Thursday, March 10, 2022

CPP/Ang Bayan: “Fighting” in the cities, “encounters” in the countrysides: The AFP’s forked tongue

Propaganda statement from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolutionary Web Central (PRWC) news room blog site (Mar 7, 2022): “Nanlaban” in the cities, “engkwentro” in the countrysides: The AFP’s forked tongue

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modus of fabricating news of encounters was fully exposed when it covered up the massacre of five civilians by one of its units in New Bataan, Davao de Oro between February 23 in the evening and the morning of February 24. Using gruesome photos, the 10th ID announced the following day that activists Chad Booc, Gelejurain Ngujo II, Elgyn Balonga, and drivers Robert Aragon and Tirso Añar were killed in an armed encounter.

These photos that were circulated on the internet showed Booc with a firearm and an empty ammo vest in order to portray him as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA). These photos were mocked, cursed and feasted upon by the AFP’s personnel.

The local NPA unit promptly declared that no encounter took place in Purok 8, Barangay Andap on the date claimed by the AFP. The victims’ group said that they were in the area to visit a Lumad community as part of their work as volunteer teachers and advocates of indigenous peoples’ welfare. On the night of February 23, they left New Bataan for Davao City when they were accosted by soldiers at a checkpoint in Barangay Poblacion.

The case now known as the New Bataan 5 is similar to previous cases of civilian abductions and killings in Mindanao. These include the shooting of three civilians by soldiers in Sityo Manluy-a, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on June 15, 2021. The modus is also similar to the series of killings of several revolutionary leaders in Mindanao last year. There have been numerous cases where civilians who were mercilessly killed suddenly became “members of the NPA.”

In all these cases, the military’s disinformation campaign automatically kicks in to cover up the cruel murders of civilians and the unarmed.

A week after the massacre in New Bataan, Moro communities became the subject of the AFP’s attacks and fabricated stories. After dropping bombs on Barangay Runggayan, Maguing, Lanao del Sur, in the early morning of March 1, the 103rd Ibde insisted that they bombarded a “camp of the terrorist Dawlah Islamiyah.”

The truth is that the area was a civilian community under the territory of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Despite being roundly refuted by a local MILF commander and local officials of Maguing, the AFP stubbornly maintained that it was the “Maute” and Dawlah Islamiya that their bombs hit.
No ordinary fake news

The AFP systematically and thoroughly spreads disinformation on media and social media after every fascist crime such as the above cases. According to communications experts, this type of fake news is not a mere case of omission or lack of data, but a plan that is orchestrated, funded and run by professionals. This is designed to foment irrational anger and hatred against targeted individuals, groups, race, religion or gender.

Disinformation is a weapon the AFP uses in its war of suppression. It is used to cover up crimes and grave violations of human rights in order to eliminate all obstacles in their war against the people. They utilize social media and employ numerous Facebook accounts under their control in order to manipulate public opinion. Fake “media” accounts are created to deceive millions of Facebook users.

The AFP closely follows the US Counterinsurgency Guide’s instructions which regard the manipulation of information as one of the key components of a supposedly successful counterinsurgency campaign. Among the doctrines taught by the US is that in order to instill information on the most significant number of the population, and thereby control public opinion, information must be disseminated immediately, no matter how distorted or completely fabricated these are. This also includes controlling the flow of information, which explains frequent news blackouts, restrictions to prevent media access to incident areas, and threats that prevent people to speak up.

In the New Bataan incident, it took the 10th ID almost 24 hours before reporting on the supposed encounter. Instead of sharing the news with legitimate media organizations, the disinformation was posted on its Facebook page, and was then echoed by the different military accounts.

In 2020, a wide network of Facebook accounts spreading disinformation and run by military officers was discovered. A few hundreds of these are said to have been taken down by Facebook. But these form only a small fraction since widespread disinformation by the AFP continues.

Recently in Esperanza, Masbate, a farmer was also made to wear an ammunition vest and a firearm was planted on his person after being killed by the 96th IB and presented as a member of the NPA who died in an encounter. Eight of the 15 massacres in Bicol under the Duterte regime were reported as encounters between the NPA and the AFP-PNP.

Cutting the flow of information between the people and those considered “enemies” of the ruling government also forms part of the military’s disinformation. They sabotage the website of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as well as those of the independent media, in order to prevent the flow of correct information.

CPP/Ang Bayan: AFP bombs civilian communities in Lanao, Mindoro and Masbate

Propaganda statement from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolutionary Web Central (PRWC) news room blog site (Mar 7, 2022): AFP bombs civilian communities in Lanao, Mindoro and Masbate

Three cases of aerial bombing and shelling of civilian communities by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were recorded during the past two weeks. Thousands of families were forced to evacuate due to these.

The AFP dropped at least 12 bombs in a Moro Islamic Liberation Front camp in Maguing, Lanao del Sur between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m of March 1. At least seven civilians were killed while several others were wounded. The AFP also mounted a brigade-sized combat operation covering six barangays. Thousands were trapped in the operation and were not able to leave the area. More than 1,300 families were directly affected by the bombing and attacks and were forced to evacuate to the town center. (Read related article on page 6.)

In Occidental Mindoro, the AFP dropped bombs using FA-50 aircrafts at around 1 a.m. last February 26 on communities bordering Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro and San Jose. The community was later shelled seven times at 5 a.m. in the morning. Two Blackhawk helicopters came and went repeatedly to strafe the mountains from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. before dropping fascist troopers in the area.

In Masbate, hundreds of residents were distressed by the bombing in Barangay Igang, Masbate City last February 21. This was after an AFP attack aircraft dropped six bombs at around 4 a.m.

Killings. Soldiers the 20th IB indiscriminately fired at children tending their coconut kiln (koprahan) in Barangay Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar last February 8. Andre Esponilla, 12, ang Leandro Alivio, 13, were killed while another was severely wounded. To cover up their crime, the AFP claimed that the children were “caught in a crossfire” when a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) ambushed them.

According to the official report of the local NPA unit, it is not true that the children were caught in an encounter between the NPA and the AFP. The indiscriminate firing by the 20th IB against the children occured separately from the earlier counter-raid operation mounted by an NPA unit against operating troopers of the 20th IB. Both happened on the same day.

Illegal arrests. In violation of his rights under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), Ka Esteban Manuel, Jr., 73, peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, was arrested by soldiers of the AFP Joint Task Force Storm, together with another civilian, last February 16 in Villareal, Samar. According to his family, they still do not know the whereabouts of Manuel Jr.

Cagayan Valley Makabayan Coalition coordinator Agnes Mesina was arrested on the evening of February 28 in Aparri, Cagayan. Mesina was part of a fact-finding mission to Barangay Sta. Clara, Gonzaga. She was released four hours later after human rights organizations asserted that the case for the arrest warrant used against her has already been dismissed.

Four men arrested Diosdado Grefaldo Barbacena Jr. last March 6 in Barangay Rizal, West District, Sorsogon City. He is a member of the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Sorsogon and husband of the provincial chapter spokesperson of Anakpawis Partylist.

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA launches 7 armed actions

Propaganda statement from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolutionary Web Central (PRWC) news room blog site (Mar 7, 2022): NPA launches 7 armed actions

The New People’s Army launched seven armed actions, mostly sniping operations, in Bicol, Negros, Davao de Oro and Bulacan in the past few weeks.

Two elements of the 94th IB were wounded in a sniping operation of the NPA-South Central Negros (Mount Cansermon Command) last February 22 in Sitio Amaga-Cantupa, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental. The soldiers were then forced to leave the community.

This was followed by another sniping operation in Sitio Cunalom, Purok 3–Gamot, Barangay Carabalan in February 28 where three 94th IB troopers were reportedly wounded.

In Kabankalan City, the people’s army paralyzed a quarry company operating in Ilog-Hilabangan River last March 2. The said quarry company has wreaked havoc on the environment and caused the people hardships. It is part of the Ilog-Hilabangan River Basin construction project which will displace 200 families.

In Camarines Sur, a unit of the NPA-East Camarines Sur (Tomas Pilapil Command) launched harassment operations against a detachment of the CAFGU and 83rd IB troopers in Barangay Pili-Tabiguian, Caramoan in February 16.

Meanwhile, a unit of the NPA-Sorsogon sniped the 504th Maneuver Company of PNP Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) in Barangay Esperanza, Pilar, Sorsogon in February 28. P/Cpl. Ryan M. Atos was killed an element of the RMFB was wounded.

In Davao de Oro, an NPA unit ambushed AFP operating troops in Barangay Tandawan, New Bataan last February 9.

In Bulacan, the NPA-Rizal launched harassment operations on February 12 in neighboring Sitio Anginan, Barangay San Mateo, Norzagaray against the 80th IB.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Doing modules, NPA-style

Propaganda statement from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolutionary Web Central (PRWC) news room blog site (Mar 7, 2022): Doing modules, NPA-style

A number of Red fighters have taken on teaching responsibilities in the countryside after the Department of Education implemented the blended learning mode in 2020. Ka Agnes, a teacher and New
People’s Army member, was one of those who shouldered the task.

“When I was younger, I was amazed how my teachers taught two grade levels at a time,” she said. “I never thought I’d be doing the same thing.” In her area of responsibility, Ka Agnes taught students in four grades in “all subjects, lessons and topics.”

Many parents don’t have the time, patience or knowledge to teach. She heard mothers gripe about how they have long forgotten school lessons, or how that they are too busy and do not have the time to teach. “I did not graduate,” a mother told her. “That’s why I’m sending the kids to school.”

Ka Agnes narrates that before their unit arrived in the area and comrades were not yet available for teaching, kids looked up answers for their modules from an app. “I was surprised when I read the answers,” she said. “Not all are correct! And children were just concerned with the answers, not with the process or solutions on how to come up with answers for their modules. All they did was copy.”

Ka Agnes saw grave errors in the modules and even in the weekly exams. “There were errors in the conjugation of verbs, errors in tenses, choice of words, and examples,” she lamented. “The worst was when the lessons themselves were wrong.”

As a teacher herself, Ka Agnes can relate to the difficulties that teachers have to endure under the blended learning mode. Compared to in-person teaching, she knows how hard and costly it is to prepare and print modules and grade voluminous modules dumped on them, not knowing whether it was answered by the student or his or her mother. “It’s hard to evaluate a student’s level of understanding if you don’t see them face-to-face,” she said. “You won’t know who to award the First Honors for high marks, the student or the mother?”

In her experience, blended learning is a failure and no amount of adjustment can save it. “If you ask me if children learn effectively from this, I’d say no.”

Homes in the countryside are comfortable not for learning but for doing other things. “The house set-up is too different, there is no pressure, life is a breeze.” She said that when schools were open, children would long for Fridays and free weekends. “Now, they pray that Friday won’t come because they need to turn in their modules and they haven’t gotten to them despite having been given a whole week.”

Since they don’t physically go to school, children have lost the ability to keep time—from waking up to preparing to go to the hourly shifts of lessons which conditions them to listen to a teacher for a specific period. Under in-person learning, even exams are conducted within a set time frame.

“They no longer acquire the discipline of learning that comes from the discipline of keeping time,” Ka Agnes lamented.

Many children also choose to work instead of doing their lessons. “Momoy, a student of mine who is in Grade 9, chose to work in a furniture shop rather than work on his modules.” She can’t fault the child since his family really needs the added income.

So many things can get in the way of doing the modules. “Once they get distracted by their Android cellphones, for sure they’ll be at it for the rest of the day,” she said. “The modules will be left gathering dust in a corner.”

Worse, Ka Agnes observed, the blended learning mode has bred conditions where young minds deteriorated due to online gaming and activities. This is the result of unsupervised internet use, something that children had limited access to when they were in school.

“They race to improve their ranking in online games, rather than work for the honor of learning.”

Unregulated gaming has changed the children’s physical and social environment. They often neglect their health when playing online. They no longer get out of their homes and their bases for forming friendships changed. Their emotional and mental health is damaged. “They isolate themselves in their rooms and their emotions veer wildly with the things they see on the internet.”

Ka Agnes understands that parents and adults have a crucial role in supervising and regulating gadget use. But in many cases, adults are too busy working so they can feed their families amid widespread destruction of jobs due to the state’s failed response to the pandemic.

“When all is said and done, we circle back to the failed semicolonial and semifeudal system,” Ka Agnes said. “This rotten system is also rotting children’s minds. This is precisely what the people’s democratic revolution is fighting against and repudiating.”

She plans to shift lessons after the children are done with their quarterly modules. “I’m going to schedule a short course on Philippine society and revolution,” she said.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Advance the revolutionary struggles with full courage and determination

Propaganda editorial from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolutionary Web Central (PRWC) news room blog site (Mar 7, 2022): Advance the revolutionary struggles with full courage and determination

The political and economic situation is very favorable for advancing all forms of mass struggles and the revolutionary struggle for national democracy firmly. The further political isolation of the Duterte regime must be taken advantage of in order to reach and mobilize an increasing number of people especially in the coming months before the elections.

As Rodrigo Duterte’s Malacañang term draws to a close, his fascist regime escalates its brutal attacks against the Filipino people. This is in line with his desperate attempt to attain his declaration of ending the armed resistance and to carry out his scheme of widespread suppression and imposing martial law on the pretext of widespread chaos. In the cities and countryside, Duterte employs fascist terrorism to tyrannize the people, destroy their unions and organizations, trample on their rights and crush their resistance. The regime’s worsening attacks reveal its mortal fear of a people’s uprising that can be ignited by their rapidly worsening conditions and standard of living.

The Philippine economic crisis continues to worsen. The successive increases in fuel prices over the past ten weeks is bringing gross suffering and misery upon the masses and stokes their outrage. The big capitalists are exploiting the war in Europe to accumulate superprofits, and which also provides the Duterte regime a windfall in the form of increasing tax collections. As a result, prices of food, goods and services are rising, which force the majority of the people into poverty. The value of the peso is nosediving even as wages remain low. Like rubbing salt on the people’s wounds, the regime’s officials announced that more taxes will have to be imposed to cover Duterte’s mountains of debt.

Amid reports of reduced number of Covid-19 cases, the regime “opened the economy” but widespread unemployment remains. This is because a large part of export-oriented manufacturing remains aground. Weak local production is tied to the international imperialist crisis. Global production remains weak due to the crisis of overproduction. The crisis of local agriculture and fisheries continues to worsen due to unmitigated liberalization and the flood of imported rice, vegetables, meat and fish, resulting in the bankruptcy of millions of peasants and fisherfolk. Until now, the Duterte government has failed to carry out decisive measures to strengthen the public health system as preparation for a possible pandemic resurgence.

As the May election approaches, the contradictions among the rival cliques of the ruling class intensify. As the election campaign heats up, large rallies supporting Leni Robredo are gaining ground across the country, bringing together the people’s anger against the Duterte regime’s fascism, corruption and treachery. These put to stark focus the isolation of the ruling clique and its Marcos-Duterte tandem.

The situation is bound to widen and consolidate further the democratic united front, including the possibility of uniting the anti-Duterte parties and candidates. The Marcos-Duterte plot to steal the elections will become more untenable and will undoubtedly ignite massive people’s resistance.

The economic and political crisis of the ruling system, and worsening state terrorism is generating conditions that favor resurgence of different forms of mass struggles against political repression and to advance the struggles for the people’s urgent democratic demands. The people must be mobilized untiringly to fight against rising prices of fuel and commodities, for jobs and higher wages, to reduce land rent, economic subsidies, cancellation of debt, an end to dumping of imported agricultural products, and so on.

All efforts must be exerted and all methods utilized, including taking advantage of the election campaign, to reach factories and communities in the cities and countryside, to arouse, organize and mobilize workers, peasants, the poor, the youth, women and other oppressed and impoverished people. Party cadres and activists must overcome their fear and hesitation, steel their minds and hearts, be ready to face all difficulties, hunger and sacrifices, and daringly and untiringly surpass all past efforts in organizing the masses and uniting their will and strengthening their determination, and in addressing their concrete problems and leading their struggles.

The mass movement must take advantage of the growing political movement against the Marcos-Duterte collaboration and link their mass struggles to the election campaign and the resistance to the plans of stealing the elections. On the other hand, the struggles in the election arena waged by democratic forces must be linked to the political and economic struggles of the masses.

We are celebrating this month the 53rd anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA). Be ever determined to strengthen and expand the NPA. Further strengthen military discipline and raise the capability in guerrilla tactics to frustrate the enemy’s all-out offensives that are set to heighten further in the coming months. Fiercely resist the enemy’s attacks against the people. Launch tactical offensives with certain victory. Target the detached and small units of the enemy. Expose and oppose the enemy’s psywar that deceives and disunites the masses.

Firmly uphold the interests of the peasant masses and advance their struggles. Continually expand the territories of the guerrilla fronts and build new guerrilla fronts. Sustain recruitment and training of young Red fighters who will bring the people’s war to greater heights in the future.

CPP/CIO: Surface Ka Veejo and farmers arrested in Catubig, Northern Samar

Propaganda statement posted to PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Mar 10, 2022): Surface Ka Veejo and farmers arrested in Catubig, Northern Samar


March 10. 2022

We have received urgent information that Ka Veejo, an elderly retired cadre of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), was arrested last March 8 by the 803rd Infantry Brigade in Barangay San Jose (Hibubulyao), Catubig, Northern Samar.

According to initial reports, he was taken together with local residents Siloy Mendez and Antonio Ero. Two military helicopters landed on the barrio at around 12:40 p.m. to pick them up.

Ka Veejo, who is in his mid-70s, is ailing and suffers from diabetes. He has been retired from active duties in the Party.

We demand the AFP to immediately surface and release Ka Veejo, Mendez and Ero. We will hold the officers of the AFP responsible for any harm that may befall the three.

We further demand that Ka Veejo be afforded medical and legal services of his choice in accordance with his rights.

CPP/NPA-Palawan: Tutulan ang muling pagpasok at pag-opereyt ng mga mapaminsalang mina! Ipagtanggol ang mga lupang sakahan at lupaing ninuno sa Palawan

Propaganda statement posted to PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Mar 10, 2022): Tutulan ang muling pagpasok at pag-opereyt ng mga mapaminsalang mina! Ipagtanggol ang mga lupang sakahan at lupaing ninuno sa Palawan (Oppose the re-entry and operation of destructive mines! Defend farmland and ancestral lands in Palawan)


March 10, 2022

Mariing kinukondena ng Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC-NPA Palawan) at ng mamamayang Palaweño ang pag-aalis ng rehimeng Duterte sa mga restriksyon sa pagmimina sa bansa at sinusuportahan nito ang pakikibaka ng mamamayang Palaweño laban sa mga mapaminsalang mina at iba pang proyekto ng rehimeng Duterte na anti-mamamayan at makadayuhan.

Hindi pa nasapatan sa pagsusubasta ng karagatan ng WPS na pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan ng mga Palaweño, ibinabaratilyo at inihapag pang lalo ni Duterte ang kabundukan at likas na yaman ng Palawan sa mga dayuhang kumpanyang magmimina.

Unti-unting pinagsakluban ng langit at lupa ang mga Palaweño sa mga pinakahuling kautusan ni Duterte kaugnay sa industriya ng pagmimina sa ating bansa. Kung mayroon mang matinding maaapektuhan nito, walang iba kundi ang lalong nagdarahop na mga magsasaka at katutubong mamamayan sa isla ng Palawan. Sa kabilang banda, titiyakin ng mga patakaran at kautusang ito ang patuloy na pagkakamal ng tubò ng mga negosyante, dayuhan at lokal na magmimina at para sa kapakinabangan ng lokal at pambansang gubyerno.

Tuwiran nang tinalikuran ni Duterte ang mga dati niyang pahayag hinggil sa pagmimina sa mga unang taon ng kanyang panunungkulan na nagresulta sa pagsasara o suspensyon ng 26 na malalaking mina dahil sa paglabag sa mga patakaran kaugnay sa kalikasan. Ngayon, todong nagpakitang-gilas si Duterte sa kanyang mga among imperyalista at mga kakutsabang panginoong maylupa at malalaking burukrata-kapitalista.

Tahimik, paggapang ngunit tuso at mapanglalang ang naging paraan ni Duterte sa pagpapanumbalik ng mga patakaran sa pagmimina.

Una, noong Abril 15, 2021 ay iniutos ni Duterte na alisin na ang siyam (9) na taong moratorium sa pagbibigay ng mga bagong permit sa pagmimina. Hinawan nito ang daan para sa 2,000 mga aplikasyon sa pagmimina sa Palawan na tiyak na magbiibigay daan sa mabilis na eksploytasyon sa mga yamang mineral na nickel, chromite, limestone, ginto, silica, at copper sa probinsya at magdudulot ng ibayong panganib at pinsala sa mamamayan, kalikasan at mga tagapagtanggol nito. Mas maaga pa noong 2019 ay pinahintulutan na ang operasyon ng mga suspendidong mga minahan at itinulak ang “rehabilitasyon” ng mga ito partikular ang mga mina sa nickel upang tumugon sa pangangailangan ng China sa mineral na ito.

Ikalawa, ay ang pamaskong handog ng rehimeng Duterte sa mga may-ari ng malalaking minahan na pagtatanggal ng restriksyon sa open-pit mining noong Disyembre 23, 2021. Inilabas ng DENR Secretary na si Roy Cimatu ang kautusan na tumapos sa apat (4) na taong pagbabawal sa open-pit mining na ipinatupad noong panahon ng dating DENR secretary na si Gina Lopez. Nagdiwang ang mga dambuhalang kumpanya ng mina sa loob at labas ng bansa na magbibigay-daan sa pagdagsa ng mga aplikasyon ng pagmimina at labis na pagkawasak ng kalikasan.

Pangatlo, noong Agosto 2021, pinaboran ng Ombudsman ang Ipilan Nickel Mining Corp (INC) at hinusgahan nito na maysala na “grave use of authority” si Brooke’s Point Mayor Jean Feliciano sa pagdemolis ng mga kagamitang pangmina ng naturang kumpanya noong 2018. Sinuspinde nang walang sahod sa loob ng isang taon si Feliciano sa kabila ng ipinatupad lamang niya ang desisyon ng DENR laban sa INC na kahit lipas na ang kontrata ay nagpapatuloy sa pagmimina, iligal na nagputol ng 7,000 malalaking kahoy, hinukay ang kabundukan at hinalwat ang mga lupain sa loob ng 20 ektaryang saklaw ng Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) kung saan ipinagbabawal ang naturang mga aktibidad.

At panghuli, natural ding nakikipagkoro ang ipokritong Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) noong Agosto 2019 na hindi lamang agad na nagbigay ng Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) Clearance sa mga kumpanya para magsimula at magpatuloy na sa kanilang operasyon, kundi inaprubahan pa nito ang ekspansyon ng tatlong malalaking kumpanya sa pagmimina—ang Berong Nickel Corp, Rio Tuba Nickel Corp. at Citinickel Mining & Devt. Corp. Agad-agad ding namang binigyan ni Brooke’s Point Acting Mayor Joy Quiachon ng mayor’s permit ang INC nitong Enero 2022.

Pumalakpak at nagkakandarapa ang mga ganid na dayuhan at lokal na mga kumpanya ng mina upang samantalahin na malaya silang muling makapandambong sa likas na yaman ng bansa, lalo na sa Palawan—ang itinuturing na “huling prontera” ng Pilipinas. Sa Palawan matatagpuan ang ilang malalaking minahan ng nickel sa pamamagitan ng open-pit mining, kabilang ang Rio Tuba Nickel Corporation (pag-aari ng Nickel Asia Corp), ang Citinickel Mines & Devt. Corp sa Narra at Sofronio Espanola, Ipilan Nickel Corp (Southeast Palawan Nickel Ventures) at Berong Nickel Corp. (DMCI Holdings) at marami pang iba na nag-aabang lamang na maaprubahan ang kanilang mga MPSA at FTAA’s na sumasaklaw ng libu-libong ektarya sa buong probinsya. Lalong magiging madulas ang aplikasyon ng pagmimina sa isla lalo’t batid ng mga kumpanya ng mina na kakampi nila ang gubyernong Duterte, maging ang lokal na gubyerno sa pamumuno ni Alvarez.

Magpapatuloy din ang mga mapaminsalang FMO at RCSPO ng magkasanib na pwersa ng AFP-PNP upang tuldukan ang anumang pagtutol ng mamamayan sa mina at takutin ang sinumang hahadlang sa interes ng mga sakim na magmimina sa Palawan. Malakas ang loob ng mga kumpanya ng mina dahil alam nilang nasa likod nila ang reaksyunaryong gubyerno mula pambansa hanggang antas-lokal at ang AFP-PNP. Kaya naman hindi nagpapatinag ang Lebach Mining Company sa petisyon ng Sangguniang Barangay (SB) at mamamayan ng Brgy. Ipilan, Brooke’s Point na itigil ang operasyon nito kahit hindi pumapayag ang mamamayan sa proyektong ito. Tinakot pa ng kumpanya ang buong SB ng Ipilan na kapag hindi sila tumigil ay tiyak na matutulad sila sa sinapit ni Mayor Feliciano.

Ang mga pangako ng mga kumpanya ng mina na trabaho para sa lokalidad, mga bigay na tulong sa barangay, ayuda sa panahon ng bagyo at iba pa ay pawang mga inasukalang bala at pampalubag loob lamang sa mga mamamayan. Napakaliit nito o mumo lamang kung ihahambing sa gahiganteng tubò na kikitain ng mga minahan at sa laki at lawak na pinsala sa likas na yaman.

Lalong hindi maipagtatanggol ng ipinapangalandakan ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno na Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA) ang lupaing ninuno ng mga katutubong Palaw’an, Tagbanua at Batak dahil lansakan itong sinasagasaan ng mga anti- mamamayan at maka-dayuhang mga batas tulad ng Mining Act.

Magkalahok na pangamba, pag-aalala at pagkasuklam naman ang naramdaman ng mamamayan ng Palawan. Hindi papayag ni mananahimik ang mga Palaweño na lansakang dambungin ang patrimonyang yaman ng ating bansa. Sinalubong ng mga pagkilos at pagprotesta ng mga Palaweño ang naturang mga desisyon at hakbangin ng rehimeng Duterte. Tinuligsa nila ang desisyon na pagsuspinde sa katulad ni Mayor Feliciano na kasama nila sa paglalantad at pagtutol sa pag-iral ng mga mina at pagwasak sa kalikasan. Muli nilang ipinanawagan ang katarungan sa pagpaslang sa mga katulad ni Dr. Gerry Ortega — isang kilalang tagapagtanggol ng kalikasan. Hindi nila hangad na muling makapag-opereyt ang INC at iba pang mina dahil sa pipinsalain nito sa kanilang kabuhayan at kalikasan.

Dapat pakilusan ang malawak na mamamayan na puspusang ipatupad ang mga patakaran ng Demokratikong Gubyernong Bayan sa pagtatanggol ng karapatan sa lupa ng mamamayan at karapatang pantao laban sa pagwasak sa kapaligiran. Mahigpit na katuwang nila ang hukbong bayan sa pagpapatupad ng mga patakarang ito upang sagkaan ang pagpasok ng mga mapaminsalang dayuhang mina. Gayundin, parurusahan ang pinakamapaminsalang kumpanya sa pagmimina at maging ang kanilang mga protektor na goons, pulis at sundalo.###

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: On the AFP’s fabricated lie in the murder of Ka Bidam and Ka Yuhan in Isabela

Propaganda statement posted to PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Mar 10, 2022): On the AFP’s fabricated lie in the murder of Ka Bidam and Ka Yuhan in Isabela


March 10, 2022

As per investigation of witnesses in Barangay Amin, Isabela, Negros Occidental, Virgilio Marco ‘Ka Bidam’ Tamban and Ben Jack ‘Ka Yuhan’ Rueles were captured mercilessly fired at, and killed by the 62nd Infantry Battalion and PNP-Isabela at around 3 AM last March 9. The house that the NPA unit stayed in was ransacked, resulting in the immediate arrest and subsequent murder of Ka Bidam and Ka Yuhan, contrary to the AFP’s claims that the two were killed in an encounter.

Additionally, Robert ‘Ka Kits’ Ansino initially escaped, but was wounded after the enemy’s volley fire during the murder. While returning fire and injuring 2 AFP troops, he sustained severe injuries and sought shelter in the nearby village. No longer able to fight, he was caught by the enemy and brought to a hospital.

The NPA team was sent to the area to conduct mass work, to investigate and resolve complaints among the residents in the area, especially after constant military operations caused terror in the villages.

One thing is clear: there was no intention to serve a search warrant on 3 AM. The clear motive of the raid is to murder Tamban and his companions, consistent with their commander-in-chief Duterte’s command to take no prisoners, clearly violating the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) . This, however, is no new story for the AFP and PNP, as what transpired in the massacres of Ka Dennis and 4 other comrades in Mabinay last 2020 and Ka Anita and companions Manapla last 2021.

The LPC-NPA salutes Ka Bidam, 23, a resident of Barangay Maniak, Guihulngan City, and Ka Yuhan, 25, from Barangay Jonobjonob, Escalante City. They were both exemplary revolutionaries, despite their young age. Ka Yuhan and Ka Bidam led by example that the youth should take up arms against a state that murders its citizens for the sake of the interests of the elite few. As the true soldiers of the people, their memories will live on and inspire more to take the path they took- the path that is dedicated to build a society of just and lasting peace, a society that can only be built from armed revolution of the oppressed against the oppressors.

Justice for Ka Bidam and Ka Yuhan!
Resist the dirty and brutal war of the US-Duterte regime!
Join the NPA!

CPP/NPA-Palawan: Bibiguin ng BVC-NPA Palawan at mamamayang Palaweño ang atas ni AFP Chief Centino sa WESCOM

Propaganda statement posted to PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Mar 9, 2022): Bibiguin ng BVC-NPA Palawan at mamamayang Palaweño ang atas ni AFP Chief Centino sa WESCOM (BVC-NPA Palawan and Palaweño people will defeat AFP Chief Centino's assignment to WESCOM)


Mar 9, 2022

Hindi magtatagumpay at tinitiyak ng Bienvenido Vallever Command-NPA Palawan na mabibigo ang atas ni AFP Chief Andres Centino sa Western Command na durugin ang kilusang rebolusyonaryo sa isla bago magtapos ang termino ni Duterte. Buong pagmamalaking iniutos ito ng pasistang pinuno sa pananalita sa ika-46 taong anibersaryo ng WESCOM noong Marso 4 kung saan tinukoy niya ang dalawang mahahalagang atas ng AFP sa tropa ng WESCOM: ang durugin ang kilusang rebolusyonaryo sa isla sa pamamagitan ng pagdakip o pagpapasuko sa isa sa mga lider nito at tiyakin ang maayos na eleksyon sa Mayo 9. Nakapadron ito sa itinakdang target ni Centino sa sarili at pangako sa tiranikong si Duterte na dudurugin nila ang buong rebolusyon sa Pilipinas bago matapos ang termino ng among pasista sa Hunyo ng taon.

Ang imbing pakanang durugin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa probinsya at supilin ang paglaban ng mamamayan ay sinimulan ng WESCOM sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte noon pang 2017 sa pagkakabuo ng Joint Task Group sa dalawang bahagi ng Palawan. Pero mula noon hanggang ngayon, nananatiling pangarap na gising at ilusyon lamang ang target na ito ng AFP at ng WESCOM. Inakala nilang sa pagkakapaslang sa ilang lider ng Hukbo at Partido noong 2020 at 2021 ay masusupil nila ang rebolusyonaryong paglabang malaon nang nakaugat sa buong probinsya. Hindi nila batid na ang marubdob na pagnanais ng mamamayang Palaweno para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya ay nakatatak na sa kanilang diwa at puso oras na mamulat sila sa pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala ng malakolonyal at malapyudal na lipunan.

Mangmang si Centino, ang WESCOM, buong AFP at maging si Duterte sa kasaysayan ng rebolusyonaryong paglaban sa Palawan at buong bansa. Itinatatwa nila ang katotohanang ang mamamayan ang nagtatag sa Partido at Hukbong bayan, hindi ang kabaligtaran. Ang pagnanasa ng masang anakpawis na humulagpos sa tanikala ng habambuhay na pagkaalipin ang nagtutulak sa kanilang ipagpatuloy ang rebolusyon at lumaban sa sinumang mapanupil na instrumento ng imperyalismo at lokal na naghaharing uri at pangkatin. Kaya naman kahit ano’ng pagsisikap ng reaksyon at armadong pwersa ng estadong durugin ito ay hindi sila magtagumpay, at matatag ang Partidong namumuno sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa buong bansa at sa Palawan sa nagdaang 52 taon.

Tulad ng mga nagdaang dedlayn at atas ng AFP sa WESCOM, tiyak na bibiguin ng mamamayang Palaweño sa pangunguna ng BVC-NPA Palawan ang pangarap na durugin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa isla. Patuloy na nagpapatatag ang rebolusyon sa Palawan para muling patawan ng malalakas na bigwas ang mga reaksyunaryo at pasistang tropa sa isla na patuloy na naghahasik ng pang-aapi at pagsasamantala sa mga Palaweño!###

NPA leader, comrade killed in gunbattle

 From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 10, 2022): NPA leader, comrade killed in gunbattle (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The encounter site in Brgy. Amin, Isabela, Negros Occidental, where two rebels died in a clash with Army soldiers and policemen.* PA photo

The long arm of the law has finally caught up with a group of New People’s Army rebels tagged by authorities as behind the numerous killings of innocent civilians accused as military informants in central Negros.

Among those killed was Virgilio Marco Tamban, alias Bedam, who was reported by the Philippine Army, as commanding officer of the SYP (Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda) Lenovo Platoon of the Central Negros Front 1.

Lt. Col. William Pesase, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, yesterday said that the group of Ka Bedam were the primary suspects in the recent killings of several civilians, including Jay Michael Ledesma in Brgy. Macagahay, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on March 2; Cris John Guyha on February 28 in Brgy. Luz, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental; the brutal killings of former kagawad Lucio Perater and his son, Tony, on Feb. 16 in Brgy. Malangsa, Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental; and former CAFGU member Heide Boca on Feb. 19 in Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.

“Justice was already served to the innocent civilian victims killed by these CPP-NPA terrorists,” Pesase said.

In separate statements issued earlier, the NPA in central Negros claimed responsibility in the killing of those victims they accused as military informants.

The identities of other slain rebel and his captured comrade are not available as of press time.

Two Army soldiers identified as PFC Mark Christian Brillo and Cpl. Alisasis Rex Blanco were injured in the brief gunbattle.

Brillo, who was hit in the left shoulder, and Blanco, who suffered a slight injury on his left middle finger, are now in stable condition, according to Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander.

The cadavers of two slain rebels were discovered to have been left behind by their fleeing comrades at the encounter site by Army soldiers, who also recovered two caliber .45 pistols and a hand grenade.

PCapt. Joseph Partidas, Isabela acting police chief, said that they and 62IB soldiers were serving the arrest warrant of Ka Bedam, of Sitio Casingan, Brgy. Mani-ak, Guihulngan City, for violation of RA 10591,when the encounter ensued.

Partidas also reported that Bedam also served as an active hitman of the NPA Special Partisan Armed Revolutionary Unit (SPARU).

As a result of the encounter, Pesase said that they were able to foil plans of the rebel group to execute another civilian suspected of a military informant in Isabela town.

At the same time, he also commended the bravery of the concerned residents in divulging reliable information that led to the neutralization of rebels behind the spate of killings in central Negros.

Army troops discover ‘bomb factory’ in Maguindanao town

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Mar 10, 2022): Army troops discover ‘bomb factory’ in Maguindanao town (By: Edwin O. Fernandez)

Bomb-making components found by Army troopers in a terrorist lair in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town, Maguindanao on March 9, 2022. Photo courtesy of 6th ID PA

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao — Army troopers discovered a factory of improvised bombs during a law enforcement operation in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town, Maguindanao on Wednesday.

According to Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the the facility was a well-camouflaged shanty in Barangay Pagatin.

Uy added that they believed that the bomb-making operation there was run by forces loyal to Ustadz Esmael Abdulmalik, head of the Torayfe Group which is a faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters with links to the Daulah Islamiyah terrorist network.

Found there were 12 assorted container-type improvised bombs; blasting caps; several grams of ammonium nitrate, black powder, and sulfur powder; several 9-volt batteries; anti-personnel claymore mine; ammunition for rifle-propelled grenade and 40mm HEAT; laboratory test tube glasses; electric wires; improvised switch; cartridge shell of 57RR; and a remote control.

“I also urge everyone to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person or thing in your locality,” Uy

Gov’t troops seize terrorists’ bomb factory

From Malaya Business Insight (May 11, 2022): Gov’t troops seize terrorists’ bomb factory (By Victor Reyes)

GOVERNMENT troops have seized a bomb factory of the terrorist group Daulah Islamiyah-Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Shariff Saydona town in Maguindanao, the military reported yesterday.

The Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division (ID) said 12 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered at the abandoned factory in Barangay Pagatin last Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th ID commander, said
the facility was used by the group of BIFF leader Esmael Abdulmalik, alias Abu Abu Turaife.

Aside from the 12 container-type IEDs, soldiers also found bomb components like blasting caps, ammonium nitrate, sulfur powder, a 9-volt battery, an anti-personnel claymore mine, a rocket-propelled grenade, a 40-mm mortar round, laboratory test tubes, electric wires, cartridge shell for 57mm recoilless rifle, and a remote control.

The recovered explosives and components were buried by the terrorists, said 6th ID spokesman Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar.

He added, “There was no firefight. It’s not a camp. It’s a structure used in the manufacture of IEDs. It was abandoned days ago.”

The BIFF is composed mostly of former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that signed a peace accord with the government in 2014. The BIFF currently has 100 to 150 members.

Uy vowed the military will remain relentless in going after members of the terrorist group to prevent them from sowing violence in civilian communities.

“I also urge everyone to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person or thing in your locality. With your unrelenting support, it is assured that we will soon attain genuine peace and development in Mindanao,” said Uy.

Dusk till dawn sea curfew to be extended on Sabah's east coast, says state's top cop

From The Star (Mar 10, 2022): Dusk till dawn sea curfew to be extended on Sabah's east coast, says state's top cop (By STEPHANIE LEE)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s dusk to dawn sea curfew which ends on Friday (March 11), will be extended for another two weeks until March 26 (Saturday), say police.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah said with the curfew in place, residents in the areas involved were not allowed to leave their homes during curfew hours, while outsiders were not allowed to enter the curfew zones.

He said the extension of the 6pm to 6am sea curfew was needed due to continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including from kidnap-for-ransom groups.

The curfew covered areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

"There is a need to continue the curfew in these waters to prevent the encroachment of terrorists and criminals who can threaten the safety of locals, international researchers and tourists on islands," Idris said in a statement, Thursday (March 10).

He said according to intelligence sources, kidnap-for-ransom groups and Abu Sayyaf militants were still trying to attack and commit cross-border crimes.

He said the curfew allows authorities to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and were staying near the Esszone.

"The curfew is to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the area as well as establish a sense of security with nearby chalet owners and fishermen through the presence of a security team," Idris said.

"I have also given the authority to all OCPDs to issue permits to any eligible applicants who fit the criteria to conduct fishery activities in the areas affected by the curfew," he added.

The curfew was first implemented on 19 July 2014 following a spate of kidnappings which saw the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then Ted Fed and the killing of several others, including a policeman and tourists.

Army extends support to IP community in Aurora

From the  Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): Army extends support to IP community in Aurora (By Jason De Asis)

SUPPORT TO IP COMMUNITY. Troops of the Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion plant some 100 coconut saplings for the IP community of Barangay Bayanihan in Maria Aurora town, Aurora Province on Wednesday (March 9, 2022). In partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the activity aims to provide sustainable livelihood to the Bugkalot tribe and at the same time increase the province’s coconut production. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 91ist IB)

BALER, Aurora – Government troops have extended support to the indigenous people (IP) community in Barangay Bayanihan, Maria Aurora town in Aurora Province as part of the programs of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).

In partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Aurora, the troops of the Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion planted some 100 coconut saplings in the IP community on Wednesday to provide sustainable livelihood to the Bugkalot tribe and at the same time increase the province’s coconut production.

Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of the 91IB, said on Thursday
the activity was in line with the unit’s sustainment efforts in areas cleared from the communist terrorist group.

“This activity is part of the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict wherein the PCA gives incentives under the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster (PRLEC). Rest assured that the 91IB is doing its best effort to help our tribal groups in the province of Aurora which aims to prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages of the government. We are partners for peace and development,” Rubio said.

NCIP Aurora Representative Dhelsie Joy Pineda thanked the 91IB for supporting the Bugkalot tribe.

“We appreciate the efforts of the 91IB in the peace and developments. This is one way of bringing the message of peace. Let us support our government,” Pineda said.

Acting Barangay Bayanihan chairman Isaias E. Caanawan likewise thanked the government for the continuous efforts to help the IP community.

“Malaking tulong po ito sa aming mga katutubo at nawa ay magpatuloy pa yung ganitong gawain para sa aming mga kababayan dito sa Bayanihan (This is a big help to us and may this kind of activity continue for our townmates here in Bayanihan)” Caanawan said.

Meanwhile, Major General Andrew D. Costelo, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, lauded the efforts of 91IB troops as he thanked their partner stakeholders for the support to activities that benefit the IP community.

Next PH president can appoint new BTA members: Galvez

From the  Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): Next PH president can appoint new BTA members: Galvez (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)

The next President of the Republic of the Philippines can appoint new Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) members once the new government takes over, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.

The BTA serves as an interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which will maintain its current composition, upon the approval of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on March 3 said the "incumbent members of the BTA shall continue in office in a holdover capacity, until otherwise directed by the Office of the President,” in accordance with Section 2 of Republic Act No. 11593, otherwise known as An Act Resetting the First Regular Elections in the BARMM.

"In a holdover capacity, the terms of office of the BTA members are tied to the appointing authority, which in this case is President Duterte. This is to allow the next President to appoint a new set of BTA members once he or she assumes office," Galvez said in a statement.

Galvez said the country's Security, Justice, and Peace Cabinet Cluster (SJPCC) earlier recommended to Duterte to maintain the status quo on the current composition of the BTA, through Resolution No. 173, dated Oct. 12, 2021.

The recommendation includes granting incumbent members to continue carrying out their mandate "in order to preserve the gains achieved under the body’s various programs, projects, and legislative measures".

Followed by a BTA request on February 15, through Resolution No. 209, to reappoint the BTA members whom Duterte appointed, noting "this will ensure a smooth transition process without the possibility of any political disruptions taking place".

The joint SJPCC statement earlier said the retention of the current BTA is crucial to addressing concerns of massive changes once the next administration takes over.

"The SJPCC made the recommendation in light of the fact that only three months remain before the newly-elected administration takes over the reins of government. This period would give the incumbent BTA members the time to complete their deliverables until June of this year," Galvez said.

The BTA has executive and legislative power over the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, created following the abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao through the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law in 2019.

The BTA was tasked to oversee the three-year transition period from 2019, followed by an election of BARMM officials. (

PH only 'fulfilling obligations' on Russian choppers deal: DND

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): PH only 'fulfilling obligations' on Russian choppers deal: DND (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (File photo)

The Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday maintained that it is just fulfilling its obligations on the deal for the purchase of Russian-made Mil Mi-17 heavy-lift helicopters.

"The contract and the initial payment for the Mi-17 heavy-lift helicopter acquisition project were completed before the crisis in Ukraine erupted. We are upholding our contractual obligations, and are taking note of the circumstances that may affect the project," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.

This came in the midst of other countries imposing sanctions and firms halting operations in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which started late last month.

Ukrainian non-resident Ambassador Olexander Nechytaylo also called on businesses in the Philippines to stop dealings with Russia, saying "every dollar earned by Russia will be used, directly or indirectly, to continue the criminal war" in his home country.

"At present, the onus of fulfilling the compliances and deliverables under the contract rests on the side of the Russian proponent," Lorenzana added.

On Wednesday, Lorenzana said the PHP12.7 billion Mil Mi-17 contract was signed last November, and a down payment was made this January. Lorenzana did not mention the amount given as a down payment.

He added that the contract is unlikely to be scrapped for now.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) earlier said it is looking at the possibility of acquiring heavy-lift helicopters as part of efforts to beef up its helicopter fleet.

A heavy-lift helicopter is a type of rotary aircraft capable of lifting large numbers of personnel or cargo.

The Mil Mi-17 is a Soviet-designed Russian military helicopter family in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude.

It is known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service. The helicopter is mostly used as a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter, as well as an armed gunship version.

It has a maximum speed of 280 kilometers per hour (170 mph, 150 knots) and a range of 800 kilometers.

The Mi-17 has a crew of two pilots and one engineer and is capable of transporting 24 soldiers or 12 stretchers internally.

Kalinaw News: ComNoLCOm visits TOWNOL, appraises unit’s operational thrusts

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 10, 2022): ComNoLCOm visits TOWNOL, appraises unit’s operational thrusts

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Northern Luzon Command (NoLCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr. visited the headquarters of Tactical Operations Wing Northern Luzon (TOWNOL) in Clark Air Base, Pampanga on March 10, 2022, to personally check the unit’s security and operations within NoLCom’s area of responsibility.

Lt. Gen. Torres was accorded with the traditional full military honors by the officers and men of TOWNOL and was welcomed by Maj. Gen. Edward Libago, Commander of Air Force Reserve Command and Col Rocky Binag, TOWNOL Wing Commander alongside commanders of different PAF units inside Air Force City in Pampanga.

Subsequently, a briefing on TOWNOL’s current operations was presented by Col. Binag in an effort to apprise the NoLCom Commander of the unit’s current accomplishments and thrusts to support NolCom’s campaign plans.

Immediately after, the visiting general had a “talk to troops” where he addressed the officers, and personnel of TOWNOL.

The NoLCom Commander expressed his gratitude for the unit’s warm welcome, and immense appreciation for their “contributions and support towards the accomplishments of NoLCom’s campaigns in the conduct of maritime air patrols in our sovereign waters, territorial defense operations, counterinsurgency efforts, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.”

“We hope that our collaborative efforts will continue to foster as we bring to a close our counterinsurgency campaign and reach our goal of ending local communist armed conflict in this part of our country,” said Lt. Gen. Torres.

“We cannot rest on our laurels. Give your best every waking day, and take pride in your positions being one of the defenders of the north and vanguards of our sovereignty,” emphasized the general as he urged the troops to double their efforts in the performance of their mandated tasks as protectors of the people.

Lt. Gen. Torres concluded his message by highlighting an excerpt from Panatang Makabayan to remind the soldiers of their sworn mandate to selflessly serve their fellow Filipinos saying “Tutuparin natin ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas; paglilingkuran natin ang ating bayan ng walang pag-iimbot at ng buong katapatan; sisikapin nating maging isang tunay na pilipino sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa,”

TOWNOL is the Air force unit in northern Luzon that conducts tactical air operations in support of the campaigns for peace and development of NoLCom ground units.

[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: Army launches 2-day LTOPF caravan for Army founding anniversary

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 10, 2022): Army launches 2-day LTOPF caravan for Army founding anniversary

FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila – In celebration of the 125th founding anniversary of the Philippine Army, the command organized a two-day License To Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) caravan on March 8-9, 2022 at the Ricarte Hall, Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila.

The accessible LTOPF registration is the Philippine Army’s initiative to encourage all military and uniformed personnel, civilian, and dependents in helping with the government’s mission on being responsible gun owners. The one-stop shop caravan encouraged a hassle-free licensure for all loose firearms especially during the implementation of gun ban this upcoming elections.

A total of 173 personnel availed the LTOPF during the two days of application which provide an easier submission of the requirements. All applicants underwent neurological and psychiatric examination, drug testing, gun safety test, and responsible gun ownership. Other necessary documents needed were valid government ID’s, NBI, and police clearance, and proof of income on which all services were also installed in the caravan.

[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: Notorious Communist Terrorist (CT) Bombmaker and Cohorts Neutralized; 5 others Surrender in a Day

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 10, 2022): Notorious Communist Terrorist (CT) Bombmaker and Cohorts Neutralized; 5 others Surrender in a Day

MAWAB, Davao De Oro – Joint law enforcement operation by the 1001st Infantry “Pag-asa” Brigade and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) XI resulted to the arrest of a CTG notorious bomb-maker along with two others in Tagum City on March 9, 2022.

BGen Jesus P Durante III, Commander of the 1001st Brigade identified the arrested personalities as Victor P Rollon, also known as Rico Rollon alias GO/PONG/MIGO, a bomb maker of Komisyong Mindanao (KOMMID) and Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC); Christine Joy Adorza Dula alias RYE/RAYRAY, Finance Officer of Weakened Guerrilla Front 3, Sub-Regional Committee 4, SMRC; and Chargelyn Monta Casquejo alias GAB/JILLIAN, Political Instructor, Pulang Bagani Command (PBC), Regional Operations Command (ROC), SMRC.

Rollon has a standing warrant of arrest for Murder and Serious Illegal Detention while Dula is wanted for the crime of Rebellion and Insurrection both in Tagum City. On the other hand, Casquejo is wanted for Homicide in Lupon, Davao Oriental.

Recovered from their possession were: two (2) pcs Improvised Explosive Device; one (1) unit 5.56mm M16 Colt rifle; one (1) unit cal. 45 pistol; one (1) piece cal. 45 magazine loaded with seven (7) rounds ammunition; one (1) pc M16 magazine loaded with 9 pcs of 5.56 mm ammunition; stethoscope; thermometer; sphygmomanometer; cellphones, sim cards, and subversive documents.

Meanwhile, the 1003rd Infantry “Raptor” Brigade through the 89th Infantry Battalion facilitated the surrender of three (3) Militiang Bayan (MB) all under Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU) of the SRC 5, SMRC in Sitio Peroy, Brgy. Dagohoy, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte namely: alias ENTING, Vice Commanding Officer; alias OPERATOR, Liason of Militiang Bayan (MB) with one (1) M16A1 rifle, one (1) short magazine, ten (10) live ammo; and alias ATO, member.

On the other hand, the 56th Infantry “Tatag” Battalion also facilitated the surrender of 18-year-old alias WANWAN, a resident of Sitio Peroy, Brgy Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte, and a former member of Iskwad Segunda, Platun Dos of Guerilla Front Malayag, Sub-Regional Committee 2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee with one (1) Colt M16A1 assault rifle.

Moreover, 39th Infantry “Smash Em” Battalion based in Makilala, North Cotabato also assisted the surrender of alias Kristine/Bayang, 21 yrs old, Political Guide of Dismantled Guerilla Front ALIP together with her one (1) Carbine rifle and one (1) magazine.

10th Infantry “Agila” Division Commander MGen Nolasco A Mempin commended the troops for its accomplishment in just a day, citing support of the community and the effective collaboration with its counterparts in law enforcement.

“The arrest of Rico Rollon, the bomb expert of the CTG paved the way for safer environment for the people. With this, many lives are saved and spared from the atrocities of the Communist Terrorist Group. Moreover, the surrender of numerous personalities in 10ID is a manifestation of the dire situation and near extinction of the CPP-NPA-NDF in Southern Mindanao,” MGen Mempin added.

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

Ballot secrecy protects voter’s choices – MILF exec

 From MindaNews (Mar 10, 2022): Ballot secrecy protects voter’s choices – MILF exec (By FACT CHECK)

A senior leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Force (BIAF), the armed wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), clarified Thursday that members who will not vote the front’s candidates in the 2022 elections can not be immediately expelled from the organization, in reaction to a misleading post circulated on social media.

A Facebook post claimed that BIAF-MILF members who will not vote all the candidates endorsed or supported by the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), the MILF’s political party, will automatically be removed from the organization.

Speaking in Filipino, Toks Ebrahim, chief of the BIAF Administrative Department, cited the ballot secrecy law in refuting the claim.

“We have directed our members to vote the candidates fielded by our political party. However, we would not know who will they actually vote because of the secrecy of the ballots come election day,” Ebrahim explained on the phone.

Hence, to say that BIAF-MILF members who will not vote the UBJP candidates can be automatically removed from the roster is misleading because we have no way of determining whom they will have voted, he noted.

Article 5, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution states that Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.

Ebrahim said that since the MILF has become part of mainstream Filipino society, the organization encourages its members to exercise their democratic rights to vote and expects them to cast their votes on the candidates of UBJP.

According to him, the MILF’s political party is fielding local candidates under the moral governance principle fostered by their leadership headed by Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, who is also the Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The misleading social media card was posted on Facebook page Bantay BARMM, which counts at least 51,757 members. The post, however, could no longer be accessed as of posting.

As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)

(This fact-check piece was produced with the support of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)

Army discovers DI makeshift bomb factory in Maguindanao

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): Army discovers DI makeshift bomb factory in Maguindanao (By Edwin Fernandez)

TERROR WAR MATERIALS. The bomb-making components found by government forces in a makeshift bomb-making factory of the terror group Dawlah Islamiya in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao, on Tuesday (March 8, 2022). The bombs included a dozen improvised explosive devices, among others. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Government forces hunting down terrorists in Maguindanao have stumbled upon a makeshift bomb factory of the Dawlah Islamiya (DI) terror group in the province, the military here reported Thursday.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said the explosives and war materials were discovered late Tuesday by the Army-led Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) forces in Barangay Pagatin of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town.

Uy, also the JFTC commander, said the bomb factory containing assorted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other bomb components are believed to be fabricated by the DI-Toraife Group under Ustadz Esmael Abdulmalik.

Found in a well-camouflaged shanty were 12 assorted container type IEDs; blasting caps; several grams of ammonium nitrate; black powder; sulfur powder; a 9-volt battery; an anti-personnel claymore mine; ammunition for rocket-propelled grenade launchers; 40mm high explosive anti-tank rounds; laboratory test tube glasses; electric wires; improvised switches; cartridge shell of 57RR; and a remote control of unknown type.

Uy said JTFC forces will continue hunting terrorist groups in the province to stop them from attacking civilian communities, as well as military troops and installations.

“I also urge everyone to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person or thing in your locality. With your unrelenting support, it is assured that we will soon attain genuine peace and development in Mindanao,” he said.

‘Rido’ eyed as 2 slain, 3 hurt in Maguindanao attack

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): ‘Rido’ eyed as 2 slain, 3 hurt in Maguindanao attack (By Edwin Fernandez)

STRICT INSPECTION. Police are on heightened alert in Matanog, Maguindanao following a gun attack that left two dead on Wednesday (March 9, 2022). The incident also led to the setting up of more checkpoints implementing an election gun ban in crime-prone spots of the town. (Photo courtesy of PRO-BARMM)

CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao -- Investigators are eyeing “rido” or clan war as the possible motive behind the killing of two persons, one of them a minor, and the wounding of three others in a gun attack Wednesday in Matanog town in this province, police here said Thursday.

Capt. Fayeed Cana, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office–Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said five persons, two elders and three children, were injured and rushed to a hospital in nearby Parang, Maguindanao.

Cana identified those slain as Bro Lumbos, 43, and a boy, both residents of Barangay Langkong in Matanog.

He said Lumbos and Akmad Makaurao, 38, of Barangay Lalabuan, Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, were loading sacks of corn into a multi-carry vehicle while three children, aged 3 to 5 years old, were playing nearby when attacked on Wednesday.

Unidentified gunmen who positioned on a grassy area not far from the victim’s house opened fire at around 9 a.m., the Matanog police said in its report.

The victims, who are all related, were rushed to a hospital in nearby Parang, Maguindanao, the report added.

“One of possible motive is rido or family feud but we are investigating further,” Cana said in the vernacular. “We are yet to hear from the victims’ families.”

Police found more than 15 empty shells for M16 and Carbine rifles at the crime scene.

'Most wanted' ASG bandit nabbed in Tawi-Tawi

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): 'Most wanted' ASG bandit nabbed in Tawi-Tawi (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

Authorities arrested an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandit in a law enforcement operation in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, police reported Thursday.

Capt. Kuhutan Imlani Jr., acting Bongao police chief, identified the arrested ASG bandit as Abu Al, 26, who is listed as one of the most wanted persons in the municipality.

Abu Al was arrested around 9 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay Poblacion, Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi.

Imlani said the suspect has a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping with ransom issued by a Tawi-Tawi court in 2019.

The suspect was placed under the temporary custody of the Bongao police for proper documentation and disposition.

A joint team of policemen, intelligence personnel, and the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA) carried out the operation against the suspect.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-BARMM), said the operation against Al was successfully conducted with the support of the public by providing relevant information to authorities.

The ASG gained notoriety through their kidnapping activities and brutal killings of some of hostages while in captivity.

Victims in Negros get justice with death of NPA hitman: Army

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): Victims in Negros get justice with death of NPA hitman: Army (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

NEUTRALIZED. The cadaver of CPP-NPA leader Virgilio Marco “Bedam” Tamban, who was killed in a clash with soldiers in Isabela, Negros Occidental on Wednesday (March 9, 2022). The military tagged Tamban as a “notorious hitman” responsible for the recent killings of civilians in central Negros. (Photo courtesy of 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)

The top official of the Philippine Army in Western and Central Visayas said justice has been served to the victims of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) leader Virgilio Marco “Bedam” Tamban, who was killed in a clash with soldiers in Isabela, Negros Occidental on Wednesday.

“The death of a.k.a. ‘Bedam’ will serve justice to the civilians killed by the NPA in Negros,” said Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, in a statement on Thursday.

The military tagged Tamban as a “notorious hitman” responsible for the recent killings of Negrense civilians.

Arevalo, who previously headed the 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Murcia, Negros Occidental, acknowledged the help of villagers for providing accurate information to the troops regarding the presence of communist terrorists.

He also lauded the troops of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) for their gallantry in responding to reports from the community.

The 62IB earlier reported that around 10 CPP-NPA members had planned to execute a civilian they suspected to be a government informant, and village residents reported their presence to the soldiers and personnel of Isabela Municipal Police Station.

Around 2 a.m., the troops clashed with the rebels, resulting in the death of Tamban and his comrade. Another NPA member was also captured by the troops.

“We are urging the remaining members of the CPP-NPA to surrender while they still have time, or else suffer the fate of their killed members,” Arevalo said.

The rebels led by Tamban were the primary suspects in the murder of five persons in central Negros from February 16 to March 2 this year, the 62IB reported.

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

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

Army brigade assures monitoring of BDP projects

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): Army brigade assures monitoring of BDP projects (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

The Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade (102Bde) is closely monitoring the implementation of 108 Barangay Development Program (BDP) projects in areas cleared from the influence of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, the 102Bde commander, said Thursday the 108 infrastructure, agricultural, social services, and other BDP projects they are monitoring are located in 82 beneficiary barangays in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental.

Nicolas said these projects are vital in providing long-term solutions in addressing the root causes of the insurgency which, he said, would eventually uplift the lives of the residents.

“We are now at the final stage for the total defeat of the (NPA’s) Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee as their strength is now dwindling,”
Nicolas said in a statement.

“The protection of these projects is an integral part of our campaign to ensure peace and promote development in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental,” he added.

Meanwhile, joint military and police forces are currently deployed in the two barangays of Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte as "sustainment teams" in support of the Retooled Community Support Program of the government to protect cleared barangays from possible recovery efforts of the NPA.

“For 2021, two barangays of Sergio Osmeña Sr., specifically, Barangays Bagumbayan and Nazareth, were beneficiaries of the PHP20 million BDP fund through the efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict," said Lt. Col. Nolasco Coderos Jr., the Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion commander.

Coderos said residents of the two villages decided to use the funds for the concreting of farm-to-market roads following a series of consultations and dialogues.

Claims of Reds infiltrating poll campaign 'worrisome': Lacson

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): Claims of Reds infiltrating poll campaign 'worrisome': Lacson (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Partido Reporma standard-bearer, Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

Partido Reporma standard-bearer, Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, described as "really worrisome" information coming from a former New People's Army (NPA) cadre indicating that operatives of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)'s legal fronts may have "infiltrated" the campaign of Vice President Ma. Leonor "Leni" Robredo.

He added these pieces of information disclosed by ex-NPA cadre Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz appeared to jibe with those provided by his own intelligence sources.

"Now, this is really worrisome - my intel sources being validated by Ka Eric, himself a top-ranking NPA surrenderor. Bad if their campaign is infiltrated. Worse if they are a willing partner. I’m more concerned about those who voluntarily joined their rallies but were not aware," Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account late Wednesday.

He was referring to information cited by Celiz indicating that members of the CPP and its supposed legal fronts were at the rally of Robredo in Cavite last March 4.

Celiz, in a video posted on social media, cited a text message from a former colleague in the CPP-NPA who is now based in Cavite, indicating members of the group's reported legal fronts were brought in from parts of Cavite and even Rizal province.

Also, Celiz alleged there was a budget of PHP500 per head, of which PHP200 was spent for transportation and food.

During a hearing on red-tagging which Lacson presided over in November 2020, Celiz said CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria "Joma" Sison had named several groups as his legal "fronts," which have infiltrated several sectors.

Celiz also said the legal fronts lay the ground for recruiting members to the NPA.

With the information cited by Celiz, Lacson reiterated his warning to those concerned to watch out against being part of a possible coalition government with the CPP, NPA, and NDF.

"If those in the campaign were not aware of this, they should consider themselves warned and take appropriate action. If they are a willing partner, they should consider the consequences of their actions - we simply cannot afford to have a coalition government with a movement whose sole objective is to seize power," Lacson said.

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.

While the Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF 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.

"Since 1969, our country has suffered from the longest-running insurgency in the world which has caused more than 2,000 deaths and billions of pesos in revolutionary taxes paid to the CPP-NPA, not to mention the destruction of properties of those who refused to 'cooperate.' Insurgency, like corruption, must end if we want peace and prosperity," the Partido Reporma standard-bearer added.

As this developed, Partido Reporma senatorial candidate and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Guillermo Eleazar, said the national government should seriously consider declaring a state of economic emergency, explaining that it could empower the local government units (LGUs) to act on their own to assist their constituents that are now suffering the brunt of the series of big-time oil price hikes in the past months.

He added the state of economic emergency also serves as an assurance for quick and appropriate assistance to the affected sectors at the local level amid the continuous delay in the distribution of fuel subsidy for the transport and agriculture sectors.

“A state of economic emergency is already a necessity if another big-time oil price hike happens next week, and especially if there is still no assurance that oil price will stabilize in the coming months,” Eleazar said.

The former PNP chief added this will shield people from the immediate impacts of expected increases in basic goods and services and should be a top priority especially since the country is still recovering from the adverse effects of the pandemic.

The Philippine government has allotted PHP2.5 billion for the fuel subsidy for drivers of mass transport vehicles and operators and PHP500 million for farmers and fishers to help them amid the impact of the price hikes on their livelihood.

DND sees no security concerns amid US takeover of Subic shipyard

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): DND sees no security concerns amid US takeover of Subic shipyard (By Priam Nepomuceno)

File photo

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he sees no security implications with an American company now poised to acquire and operate the cash-strapped Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC-Phil) shipyard in Subic, Zambales.

"I don’t think there will be any implications on our national security. It will be the same as when Hanjin was operating it -- building commercial ships,"
he said in a message to reporters on Wednesday night, when sought for comment on the matter.

Reports earlier said that US equity firm Cerberus will acquire the HHIC-Phil shipyard facility for USD300 million.

"I don’t know the financial transactions regarding the Hanjin shipyard. It is the Department of Finance who is working on it in coordination with the creditor banks. I recommended that the government take over or buy the shipyard if there (were) no buyers to save the shipyard from going into disrepair and generate jobs," the DND chief added.

Also, Lorenzana said the northern portion of the shipyard will be used by the Philippine Navy (PN) to base its big ships.

"The northern portion (North Yard) of the shipyard will be occupied by the PN to be the home port of our frigates and other big ships," he added.

The PN is eyeing to convert and use 100 hectares of HHIC-Phil's North Yard into an installation that will house the Philippine Fleet, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Installation Command, and the Amphibious Assault Battalion.

The North Yard is located near HHIC-Phil's Graving Dock No. 5 (also known as a dry dock) and is used to construct, repair, and maintain ships.

The PN has always been interested in occupying a part of the HHIC-Phil in Subic Bay due to the presence of a deep-sea harbor that can be used to accommodate its strategic sealift vessels and larger patrol ships.

HHIC-Phil's harbor has a minimum depth of about 10 meters which can accommodate the draft of the Tarlac-class landing docks and Del Pilar-class offshore patrol vessels and new missile frigates.

Draft refers to the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull or keel.

Aside from having a deep-sea harbor, the facility is also protected by mountains and the nearby Grande Island. HHIC-Phil has a total of USD1.3 billion outstanding loans -- USD400 million from Philippine banks and USD900 million from South Korean lenders.

In January 2019, the shipbuilder filed a petition before the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court "to initiate voluntary rehabilitation under Republic Act 10142, otherwise known as An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation or Liquidation of Financially Distressed Enterprises and Individuals".

PAF concludes 2-week air combat exercise

Philippine News Agency (Mar 10, 2022): PAF concludes 2-week air combat exercise (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Photo courtesy of PAF

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday announced that the 5th Fighter Wing has successfully concluded its air combat exercise dubbed "Sanay Sibat 2022-1" which ran from February 22 to March 5.

PAF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano, said "Sanay Sibat" gives 5th Fighter Wing units and operators the opportunity to evaluate doctrine, tactics, and desired tactical readiness in terms of capabilities.

"(This) was a two-week exercise of intensive air-to-air and air-to-ground activities emphasizing on mission sets for which the 5FW is expected to perform and provide both for the air defense requirement and in other employment considerations,"
he added.

Mariano said that "Sanay Sibat 2022-1" was a step above the previous exercises of its kind since 2018 and derived lessons learned in operating with other security partners and allies.

"This year’s 'Sanay Sibat' concentrated on defensive and offensive counterair techniques, executing best tactics and dynamic coordination between capability packages and integrating these capabilities to obtain desired effects in a simulated battlespace and battlefield," he added.

Another critical component of this exercise is the skills of the air weapons controllers, the “eyes and ears” of air defense from the 580th Aircraft Controller and Warning Wing.

Command and control with the air battle managers have been seamless in performance with the fighter pilots, Mariano said.

He added the highly intensive exercise aims to build confidence and integrate leadership and warfighter culture that is able to operate both in the air and on the surface.

"The said air combat exercise was also conducted to prepare the PAF fighter pilots to operate the multirole fighter aircraft to be acquired in the near future," Mariano said.