (PA) vowed to pour resources into its units in order to meet the June deadline of eradicating insurgency and threat groups.

During his visit to the 7th Infantry Division headquarters at the Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija last Saturday, Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner told officers and enlisted personnel he would be the "servant leader" kind by providing them with support and resources, a thrust of the "SERVE" (Soldiers, Enhance, Resources, Victorious, Elections) program.

“The style of leadership that we will apply while I am the CGPA (Commanding General Philippine Army) is servant leadership. We will be servants to the needs of our operating units,” Brawner said Saturday.

Resources include the necessary equipment, aside from the enhancement of skills of the soldiers so that they are prepared for the challenges of fighting and neutralizing these threats.

In a speech during his assumption of command last December, Brawner vowed to continue the programs implemented by his predecessor, Gen. Andres Centino, now the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff.

"It is imperative that we pursue this thrust so that we be able to accomplish the mission that was ordered by no less than the Commander-in-Chief (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) which is to end the local communist armed conflict by the end of his term," he said.

In the long term, Brawner said the thrust to equip soldiers with the resources, equipment and skills would help propel the Army towards modernization and achieving its vision to be world class by 2028.

In a statement issued Sunday, Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said Brawner also highlighted the need to take care of the soldiers' physical and mental health and enhance their skills and competencies.

"The CGPA vowed to provide units with support and resources to empower them in their sprint towards the June 2022 deadline set by the commander-in-chief to eradicate insurgency and other threat groups," Trinidad's statement read.

He added that enhancing the resources would help them win against threat groups, allowing troops to focus on ensuring orderly and peaceful elections in May.

Earlier, Brawner vowed to focus more efforts on ensuring that troops and their families are taken care of.

38 PNP officials get new assignments ahead of May 9 polls

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2022): 38 PNP officials get new assignments ahead of May 9 polls (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

File photo

At least 38 police commanders in the National Capital Region and other parts of the country were reassigned to other posts in line with ongoing efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to isolate the organization from local partisan politics.

PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said those reassigned effective last January 8 are composed of provincial directors, city directors, and chiefs of police.

"That's what we did even before the start of the election period to make our organization apolitical, to do away with perception of bias or familiarity," Carlos said on the sidelines of the 31st foundation day of the PNP at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday.

He said some of those reassigned are already overstaying in their posts while some have to be replaced because they were picked by the incumbent mayors or governors who are running for reelection in the May 9 local and national elections.

"Our police personnel should be apolitical. They will be there to level the playing field and make sure they are not biased to one candidate or another," Carlos said.

He said it was the PNP leadership that decided on the reassignment of the provincial police directors based on the assessment conducted through the PNP rotation policy.

In the case of chiefs of police, Carlos said it was the police regional directors who made the decision.

"So that's it we do it to be apolitical, to lose the perception of bias or familiarity so we have a lot of replaced provincial directors. At the level of the chiefs of police, ours are the regional director chooses or decides on who to take so during command visits, during command conferences, I review our rotation policy," Carlos said.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Opinion: Media must purge itself of Red reporters

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Jan 21, 2022); Media must purge itself of Red reporters (By Rigoberto Tiglao)

ONCE in a while, a news event reveals, as a bolt of lightning illuminates a dark landscape, the political stances of media men, maybe even their organizational memberships.

Take the news last week on the release of Juanito Itaas, convicted in 1991 together with an accomplice, Donato Continente, by Branch 88 of the Regional Trial Court for the 1989 killing of US Army Col. James Rowe. The Communist Party at the time admitted responsibility for it, claiming he was emblematic of US imperialist presence in the country. The Supreme Court upheld the trial court's decision in August 2000.

How did media outlets report this event? Their headlines as follows:

– ABS-CBN: "'Longest-held' political prisoner in PH Juanito Itaas released"

– GMA News: "Muntinlupa court orders release of longest-detained political prisoner"

– CNN Philippines: "Longest held political prisoner in PH freed"

– Philippine Star: "Political prisoner ordered released"

– Rappler: "PH's longest detained activist Juanito Itaas walks free".

Of course, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, with editors known in the industry to have been "nat-dem" activists, takes the Red cake, as it gave the news an emotional spin: " 'Longest-held political prisoner' now home."

In contrast, The Manila Bulletin, either with better editors or non-partisan reporters, reported objectively: "Trial court orders release of NPA member convicted for death of US Army Col. Rowe." Strangely, there was no report in this newspaper about the release of the assassin.

If most of Philippine media reported that the Philippines has had a political prisoner for 39 years, what would the world think of us, a dictatorship that can put a political dissenter in prison for that long? I hate US imperialists, but Rowe was murdered and not a casualty in a war.

Indeed, the reports by mainstream media so alarmed the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) that it issued through its spokesman, Defense Undersecretary Jose Joel Egco — formerly this newspaper's chief of reporters — a detailed press release explaining the case. "New People's Army (NPA) assassin and convicted murderer Juanito Itaas has never been and will never be considered a 'political prisoner' but a cold-blooded killer who served his sentence under the law," Egco said.

Only GMA News corrected its misinformation. The others ignored the task force's clarification.

How can these mainstream media all report the same garbage, using the key term "political prisoner"? Only the Communist Party of the Philippines and its fronts have called Itaas a "political prisoner" since it insists that the CPP with its NPA has the moral right, that is, the political stance, to undertake a violent project to topple our democratic system. In fact, the CPP publications always claim that their cadres who were arrested and in prison are "political prisoners," even if they have been charged in regular courts for some crime such as murder and illegal possession of firearms. Any NPA killed in battle was salvaged, the CPP propaganda network reported, which really explains why there were "2,326 killed or disappeared" declared by the Aquino 3rd regime as human rights victims during martial law.

The reporters in these media outlets were simply echoing the party line.

It's a daunting project to disinfect our media of the Red reporters, as even their owners don't think it is a problem. Never has Philippine media been penetrated by communist cadres, or at least their loyal sympathizers on the scale that it is now.

Worse is that even fresh-out-of-college journalists seem to be romanticizing their role as secret operatives of the party.

The UP College of Mass Communications has been one of the biggest trainers of Red reporters, what with Jose Luis Teodoro — a founding member of Jose Ma. Sison's Kabataang Makabayan who would have been an NPA guerrilla if not for his fondness for Western luxuries — dominating the culture at that institution.

But not only from UP. When I was an editorial consultant in this newspaper in 2013, I investigated the articles written by a young reporter as it was clearly so sympathetic to a labor union on strike. And indeed many of her articles on the issue were lifted from the manifestos of that labor union, whom my old comrades said had a party branch. She's now an officer of the Red front National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

Deliberate or not, one of Communist Party founder Jose Ma. Sison's most effective strategies was not only to focus on the student sector — the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas focused on the peasantry — but on writers and journalists. Thus by the 1970s he had sympathetic or card-carrying party members the best journalists of the time — Satur Ocampo, Antonio Zumel, Henry Romero and the master of new journalism at that time, Pete Lacaba.

To this day, few know that the late National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, who had a wide network among the literati in UP and the Ateneo, was a member of the UP party branch until his retirement, and for a few years in the 1970s shepherded the party's organ Ang Bayan, especially its Filipino edition.

Why, even the Communist Party issued a glowing eulogy for Lumbera, the kind given only to Central Committee members or national-level NPA commanders; "The Communist Party of the Philippines (and all revolutionary forces pay tribute to Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera (Ka Bien), people's artist and stalwart of the revolutionary cultural movement in the Philippines." Indeed, it is ironic that Lumbera was given an "Award for Journalism" by the foundation named after the fierce anti-communist Ramon Magsaysay. That's how deep communist cadres have penetrated our institutions.

Who knows how many second-liners these Red wordsmiths trained or even recruited into their ideological circles. Indeed read the articles at the Red website "Philippine Revolution Web Central." The website looks better than that of mainstream newspapers, and their articles, sorry to say, better written and edited. (One article in the current edition had the headline: "Sauron-like operations continue in Central Negros, terrorizing civilians." The Red reporter obviously is a fan of Lord of the Rings.)

No wonder the Philippine Collegian, which we taxpayers subsidize, for decades now reads as if it is the student edition of Ang Bayan.

I don't think there has ever been a similar phenomenon in Asia in which communist thinking has been deeply embedded in universities and in newspapers. That is one of the Republic's biggest obstacles in defeating this bloody insurgency that has plagued us for more than a century, and in developing the country.

The Reds will always mobilize their resources, especially in media, to put down any government if it is not in alliance with them, as the Aquino 3rd regime was.

Believe me on this: I was myself a Red reporter when I entered media in the 1980s, but totally rejected the Party in the 1990s when I found incontrovertible proof of the crimes it had committed.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
Twitter: @bobitiglao
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VISCOM: Communist groups now becoming ‘irrelevant’ as public support weakens

From the Cebu Daily News (Jan 30, 2022): VISCOM: Communist groups now becoming ‘irrelevant’ as public support weakens (By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña)

Residents of one of the localities in the Visayas burn the flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) New People’s Army (NPA). | VISCOM photo

Communist groups in the Visayas have started to become “irrelevant” with the weakening of public support that they are also getting, according to Lieutenant General Robert Dauz of the Visayas Command (VISCOM).

In a statement, Dauz said, community engagement by government forces through the implementation of their Community Support Program (CSP) and the national government’s Barangay Development Program played a major role in convincing the public to instead support the government’s peacekeeping initiatives.

“With our sustained community engagements, the people in the region started to break free from the clutches of the communist terrorists while embracing the active role in the government’s peace and development initiatives. This is manifested in the increasing number of information provided by the community which translates into successful internal security and law enforcement operations by your government forces,” Dauz said.

From January 1, 2021, to January 29, 2022, a total of 8, 174 local government units here have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as persona non grata in their respective localities.

Of the declarations, a total of 7,759 were issued at the barangay level while 364 came from the different municipalities in the Visayas. A total of 39 cities and 12 provinces also issued the same declaration.

Dauz said these declarations serve as proof that rebels are no longer welcome in the different localities here.

As they continue their fight against insurgency, Dauz is also asking members of the few remaining communist groups in the Visayas to already return to the fold of the law.

“Your reign of terror in the Visayas are numbered. VISCOM and its subordinate units, being the Servants in the Visayas will never falter in our commitment to sustain peace and foster development for the people in this part of the country. Lay down your arms, abandon your armed struggle, and head to the call of the government for genuine peace. Return to the fold of the law, avail of the government’s local integration program, and live a peaceful and progressive life with your families.” he said.

Ex-NPA leader nabbed in Caraga

Posted to PTV News (Jan 31, 2022): Ex-NPA leader nabbed in Caraga (By Alexander Lopez)

The Police Regional Office – Caraga (PRO-13) on Saturday, Jan. 29, reported the arrest of a former leader of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who has been in hiding for more than three years.

In a statement, PRO-13 Director Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr. said Reynaldo Y. Gaan, 38, was arrested by Cabadbaran City police in Barangay Mahaba in Agusan del Norte.

He said Gaan, a former team leader of the NPA’s Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 21C of Guerrilla Front 51, has an arrest warrant for attempted murder issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 33 in Butuan City.

“Reynaldo Gaan was among those who ambushed and landmine nine members of Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit under the 29th Infantry Battalion 29IB who were conducting combat patrol at around 6:30 in the morning on Nov. 29, 2018, in Barangay San Antonio, Remedios T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte,” Caramat said.

Gaan is now under the custody of the Cabadbaran City Police.

In Agusan del Sur, the former leader of Squad 2, SYP Platoon of Dismantled Guerrilla Front 88, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA surrendered to the Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office (ADSPPO) on Friday, Jan. 28.

Caramat identified the surrenderer as Alias JB, 34, of San Luis town.

“Alias JB’s name is listed in the First Quarter Periodic Status Report and included in the Common Priority Database list,” Caramat said.

Alias JB, who also handed over to the ADSPPO a cal. 30 Garand rifle with a defaced serial number, will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.

Negrense army officer leads elite unit

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jan 31, 2022): Negrense army officer leads elite unit (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Negrense Col. Eliglen Villaflor is now the acting commander of the elite Philippine Army’s Special Forces Regiment (Airborne).

Villaflor, who is the deputy commander of SFRA, took over command of the elite unit on January 29, following the retirement of its commander, Brig. Gen. Lincoln Francisco Tagle, from the military service.

Military records show that Villaflor, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1992, started his military career with the Special Forces Regiment, having been assigned in Negros as commander of 32nd Special Force Company in Cadiz City.

Villaflor, of Bago City, Negros Occidental, was among the winners of Metrobank Foundation—Rotary Club Makati Metro Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS) in 2016.

As former commander 4th Special Forces Villaflor led combat against Abu Sayyaf and other threat groups, while doing also community service efforts that benefitted thousands of residents during his two-year stint in war-torn Basilan.

As a United Nations peacekeeper, Villaflor successfully negotiated the release of civilians abducted by Syrian rebels in Golan Heights.

As the acting SFRA commander, Villaflor supervises six SF battalions deployed in conflict areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

He was also recognized by then Army chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana for the transformation of Army Personnel Management Center into a world-class office, as its head for almost two years.

Wanted Abu Sayyaf bomb-maker still alive, says ESSCom

Posted to the Free Malaysia Today (Jan 30, 2022): Wanted Abu Sayyaf bomb-maker still alive, says ESSCom (By Bernama)

ESSCom commander Hamzah Ahmad said Philippine authorities have established that Abu Sayyaf bomb-maker Mudzrimar@ Mundi Sawadjaan is still alive following clashes with him since July 2021. (Facebook pic)

LAHAD DATU: A Abu Sayyaf bomb-maker, earlier reported to have been shot dead, is still alive.

Mudzrimar@ Mundi Sawadjaan.

Identified as Mudzrimar@ Mundi Sawadjaan, he is wanted by the Sabah Eastern Zone Security Command, (ESSCom) and was reportedly shot dead last May in the Philippines.

ESSCom commander Hamzah Ahmad said this information was confirmed by the Philippine security forces involved in the Sulu Joint Task Force and the Western Mindanao Command.

“We can confirm that Mudzrimar is still alive following a series of clashes and encounters between the Philippine security forces and the suspect since July 2021,” he said in a statement today.

Mudzrimar, who was removed from the list of individuals wanted by ESSCom last year, is now back on the list following a kidnapping-for-ransom case in the Sabah ESSZone.

Mudzrimar is the nephew of Abu Sayyaf senior leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, and possesses bomb-making expertise.

He was also responsible for planning several bombing incidents in Jolo in the Philippines, in 2020, including at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral.

Recently, questions were raised about Mudzrimar following an ESSCom statement re-listing him among 20 wanted Philippine terror suspects.

WESTMINCOM: 2 NPA Field Commanders and 6 Followers Yield in Sultan Kudarat Province

 Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 29, 2022): 2 NPA Field Commanders and 6 Followers Yield in Sultan Kudarat Province

6th Infantry Division - Kampilan

2 NPA Field Commanders and 6 Followers Yield in Sultan Kudarat Province

CAMP SIONGO, Maguindanao - Two (2) Field Commanders and six (6) of their followers returned to the folds of the law in two (2) batches at Barangay Tibpuan, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat on January 24 and 26, 2022.
Major General Juvymax Uy disclosed that both of the NPA Field Commanders are Platoon Commanders of the Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) Daguma, Far-South Mindanao Region (FSMR) operating in the tri-boundaries of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani Provinces.
Lt. Col. Allen Van Estrera, Commanding Officer of 37IB said that the first batch of surrender was led by alias Bakilo, the Commanding Officer of Ulayan Platoon, and alias Ranger, the CO of Dabu-Dabu Platoon all under SRC Daguma, FSMR along with five (5) of their followers on January 24, 2022. It was then followed by the surrender of another three (3) CTG members from West Daguma Front, SRC Daguma, FSMR on January 26, 2022. All of the surrenderers were received by representatives from the military, police, and local government units at Headquarters 37th Infantry Battalion, Barangay Tibpuan, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.
The former rebels brought along with them a 5.56mm M16 Rifle, one (1)7.62mm M14 Rifle, two (2) Caliber .45 Pistols, and one (1) fragmentation grenade.
“Their surrender is a huge setback to the mainstream communist terrorist group and is an indication that their group is continuously weakening”, said Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gubat, Commander of 603rd Brigade.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy said, "The surrender of the CTG Field Commanders and their followers can be attributed to the concerted effort of the different government agencies under the Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF ELCAC) of Sultan Kudarat. Eventually, the communist movement will become irrelevant as their members and the communities they have threatened already came into the realization of the importance of having a peaceful and sustainable community."
Further, Maj. Gen. Uy stressed that the JTF Central and the government is willing to accept those CTG members that are still in hiding, back to the folds of the law. “We have various programs that will help surrenderers live a normal and peaceful life again together with their families. But those who refuse to cooperate with the government, the JTF Central will be relentless in hunting them down in order to protect our communities from their atrocities," Maj. Gen. Uy added.


WESTMINCOM: 3 Communist Terrorist Group Members Yield in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 29, 2022): 3 Communist Terrorist Group Members Yield in Sultan Kudarat

4th Civil Relations Group

3 Communist Terrorist Group Members Yield in Sultan Kudarat
Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – January 27, 2022

Three members of the communist terrorist group yielded to the military in Sultan Kudarat on January 26, 2022. The three submitted themselves to the soldiers at Headquarters, 37th Infantry Battalion, Barangay Tibpuan, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.
“Based on the report from the ground, the surrendered personalities are former members of the Hqs Company, West Daguma Front, Sub-regional Committee Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region,” said Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command.
Surrendered personalities handed over one 5.56mm M16 rifle, one 7.62mm M14 rifle, and one M67 Fragmentation Hand Grenade. They underwent medical check-ups and custodial debriefing facilitated by the 37th Infantry Battalion.
According to Joint Task Force Central Commander, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, the successful surrender of the three CTG members was a result of the combined efforts of the 37IB and the intelligence units. “This is a result of our continuous campaign against terrorism here in central Mindanao,” Maj. Gen. Uy said.

The surrendered personalities revealed that their former comrade convinced them to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law. Their identities are not disclosed for their safety and protection.

From January 1 to date, a total of seven CTG members have already been neutralized, of whom six surrendered and one was killed during an encounter.
“Congratulations to the troops of Joint Task Force Central for the splendid job. It is but more fulfilling to win this fight against terrorism without single bloodshed, "said Lt. Gen. Rosario Jr.

MILF: LBO conducts Press Conference on Gokotan incident; urges PNP Regional Director’s Tagum resignation

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 27, 2022): LBO conducts Press Conference on Gokotan incident; urges PNP Regional Director’s Tagum resignation (By LBO Committee On Information, Communication And Technology, Luwaran)

Cotabato City (January 25, 2022) -The League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO) have urged BGen. Alexander Tagum to resign as Region 12 Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) amid the police bloody operation in Barangay Gokotan, Pikit, North Cotabato at dawn of December 29, 2021.

This statement was made by LBO chair of Peace Unity and Reconciliation Mahdi Amella during a press conference on January 24, 2022 at Darul Aman Function Hall in Barangay Capiton, Datu Odin Sinsuat Maguindanao.

In his opening statement, Chairman Amella said that the press conference is intended to voice-out the sentiments of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the affected community on the plight of the residents of Gokotan who were victims of un-coordinated raid conducted by PNP 12 under the direct command and supervision of Gen. Tagum that resulted to the death of innocent civilians, lootings and destruction of their properties.

“Ang original na schedule ng solidarity visit was on January 23, kahapon at ang plano ay magkakaroon muna ng Caravan o motorcade mula Cotabato City hanggang Pikit na dadaluhan na mahigit kumulang one hundred na mga sasakyan dahil magkakaroon tayo ng peaceful condemnation rally sa Pikt Plaza tapos may Press Con sa Municipal Session hall ng Pikit at tutuloy tayo sa Gokotan upang magkaroon ng dialogue sa mga opisyales ng Barangay at kakausapin na rin natin ang mga relatives ng mga biktima para mabigyan din natin sila ng kaunting ayuda subalit hindi ho natuloy ang nasabing mission sapagkat nag declared ng IATF national kung saan ang North Cotabato ay napabilang sa level 3 category ng Covid 19 kaya na cancelled ang nasabing rally pati na rin ang iba pang mga aktibidades” (The original schedule of the solidarity visit was on January 23, yesterday. The original plan was to have Caravan or motorcades from Cotabato City to Pikit that would be attended by about one hundred vehicles because we will have a peaceful condemnation rally at Pikit Plaza, followed by a Press Conference at the Municipal Session hall of Pikit afterwards the team would proceed to the site of the incident in Barangay Gokotan to have a dialogue with the Barangay officials. We will also have to talk with the relatives of the victims so that we can also give them few assistance but the said mission did not pushed through when the Inter Agency Task Force on Covid 19 (IATF) declared that North Cotabato province is under level 3 category, that is why the conduct of the condemnation rally as well as other activities were canceled. Amella said.

“Ang panawagan po natin dito sa LBO ay mabigyan talaga ng hustisya itong karumal - dumal na pagpatay sa mga inosenting sibilyan. Sinabi natin na karumal dumal sapagkat bukod sa malapitan ang pagkakabaril, double dead iyong nangyari kasi paulit ulit iyong pag baril na pwedi naman mamatay ang isang tao kahit isang bala lang lalo na pag sa ulo ito matamaan ng bala” (Our call here at the LBO is for the justice to be served for this barbaric murder of innocent civilians. It’s a barbaric because apart from the closed range shooting, we found out that it was a “double dead”, (over kill). One could die even if it’s just one single bullet, especially if a person is hit at the head. But what exactly happened is that the victims were hit by multiple bullets with his brain blown out), Amella added.

He also warned of the possibility of another Mamasapano incident in 2016 if the PNP continues to violate the GPH and MILF ceasefire agreement.

“We call upon the PNP and the military to coordinate all their operations with the Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) to avoid missed encounter similar to the Mamasapano incident”.

“LBO is not opposed in the serving of the arrest warrant to criminals as long as it does not violate the ceasefire agreement and civilians are not harmed, so all military or police operations should be coordinated with AHJAG and CCCH to preserve the gains of the peace process between the government and the MILF so that peace and harmony will be reign in our c ommunities’.

“Tayo din ay nababahala dahil sa kasalukuyan, hindi po na kompleto ang isang bahagi ng kasunduan ng goberno at ng MILF, patungkol sa decommissioning o pag turn-over ng armas ng mga combatant’s ng MILF sa Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB). Tayoy nangangamba na mahihirapan tayong I- convince ang mga combatants ng MILF kung patuloy itong mangyayari dahil baka gawing rason ito ng mga elements ng MILF dahil wala silang kasiguraduhan na ma proteksionan sila ng mga kapulisan kung mawawala na ang kanilang mga armas.” (We are also concerned because at present, part of the agreement between the government and the MILF, is the decommissioning of MILF combatants that is yet to be completed. We fear that it would be difficult for us to convince the MILF combatants if violations continue to happen because MILF combatants have no guarantee that the police will be able to protect them once they lose their weapons.

The LBO also issued a Manifesto that reads:

The Manifesto read by Emran Mohamad, LBO Spokesman, said that “the continuing disrespect of the existing ceasefire protocols by state forces can be capitalized by third parties who are spoilers of GPH-MILF peace process to justify their actions in disrupting the gains of the peace process. Moreover, he said, the Gokotan incident can be a fertile ground for these third parties to recruit even from the ranks of MILF to seek for justice and eventually disregard the peace process. This violence must be stopped”.
“Considering the foregoing, he said, We the Civil Society Organizations under the umbrella of the League of the Bangsamoro Organizations manifest the following:

1. We condemn in highest possible terms the brutal killings of the MILF members and civilians borne out of disrespect to the existing ceasefire protocols;

2. We call on Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte to create an independent probe body to conduct a full-blown investigation of the Gokotan raid and immediately relieve General Tagum;

3. We call on the GPH-MILF peace implementing panels to immediately convene to address the Gokotan killings and formulate mechanism to avoid the repeat of this violence

4. We request the BARMM government and North Cotabato provincial Government to extend full assistance to the bereaved families of the Gokotan victims.

5. We call on the affected families to remain steadfast, continue to respect the rule of law, and trust our leaders in their efforts to bring justice to the victims, Mohammad stressed.

Testimony of a witness:

In the later part of the Press Conference, an unexpected participant Norsalam Dalid; suddenly appeared, and requested the organizer of the Press Con to give her an opportunity to talk to media to air her call for justice for the “brutal killing of his father Badrudin Dalid and her sister Arbaya Panisares. She emotionally expressed her sentiments about the incident in Gokotan.
“Bandang alas dos na nang medaling araw noong December 29, 2021 nagising na lang kami dahil sa mga putok ng baril.

Pinagbabaril ng mga pulis ang mga kabahayan at patay na rin ang mga ilaw sa labas dahil pinagbabarili na rin nila ito kaya itinakas kami ng tatay namin na si Badrudin doon kami dumaan sa gate sa likod ng bahay, nauna ang tatay namin at pinagbabaril na kami lahat ng mga pulis kaya unang tinamaan at namatay ang ama naming kasama din si ate na tinamaan ng bala habang bitbit niya ang kanyang tatlong gulang na anak kasama din ang isang anim na gulang na anak ni Arbaya Panisares” (At around two o'clock on the morning of December 29, 2021, we woke up due to sounds of gunfire, so we immediately went outside passing through the back gate but our father was the first to be hit by the police and died immediately along with my sister, Arbaya Panisares while she was carrying her three year old son and her six year old daughter)”

Norsalam also reiterated her call for President Duterte to help them seek justice for the death of her father and sister who are victims of human rights violations. Nananawagan kami kay Presidente na sanay makamit namin ang hustisya para sa pamilya namin.” We call on the President to help us achieve justice for our family”).

According to Norsalam, their properties were also taken by the raiding team of Gen. Tagum, hundreds of pawned motorbikes, main source of their livelihood were confiscated. The police also allegedly confiscated their personal belongings such as laptops, large amounts of money, gold as well as their cellphones and the entire household inside the compound were looted and destroyed. All their belongings were stolen and those things that still remain which are not useful to them were totally damaged. They also stole her mother’s pan, even the ducks were not spared.

When asked about the police allegations that the motorcycles were car nap/motor nap, she strongly denied their allegations.
Hindi totoong mga carnap ang mga motor na sinanla sa amin. Ang katibayan meron kaming business permit at meron ndin kaming certification mula sa BIR” (It is not true that the motors pawned to us were carnap. The proof is that we have a business permit and we also have a certification from the BIR.

Meanwhile, UNYPAD Secretary General and LBO Vice President for Internal Affairs Yosuph Lumambas stressed the stand of the UNYPAD being a member of the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) that they will recommend to the TPMT to sign an exit agreement should be no fill implementation of the peace agreement.

TPMT is an independent body mandated to monitor, review and assess the implementation of all GPH-MILF signed agreements, primarily the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its Annexes. Including normalization.
Moving forward:

LBO also called for an impartial investigations not just rely on the result of the investigation conducted by the Intelligence Assistance Service (IAS) so the result of the investigation is credible, thus acceptable to all parties It will continue the call for the resignation of Region 12 PNP Director General Tagum.

Through the Committee on Advocacy and Lobbying, LBO will initiate dialogue with members of the Bangsamoro Parliament, including Congress if needed. They will also call the attention of Human Rights Commission and other concern institutions to file an appropriate charges against the PNP Regional Director and his team for the human rights civilians they have committed. LBO assures the family of victims to heed their call for the President to intervene for the immediate resolutions of this case.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Proyektong Kaliwa Dam, niraratsada ng rehimeng Duterte

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis (Tagalog edition) posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 30, 2022): Proyektong Kaliwa Dam, niraratsada ng rehimeng Duterte (Left Dam project, planned by the Duterte regime)

January 30, 2022

Apat na buwan bago matapos ang upisyal na termino nito, niraratsada ng rehimeng Duterte ang kontruksyon ng ₱12-bilyong proyektong Kaliwa Dam sa kabundukan ng Sierra Madre sa kabila ng mahigpit na tinututulan ng mga minoryang mamamayan sa lugar. Ang proyektong dam ay maglulunod sa mga lugar na saklaw ng mga lupang ninuno ng mga katutubo sa prubinsya ng Quezon at Rizal.

Mula Enero 24 hanggang 29, naglunsad ng dalawang asembliya ang Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) at National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) sa General Nakar, Quezon at Tanay, Rizal para tipunin ang mahigit 100 lider ng mga katutubong Dumagat/Remontado para ipitin sila na pumirma sa memorandum of agreement para sa naturang proyekto.

Matagal nang tinututulan ng mga apektadong katutubong komunidad ang Kaliwa Dam. Tumatanggi silang magbigay ng free, prior and informed consent (FPIC o dokumento ng kusang pagsang-ayon). Nakasaad mismo sa ilalim ng rekasyunaryong batas na maaari lamang simulan ang mga proyektong pang-imprastruktura sa mga lupang ninuno kung nakakuha na ang proyekto ng FPIC mula sa mga katutubo.

Ayon kay Conchita Calzado, isa sa mga lider na dumalo sa pagtitipon, hindi nakalahok ang lahat ng apektadong mga katutubo at pili lamang ang pinadalo sa pagtitipon. Dagdag pa niya, maging ang mga dumalo ay hindi binigyan ng oportunidad para makapagsalita. “Talagang kinokontrol nila kung sino lang ang magsasalita,” puna niya.

Binatikos din ng STOP Kaliwa Dam Network ang mapanlinlang na maniobra ng rehimen para papirmahin ang mga lider sa naturang MOA. Anito, nakasaad sa imbitasyon para sa aktibidad na bahagi lamang ng adyenda nito ang balidasyon ng MOA at pagbabalangkas ng community royalty development program (CRDP), at hindi ang pagpirma sa MOA. “Pagdating pa lamang (ng mga lider sa pagtitipon), agad nang inihapag ang pagpirma sa MOA, kahit wala pang balidasyon ang MOA at hindi pa nakukumpleto ang CRDP kasama ang mga apektadong komunidad,” paglalahad nito.

Ayon sa grupo, iginigiit ng mga lider na dapat iangkla ang anumang kasunduan sa pagkilala sa karapatan sa lupaing ninuno ng mga katutubong komunidad sa lugar.

Nanawagan naman ang Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment ng imebstigasyon kaugnay sa “huling-minutong” pagraratsada ng rehimen sa proyekto, na anito’y patunay ng pagiging maka-China at maka-negosyo nito. Hinamon din ng grupo ang mga kandidatong oposisyon at independyente sa darating na halalan na magsalita at mangako na ipatitigil ang “lantarang iligal at pabigat na proyektong Kaliwa Dam” sakaling sa eleksyon. Nanawagan din ang grupo sa mga botante na igiit sa mga lider na galangin ang karapatan ng mga katutubong Dumagat at bigyan ng proteksyon ang Kaliwa Watershed.

Samantala, binatikos din ng ilang lider ang paglulunsad ng pagtitipon sa kabila ng mabilis na pagkalat ng Covid-19 sa mga prubinsya. Anila, isinasapanganib nito ang kalusugan ng mga katutubong komunidad, na kalakha’y hindi pa bakunado, dahil sa posibilidad na mahawa ang mga lider na dumalo sa pagtitipon.

Ang Kaliwa Dam ay isang ₱12-bilyong proyekto sa 37,174 ektaryang lupang ninuno sa Sierra Madre na popondohan gamit ang pautang mula sa China para lumikha ng karagdagang 600 milyong litro ng tubig kada araw para sa Metro Manila. Palalayasin ng proyektong ito ang libu-libong mga katutubong nakatira sa lugar. Pinangangambahan na magreresulta ang proyekto sa pagtindi ng mga pagbaha hindi lamang sa mga apektadong komunidad, kundi pati na rin sa Metro Manila, at pagkawasak ng kagubatan sa Sierra Madre kung saan matatagpuan ang iba’t ibang klase ng hayop at mga halaman na nanganganib nang maubos.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Konsultant ng NDFP na si Pedro Codaste, pinatay pagkatapos dukutin ng AFP

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis (Tagalog edition) posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 30, 2022): Konsultant ng NDFP na si Pedro Codaste, pinatay pagkatapos dukutin ng AFP (NDFP consultant Pedro Codaste, killed after being abducted by the AFP)

January 30, 2022

Kinundena ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) ang pagdukot, tiyak na pagtortyur, at pagpaslang ng mga elemento ng 4th ID kay Pedro Codaste (Ka Gonyong), konsultant sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines at Gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas. Pinatay din ang noo’y kasama niya sa tinitirhang bahay na Pulang mandirigma na si Ka Sandro. Ayon sa PKP, pinaslang sila ng berdugong AFP sa pagitan ng Enero 19 at Enero 25.

Ayon sa mga paunang ulat, si Ka Gonyong ay nakahiwalay sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) simula pa Agosto 2021 para magpagaling mula sa iba’t ibang mga karamdaman at tumutuloy sa isang bahay sa Bukidnon. Sugatan at nagpapagaling din ang kasama niyang si Ka Sandro. Naputol ang komunikasyon kay Ka Gonyong noong Enero 19 kung kailan tinatayang dinukot siya ng mga ahente ng militar.

Pinalalabas ni Brig. Gen Oliver T. Vesliño, tumatayong kumander ng 4th ID, na napaslang sa isang labanan si Ka Gonyong noong Enero 21 sa Barangay Kalabugao, Impasugong, Bukidnon. Ayon sa yunit ng BHB na nakasasaklaw sa lugar, walang naganap na engkwentro sa naturang barangay noong araw na iyon.

Si Ka Gonyong ay higit 70 taong gulang na. Mahusay niyang pinagsilbihan ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan nang higit 50 taon, pagbabahagi ni Marco Valbuena, upisyal sa impormasyon ng PKP. Bahagi siya ng unang mga bats ng Pulang mandirigma na nagpanday ng landas ng armadong pakikibaka sa Northern Mindanao at kabilang sa mga nagtayo ng unang mga yunit ng BHB, dagdag ni Valbuena.

“Ang kanyang buong-buhay na pagsisilbi sa masang manggagawa at magsasaka ay habampanahong magbibigay-inspirasyon sa bagong henerasyon ng mga rebolusyonaryong mandirigma para magpursigi sa mahirap na landas ng pakikibaka para ipaglaban ang pambansa at demokratikong adhikain ng sambayanan,” ayon kay Valbuena. Idinagdag rin ng upisyal sa impormasyon na si Ka Gonyong ay isang marubdob na mag-aaral at walang-kapagurang guro ng Marxismo-Leninismo-Maoismo.

Si Ka Gonyong ay nakulong nang halos anim na taon mula Disyembre 2010 hanggang August 19, 2016. Pinalaya siya para lumahok sa negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa Oslo, Norway. Noon pang Mayo 2017, nang maging mabuway ang usapang pangkapayapaan, nagkaroon na ng banta sa buhay ni Ka Gonyong matapos ilabas ng AFP Eastern Mindanao Command ang atas na “shoot-to-kill” laban sa kanya.

Si Ka Gonyong ang pinakahuli sa mga biktima ng ekstrahudisyal na pagpaslang at likidasyon ng mga rebolusyonaryo, na lantarang paglabag sa internasyunal na makataong batas. Simula maagang bahagi ng 2020, tinatayang hindi bababa sa 15 mga rebolusyonaryo ang pinaslang ng mga ahente ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Kabilang dito ang pinakahuling mga kaso nang pagpatay kina Jorge Madlos (Ka Oris), tagapagsalita ng BHB, na pinaslang kasama ang kanyang medik sa Bukidnon matapos dukutin noong Oktubre 29, 2021, at kumander ng BHB na si Mendanro Villanueva (Ka Bok), na nadakip nang buhay sa isang armadong engkwentro sa Davao de Oro ngunit idineklarang patay ng AFP noong Enero 6.

Kalinaw News: Man arrested in Sirawan Checkpoint for threatening to throw Granade

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 30, 2022): Man arrested in Sirawan Checkpoint for threatening to throw Granade

A man faced arrest on Sunday, January 30 after threatening to throw a granade in the area of Task Force Davao Sirawan Checkpoint.

The authorities identified the suspect as Eric V. Daque, 42 years old, a Telecom technician and a resident of Valencia Bukidnon who was driving a Red Bongo with plate numver MAQ 2495, travelling towards Davao City.

According to the duty inspector, while conducting a thorough inspection at light vehicle inspection area, the suspect uttered the words “Naa koy dalang granada diri sa akoang bag! Unsay gusto ninyo, pabuthon nako ni sa tunga sa dalan?.”

TFD personnel immediately coordinated with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and arrested the suspect.

The suspect is now under the custody of Toril Police Station for documentation. The suspect will face charges in reference to Presidential Decree 1727: Malicious dissemination of false information of the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives or any similar device or means of destruction.

[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:]