Saturday, February 19, 2022

MILF: Gov’t forces separates warring clans in Maguindanao

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 15, 2022): Gov’t forces separates warring clans in Maguindanao (By Philippine News Agency)


A
ID FOR DISPLACED FAMILIES. Police and social welfare workers (left) distributed Monday (Feb. 14, 2022) food aid to families displaced when skirmishes between warring families erupted over the weekend. The right photo shows one of the several houses hit by bullets during the skirmishes. (Photos courtesy of resident Esmael Ula and Sultan Kudarat PNP)

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao - Police and soldiers have separated warring families in a remote village here after they traded shots when a “rido” (clan war) erupted Sunday.

On Monday, Lt. Col. Sabri Lakibul, Sultan Kudarat municipal police station chief, said the warring families of local “Commander Gringo” and “Commander Barang” have agreed to a cessation of hostilities.

The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ceasefire panel are negotiating with both sides for a diplomatic solution to their existing dispute.

This gave the opportunity for the municipal social welfare office and the local police to extend aid to some 100 families displaced by the armed conflict in Barangay Sinditan.

Police said the warring families have traded shots Sunday due to a long-standing land dispute.

Police are determining if followers of both groups all belonged to the MILF or any other groups.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, appealed Monday to local officials to help defuse the tension so displaced families can return home.

Police assisted Faudzia Mocsin, Sultan Kudarat municipal social welfare officer, and Kadil Blaim, municipal disaster officer, in the distribution of food aid to the displaced families who were from the villages of Limbo, Calsada, and Mulaog, all in this town. (PNA)

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

https://www.luwaran.com/news/article/2435/gov---t-forces-separates-warring-clans-in-maguindanao

MILF: UBJP Gensan holds orientation of newly-installed officers, members from 16 barangays

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 15, 2022): UBJP Gensan holds orientation of newly-installed officers, members from 16 barangays (By: Gandhi Kinjiyo)



GENERAL SANTOS CITY (Feb 15, 2022) -After the series of organizing in the different Barangays, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP)- General Santos City held a general orientation attended by more than five hundred newly-installed officers and members in 16 barangays on Saturday at the Oval Gymnasium of this town.

Mastor Seddic, the Chief Executive Officer of UBJP-Gensan delivered the rationale of the event. He expressed confidence that with the collaboration of the officers and members anchored on the spirit of unity and volunteerism, the goals of the party will be achieved.

The UBJP platform was elaborated by Quraish Langcap, Regional Staff of UBJP Southern Mindanao and UBJP Provincial Chief Executive Officer of Sultan Kudarat.

Tomy Nawa, Executive Assistant to the UBJP Vice-President for Southern Mindanao, shared some updates on the UBJP Southern Mindanao. He also related briefly the history of UBJP and how it spread in the Bangsamoro region and other provinces in Mindanao.

Apo Adam Pukeg, the adviser of UBJP Gensan, gave his message of support. He underscored the essence of unity and cooperation among the UBJP members and officers to successfully accomplish its plan of action for the city.

The role of women sector to achieve the UBJP mission was elaborated by Amira A. Kalim, Admin and Finance Head of UBJP Southern Mindanao.

Ashikin Buday, the deputy committee chairman for the youth of UBJP Gensan, gave the message of the Muslim youth in the city. He said the youth is willing to share their time and efforts for the realization of the objectives of the party for the Muslim communities.

Also present to give their messages of support were Aida Seddic, Directress of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos-Gensan, Jocelyn Lambac-Kanda, Head of City Mayor’s Office Integrated Cultural Communities Affairs Division and Datu Abdulhamid Ingkong, Raja Muda sa Sugoda Buayan.

Lambac-Kanda imparted the programs and projects of the city government for its Muslim constituents. She urged the audiences to sustain the partnership between the LGU and Muslim organizations in serving the interest of the Muslim communities.

Gensan City Mayor Ronnel Rivera together with his wife Jane Rivera also graced the event. The city mayor appreciated the strong cooperation between the Muslim leaders of the city and the local government unit in charting peace and development of Gensan.

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

https://www.luwaran.com/news/article/2434/ubjp-gensan-holds-orientation-of-newly-installed-officers--members-from-16-barangays

CPP/IB: Press Release//CPP says Dr. Castro’s arrest aims to cow the people

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 19, 2022): Press Release//CPP says Dr. Castro’s arrest aims to cow the people
 


Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

February 19, 2022

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for the “unlawful arrest and unjust detention” of Dr. Natividad Silva Castro. “The Party adds its voice to the immediate demand of human rights organizations, colleagues and friends of Dr. Castro for her immediate release and dropping of all trumped-up charges against her.”

“Dr. Castro is a victim of the continuing war of terror against the people of the Duterte regime and its NTF-Elcac,” said CPP Information Officer Marco L. Valbuena. She was forcibly taken yesterday by fascist police and military agents who raided her home in San Juan City on the basis of a warrant of arrest issued on January 30, 2020 by the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. She is being charged of kidnapping and illegal detention.

Human rights organizations report that she has not been contacted by her legal counsel or family after the arrest. Valbuena supported demands for her to be immediately afforded legal representation and medical assistance as she suffers from hypertension and diabetes. He urged all democratic forces to close ranks and undertake urgent action to demand the release of Dr. Castro and all political prisoners.

Dr. Castro was former chair of Karapatan-Caraga region and is known for having helped in the establishment of Lumad schools and extending medical services to rural areas. According to news reports, Dr. Castro was among the resource people who spoke before the United Nations to present the conditions and human rights situation of the Lumad people.

Valbuena said the arrest of Dr. Castro is part of the continuing effort to silence the people, especially in Mindanao, where military and police forces have been waging a relentless war of suppression marked by rampant abuses and human rights violations. “The people of Mindanao, portrayed as a Duterte bailiwick, suffer worsening forms of suppression and intolerable social and economic conditions.”

The CPP also said the arrest of Dr. Castro may be linked with plans to intensify attacks against patriotic and democratic forces to prevent them from effectively campaigning for the May elections and stifle their voices against efforts to steal the elections in favor of Duterte’s candidates.

Dr. Castro is being accused by the military and police for being a “top official” of the CPP. Valbuena said “military red-tagging against human rights defenders is nothing new and has been repeatedly used by state forces to justify its campaign of extrajudicial killings, illegal arrest, and non-stop harassment against progressive social activists who have been critical of Duterte’s tyrannical reign.”

As of December 2021, 712 political prisoners continue to languish in prison, 489 of which were arrested under the Duterte administration.

https://cpp.ph/statements/cpp-says-dr-castros-arrest-aims-to-cow-the-people/

CPP/NDF-Negros Island: Resist the neoliberalization of the sugar industry!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 18, 2022): Resist the neoliberalization of the sugar industry!



Bayani Obrero
Spokesperson
NDF-Negros Island
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

February 18, 2022

The last few days, the Senate exposed an agreement between the Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA), Department of Agriculture (DA) and softdrink companies & other companies that produced sugar-based products for the importation of sugar in the country. The deal aims to import 200,000 tons of sugar, due to the alibi that Supertyphoon Odette has affected the country’s sugar output. Sweet as it may seem, the reality of it for the sugar industry, especially in Negros Island, is actually bitter.

The milling season for sugar is still ongoing. Sugar and other sugar-based material outputs through the country’s 27 functioning sugar mills are still continuing. If the deal pushes through, it will adversely affect the prices of local sugar to adjust with the sudden bulk of supply. Once prices of sugar drop locally, most assuredly it will also result to the dwindling of income of sugar mills and other related businesses that will primarily hit sugarcane planters, mill and farm workers, and their families.

Negros Island, dubbed as the ‘sugar capital’ of the Philippines, heavily relies on the sugar industry. The sugarcane monocrop economy supports the 4.64 million population of the region, where most families, including children are involved in jobs as either full-time or seasonal farm workers salaried with measly wages ranging from P150 – P350, tied in the centuries-old hacienda system. The yearly tiempo muerto (off milling season for around 3 months), where income is scarce, has exponentially worsened for the past years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the wrath of Supertyphoon Odette, and intense militarization in Negros.

The US-Duterte regime is subservient to the interest of imperialism and local big bureaucrats and landlords. The import deal is a result of such subservience through the country’s policy of neoliberalization. Sugar liberalization allows the entry of sugar from other countries, which cripples local sugar value and in turn diminishes income as well. Rather than buying into the alibi of the deal is that the sugar industry is affected by Supertyphoon Odette, the reactionary government should aid local planters and farm workers first to help their outputs.

Peasants and workers primarily affected by these kinds of policies should strengthen their unity to collectively resist the neoliberal scheme of sugar importation. As the pillar of the united front against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, it is the stronghold of the Filipino people to oppose the imperialist offensive against the country. While NDF-Negros appreciates the initial of various sectors to reject and prevent the importation from proceeding, it also calls on these sectors including sugarcane planters, business owners and politicians to anchor their efforts with the downtrodden majority of farmers and workers.

Off season or not, the importation of sugar will be unfavorable to the Filipino people especially under the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. Instead of neoliberalization, genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization – primary demands of the NDF if the peace talks have not been encumbered by the bellicose Duterte – should be pushed through, to sustain a people’s economy that is self-sufficient and beneficial to all. ###

https://cpp.ph/statements/resist-the-neoliberalization-of-the-sugar-industry/

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: LPC-NPA reiterates warning for the 2022 election campaign period in Central Negros

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 18, 2022):
LPC-NPA reiterates warning for the 2022 election campaign period in Central Negros
 

This article is available in Hiligaynon

JB Regalado
Spokesperson
NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command)
Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command)
New People's Army

February 18, 2022

There are two existing governments in the country- one is headed by the madman Duterte and the other by the Communist Party of the Philippines, its New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front. The former is corrupt and moribund, while the latter is continuing to gain strength as the revolutionary fervor of the oppressed masses remain steadfast. It is no secret that the reactionary status quo deceives the people through choosing which individual from the ruling class gets to reign over them for the next 6 years, a fact that is still evident even in the 2022 national elections season. Meanwhile red political power is steadily gaining ground in the countryside despite relentless attacks of the AFP, PNP, and NTF-ELCAC.

As a co-belligerent in the country’s civil war over 5 decades long, the People’s Democratic Government has the authority to subject reactionary politicians campaigning in its areas to its policies. Vote buying, political violence, intimidation, bringing along armed goons and reactionary troops, and other related crimes are strictly disallowed in NPA areas. If they are caught committing aforesaid violations, they will be sanctioned accordingly, and monies will be seized to augment programs of the PDG. Thus, politicians are recommended to use their funds to aid collective projects, genuine people’s cooperatives, livelihoods, and other social services instead of partaking in the usual practice of dirty campaigning.

Negros’ sugarcane monocrop economy may sound sweet, yet it is actually bitter to the lives of millions of Negrenses who are mostly farmers and farm workers affected by the country’s neoliberal policies, corruption-laden schemes amid a pandemic and natural disasters, and the violence through focused military operations and hamletting of barangays through misnomered community support programs.

With reactionary elections drawing near and the region still suffering from the vicious attacks of the US-Duterte regime, the NPA as soldiers of the oppressed are poised to defend the rights and welfare of Negrosanons and the entire Filipino people through advancing the Protracted People’s War. Those oblivious to the plight of the masses and consciously hampering their well-being will be targeted by revolutionary justice, including politicians.

The NPA’s continuing military actions in various scales from the punishment of military assets and criminals, sniping and harassment operations and ambuscades in the guerilla fronts of Central Negros, even right under the noses of their patrol bases, is proof that the armed revolution with a just cause is far from being decimated, contrary to the incessant and often illogical claims of the AFP. Like broken records, they repeat their slogans of the NPA having a ‘minimal force’ and the masses ‘withdrawing their support’, yet cry as victims when hit by the NPA.

The 3rd ID and the entire AFP are in no position to holler that the NPA are cowards because of ‘not facing them in open combat’. Generals Pasaporte and Arevalo can educate themselves online with the plethora of articles, documents and videos they like to take down through their trolls, that the NPA is a guerilla army, and will be at a disadvantage against the advanced equipment and numbers of the AFP in conventional warfare. It should be important to note that after successful offensives of the NPA they label the revolutionaries as cowards when it is the AFP who have committed genuinely cowardly acts through indiscriminate bombing and overkill through air strikes like what transpired in various regions in Visayas and Mindanao, and the cold-blooded murder of hors de combats Ka Oris, Ka Bok, Ka Kelly, Ka Ella, Ka Anita, and several more.

Over and over again the AFP and NTF-ELCAC’s slander are disproved by the NPA’s masterful application of extensive and intensive guerilla warfare through an ever-widening and ever-deepening mass base. Elections or not, the ruling class and their mercenary AFP-PNP will tremble before the unity of the Filipino people and their NPA desirous of revolutionary change and lasting peace. ###

https://cpp.ph/statements/lpc-npa-reiterates-warning-for-the-2022-election-campaign-period-in-central-negros/

CPP/NPA-Kalinga: AFP-PNP, numero unong sinungaling!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 18, 2022): AFP-PNP, numero unong sinungaling! (AFP-PNP, number one liar!)



NPA-Kalinga
Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Operational Command (Chadli Molintas Command)
New People's Army

February 18, 2022

Mariing pinapabulaanan ng Lejo Cawilan Command-NPA Kalinga ang lumabas na pahayag ng AFP-PNP sa Guru Press, isang lokal na pahayagan sa Kalinga, at iba pang media outfit, hinggil sa di umano pagkatuklas nila sa isang kampo ng NPA sa Sitio Patiging, Brgy. Naneng, Tabuk City noong Pebrero 9, 2022.

Ang nasabing balita ay pawang kathang-isip ng AFP-PNP sa istoryang pinamagatang Oplan Eaglespear upang magpasikat at makakopo ng promosyon at pabuya. Dinaig pa ng AFP-PNP ang script writer ng isang pelikula sa pagka-detalyado ng gawa-gawang kwentong ito. Ilang ulit ng isinangkot ng AFP-PNP ang NPA sa kanilang mga kasinungalingan, mula sa mga pekeng surrenderee, pekeng labanan at pekeng mga kampo at imbak na kanilang nahanap, liban pa sa napakaruming mga intriga at propagandang kanilang pinakakalat, pati mga misenkawnter sa hanay nila ay sa NPA nila sinisisi. Hindi na nadala ang AFP-PNP mula sa makailang ulit na pagkapahiya dahil sa pagkabunyag ng mga fake news na inilalathala nila sa internet. Imbes na magamit sa pagharap sa pandemya, nag-aaksaya ng kaban ng bayan ang AFP-PNP sa paggawa ng kalokohan at pagpapakalat ng disimpormasyon sa internet sa panahong naghahanap ang taong-bayan ng tunay at napapanahong impormasyon. Nakahanda silang lokohin maging mismo ang mga sarili nila para lang palabasin na may nakamit sila kahit na aktwal ay ampaw ang mga ito.

Dapat maging maingat ang mga mamamayan sa pagkalap ng mga impormasyon. Lalo na kung ito ay mula sa AFP-PNP ay dapat maging mapanuri at wag basta-basta maniwala dahil napakahaba na ng listahan ng mga ito sa pagiging sinungaling. At para sa mga pahayagan, media outfit at mga mamamahayag, dapat maging responsable sa paglalabas ng mga balita at impormasyon lalo na at nakaasa sa inyo ang bayan upang maghatid ng tunay, walang pinapanigan at napapanahong impormasyon. Malaki ang papel niyo upang mabigyang kaalaman ang masa kaya naman marapat lang na walang bahid ng sariling interes at makatotohanan ang inyong pagbabalita.####

https://cpp.ph/statements/afp-pnp-numbero-unong-sinungaling/

Kalinaw News: Former Rebel’s tip-off leads to the recovery of war materiel in Nueva Ecija

Posted to Kalinaw News (Feb 19, 2022): Former Rebel’s tip-off leads to the recovery of war materiel in Nueva Ecija



FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija — The Commander of the 7th Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division, Philippine Army, Major General Andrew D. Costelo PA, lauded the support of a Former Rebel as he tipped-off the location of war materiel believed to be owned by the dismantled Komiteng Larangang Guerrilla – Sierra Madre (KLG-SM) of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in Brgy. Labi, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on February 18, 2022.

According to MGen Costelo, alias “War” who was a former member of KLG-SM revealed the location of the war materiel to thwart the terroristic activities of the CTG, especially in the upcoming elections.

Among the items recovered was one converted magnum cal. 22; one improvised explosive device (cylindrical); one cal.22 magazines; 14 pieces of magnum cal.22 ammunition; two non-electric blasting cap; one galvanometer; one generator set; one roll antenna wire; one alligator clip; two switches; one part battery cap 9 volt; 13 resistors; two empty containers; and one NPA flag.

“We highly recognized the cooperation of alias ‘War’ as these war materiel could be used for possible attacks against the community or the security sector. We value their commitment to support us in our peace and security efforts,” said MGen Costelo.

The successful conduct of internal security operations was led by the joint elements of 1st PMFC-NEPPO led by PLt Col Robert D. Agustin, (lead unit) together with the troops from 91st Infantry (SINAGTALA) Battalion, Philippine Army led by its Commanding Officer, LTC Reandrew P. Rubio, and the personnel from EOD K9 Nueva Ecija PECU, Special Action Force.

LTC Rubio in his message said that the authorities are very grateful for the cooperation of Former Rebels who entrust them vital information that leads to the recovery of war materiel.

“We will be relentless in our Focused Military Operations in our Area of Operations, especially that FRs and the community are very supportive in our campaign to end the communist insurgency,” said LTC Rubio.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the 703rd Infantry (AGILA) Brigade, Colonel Joseph Norwin D. Pasamonte, said that it is very important for the Army and PNP to immediately act on the information given by Former Rebels as part of its conduct of Focused Military Operations in its Area of Operations.

“The cooperation and confidence of our FRs are of significance in our thrust to finally end the communist insurgency. That is why we encourage them as well as the community to support the security sector so we will be able to locate and fix the enemy,” said Colonel Pasamonte.



[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: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/former-rebels-tip-off-leads-to-the-recovery-of-war-materiel-in-nueva-ecija/

Kalinaw News: CGPA feted in 2022 PMA Alumni Homecoming

Posted to Kalinaw News (Feb 18, 2022): CGPA feted in 2022 PMA Alumni Homecoming



FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila – Commanding General, Philippine Army (CGPA) Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., receives arrival honors in his visit to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for the academy’s annual alumni homecoming at Fort Gregorio H. del Pilar in Baguio City on February 18, 2022.

The CGPA also joined the inaugural ceremony of PMA’s Air Power Park that showcases fighter jets, attack helicopters, airlift, transport and trainer aircraft that had been used by the Air Force and Navy over the years.

Another homecoming highlight is the recognition of Cavaliers who have made outstanding contributions to nation-building.

Lt. Gen. Brawner, who hails from Baguio City, is a member of PMA “Makatao” Class of 1989. The academy is holding its five-day alumni homecoming that will culminate on February 19, 2022.



[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: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/cgpa-feted-in-2022-pma-alumni-homecoming/

Kalinaw News: NPA’s murdered father and son in Vallehermoso town

Posted to Kalinaw News (Feb 18, 2022): NPA’s murdered father and son in Vallehermoso town



CAMP GERONA, Murcia, Negros Occidental – A clear violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights were committed by the communist NPA terrorist (CNTs) who shot and brutally killed two innocent civilians (Father and a son) at Sitio Mampayao Gamay, Brgy Malangsa, Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental on February 16, 2022 at 7:00 o’clock in the evening.

The victims were identified as Lucio Perater y Bendanillo, 61 years old, married, farmer, husband of Brgy Captain Beatris Perater, and his son, Fernando Perater y Buhay, 37 years old, married and a farmer. Both victims were residents of Sitio Mampayao Gamay, Brgy Malangsa, Vallehermoso, NOR.

Accordingly, four (4) unidentified armed persons believed to be members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) entered their house and subsequently shot the victims on their chest and head which caused their instantaneous death.

After the incident, the suspects fled the area in different directions while the victims were brought to RHU Vallehermoso and were declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Brigade Commander, slams the CTGs and said, “Such killings of innocent civilians by the NPA terrorist group and the use of disproportionate force in armed conflict are direct violations of the international humanitarian law and a blatant violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).”

Brigadier General Pasaporte also added that the families of the victims were left traumatized by the barbaric acts of the terrorist group. He assured that assistance will be provided to the family of the victims and the Army will continue to ensure peace and development in the area and mentioned that the insurgency situation in the area is manageable.

The NPA has long admitted to killing government officials, soldiers, police, and pro-government militia and civilians whom they consider as against their demonic ideology.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.

[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: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/npas-murdered-father-and-son-in-vallehermoso-town/

Kalinaw News: NPA rebel killed, high-powered firearms seized in MisOr

Posted to Kalinaw News (Feb 18, 2022): NPA rebel killed, high-powered firearms seized in MisOr



CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – One communist NPA terrorist was killed, and two high-powered firearms were seized during a clash between the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) and troops under 58th Infantry Dimalulupig Battalion, February 17, 2022.

The encounter against approximately 20 NPA terrorists occurred at roughly 9:30 a.m. in the hinterlands of So Minlanag, Brgy Lawaan, Gingoog City, as the troops were conducting military operations.

The firefight lasted about 20 minutes against the armed elements of GF Huawei and SRSDG Eagles, Sub-regional Committee 1 (SRC1) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), which resulted to the fatal death of one male NPA fighters. His identity is yet to be identified as of this writing.

Following that, troops discovered two (2) M16 rifles, five (5) short and one long magazine for M16 rifle and one twenty three (123) 5.56mm ammunition, as well as subversive documents and personal items. On the government’s side, no casualties have been reported.

Lt Col Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion said, “The encounter is a result of the ongoing effort and active steps to thwart terroristic activities, as commanded by the Commander-in-Chief, that is to finally put an end to insurgency before his term ends this June 2022. Furthermore, we have continued to pursue the remnants of SRC1 and have intensified our focused military operations. However, another life was lost in the fight against the failed ideology of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs). We send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”

“We implore the surviving members of the CTG to lay down their arms, return to the folds of the law, and live a peaceful and normal life, avoiding unnecessary death. Your families are looking forward to meeting you, hoping that you will change the course of your lives and spend the rest of your lives with them, free of chaos and useless ideology.

The discovered cadaver was transported to a funeral home in Gingoog City, where he will be given a decent and proper turn-over to his family.



[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: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/npa-rebel-killed-high-powered-firearms-seized-in-misor/

REMEMBERING: To fight for the freedom of my people

Posted to MindaNews (Feb 19, 2022): REMEMBERING: To fight for the freedom of my people (By SALAH JUBAIR)



(In the run-up to the 35th anniversary of People Power that ousted the Marcos dictatorship, let us remember what Mindanawons did to fight for freedom. This piece by Salah Jubair was among the essays featured in the book ‘Turning Rage Into Courage: Mindanao under Martial Law,’ published by MindaNews in 2002, on the 30th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos)

I was back in Mindanao after graduating from one of the universities in Manila when martial law was declared on September 21, 1972.

Like most graduates, I was very young and knew little about this damned whole thing called “martial law” or how life was going to be lived in a situation of uncertainty or of constant fear, something like the Damocles’ sword hung by a single hair above the heads of the people. No clear description was forthcoming. The elder folks could only liken it to — or does it perfectly fit? — “juez de cuchillo,” roughly translated into “iron-fist rule.”

For years, while in the metropolis as a student, I witnessed many violent protests against the government. The protesters accused the government of rampant graft and corruption, human rights violations, high tuition fees, militarization and abuses of the military, the presence of the U.S. military bases and the subservience of the Marcos administration to U.S. interests and policies.

The most violent student demonstration took place on January 30, 1970, better remembered as the “Battle of Mendiola.” Thousands of angry student demonstrators tried to storm the gates of Malacanang. Six students were killed and as many were wounded. Instead of truncheons, water cannons or rubber bullets, soldiers charged with M-16 Armalite rifles loaded with live bullets like in real-life war scenario.

The case of the Moro students was different. Very few felt agitated by the burning national issues confronting the Filipino nation at large. They seldom participated in the so-called “parliament of the streets,” simply because the grievances raised by Filipino students against the government had little bearing on their lives, except on the issue of military abuses.

But when news of the widespread killings in Corregidor and Mindanao started to fill the front pages of metropolitan dailies and the suspects were Constabulary, police or vigilantes, the Moro students began to see the gravity of the situation. They were not only restive but more importantly, they organized separate protest rallies, some violent, against the government. They accused government of plotting to exterminate the Moros in Mindanao.”

“Their grievances were not without basis. First, dozens of Muslim trainees were massacred in the historic island of Corregidor in March 1968 for refusing to obey orders to start a rebellion in the Malaysian state of Sabah and for demanding the release of their allowances already withheld for months. This was followed by a series of mass killing of innocent Moro civilians in Mindanao such as the Manili Massacre on June 19, 1971 where 70 Muslims, including women, children and old men and women were mowed down inside a mosque in Manili, Carmen, North Cotabato by joint PC-Ilaga gangsters, and on November 22, 1971, another 63 were mercilessly shot down in cold blood in Tacub, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.

Even during my high school days, it had been my preoccupation to find ways that could guarantee the survival of the Moro as a people. But how and when were still hazy in my mind.

When martial law was declared, my response was almost instant: to go underground and join the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“This decision was not very difficult for me to make. Many leaders of the MNLF then were my close associates during my college days in Manila. I can name some of them: Otto Salahuddin of Basilan, Abdurasad Asani of Sulu, Akmad Enampadan, Datu Ali Sansaluna and Abdulmanan Abas, all of Cotabato, and Abulkhayr Alonto of Lanao. The first five are all gone; they gave up their lives in the service of our struggle. Alonto, on the other hand, surrendered to the government and is now living in luxury.

At the time, Nur Misuari was an instructor at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. We used to visit him at the UP campus where he stayed in one of the cottages there. We discussed wide-ranging subjects, including the ever-worsening situation of the Muslims in Mindanao, for which we found no ready solution, except to try something radical that had never been done before by any of the contemporary Moro leaders who were offering nothing but lip service to the sad plight of their people.

Was the declaration of martial law a curse or blessing?

For me it was a blessing couched in an unusual fashion. Not that I was not clear on which path to take now that I was back home in Mindanao. The die was cast. I was determined and resolute in my decision to go underground, a life full of hardships, sacrifices, perhaps even death, to fight for the freedom of my people.

This decision was mine alone as I was sure then that nobody in the family, least of all my elder brother who supported me through college, would approve of it. But the timing had not been fixed yet.

When Marcos declared martial law, he insisted there was in fact a threat of insurrection. The New People’s Army (NPA) and the Muslims were engaged in intermittent warfare with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and were seen as threat. So, too, were labor groups and students, the youth and other mass organizations. All were seen as heavily controlled by or front organizations of the communists.

Corruption had by then invaded every organ of the government and they had to be weeded out. The media were the tools of the oligarchs who were suspected of collaborating with anti-government forces to topple the government.

Thus, an atmosphere of xenophobia pervaded. The repression that followed the rash of presidential directives, decrees, proclamations, was unprecedented. It was reminiscent of colonial days rather than liberation.

True to its billing as “machinery of terror,” Martial Law led to the arrest of hundreds of Moro leaders who, like their counterparts in the other parts of the country, were suspected of subversion. They were picked up and detained by the military.

The unlucky ones just disappeared and were never heard from again.

Marcos disregarded the Constitution, violating the Bill of Rights (Article III). Such basic human rights to assemble peacefully, to free exercise of speech, or of the press, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, were seriously infringed. So, too, were the right to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, and many more.

At this juncture, another question has to be asked: “Why were there indiscriminate arrests of Muslims when in fact there was no actual Moro rebellion in Mindanao before the declaration of martial law?”

If there had been intermittent fighting in Cotabato, Lanao and Zamboanga, they were no more than a pocket resistance of the Muslims against the onslaught of the Constabulary-Ilaga tandem. The Muslims were only defending themselves in order to survive as a people.

It was only in late 1972 when the MNLF started to claim the fighting officially in its name – during the siege of Jolo, Sulu on the 14th of November.

When he issued Proclamation 1081 on September 21, 1972, President Marcos cited the Moro rebellion in Mindanao as one of the two most important reasons why he put the entire country under the grip of martial law. The other reason was the New People’s Army (NPA).

In brief, the alleged threat to Philippine national security posed by the Moro rebellion had been utilized merely as a “scapegoat” or “whipping boy” for the selfish interests of the Marcoses. Actually, even the “genocide war” in Mindanao perpetrated by the so-called Ilaga gangsters, were state-managed and could easily be traced to the highest echelons of government.

Marcos insisted that the declaration of martial law did not represent a military takeover of civil government functions. He asserted that the military would only fulfill the bidding of the civil authority, a claim contrary to reality. Repressive measures including assassination of political enemies were resorted to until Marcos’ ouster in 1986.

Marcos is gone but martial law is not gone forever. Thirty years after its declaration, and now under the Arroyo dispensation, anyone can be arrested without a warrant of arrest. Look at what is happening in Basilan, Zamboanga, Sulu and in General Santos City or elsewhere. Even the right to disagree, an essence of true democracy, is now restricted. Anyone who disagrees with or criticizes the government or its policies, especially on foreign affairs, as in the case of Vice President Teofisto Guingona, runs the risk of being tagged as “left-leaning whose sympathizers are the communists.”

The Arroyo administration doesn’t have to create a manipulative legal masterpiece to declare martial law; it just does what it pleases, even ignoring the Constitution. Look at how this government and its American counterpart conducted the RP-US joint military exercises dubbed “Balikatan 02-1” and what the Constitution says. The Arroyo administration is conniving just to circumvent the Philippine Constitution that explicitly prohibits permanent stationing of foreign troops or bases in the Philippines.

It isn’t true that one of the reasons why Marcos declared martial law was the growing opposition to the domination of foreign countries especially the United States. It takes no martial law to let them stay here forever in exchange for a few million dollars and at the expense of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The Arroyo administration didn’t need to lift habeas corpus to deal with suspected criminals. She just lets her police and Army, in the case of Muslims, use every pretext — “terrorist,” “kidnapper,” or a member of the “Al-Qaeda” of Osama bin Laden — to arrest anybody, even the innocent ones.

The Arroyo administration didn’t have to sequester TV stations and newspapers to make them toe the line or speak favorably as what Marcos did back in 1972. A little knock on the door of publishers, journalists, or newscasters by those “bad boys in the backyard” — and/or little grease money — will make many if not most of those in print, broadcast and television sing hosanna to the “gods” in Malacanang.

The government says martial law will never happen again.

Yes, that is true.

Because there is no need for it anyway.

(Salah Jubair wrote this piece in 2002 for the book, “Turning Rage Into Courage: Mindanao Under Martial Law.” He did not only join the Moro National Liberation Front and later the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, he also wrote a history book from the perspective of the Moro -“Bangsamoro: A nation under endless tyranny.” Jubair, wrote another book, “The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GRP-MILF Peace Process.” It was during the book’s launching on November 28, 2007, when it was revealed that Jubair is the nom de guerre of Mohagher Iqbal who chaired the MILF peace panel from 2003 until the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in March 2014. Iqbal then became chair of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel and is now Minister of Education at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).
 
https://www.mindanews.com/mindaviews/2022/02/remembering-to-fight-for-the-freedom-of-my-people/

Drug suspect is alleged Abu rebel – SPD

 From the Philippine Star (Feb 20, 2020): Drug suspect is alleged Abu rebel – SPD (Emmanuel Tupas)



Dumayag, also known as Abu Cola, was arrested in a sting in Taguig on Jan. 28 that yielded 12 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu valued at P81,600.  STAR / File

A man who was arrested for illegal drugs in Taguig City in January turned out to be a member of the Abu Sayyaf wanted for the kidnapping of Jehovah’s Witnesses members back in August 2002 in Sulu, an official said on Friday.

Brig. Gen. Jimili Macaraeg, Southern Police District (SPD) director, announced
that Fahad Dumayag, 31, is among the people implicated in the kidnapping in Sulu.

It means Dumayag was only 11 years old when he took part in the kidnapping.

The suspect also took part in the siege of Lamitan City in Basilan in 2001
, Macaraeg said in a statement
.

Dumayag, also known as Abu Cola, was arrested in a sting in Taguig on Jan. 28 that yielded 12 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu valued at P81,600.

Macaraeg said that through a confidential informant, investigators established that Dumayag is a member of the Abu Sayyaf faction under Isnilon Hapilon.

“A victim-witness physically identified Abu Cola as one of her kidnappers and a member of the Abu Sayyaf,” he said.

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2022/02/20/2161985/drug-suspect-alleged-abu-rebel-spd

Community doctor for the Lumad arrested

From the Davao Today (Feb 19, 2022): Community doctor for the Lumad arrested



Mugshot of Dr. Natividad ‘Naty’ Castro after she was arrested by the police. (Photo from Jun Castro)

A community doctor who joined a United Nations delegation in 2016 to defend indigenous peoples in Caraga Region was arrested following a police raid at her house in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Doctor Maria Natividad Castro, was forcibly taken by police and military intelligence operatives in her home on Friday, February 18 in the morning,
the human rights group Karapatan said.

She was charged with kidnapping and illegal detention based on a warrant of arrest issued on January 30, 2020 by acting presiding judge Fernando Fudalan of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. Police
claimed Castro is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.


Where is Doc Naty?

Castro’s whereabouts remain unknown as of Saturday morning. Her sister Menchie said Doctor Naty was brought to the airport to bring her to Butuan to face the charges, but members of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) said they did not find her at the Butuan airport.

Her sister Menchi deplored how the arrest was made. In a news story, she said plain-clothes officers climbed their wall, knocked down the door and presented a photocopied warrant that contained 300 names but her sister’s name was not in that list.

She said Dr. Castro was brought to Quirino Memorial Medical Center but doctors did not check on her and then to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Group Building in Camp Crame.

The human rights group Karapatan denounces the arrest of Dr. Castro as another form of attacks against human rights defenders and calls on the authorities to respect the rights of Castro.

“We call on the PNP to respect the rights of Dr. Naty with regards to access to her family, lawyers, doctors and paralegals, against interrogation without the presence of her counsel of choice, and access to her medicines,” Karapatan said in a statement.

The 53-year old Castro is taking medications for her diabetes and hypertension.

Top of her class

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the charges are false accusations as Castro is a community physician and a human rights advocate, not a criminal as the military allegedly perceives her to be.

“This despicable policy and practice of the Duterte regime of filing trumped up charges against rights defenders in an attempt to silence them should stop,” Palabay said.

Palabay said Dr. Castro joined her last 2016 as part of the delegation of human rights defenders to the United Nations Human Rights Council session, where she discussed the plight of Lumad communities and schools in Caraga region and Mindanao being attacked by the military.



Dr. Naty Castro (right), joined Lumad student Michelle Campos, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in a talk with former UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Michel Forst in 2016. (Photo from Karapatan)

Castro’s graduating batch, the University of the Philippines Medical class of 1995, issued a statement defending her.

“Naty is not an ordinary doctor, she is a servant leader actually involved in health and human rights and working towards providing health care for all by serving in rural and geographically isolated areas,” their statement read.

Castro graduated cum laude in BS Zoology from UP Diliman in 1990, and in 1995 she graduated with a degree in Medicine at the UP College of Medicine. In 2006, her alma mater St. Scholastica’s College-Manila honored her with the Centennial Award as one of the 100 Outstanding Graduates in the last century. She was the Scholastican High School Valedictorian of Class 1986.

After her graduation, she chose to work in the rural areas in Caraga. She formed community-based health programs, trained community health workers, treated patients and joined medical missions and disaster and relief operations all over Mindanao.

“Maagang namulat si Naty. Marami sa amin, naghahabol. Si Naty, nangunguna (She became aware early on. Most of us have to catch up. Nay was way ahead of us),” her graduating batch said.

Attacks on health workers

Karapatan said doctors and health workers involved in health services in deprived areas and human rights work have been red-tagged. This include Dr. Jean Lindo, a Davao-based doctor and second nominee of Gabriela Women Party-list.

The worse part is the murder of health worker and human rights advocate Zara Alvarez in Bacolod City on August 17, 2020 and Dr. Rose Sancelan, the municipal doctor of Guihulngan, Negros Occidental on December 15, 2020. — with reports from Jan Gargallano

http://davaotoday.com/main/human-rights/community-doctor-for-the-lumad-arrested/

No leveling up of Binalbagan status despite NPA ambush

From Panay News (Feb 18, 2022): No leveling up of Binalbagan status despite NPA ambush (By DOMINIQUE GABRIEL G. BA√ĎAGA)

The town of Binalbagan in Negros Occidental remains under Category 2 of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) classification of election areas of concern despite Sunday’s ambush of policemen perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA).

Atty. Roberto Salazar, acting provincial Comelec supervisor, is leaving the matter to the police and military.

The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) recently identified 18 “election hotspots” in Negros Occidental.

These areas were further categorized – “red” (areas of grave concern), “orange” “(areas of immediate concern) and “yellow” (areas of concern).

Areas in the “red category” would be heavily monitored due to intense political rivalry and the potential presence of private armed groups and communist insurgents.

The PRO-6 condemned the ambush of a police patrol car of the Binalbagan municipal police station on Feb. 13.

Police Brigadier General Flynn Dongbo, regional police director, called the NPA “deceitful and coward”.

Comelec had its own of election hotspots categorization:

* Category 1 – “areas of concern” or areas that have intense political rivalry and have a history of election-related violence

* Category 2 – “areas of immediate concern” due to the presence of private armed groups or communist insurgents

* Category 3 – “areas of grave concern” due to intense political rivalry, history of election-related violence and presence of private armed groups or communist insurgents.

https://www.panaynews.net/no-leveling-up-of-binalbagan-status-despite-npa-ambush/

Negros-assigned Army general leads AFP elite unit

From the Visayan Daily Star (Feb 19, 2022): Negros-assigned Army general leads AFP elite unit (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Maj. Gen. Ariel Felicidario III

Another Army general used to be assigned in Negros Island, is now leading an elite unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He is Maj. Gen. Ariel Felicidario III.

Felicidario recently assumed as commanding general of the AFP Special Operations Command, that supervises Special Forces (Airborne) Regiment, 1st Scout Ranger Regiment and the Light Reaction Regiment, which specializes in counter-terrorism operations.

Prior to assumption of his new command, Felicidario served as head of the AFP Education, Training and Doctrine Command, 11th Infantry Division deputy commander, 101st Infantry Brigade commander, and chief of the AFP Peace and Development Office.

He also served as chief of staff of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Jamindan, Capiz, as well as commander of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in central Negros.


Negrense Col. Eliglen Villaflor, who recently assumed command of the SF Regiment (Airborne), is under the supervision of SOCOM.


https://visayandailystar.com/negros-assigned-army-general-leads-afp-elite-unit/

Caraga police says Doc Naty Castro detained in Bayugan since Friday night

From MindaNews (Feb 19, 2022): Caraga police says Doc Naty Castro detained in Bayugan since Friday night (By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN)

The Caraga regional police office announced on Saturday that Dr. Maria Natividad Castro, who was arrested in Manila on Friday morning for alleged criminal acts that human rights groups claim are trumped up charges, has been detained since Friday night at the custodial center of the Philippine National Police in Bayugan City.

Castro, who spent at least two decades in community health work in Agusan and was former secretary-general of the human rights group Karapatan Caraga, was arrested in her home in San Juan City in Metro Manila at around 9:30 a.m. Friday for her alleged involvement in the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of a paramilitary man in Sibagat town, Agusan del Sur on December 29, 2018.


The military and police claimed Castro is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines central committee and head of New People’s Army’s National Health Bureau.

Maj. Dorothy Tumulak, spokesperson of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13), said Castro was flown to Bayugan City where her case was filed at the Regional Trial Court Branch 7, on board an evening flight to Davao City from Manila and brought to Bayugan by land transportation.

 

Dr. Maria Natividad Marian Silva Castro. community doctor for more than two decades in the two Agusan in Mindanao, was arrested last Friday in her home in San Juan City for her alleged involvement in a case of kidnapping and detention of a militiaman in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. The military claims she is a member of the New People’s Army. Photo courtesy of UP College of Medicine Class 1995

The Free Legal Assistance Group earlier demanded the whereabouts of Castro after she was last seen Friday by relatives at the PNP intelligence office in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Her sister Menchie and another lawyer were not allowed access to the doctor who was reported to be detained in Camp Crame after her arrest at her home in San Juan City.

Menchie is expected to arrive in Butuan City on Saturday afternoon where she will conduct a press conference and meet with Rep. Lawrence Fortun.

Tumulak said Castro was examined at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City before she was flown to a Davao City Friday evening and brought to Bayugan from there.

The police said Castro is accused of being among those who allegedly kidnapped a member of the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA), detained the victim in an unidentified location, and threatened him on December 29, 2018, in Barangay Kolambungan in Sbagat town.

Tumulak said lawyers from the Commission on Human Rights, and her lawyer are are already attending to the doctor’s legal needs in Bayugan City.

PRO 13 Regional Director Brig. General Romeo Caramat Jr. disclosed that Castro alias Yam/Agi/Kyle/Prim, 53, is the number seven priority target in the manhunt against the New People’s Army in the region.

In November 2021, Judge Fernando Fudalan Jr. of Regional Trial Court Branch 7 in Bayugan City dismissed a kidnapping and detention case of militiamen allegedly by human rights defenders. Fudalan ordered the release of 17 human rights workers detained for more than a year in Sibagat town. Castro is not among the respondents of this case.

Tumulak said he will check how many are Castro’s co-respondents in the kidnapping and detention case.

Maj. Aldrin Salinas, chief of the Sibagat police, told MindaNews in a telephone interview that Castro is among “400 co-respondents.”

In Cagayan de Oro, lawyer Beverly Musni of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao, said Castro along with 45 other human rights workers are also facing trumped up charges of allegedly violating Republic Act 9851 or “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity” and RA 10364 or “Expanded `anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2012.”

Musni said the case was filed with the Office of City Prosecutors in Libertad, Butuan City.

Along with Castro, named as co-respondent is Renalyn Tejero, a Karapatan paralegal who was arrested in Cagayan de Oro and brought to Butuan City last March 21, 2021.

Not an ordinary doctor but a servant-leader

Castro was the class valedictorian of High School Class 1986 in St. Scholastica’s College, was among 100 honored as its outstanding graduates in the last century, along with Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, graduated Cum Laude, BS Zoology at the University of the Philippines and finished medicine at the UP College of Medicine in 1995.

After passing the medical board exam, in 1996, she pursued a vocation as a community doctor, public health practitioner and human rights activist in the two Agusan provinces.

“I worked with marginalized sectors in rural and urban communities, mainly with families of farmers, agricultural and mining workers, informal sectors in the urban poor and national minorities, helping peoples’ organizations build their capacity to respond to their immediate and long term health needs within the context of mutual cooperation and empowerment,” she wrote on September 11, 2020 in a message forwarded by her batchmates in UP Medicine.

Castro worked as program physician of the Community-Based Health Program – Butuan Inc. (CBHP-Butuan Inc.) while completing her Alternative Residency Program with the Community Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED) from 1996 to 1998. She also completed her degree in Master of Public Health from the UP Open University in 2008.

From 1996 to 1998, she worked part-time and from 1998 to 2004, full-time as human rights documentor and staff of the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (Karapatan) in Caraga. She also served as Secretary General of the Karapatan-Caraga in its inception phase until it established itself as a regional alliance in 2008.

She worked as a referral network consultant of the Department of Health in Region 10 in its European Union-sponsored Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood Project; program director of the Alternative Health Program of the Missionary Sisters of Mary in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur; and health consultant of the Religious of the Good Shepherd Lumad Ministry in San Luis, Agusan del Sur.

From 2004 to 2018, she worked full-time as Program Coordinator of the CBHP-Butuan Inc, and from 2018, started working with the St. Scholastica’s ENFIDE Institute as its pedagogy director in the field of public health. She returned home to San Juan to take care of their mother who passed away last year.

In a statement, the UP College of Medicine Class of 1995 said of their batchmate; “Naty is not an ordinary doctor. She is a servant leader actively involved in health and human rights and working towards providing health care for all by serving in rural and geographically isolated areas. “

Castro noted that in her field of work, “the money is scarce, job/personal security is poor but the rewards are immeasurable when I see the babies that I have delivered thrive and become leaders themselves, dedicating their lives to continuing the development work that I helped start in their communities.  (Chris V. Panganiban with a report from Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2022/02/caraga-police-says-doc-naty-castro-detained-in-bayugan-since-friday-night/

Army assures support to 4 NPA surrenderers in NegOcc

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 18, 2022): Army assures support to 4 NPA surrenderers in NegOcc (By Nanette Guadalquiver)



The Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) based in Murcia, Negros Occidental has assured full assistance to the four latest surrenderers from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in southern Negros.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303IBde, lauded the decision of the three former NPA members and a mass supporter, who turned themselves in to government troops on February 13.


“Your Army in Negros, together with the local government unit, is sincere in helping our brothers and sisters, who were victims of the lies and deceptions of communist-terrorists, start a better life once they return to the fold of the law,” Pasaporte said in a statement on Friday.

A report of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) said those who surrendered were a former NPA squad leader and three of his family members.

They were identified as Dionaldo “Godo” Castillo, his wife, Michelle “Lani” Castillo, residents of Sitio Aglahog, Himamaylan City, as well as his brother, Reymart “Ryan” Castillo, and their mother, Merlyn Castillo, of Sitio Balicaocao, Barangay Orong, Kabankalan City.

Both “Lani” and “Ryan” were members of the NPA while Merlyn is a mass supporter.

“Godo” was part of the NPA’s Central Negros Front 2 for eight years
before he surrendered together with his kin at the 94IB patrol base in Barangay Camingawan, Kabankalan City.

Under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), each qualified rebel surrenderer receives immediate financial assistance of PHP15,000; livelihood assistance of PHP50,000: and reintegration assistance of PHP21,000, while each surrendered firearm also has a corresponding remuneration.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (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 inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168065

AFP chief lauds military troops for dismantling NPA's SRC 5

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 18, 2022): AFP chief lauds military troops for dismantling NPA's SRC 5 (By Che Palicte)



TALK TO THE TROOPS. Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino lauds the 1003rd Infantry “Raptor” Brigade for dismantling the Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) during his visit to Davao City on Feb. 16, 2022. He also congratulated the units under the Eastern Mindanao Command for the neutralization of NPA leaders - Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oris and Menardo Villanueva alias Bok, among others. (Photo courtesy of 10th Infantry Division)

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino visited and congratulated members of the 1003rd Infantry “Raptor” Brigade for dismantling a sub-regional committee of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) said Friday.

Last month, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) confirmed that they have
dismantled the Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SRC 5, SMRC), after 12 of its top-ranking leaders surrendered on January 13.

In a statement, the 10ID said Centino visited the 1003rd Brigade on February 16 and congratulated the units under the Eastmincom for their campaign of dismantling SRC 5 and the neutralization of NPA leaders Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oris and Menardo Villanueva alias Bok, among others.


"I make it a point to reach out, to see for myself the situation of our troops. As a commander and Chief of Staff, I take it upon myself to personally rally our troops and lead from the front," Centino said.

He also encouraged the troops not to let their guard down to produce a decisive result in defeating the communist group as only five months left before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down in June.

Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, the Eastmincom commander, said the surrenderers suffered defeat during an encounter in the hinterlands of Sitio Minalong, Barangay Kahusayan, Kitaotao, Bukidnon.

The surrenderers included Ida Marie Montero alias Mandy, Secretary and member of Komiteng Tagapagpaganap/Komiteng Kalihiman and Finance Officer; Renato Lubguban alias Jose, Deputy Secretary and Commanding Officer of Sub-Regional Operational Command; Lito Taluwa alias Lito, Acting Commanding Officer; Enrico Caramat alias Marco, Political Instructor; Rudy Saballa alias Egor, Military Adviser and former commanding officer of the dismantled Guerrilla Front 56.

Others who yielded were Lauret Tumbasay alias Wena, medic; Claudia Balite alias Claudia, Giyang Pulitika; Analisa Panduma alias Analiza, Supply Officer; Gerome Chucas alias Rob, Team Leader; and Milisyang Bayan members namely Dioneng Mansugal alias Bansilan; Catalino Mansugal alias Wolok; and Simo Mansugal alias Batugal.


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

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.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168058

Army to return NPA fighter's remains to family

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 19, 2022): Army to return NPA fighter's remains to family (By Nef Luczon)



SEIZED. The Army's 58th Infantry Battalion confiscates M16 rifles with magazines and ammunition, following an encounter with the New People's Army (NPA) Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 in Misamis Oriental. The 20-minute clash resulted in an NPA combatant dead in Sitio Minlanag, Barangay Lawaan, Gingoog City. (Photo courtesy of 58IB)

The Army's 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) on Friday assured the family of a New People's Army (NPA) rebel slain in a firefight in Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental that his remains will be returned to them.

In a statement, the military said the dead fighter was discovered after a 20-minute clash between government troops and the NPA's GF Huawei and SRSDG Eagles, Sub-regional Committee 1 (SRC1) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) in Sitio Minlanag, Barangay Lawaan here on February 17.

The 58IB brought the cadaver to a funeral home in Gingoog City, where he will be given a decent and proper turnover to his family.


Lt. Col. Ricky L. Canatoy, commanding officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion, said the encounter was a result of ongoing efforts to thwart NPA activities, as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's commitment to end the communist armed insurgency before his term ends this June 2022.

"We have continued to pursue the remnants of SRC1 and have intensified our focused military operations," he said while extending condolences to the bereaved family of the unknown NPA fighter.

Government troops also discovered firearms, subversive documents, and personal items.

On the 58IB's side, no casualty was reported.

"Your families are looking forward to meeting you, hoping that you will change the course of your lives and spend the rest of your lives with them, free of chaos and useless ideology," Canatoy said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168106

PMA alumni to honor Lacson with 'Lifetime Achievement Award'

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 18, 2022): PMA alumni to honor Lacson with 'Lifetime Achievement Award' (By Priam Nepomuceno)



Partido Reporma standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (File photo)

Partido Reporma standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson will be conferred a "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI) in recognition of his over 50 years of outstanding contributions in government and public service.

In a statement Friday, Lacson cited the Dec. 15, 2021 letter signed by PMAAAI chairperson and chief executive officer Amado T. Espina, Jr. which described him as a person who established a “reputation beyond reproach and worthy of emulation” that brought honor not only to himself and his family but also the entire PMA and its alumni organization.


Lacson will travel to Benguet on Friday, ahead of the annual alumni homecoming and parade of the PMA at the Borromeo Field, Fort del Pilar, Baguio City on Saturday.

The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief has been unanimously voted by members of the Board of Directors of the PMAAAI to receive the award for his “exemplary and unblemished service to the country” characterized by his “faithful adherence to the virtues of Courage, Loyalty, and Integrity.”

In an interview with Bombo Radyo Thursday, Lacson said he is going to accept the award along with his other fellow cavaliers, who will also be recognized for their achievements and contributions during the event.

Other recipients of the award are former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Anselmo Avenido, former PMA superintendent Melchor Rosales and former PNP chief Edgar Aglipay.

Lacson first mentioned about receiving a "Lifetime Achievement Award" in a presidential interview aired last month over the ABS-CBN News Channel, where he avoided a question that would cast his political rivals in a bad light and decided to just speak about his track record.

“Ako, 50 years, tatanggap nga ako ng Lifetime Achievement Award sa PMA sa February. Ang tingin ko, parang tama na ‘yung na-i-contribute ko sa ating society. Pero look, sayang naman siguro ‘yung experience ko [at] ‘yung track record ko (I have been in government for 50 years. In fact, I’m about to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the PMA this February. I thought I have contributed enough to our society. But, look, maybe I can still do more with my experience and track record)," he added.

Lacson and his running mate, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III are banking on their combined 83 years of experience in public service, 42 of which were spent in the Senate, and the rest on various roles under the executive branch.

They have agreed to campaign based on their own merits and not on the deficiencies of their rivals.

In 2020, Lacson already accepted a Cavalier Award for Public Administration from the PMAAAI for spearheading the fight against corruption in the Senate by enacting laws that focused on promoting transparency and public accountability in government.

Lacson added that he is going to maximize his two-day visit to Baguio City by holding dialogues with multisectoral groups to introduce himself and his platforms of anti-corruption and good governance to its residents.

He also plans to take a side trip to nearby provinces of Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija before going back to Manila to begin the Southern Luzon leg of his ongoing national campaign with Sotto and their senatorial candidates next week.

The principle of "leadership by example" has become a rallying cry for the Lacson-Sotto tandem and members of their campaign teams on top of adopting the taglines ‘Aayusin ang Gobyerno at Uubusin ang Magnanakaw’ (‘Fix the Government’ and ‘Get Rid of the Thieves’).

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168056

3 PAF personnel killed, 1 hurt in QC road crash

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 18, 2022): 3 PAF personnel killed, 1 hurt in QC road crash (By Priam Nepomuceno)



The Philippine Air Force (PAF) confirmed that three of its enlisted personnel were killed while another one was injured when their vehicle smashed into a concrete barrier at the southbound lane of the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) in Quezon City early Friday.

"The accident involved four PAF personnel, wherein three were confirmed dead. The only survivor was brought to a hospital for immediate medical treatment," PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano said in a statement.

Killed were Airman 1st Class (A1C) Aaron Cabarle, A1C Angelo Sabado, and A1C Kyle Justine Velasco, all assigned at the PAF's main headquarters in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. The injured survivor was identified as Airman Second Class (A2C) Manuel Ognes.

Mariano said the accident is now under investigation and no details yet as to the circumstances which led to this event.

Initial reports from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Cubao Police Station said the accident took place around 1:59 a.m. along Edsa corner North Road, Barangay Bagong Lipunan Crame.

Ognes was driving a Honda City (NDR 7213) when the accident occurred. They were heading towards Ortigas Avenue when they accidentally hit the concrete and plastic barriers.

Witnesses were able to pull out the driver from the car before it burst into flames.

"The other passengers (deceased) remained inside the vehicle," Cubao Police Station commander Col. Elizabeth Jasmin said in the report.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168061

No bail for doctor-CPP official involved in kidnapping

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 19, 2022): No bail for doctor-CPP official involved in kidnapping (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan and Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)



Dr. Maria Natividad Castro (Courtesy of PNP)

Authorities will accompany to Butuan City the doctor arrested in San Juan City on Friday for kidnapping and serious illegal detention and identified as a Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) official.

However, no details have been released yet on the transfer of Maria Natividad Castro, 53, who was nabbed in Barangay San Perfecto based on a warrant of arrest issued on Jan. 30, 2020 by Fernando Fudalan of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

No bail was recommended for Castro (alias Yam/Agi/Kyle/Prim), No. 7 regional level communist terrorist group (CTG) priority target and head of the National Health Bureau of the CPP-New People’s Army (NPA) based in Barangay Libertad, Butuan City, according to the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13).

Castro was allegedly involved in the felonious kidnapping of a member of the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA), detained the victim in an unidentified location, and threatened him on Dec. 29, 2018, in Barangay Kolambungan, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

The CAA supports the regular forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in dealing with security threats.

“The arrest of Castro marks another CTG setback and their inevitable demise. Their bloody, merciless plans have never succeeded. They have always been a failure and a disgrace to every Caraganon,” PRO-13 Regional Director, Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., said in a statement released Friday.

The arresting team included members of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID)-13, Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Group, RID National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)c, 401st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, 3rd Special Forces Battalion, 41 Military Intelligence Company, Joint Task Force-NCR, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-NCR, and San Juan City police.

“I congratulate our personnel who have been conducting surveillance and intelligence gathering making it possible to bring the suspect before the court to stand trial in accord with legal proceedings,” said PNP chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, in another statement on Friday.

No decision yet

The Department of Health (DOH) said Castro is innocent until proven guilty.

In a Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that the DOH recognizes the efforts of health care workers and doctors who help the marginalized get access to services.

"Lahat naman po tayo would be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, so antayin lang natin 'yong proseso na sinasagawa ngayon para makita natin kung ano ang kalalabasan (We know that a person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise, so let's just wait for the process to be completed)," she said. "Ito po ay isa lamang po na gusto naming iparating (This a message that we want to convey), that we value and we recognize the efforts of our health care workers like Dr. Naty.”

CTG-linked groups like Kabataan party-list, Karapatan and Kilusang Mayo Uno, in statements released after the incident, claimed Castro is a mere health care worker and human rights advocate serving the public.

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.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1168129