Thursday, August 25, 2022

CPP/CIO: On prospects of NPA growth and advance, and other issues

CPP propaganda statement posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Newsroom (Aug 17, 2022): On prospects of NPA growth and advance, and other issues

Marco Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

August 17, 2022

The following was an interview by Lucas Webber, War Noir, and The WannabeWonk of the Militant Wire with CPP Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena:

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is engaged in a guerilla war that has been ongoing for over 50 years and is one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies. CPP says it is a revolutionary organization and its movement is waging an armed people’s resistance against a corrupt, tyrannical, capitalist government dominated by the “bourgeoisie” and backed by the imperialist USA. Conversely, the United States and European Union (EU) have designated the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorist organizations — a label the communists vehemently reject.

Due in part to its location in the Philippines, the CPP’s media apparatus functions as a kind of geopolitical weathervane in detecting and commenting upon broader regional and international developments, particularly in the context of US-China great power competition. In this interview, Militant Wire spoke to Marco Valbuena, the CPP’s chief spokesman, about the past, present, and future of the Red insurgency, international affairs, and more.

Can you tell us about yourself, your background, and what your role is with the CPP?

I am presently the Chief Information Officer of the CPP. I am tasked to issue statements and articles on behalf of the Party to promote, elaborate, and clarify the views of the CPP on the key issues facing the Filipino proletariat and people, as well as outstanding issues facing the oppressed people around the world. I work with the CPP Information Bureau. I correspond with media and other organizations through email and social media platforms.
Who are the CPP/NPA and what are you fighting for? What outcome do you hope to achieve?

The CPP or the Communist Party of the Philippines is the party and advanced detachment of the Filipino working class or proletariat. It was established on December 26, 1968. It is guided by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It is the vanguard of the Philippine revolution. It organized the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 29, 1969, to wage revolutionary armed struggle.

The CPP has tens upon thousands of members among the workers, peasants, and various segments of the petty-bourgeoisie and elements of the national bourgeoisie. The NPA does not disclose its numbers but has established around 110 guerrilla fronts in more than 70 of the 82 Philippine provinces.

The Philippine revolution is a people’s democratic revolution. It aims to end the semicolonial and semifeudal system dominated by US imperialism. It seeks to overthrow the class rule of the comprador big bourgeoisie and big landlords. It plans to establish and lead a people’s democratic government, in order to carry out land reform and national industrialization. The objective is to create a modern and progressive social and economic system that addresses the needs of the people and create the conditions for socialist revolution.

The armed communist resistance in the Philippines is one of the longest-running insurgencies in the world. Why is this, and what about the movement enables it to continue on after so many decades?

The NPA has persevered through more than five decades of revolutionary resistance primarily by relying on the support of the peasant masses. To win over the peasant masses, the NPA carries out a land reform, with the minimum objective of reducing land rent, eliminating usury, raising farm wages, and prices of peasant produce. The NPA assists the peasant masses in building their mass organizations which serve as the foundation for establishing basic units of the people’s government.

The NPA also enjoys the support of and recruits fighters from workers and middle-class sectors through underground organizations in the cities.

As a smaller military force facing a large US-supported military and police force, the NPA wages guerrilla warfare in order to slowly gather strength and weaken its enemy. Having mainly local peasants serving as its fighters, the NPA has mastery of the physical and social terrain. It strikes only at the weak points of the enemy and avoids decisive battles. It has withstood 14 years of martial law under Marcos, a series of counterinsurgency campaigns over the past 36 years, including the all-out military offensives and aerial bombardment campaign in the past five years.NPA fighters stand at attention as they sing the Internationale.

As a revolutionary organization that has been fighting since 1969, have you had to take a long view of your struggle or has the CPP/NPA always known it would be a protracted conflict? Do you see victory anytime in the near future?

Since the outset, the CPP/NPA knew that the armed resistance will be a protracted war. This is a necessary course because it started out weak and small and is confronted with a large enemy force that is funded, armed, and advised by the biggest military force in the world.

In addition, the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands and does not have borders with other countries. It does not receive foreign military support and has had to rely on painstaking political and military work to build up its strength.

We cannot predict precisely how soon the Philippine revolution will attain victory. But the economic and political crisis of the ruling system in the Philippines and the crisis of the global capitalist system generate exceedingly favorable conditions for the steady advance of the armed struggle and the people’s democratic revolution.

How would you describe the ideology of the Communist Party of the Philippines?

The CPP is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism or its components of dialectical and historical materialism, political economy, and scientific socialism. It is critically important for the Party to apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on the concrete conditions of the Philippines. The CPP raises the ideological level of its members through formal educational courses at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels.

The CPP opposes modern revisionism in the old Soviet Union from 1956 until the dissolution of the communist party in 1990, as well as in China, since Deng Xiaoping took over in 1978. Modern revisionists distort Marxism-Leninism to disarm and disempower the proletariat, in order for the bourgeoisie to regain power and restore the capitalist system and all its rottenness.

What is the current battlefield situation and how is the CPP/NPA positioned?

Since 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have carried out all-out offensives against the NPA marked by a brutal campaign of suppression against the peasant masses to deny the NPA of political and material support, intensified intelligence operations (including the extensive use of drones with electronic surveillance equipment) and focused military operations of a few hundred to a thousand troops concentrating on one or several contiguous guerrilla fronts.

Of course, in war, there are bound to be losses. But so far, the NPA has avoided decisive battles and minimized its setbacks. The NPA continues to expand its territories or areas of operation to broaden and strengthen its ties with the peasant masses and force the enemy to disperse and overstretch its forces.
What are the greatest battlefield challenges faced by the CPP/NPA in the fight against the government?

Right now, I would say that among the greatest battlefield challenges faced by the CPP/NPA is overcoming the enemy’s large-scale focused offensives, aerial bombing, and campaign of pacification and suppression against the peasant masses.

The NPA must constantly exercise a high degree of guerrilla military discipline to keep the enemy blind and render its surveillance equipment useless. For instance, NPA units cannot be encamped in one position for prolonged periods. They must always be concealed underneath forest canopies and cannot expose large formations in open fields to avoid detection by drones. They must master the art of cooking over fire without smoke or moving at night without light. They must be able to maintain undetectable supply lines. They must always check their equipment and supplies for possible infiltration of enemy global positioning devices. While avoiding defensive action, NPA units must be ever-ready to engage the enemy in battle and engage in active defense.

In a guerrilla front, NPA units must be able to launch coordinated tactical offensives at different points to disorganize the enemy and prevent it from mounting a concentrated offensive. This would entail organizing and dispatching small strike teams, militias, and partisan units.

At the same time, the NPA and leading Party committees must be able to arouse, organize and mobilize the masses by carrying out the struggle for land and fighting feudal, semifeudal, and all other forms of oppression. They must be able to respond to the clamor of the masses for justice against the fascist crimes perpetrated by state forces, in order to embolden them to press on with their fight.A company of NPA guerrilla fighters assembles in a mountain peak before conducting an operation.

How is the NPA able to deal with reported battlefield losses and surrenders?

Of course, the CPP/NPA know that losses and setbacks are par for the course of war. However, the Party and NPA are also aware that many of the reported losses or surrenders are baseless. The enemy claims of the surrender of more than 20,000 NPA members is ridiculous considering that a few years ago, it declared that the NPA has only 4,000 fighters or less. In fact, most of these “surrenderers” are unarmed civilians who were subjected to constant military pressure, harassment and threats.

The ideological and political consciousness of NPA fighters are strengthened through constant education and cultural work. They are steeled and determined to fight and sacrifice their lives for the people’s cause. Fallen comrades are memorialized and given honors.

At the same time, NPA units must assess and learn lessons from their weaknesses. More often than not, losses are a result of failure in discipline or failure to follow basic military policies.

Is the NPA having success recruiting new members to join the armed resistance? If so, what attracts them to the cause?

There is a steady stream of NPA recruits coming from the peasant masses, especially the youth. Recruitment is especially strong in guerrilla zones where land reform and other antifeudal struggles are carried out by the peasant masses together with the NPA. In these areas, Red fighters are highly regarded as models by the youth, and many aspire to become Red fighters themselves so they can serve their community and help advance the overall revolutionary cause.

The masses who have seen or experienced the enemy’s fascist brutality often are driven to join the NPA. They see that only by joining the NPA can they defend themselves, fight back and attain justice. Many mass activists who are being hounded by the enemy seek the safe haven of the guerrilla fronts of the NPA.

There is also steady recruitment of NPA fighters from workers and intellectuals in the cities, especially among those who have joined underground revolutionary organizations. Many join the NPA because they know that their social and national aspirations can only be attained through armed revolution.

The CPP/NPA is a national organizational network, but do you have foreign volunteer fighters from other countries in your ranks?

Yes, there have been non-Filipino nationals who wave joined the NPA. Even now, we continue to receive questions from overseas asking how they can become fighters in the armed struggle in the Philippines.

How do you view the new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and the return to power of the Marcos family? What does this mean historically for those not aware of his father’s tenure in power?

The rise to the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Jr and the return of the Marcoses to power is a stark manifestation of the rottenness of the ruling political system in the Philippines. Marcos Jr used the vast amount of illegally acquired wealth of the Marcoses to collude with the Duterte ruling clique to rig the automated election system and give him a “landslide” victory, despite the fact that he literally was doing nothing during the past several years. His rise to power together with the Dutertes, in further alliance with the Arroyos and Estradas, marks the rise to power of the worse of the political dynasties in the Philippines.

It is like a sick twist of fate that Marcoses have returned to power just as the Filipino people are set to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in 1972 by Marcos’ dictator father, his namesake, which started a 14-year reign of terror and plunder. Marcos Sr abolished the congress and shuttered all courts and established military rule. He cracked down against all opposition and resistance marked by the arrest of around 70,000, torture of more than 30,000, and the killing of more than 3,000 people. The Marcoses took over big business operations and plundered government funds and public loans. It is estimated that they accumulated more than $10 billion in wealth during their rule, most of which were stashed away in overseas banks, dummy corporations, jewels, paintings, and other items of luxury. Most of this wealth remain in their hands and used for their political rehabilitation. Over the past years, and especially during the recent elections, the Marcoses have actively pushed the narrative that the period under martial law were “golden years” for the Philippines in a gross distortion of history. The Marcoses will surely use their renewed power to further expand their wealth and their political dynasty.

On the other hand, the fateful return to political power of the Marcoses on the 50th anniversary of martial law has galvanized the patriotic, progressive, and democratic forces in the Philippines to campaign intensely to demand justice for all the victims of martial law and to fight the current Marcos regime and its anti-democratic and anti-national policies.

The administration said that it would not pursue peace talks with the CPP. How will this shape the NPA’s actions?

The Marcos regime’s refusal to pursue peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) gives the NPA all the more reason to carry forward the armed struggle. The other day, Marcos ordered his armed forces to “increase the tempo” of its counterinsurgency war which will only lead to more rampant military and police abuses against the people. Like all past regimes, Marcos does not intend to address the prevailing problem of landlessness and land grabbing. In fact, the problem is being exacerbated by the rush of foreign multinational corporations to expand mining operations and plantation for export crops resulting in widespread displacement of peasants from their land.
The New People’s Army recently lost Ka Oris and Ka Bok, two veterans of the movement who each served the cause for over 50 years. How important were these two to the movement, and how detrimental has the loss of two irreplicable leaders been to the armed communist movement?

Ka Oris and Ka Bok were two of the key leaders of the Party and New People’s Army. Their contributions to the growth of the Party and NPA are immeasurable. They trained at least two generations of cadres and fighters. Their deaths in the hands of the enemy are a great loss to the revolutionary movement.

It is to the advantage of the Party and the NPA that they exercise collective leadership where programs, policies, and decisions are arrived at through the collective work of individuals. Furthermore, there is a deep bench of younger cadres and commanders who are more than capable of taking the place of Ka Oris and Ka Bok. The death of great leaders is like the fall of giant trees in a forest: a hole is left in the canopy allowing sunlight to pass through, which in turn, nurture the growth of new trees.

How do the legacies of Ka Oris and Ka Bok live on? What did they teach the movement’s youth and how did they influence the up-and-coming generation of CPP/NPA leaders?

Both Ka Oris and Ka Bok were outstanding guerrilla fighters of the NPA. For many years, they led the growth of NPA units from squads to companies, through guerrilla warfare and always teaching the NPA to be close to the masses. Up to their last breath, even in their advanced age, they worked with younger commanders of the NPA, joining them in conferences, pointing out their strengths, and helping them overcome their weaknesses.

We hope to produce more material about the life and deeds of Ka Oris and Ka Bok which can inspire and teach the younger and future generations of communists and Red fighters in the Philippines.A young couple watches as their marriage contract is signed by witnesses.
Can you explain the controversy surrounding Ka Oris’s killing?

Military officers claimed that Ka Oris was killed in an aerial bombing and armed raid against an NPA camp on October 30. In truth, he was flagged down and abducted by soldiers the night before. Ka Oris and his medic (Ka Pika) were travelling together aboard motorcycles en route to a medical facility to seek treatment for his illness. The motorcycle drivers, who were local residents, have never been found. Despite public clamor, the military did not allow the bodies to be independently examined by a pathologist. Claiming “Covid-19 protocols,” the cadavers were cremated without even informing their families, in what clearly was meant to burn evidence of their crime.

What is your view on anti-government jihadist groups in the Philippines such as the Islamic State East Asia Province and BIFF? Does the NPA ever clash with these groups?

Many of the so-called jihadist armed groups in the Philippines are, in fact, armed groups that are linked to the struggle of the minority Moro people in many parts of Mindanao. Most of these groups once belonged either to the Moro National Liberation Front or the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which were once a revolutionary fighting organization that espoused the aspiration of the Moro people for national self-determination.

For many years, the revolutionary forces maintained formal and informal alliances with these Moro groups during the time that they were actively fighting for the Moro people’s cause. In 1997, the MNLF surrendered to the Ramos government in exchange for paltry political accommodation. The MILF will go the same path from 2014. Its officials now head the local “bangsamoro authority,” after agreeing to surrender their arms. In partnership with foreign corporations, their officials now partake of the exploitation and plunder of the resources of the Moro people. The land of the Moro people continues to be lorded over by the Philippine government’s military and police force. The bombing of Marawi City in 2017 was a way of reminding the Moro people that they must continue to bow before the Philippine government. The minority Moro people continue to be oppressed; thus, many groups continue to arm themselves to defend their land, continuing their centuries resistance. Many of these groups are under local political leaders, but some also connive with the military.

In general, the NPA does not consider these groups antagonistic to the Filipino people’s national democratic cause. The NPA gives due recognition to their authority in their area when conducting political work among the masses, even as it is alert to some groups that are in collusion with the AFP’s counterinsurgency.

Does the CPP/NPA have any cooperative or simply positive relationships with international communist organizations or communist groups based in foreign countries?

The CPP and other revolutionary forces allied with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines maintain positive relations with other communist, revolutionary and anti-imperialist organizations and individuals in other countries. These relations range from formal links to regular correspondences.

The NPA is sometimes slandered as criminals rather than rebels fighting for an ideological cause. What do you say to this?

All over the world, for centuries, fighters for national and social liberation have been called bandits and criminals. In the Philippines, the armed revolution–from the period of Spanish colonialism to US colonialism and US neocolonialism–have been called various names from bandidos to insurectos. Of course, in recent years, the reactionaries have turned to using the term “terrorism” to slander the NPA.

Of course, to be maligned by the US imperialists and the reactionaries only means that the CPP and NPA remain doing the right thing, that is fight for the cause of the people, defending them against state terrorism and advance their aspiration for national and social liberation.

The NPA is criticized for its use of landmines, as it threatens civilians. Does the NPA use them and, if so, why?

The NPA uses command-detonated landmines. These are produced by hand from locally-sourced materials. The CPP and NPA maintains that these landmines do not fall under the definition of weapons banned under the Ottawa Treaty, as these do not explode by contact or proximity of a victim. These weapons are triggered only with a clear military target and are laid out only while awaiting for an ambush. These landmines are not left untended unlike the thousands left by the US in Cambodia, Laos and many other countries. I should also mention that the Canadian armed forces, also maintain that their C-19 landmine are not covered by the Ottawa Treaty as these are command-detonated.

The Communist Party of the Philippines is often critical of the Communist Party of China. People are often confused by this as both the CPP and CPC are self-proclaimed communists. What is the CPP’s view of China? When and how did China stray from its true revolutionary communist origins?

Indeed, the Communist Party of China was once a revolutionary organization and was at the center of the international communist movement until the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. Since 1978, the CPC was taken over by modern revisionists led by Deng Xiaoping.

For more than a decade (until his death in 1992), Deng overturned all the achievements of the socialist system in China. Under the slogan of “market-oriented reforms” and “family responsibility,” the CPC allowed the re-privatization of land and the dismantling of once productive communes, which forced the displacement of hundreds of millions of peasants and turning them into a vast ocean of cheap unemployed labor. Unions and revolutionary workers committees were dismantled as factories were placed under the authority of managers and bureaucrats, who would later turn state enterprises into private enterprises.

Under the CPC, a state monopoly bourgeoisie has emerged, the scale of whose wealth is almost unimaginable. They use state power to aggrandize wealth and power. They control state enterprises as well as big private firms.

In the late 1960s and until his death, Mao Zedong himself warned against the rise of modern revisionists or the bourgeoisie within the communist party, as he observed the phenomenon in the Soviet Union since the death of Stalin, and within the CPC even under his leadership. He fought hard against those officials of the CPC who put “technological progress” ahead of socialist progress, and who regarded the importance of “experts” above the importance of the masses. This was the essence of the tumultuous times during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, when Mao called on the Chinese people to fight against the bourgeoisie inside the communist party.

The CPP has accused China of infringing on the Philippines’ maritime territory. How are they doing this, and what for?

Since the 2010s, especially since 2017, China has built at least 7 military facilities within the territorial waters of the Philippines as recognized under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas. They used industrial machinery to scoop sand to reclaim land and create large artificial islands in the middle of the ocean, which they have turned into military bases some of which are equipped with runways and ports. These facilities are used to preposition warships, amphibious vehicles, jet fighters and helicopters.

The clear aim of China is to dominate the West Philippine Sea (also the South China Sea) in order to prevent its imperialist rivals (specifically the US) from using the sea lanes as economic and military pressure points. However, in doing so, China is infringing on the Philippines’ sovereign seas.

Likewise, the CPP is rhetorically hostile toward the United States. What are your grievances with the US?

I think “grievances with the US” is an understatement. US imperialist domination, oppression, and exploitation of the Philippines—first as a colony from 1898 to 1946, and as a semicolony or neocolony since—is one of the fundamental causes of the country’s state of backwardness and state of hardships and poverty of the vast majority of the Filipino people.

Do you have separate grievances with various US entities — for example, one grievance with American multinational corporations, and an unrelated grievance with the US military — or do you consider it all a part of the same issue?

The US imperialists maintain their dominance in the Philippines through control of economic resources, political and military intervention, and cultural domination. The Philippine government is a client-state or a neocolonial state that is under the control of the US government maintained through its control of the military, through IMF-WB’s control of key economic agencies and business organizations, and through its agents among the Philippine ruling elite. Since the turn of the 20th century, the US has shaped and condemned the country’s economy as a supplier of cheap raw materials, both agricultural crops such as bananas and pineapple, as well as timber and minerals, and from the 1950s and 1960s, as a source of cheap labor for assembly-type manufacturing. To perpetuate this pattern of “development,” the US imperialists connived with the local big landlord class in preventing genuine land reform and prevented local industries to develop. Thus, the country remains largely backward, agrarian, and non-industrial. It cannot even produce needles, and all machinery for food manufacturing and other consumer products are imported. Like other countries that form part of the “global value chain” of multinational corporations, the Philippines hosts “economic zones” where the labor-intensive parts of manufacturing of semiconductors or vehicle parts are carried out, but which are completely disconnected from the local economy.

Do you have a perspective on the US military’s participation in counterguerrilla operations undertaken by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)? What do US forces lend to these operations from your perspective, and how, if it all, has US participation altered the CPP/NPA’s overall struggle?

Counterguerrilla operations of the AFP have always been directed by the US military. Officers of the AFP are trained and indoctrinated in US counterinsurgency dogma, which gives premium to projecting and maintaining military superiority. This is superficially dressed with “development projects” that do not actually address the fundamental socioeconomic problems of the people which drive them to wage armed resistance.

On US instigation, the AFP started to employ aerial bombing, aerial strafing, and artillery shelling as part of its counterguerrilla arsenal, despite the fact that these have been proven to be largely ineffective in Vietnam, as well as in the Philippines. These weapons are employed mainly to cause terror among the people and make them bow before the military’s superior might.

US forces are often seen in counterguerrilla operations in Western Mindanao, where they are based, although the US does not deny providing the AFP with assistance in conducting aerial surveillance and other critical auxiliary functions. There have been sightings in the past of American soldiers in tactical command posts of the AFP in anti-NPA operations. American drones have been sighted flying over guerrilla zones. The US military has kept a low-profile in counterguerrilla operations against the NPA knowing that this would spark widespread condemnation.NPA Red fighters use tents and hammocks as shelter from the rain and sun.

Previous CPP/NPA statements have condemned the status of forces agreements between the US military and the AFP as being “unequal” between the two state partners. Would you care to say more about this relationship?

An “agreement” can never be equal between a master and puppet. These agreements include the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, the Visiting Forces Agreement of 1998 (which superseded the previous status of forces agreement) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) of 2015 all give the US military extraterritorial rights in the Philippines, and special legal status. For more than 70 years, the MDT has served as a framework for keeping the country bound to US geopolitical policies, under which the Philippines has been compelled to participate in US wars in Korea and Vietnam. From 1946 to 1991, the US maintained large military bases covering around 65,000 hectares. These served as launching pads for US wars as far as Iran and Afghanistan. Today, the US wants to use the Philippines as a platform to keep economic and military pressure against China.

Provisions of the VFA has allowed US forces to freely enter the country and enjoy special privileges. Abusive American soldiers, including those involved in killings, have escaped prosecution and punishment. An American soldier, Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted in local courts for killing a transgender woman, did not serve a moment of his punishment in a local jail, but was kept in a US facility inside a military camp. Under the EDCA, the US has been allowed to construct and maintain exclusive facilities within military camps of the AFP which the AFP commander cannot enter or inspect. The US uses these facilities to keep their weapons or serve as rest and recreation facilities for its soldiers.

What is the CPP’s position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the causes of the war? Do you see it as a US vs Russia proxy war?

More and more, the war in Ukraine is clearly a US proxy war against Russia. For close to two decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has wantonly violated the original Minsk Agreement of 1991 in which the US and NATO promised not to extend its alliance to countries that were formerly part of the Warsaw Pact. It started with the war in Yugoslavia, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and so on, one by one, forcing these countries into the NATO, until reaching Ukraine. The US has established military bases and missile facilities along the border of Russia. US political and military intervention in Ukraine has been relentless since the mid-2000s, fomenting an anti-Russia coup and arming and training Nazi-type organizations to mount a brutal war against the Russian-speaking Donbass region, which has killed more than 14,000 people over the course of the past seven years or so.

The Russian military assault in Ukraine, thus, can be categorized as a counter-aggression against US and NATO aggression. Russia has declared it has no intention of occupying Ukraine, only to drive back the US-supported Ukrainian forces that are surrounding the Donbass region, in line with the 2015 Minsk agreement granting the Donbass a special autonomous status. It is to Russia’s interest for it to quickly end the war through peace negotiations instead of being forced to engage in a protracted war in Ukraine. However, continuing and heightening US and NATO military support for Ukraine is prolonging the war and preventing peace negotiations.

Speaking of Ukraine, a recent NPA statement denounced the US State Department’s re-inclusion of the CPP/NPA on their Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list, and states, “While the US labels revolutionary organizations such as the CPP/NPA as `terrorists,’ it does not apply the same label to fascist groups such as the notorious Azov Battalion in Ukraine, which the US, in fact, helps arm and train.” Would you care to say anything more about whom the US designates as terrorists versus those non-state groups and/or government paramilitaries that it chooses to train and equip?

The US maintains its list of “foreign terrorist organizations” as a tool for global intervention, to justify the wars it is waging overseas. This US decides unilaterally on who or what organization to include in this list, targeting primarily the anti-imperialist forces. Among the groups or individuals in the US FTO formerly worked with the US in its wars of intervention in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The US has a long history of arming paramilitaries in different countries to do the bidding for US companies. In the same way that the Free Syria movement in northern Syria was armed in recent years, the US also armed the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s to subvert the Sandinista regime. Since Obama, the US has also mounted a widespread drone war to fire at its targets in Pakistan and Afghanistan, causing thousands of civilian deaths in the course of it assassination operations.

Your same statement concerning CPP/NPA status on the FTO called on US citizens to “demand the revocation of the so-called FTO list which is being used as an instrument of intervention in the Philippines and across the world.” Why should the CPP/NPA be taken off the FTO list and why should the American people make efforts to have the groups removed?

Not only should the CPP and NPA be taken off the US FTO list, but the FTO list of the US itself should be scrapped.

As any student of international law understands, there is actually no universally accepted definition of terrorism, even at the level of the United Nations. Following 9/11, the United Nations Security Council was not bogged down by the absence of such a definition when it bowed to US dictates to mount a global war against “terrorism”

The US FTO list, thus, is a unilateral instrument that is being used by the US for its wars of intervention. These wars do not enjoy the support of the American working class and people. They are aware of how these wars of intervention have been fought not for the best interest of the American people, but for the interest of the military-industrial complex and American multinational corporations who wish to get a bigger slice of the global economic pie.

The term “terrorism” has been maliciously used by the US to taint the reputation of the CPP and NPA, which are revolutionary organizations that are advancing the people’s cause for national and social liberation.

What is the CPP’s position on the rising tensions in the South China Sea and, more particularly, over Taiwan in the context of US-China competition?

The CPP has denounced US provocations against China which is pushing the world closer to the brink of war. The recent visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi upended the Shanghai Communique of 1972 which the US signed with China and pledged to recognize only one China and left the matter of Taiwan’s status to the decision of the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan straits. Before Pelosi’s visit, the US defense secretary, together with the war hawks of the Atlantic Council (who are also the people behind Facebook’s “community guidelines”), outrightly called for an end to the One China policy.

These provocations are the most recent moves since Obama’s “pivot to Asia” which is largely targeted against China. This pivot also includes economic and trade sanctions, heightened military presence in the South China Sea, in the Philippine Sea, and the seas west of Taiwan, as well as the revival of the Quad, and the recent declaration of the NATO that China is a strategic threat.

At the same time, the CPP denounced China’s militarism in resolving the question of Taiwan’s autonomy or reunification with China.

How does the intensifying US-China great power competition impact the Philippines and its people given the country’s important geographical position?

Any intensification of US-China conflict will have a big impact on the Philippines. Both China and the US have been pushing to fortify their position in the Philippines in order to either neutralize the country or use it as a springboard for their power projection.

The spinelessness of the Marcos regime in the face of the giants will bring harm the country and the Filipino people. Instead of asserting the country’s sovereignty in the face of rising military conflict, the Marcos regime is merely allowing both the US and China to use the country for their military objectives. Marcos, however, is showing more servility to the US.

The Filipino people must be ready to unite to wage a national war to defend the country in the event that either imperialist power resorts to some form of invasion against the Philippines.

What is the future of the CPP/NPA in the Philippines?

The conditions in the Philippines remain exceedingly excellent for advancing the revolutionary cause. The chronic crisis of the ruling system persists and is set to worsen in the coming years amid the downward trajectory of the international capitalist system. The rise of Marcos to power further exposes the rottenness of the ruling system and makes more and more people acutely aware of the necessity of waging revolution.

The CPP, through the NPA and its tens of thousands of cadres, is in a position to lead the Filipino people in intensifying their resistance through armed and unarmed forms of struggle.

The Party sees the steady growth and expansion of the NPA in the coming years. It seeks to bring the people’s war to the next phase of growth. At the same time, the Party also sees that the growth of the armed resistance will combine with the surging forward of the mass struggles of workers and other democratic sectors in the cities.

The Party has a clear strategy for winning the people’s democratic revolution. The Party and its forces are in a position to bring the revolutionary movement closer to victory.

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to our readers?

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our experiences and express our opinions on important issues confronting the Filipino people and people across the world.


CPP/CIO: Salute to women partaking in struggle for national liberation

CPP propaganda statement posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Newsroom (Aug 20, 2022): Salute to women partaking in struggle for national liberation

Marco Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

August 20, 2022

Today we pay tribute to all women who gave all their lives to serve the cause of national and social liberation.

We recall the martyrdom of Comrade Kerima Lorena Tariman (Ka Ella), 42, who was martyred exactly last one year ago in Silay City, Negros Occidental, together with Joery Dato-on “Ka Pabling” Cocuba. An artist and intellectual, Ka Ella endeared herself to the peasant masses of Negros and embraced their cause. A year after her death, the people of Negros continues to honor her contributions to their just cause for national and social liberation.

We also remember today comrade Sosin Mihemed (Sosin Bîrhat), commander of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), who along with three other fighters were martyred in a drone attack launched by the Turkish Armed Forces on the Til Temir Military Council communications center in Rojava on August 19, 2021. Comrade Bîrhat played a crucial role in the revolutionary war of defense in Rojava and armed offensives against occupying Islamic State and Turkish forces in Northern and Eastern Syria.

We would also take this occasion to pay tribute to three martyred women who followed the cause of Comrade Sosin.

Comrades Jiyan Tolhildan, Roj Xabûr and Barîn Botan were assassinated by the Turkish state last July 22 after attending a forum by on women in the revolution. The Party and the Filipino revolutionary forces condemn the fascist Turkish government for the dastardly killing.

Tolhildan spoke on the leading role of the YPJ in the struggle of the Kurdish people for national self-determination. She outlined the important role of women to counter all kind of attacks by the occupying forces as well fighting the patriarchal mentality. Tohildan and Roj Xabûr were both members of the YPJ while Botas was member of the YAT.

Women across the globe are rising up to fight against imperialism, fascism, and all forms of reaction. Together with the people, they draw inspiration from their heroes and martyrs, and are determined to carry forward the cause of national and social liberation.

Monday, August 22, 2022

CPP/CIO: On AFP’s declaration of Davao Occidental as “insurgency free”

CPP propaganda statement posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Newsroom (Aug 21, 2022): On AFP’s declaration of Davao Occidental as “insurgency free”

Marco L. Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

August 21, 2022


A few days ago, Sen. Bato dela Rosa (former police chief, who is among those charged for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court), together with officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), declared that Davao Occidental is now “insurgency free.”

Well, they can believe and declare all they want. For 50 years, nothing stopped them from making such grand pronouncements even if they had to eat their words later. And I am certain that they will again eat their words sooner or later.

The Lumad people, the local peasants, and inland and coastal fisherfolk in Davao Occidental are among the poorest and most oppressed in the country. They suffer slave-like conditions and forms of oppression and punishment by local warlords. They suffered gross human rights violations perpetrated by the AFP’s 73rd IB in the course of its scorched earth tactics in the past few years.

The masses of Davao Occidental are proud of their long history of resistance. They strongly desire revolutionary change and continue to keep in touch with units of the NPA.

I will not reveal exact details of the NPA’s presence and movement in the area. But we have been informed that the local NPA units are aware how eager the masses of Davao Occidental are to continue waging resistance against the oppressive landlords and land-grabbing mining companies and big businesses, especially now amid the severe economic crisis.


To understand the significance (or insignificance) of the AFP’s declaration, we must point out that Davao Occidental is a very small province (composed of five towns) carved out of Davao del Sur in 2012 to accommodate local political interests.

The province is ruled by the Joyce and Bautista local big warlord families. They are big landlords who maintain private armies and are in collusion with big American mining companies in the area.

The Bautistas, in particular, were installed by Marcos Sr in the 1970s to facilitate the entry of business operations of Danding Cojuangco. San Miguel Corporation is responsible for driving away the B’laans and Kaolo lumad masses from their lands to establish their plantations and energy projects.

The province also serves as a backdoor for the entry and transhipment of illegal drugs and other contraband. The warlords also maintain marijuana plantations, all with the full knowledge of the military and police.

CPP/CIO: Sham “surrender” and “amnesty” under Marcos

CPP propaganda statement posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Newsroom (Aug 21, 2022: Sham “surrender” and “amnesty” under Marcos

Marco L. Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

August 21, 2022

Based on the announcement a few days ago by Gen. Carlito Galvez, Marcos’s so-called peace adviser, the supposed plan to declare amnesty is just a lot of nonsense. This will end up a mere extension of the fake “surrender” drive and anomalous construction of roads under the “barangay development” of the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac.

This sham starts with fake numbers. Government officials claim that 26,414 NPA “surrenderees” will be included in the amnesty. This number, of course, is a big hoax considering that n 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed that the NPA was only 4,000-strong, and supposedly, is now down to 2,000. We all know that most of these “surrenderees” are, in fact, peasant masses who were subjected to the worse forms of intimidation and forced to “admit” being NPA members.

But, according to Gen. Galvez, only 1-2 thousand of all “surrenderees” have been charged. This is practically a confession that a large majority (93%) of AFP’s “surrenderees” face no crime in any court under the laws of the reactionary government. The question is: on what basis were they made to “surrender” by the AFP.

If the AFP says that these people “surrendered” because they are supporting the NPA, then they admit to having committed a major crime under international humanitarian law, which explicitly prohibits forcing civilians to change their allegiance even if they are in the territory of one’s belligerent adversary.
The talk of amnesty is all a big farce when this government refuses to release approximately 800 political prisoners, mostly charged with fabricated criminal cases to make them rot in jail. Or when it continues to persecute legal democratic organizations that promote the people’s aspirations for national and social liberation.

This amnesty program being pushed by Gen. Galvez again reeks of corruption. As vaccine czar of the Duterte government, he has yet to account for the billions upon billions of pesos spent for anomalous secret contracts to purchase vaccines from China vaccine.

The Filipino people will not be deceived by Galvez/Marcos/ELCAC’s “amnesty,” just as they are not deceived by the fake “localized peace talks” that do not solve the root causes of their misery and hunger, and merely serve as smokescreen for widespread land-grabbing by foreign multinationals and their local big business partners.

CPP/NDF-CPDF: Filipinos ready to shed blood in war vs tyrants//Ninoy Aquino’s death disproves myth of ‘peaceful’ uprising

CPDF propaganda statement posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Newsroom (Aug 21, 2022): Filipinos ready to shed blood in war vs tyrants//Ninoy Aquino’s death disproves myth of ‘peaceful’ uprising

Cordillera People’s Democratic Front
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

August 21, 2022

August 21st is a sobering reminder that the People Power was never a peaceful revolution as many interested parties would like to paint it to be. Before its culmination in 1986, the Marcoses were already spilling blood left and right. In 1983, dictator Ferdinand Marcos had his rival Ninoy Aquino assassinated at the airport as the latter tried to return from exile. Before that, in 1971, he had the campaign rally in Plaza Miranda bombed to justify the declaration of Martial Law. Nine were killed.

The violence and bloodshed of these dates are just tips of the proverbial iceberg. The Marcos family caused more than 3,257 deaths with 35,000 more tortured and 70,000 more illegally imprisoned. Of the number of murders, 77 percent or 2,520 were salvage incidents. In the Cordilleras, state forces murdered Macliing Dulag in his own home in 1980 for leading the people’s opposition to the Chico Dam. The path that led to the ouster and expulsion of the Marcos family is paved with blood and grief of millions of Filipinos.

The myth of a ‘peaceful’ revolution does not serve the Filipino people who are the main victims of the dictatorship. On the contrary, it served Marcos’ enablers and cronies who jumped ship at the last minute when it became obvious that he was then unpopular beyond redemption. His generals, like Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos, used this card to negotiate absolution for themselves. It served both traditional and incipient politicians who needed a pacified population so that they could divide the spoils amongst themselves and then vie for recently vacated positions of power. It served imperialist powers like the US who protected dictators and despots while ensuring that nothing much more radical than a ‘peaceful’ uprising happens under its watch.

But a revolution is not something that can be avoided in a system that is chockful with class contradictions. Landlords, big businesses and bureaucrat capitalists cause inescapable oppression and poverty amongst the people. But despite their chains, the people fight back. And despite the fascist repressive measures, they recognize the need for a revolution when the indignities become insufferable.

By all indications, the administration of Bongbong Marcos will be just as repressive as his father’s, if not even more so considering he has at his disposal the Anti-Terror Law, the NTF-ELCAC and an established machinery for widespread disinformation. His minions in Senate and in Congress are preoccupied with absurd bills that target dissent and critical thought. Even academic institutions make the mistaken effort of censoring their own materials for ‘anti-government’ propaganda. Recently, opposition leaders and the religious sector are among the targets of the Marcos II regime.

Marcos Jr. might wield these instruments of terror but the people’s democratic revolution has already been proven wholly effective against tyrannical regimes. His own father’s dictatorship is the best example. Fascism pushed seasoned activists to head to the countryside while thousands more continued the parliamentary struggle in urban centers. The national democratic movement grew strong in all fronts.

The Filipino people’s history shows that all revolutions require blood and sacrifice. But even these could not stop the masses from launching a protracted war against their oppressors. Marcos Jr. can be certain that a revolution against the enemies of the people is both just and necessary and the fate of his father could be his own. ###



Long live the memories of Martial Law martyrs! Justice for all Martial Law victims!

Continue holding the Marcoses accountable for their crimes against the people!

Advance the people’s war and weaken Marcos II’s illegitimate regime!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

NegOr halfway house for former rebels more than 60% complete

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2022): NegOr halfway house for former rebels more than 60% complete (By Mary Judaline Partlow)

HALFWAY HOUSE. The ongoing construction of a halfway house for former rebels of the CPP-NPA is more than 60 percent complete. The PHP5-million facility funded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, is situated at the 302nd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental. (Photo courtesy of the 302 Brigade Facebook)

A halfway house for former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New Philippines (CPP-NPA) in Negros Oriental is more than 60 percent complete and is targeted for completion in November this year.

Farah Gentuya, provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), told the Philippine News Agency on Friday that the construction of the halfway house is funded by their agency amounting to PHP5 million.

“The funding is just for the one-level house itself, excluding furnishings and its fixtures, while the lot is from the Philippine Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade at its headquarters in Camp Leon Kilat in Tanjay City,” she said.

Governor Pryde Henry Teves has asked them to submit a proposal as to how he can help provide the other requirements of the halfway house, she added.

Previously, another PHP5 million from the Peace and Order Council’s Peace and Order Safety Plan was allocated for the facility’s operations, although Gentuya said she has to verify whether the funding was not realigned.

The halfway house is intended to provide temporary shelter for former rebels (FRs) who are undergoing evaluation and other processes for enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) or immersion in a locality where they will be staying, Gentuya said.

“The Philippine Army will provide security and other pre-identification requirements for E-CLIP while the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office will be in charge of the aftercare as stated in the memorandum of agreement,” she noted.

Teves recently said in a meeting with members of the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) to prioritize housing for FRs.

He asked the Provincial Agriculture Office and the Department of Agrarian Reform in the province to check on available lands that can be developed for housing projects and farm lots for the former NPA members.

“I told them to submit a report in September as there will be another round of realignment of funds and supplementals in October so that this will be given funding,” he said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.

While the halfway house is just a holding area, the governor wants a more permanent housing arrangement for the FRs, Gentuya said.

Brig. Gen. Leonard Peña, the 302 brigade commander, in a separate interview, said they fully support the move of the governor to prioritize housing for former rebels “to show that what is being done by the national government is replicated at the lower level”.

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 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 inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.

WESCOM receives equipment from China

 From Palawan News (Aug 13, 2022): WESCOM receives equipment from China (By Gerald Ticke)

Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos welcomes the equipments donated by China (WESCOM photo)

Western Command (WESCOM) received equipment from the People’s Republic of China today in order to strengthen its capabilities.

The equipment, which was given by China as part of its Military Assistance Gratis Program to the Philippines, included a fire truck and a minibus. The equipment arrived in Puerto Princesa City aboard BRP BACOLOD CITY (LS550).

The Chinese military’s gratis assistance to the Philippines has a total amount of 130 million yuan (P1.04 billion).

“These are parts of China’s support to capacitate the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their humanitarian and disaster response efforts. The bulk of these is earmarked to help in the rehabilitation of Marawi,”WESCOM chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said.

WESCOM said the first batch of equipment and other materials arrived in February this year and was turned over by China’s Ambassador Huang Xilian to former defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“We at WESCOM are fortunate and grateful to the leadership of the Department of National Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the People’s Republic of China for having been allocated these capacity-building equipment and other materials. These will significantly complement our Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response as well as Socio-Economic efforts,” Carlos stated.

PH-US armies kicks-off ‘Balance Piston’ bilateral exercise

From Palawan News (Aug 16, 2022): PH-US armies kicks-off ‘Balance Piston’ bilateral exercise (By Aira Genesa Magdayao)

The Special Forces Regiment SFR(A) of the Philippine Army and the US Army Special Forces started their month-long bilateral exercise in Palawan to strengthen the capability of the troops deployed in Palawan.

The Assistant Chief of Staff for Education and Training of the Special Forces Regiment SFR(A), Lt. Col. Paulo Baylon, stated that the bilateral exercise in Rizal town will focus on Long Range, Combat Marksmanship, Close Quarter Combat, Small Unit Tactics, Unconventional Warfare, Maritime Operations, and Full Mission Profile or Culmination Exercise.

“For a whole month, our men will train with the US Special Forces. We’ve moved heaven and earth for this exercise to take place in Palawan. We are certain that this will enable us to exchange tactics, techniques, and procedures to enhance interoperability between US and Filipino Special Forces,” Baylon said.

Baylon said that the training will also make the 18th Special Forces (Riverine) Company, which is an independent elite unit of the Philippine Army, stronger.

He also believed that there would be other upcoming training and exercises with both parties in the future.

“They don’t have a battalion headquarters that will directly support their combat and service support needs. With this training, 18SFC can perform its functions the way it’s designed to be,” Baylon said.

“The 18th Special Forces (Riverine) Company is the participant for this iteration of Balance Piston. With this training that we are about to conduct with our long-standing allies, 18SFway, it’s designed to be a company-sized independent unit that has the ability to gain a decisive advantage over a larger or well-equipped adversary. We may be at peace time, but it’s paramount that we are prepared for pressing security challenges,” SFR(A) commander Col. Ferdinand Napuli also said in a statement.

Balance Piston is a recurring bilateral training between the special operation forces of the two countries which started in early 2000s.

Ex-NPA leader nabbed during police manhunt

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 18, 2022): Ex-NPA leader nabbed during police manhunt (By RHODA GRACE SARON)

Photo courtesy of PRO XI.

A FORMER squad leader of a New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested following a manhunt operation at 3:40 p.m. in Monkayo, Davao de Oro, on Tuesday, August 16.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) XI identified him as Rodel Emba Ogong alias Vladi, 38, a resident of Purok 18, Sitio Lilo, Awao, Monkayo.

Joint operatives of Laak Municipal Police Station, Monkayo police, and the 1101st Regional Mobile Force Battalion arrested Ogong by virtue of a warrant of arrest with Criminal Case Number 253-2017 for Homicide issued by Judge Celestial Aranda – Gonzales of 11th Judicial Region, Regional Trial Court Branch 57 Mabini, Davao de Oro dated April 25, 2018, with no bail bond recommended.

According to the report, the suspect was a former squad leader under Guerilla Front 33 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee. 

For now, the suspect is under the custody of Laak Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.

Rebels terrorize hinterland folk of Toboso, Calatrava

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 15, 2022): Rebels terrorize hinterland folk of Toboso, Calatrava (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Another victim of NPA terror campaign, as reported by the Philippine Army, was identified as Renato Estrebello in Sitio Huebesan, Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava.* PNP photo

The New People’s Army remnants in northern Negros are now engaged in a “killing rampage,” terrorizing the populace in the hinterlands of Toboso and Calatrava, to discourage them from supporting the military, Lt Col. J-Jay Javines, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.

In a span of two weeks, two civilians were killed by suspected NPA rebels in Sitios Kamao and Huebesan, all in Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava, aside from their involvement in separate killings in the Toboso hinterlands in previous months.

Among those recently killed by rebels were Rodel Nobleza and Renato Estrebello, according to authorities.

Javines said that the group of NPA remnants led by Arnel Tapang, alias Jong, have shifted recovery of their lost territories in the Toboso and Calatrava areas, after failing to do so in the second and third districts of Negros Occidental, following neutralization of their local cadres.

Tapang, a resident of Toboso, still has local cadres in the boundary of Toboso and Calatrava, where they are now mobilizing to regain the support of their former supporters, he added.

Javines said the civilians killed by communist rebels are not military informants.

The primary purpose of rebel atrocities is aimed at “creating an atmosphere of fear” among the populace, noting that when he called for a meeting with residents in those areas, nobody dared to attend out of fear.

Javines said that several ranking leaders of dismantled NPA Northern Negros Front have already been neutralized after being killed in encounters or captured in gun battles.

NPA camp seized, soldiers recover more guns

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 12, 2022): NPA camp seized, soldiers recover more guns (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Army soldiers seized a New People’s Army camp after another encounter ensued yesterday in Sitio Bulasot, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94th Infantry Battalion commander, disclosed that pursuit operations focused on the fleeing rebels that were encountered on Wednesday by his troops in the same area led to another gun battle.

Almonte said that the encounter yesterday led to the recovery of another M16 assault rifle and two .45 caliber pistols.

The Wednesday gun battle in the same area resulted in the death of an unidentified rebel and the seizure of a rebel camp, recovery of an M16 rifle with four magazines containing ammunition, M14 magazine also with ammunition, three backpacks with personal belongings and assorted subversive documents.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the civilians for their timely information and the relentless and sustained efforts displayed by the 94IB that thwarted rebel terroristic acts in the area.

The rebel encountered by 94IB troopers are believed to be remnants of the Central Negros Front 2, according to the military.

Slain rebel identified

 From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 13, 2022): Slain rebel identified (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The cadaver of the New People’s Army combatant who was killed in the August 10 encounter with 94th Infantry Battalion soldiers in Sitio Bulasot, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, was claimed yesterday by his family.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, identified the slain rebel as Anthony Ariola, alias Val, a member of the NPA guerilla Central Negros 2 unit.

The encounter on Wednesday that led to the seizure of a rebel camp, and was followed by another gunbattle in the same area, Pasaporte said.

In the two encounters, 94IB soldiers recovered two M16 assault rifles, two .45 caliber pistols with ammunition, assorted medicines and personal belongings, as well as subversive documents.

The 20 armed rebels encountered by 94IB soldiers were also tagged by authorities as behind in the ambush of policemen in February at Brgy. Biao, Binalbagan.

Pasaporte lauded the civilians for their timely information that led to the successful military operations against remnants of the NPA operating in the area, which he blamed for atrocities committed against civilians and state troopers in central Negros.

Rebels kill another civilian

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 13, 2022): Rebels kill another civilian (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Another civilian was shot and killed yesterday by a group of armed men suspected to be New People’s Army rebels in Sitio Huebesan, Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

Lt. Col. Jay J Javines, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, identified the victim, based on the investigations of the Calatrava police, as Renato Estrebello, 43, of the place.

The armed men, who introduced themselves as military men, dressed in black pants and sweatshirts, reportedly brought the victim outside his house, where he was executed by the suspects.

Javines said the victim succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds and died on the spot.

The motive behind his killing by suspected NPA members has yet to established by the Calatrava police.

Javines said the rebels want to discredit the Philippine Army by claiming to be military members.

But the local communist terrorist group wants to send a message to the people, that they should not cooperate with military or else they will be killed.

On August 7, five suspected NPA members also waylaid and shot Rodel Nobleza, a livestock buyer, in Sitio Kamao, Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava.

Nobleza, alias Peter, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds and also died on the spot, police said.

Rebels in Negros, Iloilo suffer more casualties

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 18, 2022): Rebels in Negros, Iloilo suffer more casualties (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Army soldiers yesterday figured in another encounter with suspected New People’s Army rebels who were fleeing from an earlier gun battle, in Sitio Cantayson, Brgy. Mani-ak, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

The five fleeing rebels left behind a .357 Magnum revolver and a back pack containing personal belongings, according to a report of the 62nd Infantry Battalion.

No casualties were reported on the government side, while one of the five fleeing rebels was reported to have died.

The five were among the group of rebels who figured in an encounter with 62IB soldiers in Sitio Cambairan, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, on August 16, that resulted in injuries to two of their comrades, a military report further said.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that the running gun battle on Aug. 16 in Sitio Cambairan lasted 10 minutes, after which the rebels fled in various directions, while soldiers recovered assorted personal belongings at the encounter site.

Heavy traces of blood stains were discovered along escape route of rebels, believed to be members of the Central Negros 1 guerilla unit, bolstering reports of civilians that two were rebels injured in the gun battle.

On Aug. 15, four suspected NPA rebels were also reported to have been injured following an encounter between 12th Infantry Battalion soldiers and members of the Central Front of Komiteng Rehiyonal Panay at the boundary of Calinog and Lambunao towns in Iloilo.

Soldiers recovered an AK-47 assault rifle with a magazine filled with ammunition, an M203 grenade launcher, 250 live ammunition for M-16 rifle and five back packs containing personal belongings, assorted medicines and subversive documents.

Traces of bloodstains were also seen along the rebels’ withdrawal routes. No casualties were reported on the government side in both encounters.

On the other hand, members of the 94th Infantry Battalion who figured in two successive encounters on Aug. 10 and 11 in Sitio Bulasot, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, have been conferred with medals by Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd ID commander, in Ayungon, Negros Oriental.

The encounter claimed the life of a suspected rebel identified as Anthony Tebio Ariola, 21, of Sitio Bugo in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, and the recovery of an M-16 assault rifle and two pistols, among other war materials.

Galvez says MILF and MNLF “united” under the new BTA

From MindaNews (Aug 20, 2022): Galvez says MILF and MNLF “united” under the new BTA (By FERDINANDH B. CABRERA)

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez sees a “brighter outlook” for the Bangsamoro now that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the two factions of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are together in building what he describes as a “united” Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Galvez told a press briefing here on Friday that he is “very happy that we were able to unite both the MILF and MNLF factions” in the new BTA, the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the extended transition period until June 30, 2025.


Secretary Carlito Galvez, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity answers questions at the press conference in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, on Friday, 19 August 2022. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

“Our MNLF brothers wanted to relay their message to Kagi Murad (interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim and concurrent MILF chair) saying he is not just the Chief Minister of the 41 BTA, but he is also the Chief Minister of the 80 BTA members and the Chief Minister of the entire Bangsamoro. He is the father of all Moros living in the Philippines,” said Galvez, who met with the MNLF under Nur Misuari and MNLF under the Sema-Jikiri factions on Thursday.

The MNLF under Misuari did not participate in the previous BTA (2019 to 2022) or the BTC (2017 to 2018) even as Misuari was asked to nominate members. It is the first time that the Misuari-led MNLF is represented in the MILF-led BTA.

“Masaya ang MNLF at MILF at ang ating at ating mga partners, we are so happy na now they all agreed now they are uniting as One Bangsamoro,” Galvez stressed.

He said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has assured that his administration will implement all agreements signed by the government with the Moro liberation fronts.

“He shows his commitment to pursue the completion of the implementation of all the signed agreements in the Bangsamoro, from the 1976 Tripoli Agreement (and) the 1996 final peace agreement with the MNLF and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro” with the MILF, Galvez said.

He said a reorganization, reorientation and repackaging of priorities are now being prepared as instructions from the President Marcos is to finish the four remaining basic laws and codes as soon as possible.

“I need performance. I’m asking you na ipakita and performance na pinapangako ninyo noon” (I’m asking you to show us the performance you promised before), Galvez quoted the President as saying.

He said Marcos wants an equitable distribution of projects in the BARMM’s five provinces, three cities and 63 barangays in North Cotabato.

Galvez said the President wants the education aspect in the Bangsamoro to improve, he wants better Mardaris (schools), and to improve as well agriculture and tourism destinations, as part of the economic recovery following the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Palawan receives tents, medical supplies from U.S. Embassy

From the Mindanao Examiner (Aug 20, 2022): Palawan receives tents, medical supplies from U.S. Embassy

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY - Filipino government officials thanked the U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team (CAT) for donating disaster relief tents and medical supplies worth about P1.6 million ($30,000).

The recent donation was to support local humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness in Palawan province.

The American Embassy said members of the Philippine Coast Guard and U.S. sailors from the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) aided with the delivery of the tents and supplies, which were turned over to the provincial government during a ceremony here attended by Palawan Governor Dennis Socrates and U.S. Embassy Acting Public Affairs Officer Nina Lewis.

The USNS Mercy has been docked in the Philippines since July 27 to participate in Pacific Partnership 2022, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness exercise conducted in the Indo-Pacific.

“The supplies we received will surely be of great help to our continued disaster readiness efforts. We are beyond grateful for this donation,” Socrates said.

“The local government of Palawan, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been reliable partners in ensuring that our activities and projects are well-coordinated and executed to their full potential, and that members of the U.S. Embassy CAT are properly welcomed and taken care of throughout our stay in the province,” said U.S. Army Capt. Arthur Kim.

“We continue to be impressed by the professionalism, dedication, and hospitality of our Filipino partners and value any opportunity to work with them here in Palawan,” he added.

The U.S. Embassy CAT has a longstanding collaboration with the Palawan local government, military, and coast guard on several initiatives including educational outreach activities, first responder training, medical and dental programs, and support in the local Covid-19 response.

“We must continue to be adaptive and diligent in ensuring that the Philippines and U.S. partnership remains steadfast and unwavering in the face of global political, economic, and health-related challenges,” Kim said.

The Pacific Partnership 2022 team, composed of representatives from Australia, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, will work together with host and partner nations on a range of activities and projects, specifically related to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and medical exchanges.

“Pacific Partnership is an amazing program that not only brings assistance and services, but more importantly, strengthens the bond between partner nations,” said Puerto Princesa Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates.

The Pacific Partnership 2022 activities are coordinated with the host nation and are conducted based on the Philippines’ requirements and requests. Engagements in Puerto Princesa are scheduled to include seven major health fairs, two barangay city hall renovation efforts, various band concerts, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises and presentations, and other medical efforts including over 200 surgeries planned.

“The impact of disaster emergencies transcends borders and requires comprehensive coordination among nations for an effective response. I am confident that the planning and hard work we’ve invested thus far with our partners will show a long-lasting impact here in the Philippines,” Kim said.

The Pacific Partnership 2022 will conduct missions throughout Oceania and the Western Pacific. (Cebu Examiner)

PMA grad is new Zambo Peninsula police chief

From the Mindanao Examiner (Aug 20, 2022): PMA grad is new Zambo Peninsula police chief

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine National Police has appointed Brigadier General Neil Alinsañgan as the new regional police director for Zamboanga Peninsula and has replaced Brigadier General Franco Simborio.

Brig. Gen. Neil Alinsañgan and wife Audrey are warmly welcome at the Police Regional Office 9 in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

Alinsañgan, who assumed his post on August 17, is an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1991. He previously served as the chief of the Regional Intelligence Division of the Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Police Office in 2016, and also the police chief of Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte province in 2010.

Prior to his assignment here, Alinsañgan was the Intelligence Group Director of the Philippine National Police.

“Sobra-sobra po ang aking kagalakan at pasasalamat. I am very humbled to stand before all of you to serve this region. A place where it all began, my first assignment after my graduation from the Philippine Military Academy. My assignments here were my formative years in loving my duty and discovering my calling for this nation,” he said during the turn-over ceremony here.

Alinsañgan’s family is a native of Iloilo. He finished his elementary education at Leganes Elementary School and went to Central Philippine University and finished his secondary education at age 15. He then took up Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering for two years before entering the military academy at age 17.

Commies continue to yield

From the Mindanao Examiner (Aug 20, 2022): Commies continue to yield

Communist rebels continue to surrender to the 6th Infantry Division as the military and government intensify its peace and development programs aimed at luring New People’s Army members and other lawless groups in the restive southern region of Mindanao.

A photo released by the 6th Infantry Division shows the two New People's Army rebels, whose faces are blurred, during their surrender to the 5th Special Forces Battalion in South Cotabato province recently.

Just recently, two rebels had surrendered to the 5th Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Zandro Alvez in the village of Lambingi in South Cotabato’s Banga town.

Alvez said the rebels who were both 45 years old also yielded a rifle and a pistol, including a fragmentation grenade. “The surrender of the duo was the result of our soldiers’ efforts in convincing the remaining members of the communist group to return to the fold of the law,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of Joint Task Force Central and the 6th Infantry Division, lauded the troops for their hard work and dedication. “We urged the remaining communist rebels to return to the fold of the law and live a normal life together with their families,” Galido said.

He said nearly 100 rebels had so far surrendered peacefully to the 6th Infantry Division.

Kalinaw News: 9 NPA members with 16 Firearms yielded to 30IB in Surigao del Norte

From Kalinaw News (Aug 21, 2022): 9 NPA members with 16 Firearms yielded to 30IB in Surigao del Norte

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Nine (9) CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) with sixteen firearms surrendered to 30th Infantry Battalion, 901st Bde, 4ID, Philippine Army in Brgy. Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

The surrenderees are Edelberto Maisog, Grace Jubasan Bacalan, Jessie Siton Roxas, Chris Gire Libres, Nikki Bago Pinao, Alvin Palen, Janiza Galupo and another couple whose names are still being validated. Most of the firearms seized were retrieved from an arms cache as revealed by some of the surrenderees.

Meanwhile, MGen Wilbur C Mamawag, the 4ID Commander, has assessed that the neutralization of this 9 CNTs will lead to the eventual collapse of the remnants of the CTG operating in Surigao del Norte. He attributed this feat to the relentless efforts of 30IB and 901st Brigade in collaborating with the stakeholders and the communities to extend the hand of peace to our misguided brothers.

[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: 2 Miyembro ng CTG Patay, Ilang mga Armas Narekober sa Engkwentro sa Masbate

From Kalinaw News (Aug 20, 2022): 2 Miyembro ng CTG Patay, Ilang mga Armas Narekober sa Engkwentro sa Masbate (2 CTG Members Dead, Several Weapons Recovered in Masbate Encounter)

Camp Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur – Patay ang dalawang miyembro ng Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) matapos na maka-engkwentro ang tropa ng 2nd Infantry Battalion sa Barangay Piña, San Jacinto, Masbate, nitong Biyernes, Agosto 19.

Kinilala ang isa sa mga nasawi na si alyas Adan ng San Fernando, Masbate habang patuloy pang inaalam ang pagkakakilanlan ng kasamahan nito.

Ayon kay Lt. Col. Orlando Ramos Jr, Commanding Officer ng 2IB, nakatanggap ng sumbong ang kanilang tropa tungkol sa presensiya ng mga Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) sa lugar at agad itong pinuntahan.

Habang papalapit ang tropa sa lugar, bigla na lamang silang pinaputukan ng dalawang CNT na nauwi sa palitan ng putok at tumagal ng halos sampung minuto na nagresulta sa pagkamatay ng mga ito.

Samantala, ilang armas naman ang nakuha sa mga NPA na kinabibilangan ng isang M16 rifle at isang kalibre 45.

Nalulungkot man sa pagkamatay ng mga miyembro ng CTG, ngunit binigyang-diin pa rin ni BGen. Aldwine Almase, Commander ng 903rd Infantry Brigade ang mandato ng tropa ng gobyerno na protektahan ang mga mamayan lalong lalo na ang mga nasasakupan nito dito sa Bicol.

Kaugnay nito, ikinagagalak ni Major Alex Luna, Commander ng 9th Infantry (SPEAR) Division at Joint Task Force Bicolandia, ang tuloy-tuloy na pakikipagtulungan ng mga Bicolano sa pamahalaan lalong lalo na sa mga otoridad na siyang patotoo ng pagnanais ng mga ito na matuldukan na ang ilang dekadang problema sa insurhensiya. Gayundin ang positibong resulta ng koordinasyon ng PNP at Philippine Army matapos ang magkakasunod na engkwentro sa Camarines Sur at Sorsogon nito lamang buwan.

“Kami po ay nagagalak sa pagiging aktibo ng mga Bicolano sa pagpa-paabot ng mga impormasyon. Ramdam po namin ang inyong kagustuhan na matuldukan na ang tunggalian na ito, at ganoon din po kami. Kaya nga po hindi kami napapagod na makiusap at manawagan sa mga CTG members na sumuko na lamang at makiisa sa pamahalaan upang makamit na natin ang tunay na kapayapaan, ayaw na rin po namin ng ganitong mga pangyayari,” ani MGen Luna.

[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: Government forces seize war materials in Basilan

From Kalinaw News (Aug 20, 2022): Government forces seize war materials in Basilan

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 20, 2022

Combined elements of the military and police conducted a joint operation targeting a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group at Sitio Oval, Barangay Tipo-Tipo Proper, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan on Friday, August 19.

Sensing the approach of the authorities, the target identified as Tawakil Bayali, a.k.a. Jaber immediately fled and managed to escape the operating troops.

While clearing the area, the troops recovered one M79 Grenade Launcher, one 40mm WP ammunition, two rifle grenades, three fragmentary grenades, and 72 rounds of cal .30 ammunition.

Personnel from the 39th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team proceeded to the area, recovered the explosives, and brought them to the 18th Infantry Battalion headquarters for proper disposition.

“We are intensifying our intelligence operations to track down the remaining ASG members. We are also strengthening our collaboration with our partners from the PNP and other security agencies to ensure the successful conduct of law enforcement operations,” Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command said.

[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: Daulah Islamiyah members yield in WestMinCom AOR

From Kalinaw News (Aug 20, 2022): Daulah Islamiyah members yield in WestMinCom AOR

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 20, 2022

A total of three Daulah Islamiyah members yielded to the military within the joint area of operation of the Western Mindanao Command on August 18 and 19, 2022.

One remnant of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maguid Aliboy Group identified as a.k.a. Lapong, a resident of Barangay Lapu, Polomolok, South Cotabato surrendered
himself to the military troops at the 10th Special Forces Company headquarters located in Barangay Kablon, Tupi, same province on August 19. He handed over one cal. 45 Colt.

Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, Commander of Joint Task Force Central said that a custodial debriefing is still being conducted by the 5th Special Forces Battalion on the former violent extremist.

Meanwhile, two members of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) surrendered to the 49th Infantry Batallion in Lanao del Norte on August 18.

Brig. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, Commander of Joint Task Force ZamPeLan identified the surrendered personalities as a.k.a. Habdani and a.k.a. Mao, both of legal age and residents of Barangay Lindungan, Munai, Lanao del Norte. The duo handed over one cal. 30 Garand rifle and one 7.62 Sniper rifle.

The former DI-MG members were subsequently presented to Col. Charlemagne Batayola, Jr., Commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade at the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion headquarters based in Barangay Nangka, Baloi, of the same province. The presentation was witnessed by Mayor Racma Andamama of Munai town; Director Bruce Colao, CESO V, Provincial Director of the Department of Interior and Local Government; Police Col. Isias Bacurnay, Jr. of Lanao del Norte Provincial Police Office; and Lt. Col. Joseph Marlon Famoso, Commanding Officer of the 4th Mechanized Battalion.

The two are currently in the custody of 49IB for proper disposition.

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command commended the laudable accomplishments of the units. He also urged the remaining terrorists to make up their minds. “This is the best time for them to abandon their group and return to the folds of the law and enjoy life with their families.”

[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:]