Wednesday, July 13, 2022

NPA amazon wanted for illegal possession of guns falls in Cagayan

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 13, 2022): NPA amazon wanted for illegal possession of guns falls in Cagayan (By Liezle Basa Iñigo)

CAMALANIUGAN, Cagayan – A New People’s Army (NPA) amazon wanted for illegal possession of firearms was arrested Monday, July 11, in Barangay Bulala here.

Rosielyn Domingo Simeon, alias “Jinky,” “Eya/Lara,” and “Di/Diya,” 34, was arrested by the 4th Maneuver Platoon of the 2nd Cagayan Provincial Mobile Force Company, Camalaniugan Municipal Police Station, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, 2nd Philippine National Police-Special Action Force, and 77th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army at 9:30 a.m.

Simeon was arrested for illegal possession, manufacture, and acquisition of firearms, ammunition, and explosives under Presidential Decree 1866 as amended by Republic Acts 8294 and 9516.

No bail was recommended for Simeon in the warrant issued by Presiding Judge Edmar Pascual Castillo Sr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 11, Tuao, Cagayan dated December 14, 2021.

Simeon is a member of the executive committee of an NPA group operating in Cagayan. She is also their armorer and medic.

Recovered from Simeon were three keypad cell phones, four SIM cards, power bank, four memory cards, charger, small pocket-size notebook, box medical kit, a P1,000 bill, and flash drive.

The accused and pieces of evidence were brought to the Camalaniugan Police Station for documentation and proper disposition.

Military: ‘NPA fighters’ aged 21, 26 among those killed in NegOcc encounter

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 13, 2022): Military: ‘NPA fighters’ aged 21, 26 among those killed in NegOcc encounter (By Martin Sadongdong)

Four suspected New People’s Army (NPA) fighters – including a 21-year-old young man and a 26-year-old woman, were killed in a recent armed encounter in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, the military’s Visayas Command (VISCOM) confirmed Wednesday, July 13.

Courtesy of Visayas Command

In a statement, the VISCOM said that elements of the 94th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division clashed with around 14 NPA fighters belonging to the Central Negros Front 2 of the Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor (KR NCBS) in Sitio Amilis, Barangay Bi-ao last July 6 which resulted in the death of four rebels.

According to VISCOM, slain during the encounter were Alden Rodriguez alias Rocky, 21; Nikka Dela Cruz alias Chai, 26; Ruel Gemina Udtuhan, 42; and Rowel Ladera, 32.

Both Udtuhan and Ladera were residents of Himamaylayan City while Rodriguez was from Manjuyod town all in Negros Occidental. Meanwhile, Dela Cruz hailed from Medellin, Cebu.

Lt. Gen. Robert Dauz, VISCOM commander, condoled with the families of the slain rebels, “most especially the families of Rodriguez and Dela Cruz who are both too young to suffer such fate.”

“We regret that this unfortunate event led to the demise of these individuals, particularly our youth as they were swayed by the deception and false promises of the communist terrorist group, the CPP – NPA – NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front]),” Dauz said.

“We grieve deeply with the families of these individuals, as we always would for many Filipino families who lost a father, a mother, son, daughter, brother, and sister in these more than five decades of fighting,” he added.

According to VISCOM, some of the colleagues of the slain rebels have surrendered to the 94IB and revealed the location of their group, prompting the troops to conduct a security operation.

The tip yielded positive results as the troops found the unit and had a brief exchange of fire with the rebels which lasted for three minutes. Four of the 14 armed individuals were killed while the others have escaped, the military said.

A week later, the families of the slain rebels have surfaced and presented documents to identify their relatives, the military said.

The VISCOM said that the slain rebels were part of an NPA unit that was behind the ambush of members of the Binalbagan police in February where two cops were injured.

“We despise the idea of bloodshed in ending this insurgency problem. These senseless killings between and among our fellow Filipinos, especially our youth, caused by the deception and manipulation of the CPP – NPA – NDF must come to an end,” Dauz said.

“As such, we reach out to those who continue to fight and advocate this meaningless fighting, assist your government in bringing in a peaceful and meaningful change, help heal the wounds that widely divided our people, lay down your arms, abandon your armed struggle, and return to the folds of the law,” he added.

Communist insurgency has been a problem of the government for 53 years already, with the CPP leading the rebellion since 1969.

Guns owned by 2 cops recovered from NPA in Negros Occidental encounter site

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 13, 2022): Guns owned by 2 cops recovered from NPA in Negros Occidental encounter site (By Glazyl Masculino)

A rifle and a handgun owned by two policemen were recovered from the site of an encounter between the military and New People’s Army (NPA) last week in Barangay Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.

THE firearms owned by two policemen recovered from two NPA rebels slain in a clash with the military and police in Barangay Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental July 6. (Photo courtesy of 94th IB/303rd Infantry Brigade)

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) said Tuesday, July 12, that the two firearms – a Springfield M14 rifle and a .45 caliber pistol – were issued to Police Corporal Jose Ray Bringuez and Police Staff Sgt. Ranulfo Estrada.

Bringuez was assigned to Sipalay City Police Station in Negros Occidental while Estrada at the Guihulngan City Police Station in Negros Oriental when the weapons were carted away.

According to the Negros Occidental police, these firearms were stolen from the two policemen when the NPA stormed a Compac in Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City April 30, 2010 and ransacked the La Libertad Municipal Police Station November 3, 2009.

Their status was confirmed through the Logistics Data Information Management System (LDIMS) and Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Unit.

The Negros Occidental police maintained that the encounter was a legitimate operation, contrary to the claim of the rebel group.

Last July 6, four NPA rebels were killed in a clash with the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB), Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company (33rd DRC) in Barangay Santol, following reports about the presence of unidentified armed men in the area.

The gunmen were believed to part of the NPA rebels who ambushed personnel of Binalbagan Municipal Police Station in Barangay Bi-ao in February, leaving two policemen wounded, according to the Army.

In fact, one of the slain rebels was a former local journalist from a well-off family in Cebu, according to the 3rd Infantry Division (ID).

She was reportedly recruited during her college years, until she joined protests and later joined the NPA in Central Negros.

The 3rd ID is calling for the government, through its educational institutions, to be more vigilant in resolving the NPA recruitment inside State Universities and Colleges, particularly in major cities like Cebu City.

NPA leader arrested in Davao del Norte

 From the Manila Times (Jul 14, 2022): NPA leader arrested in Davao del Norte (By Ruth Palo)

A ranking leader of the communist New People's Army (NPA) facing criminal charges was arrested by operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at La Filipina in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on Wednesday morning, July 13.

LtCol. Milgrace Driz, CIDG provincial unit head, said the suspected NPA leader identified only as alias "Dodong" used to be the commanding officer of the NPA Front Committee 27, operating within Davao de Oro.

He was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest for murder issued in Davao de Oro in August 2019.

The suspect is now under the custody of the Tagum City Police Office for temporary detention.

"We will take cognizance of the criminal justice system and the rule of law where joint forces of law enforcers of the Philippine National Police will rein in criminal activities and curb lawlessness," Driz said.

Greater risk of ISIS-inspired attacks in region due to ‘cyber jihad’: Singapore ISD

 Posted to Yahoo News (Jul 13, 2022): Greater risk of ISIS-inspired attacks in region due to ‘cyber jihad’: Singapore ISD (Vernon Lee·Senior Editor)

An unloaded Twitter website in front of a displayed ISIS flag. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The region is facing a greater risk of attacks by home-grown extremists who are inspired by “cyber jihad” linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) on Wednesday (13 July).

In its “Singapore Terrorism Threat Assessment 2022” report, ISD flagged the continuous ability of Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS to radicalise and inspire attacks among their followers.

Through a “thriving” pro-ISIS network on social media, ISIS supporters have been circulating ISIS materials alongside self-produced propaganda. “This facilitates the radicalisation and recruitment of a virtual ‘caliphate of believers’ who remain loyal to ISIS, notwithstanding the group’s leadership losses and operational setbacks,” ISD said.

The online network also facilitates communication between regional supporters and ISIS core in Syria and Iraq including the coordination of terror activities across borders and exchange of operational knowledge like weapons-making. Regional authorities have taken action to combat this threat such as the arrest of five members of a pro-ISIS media group in Indonesia.

“As travel restrictions ease, online collaboration between extremists could manifest as real-world attacks,” ISD said.

ISIS affiliates pose the “most immediate threat” through their ability to mount ISIS-inspired attacks, with militant factions in southern Philippines persistently engaging security forces in armed clashes and Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) elements in Indonesia remaining active in plotting attacks, according to ISD.

More than 1,000 Southeast Asians have travelled to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq since the mid-2010s, with at least 600 Southeast Asians reportedly still in Syria. Despite the distance, these individuals pose a security concern and could direct attacks from abroad, ISD said.

While the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is in temporary retreat, it is still a resilient threat, with ISD noting that almost 180 JI-linked suspects were arrested in Indonesia last year. JI may also revive ties with Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, ISD added.

Meanwhile, the threat from far-right extremism (FRE) has overshadowed that of Islamist terrorism in some Western countries, according to ISD. In recent years, two individuals had killed a total of 33 people in separate attacks in the US. The attackers were inspired by white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

Globally, the Russian-Ukraine conflict may unite FRE elements. “Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 amplified interest within online FRE communities, where the chatter appears dominated by the pro-Ukraine narrative… FRE-aligned foreign fighters and the proliferation of surplus weapons would be likely by-products of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine,” ISD said.

Domestic front threats

ISD also noted that the self-radicalisation threat continues to be the main driver of the domestic terrorism threat in Singapore.

A total of 45 self-radicalised individuals, comprising 33 Singaporeans and 12 foreigners, have been issued with orders under the Internal Security Act since 2015. The latest case is Radjev Lal Madan Lal, a 29-year-old Singaporean who was detained under the ISA in April.

Singapore has also taken firm actions against terrorism financing-related activities.

In the past 12 months, a Singaporean and a Bangladeshi were found guilty of terrorism financing offences, bringing the total to 13 individuals who were convicted under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act since its introduction in 2002.

While there is currently no specific intelligence of an imminent terrorist attack against Singapore, the need to stay alert to threats is critical, ISD said.

“The transnational nature of terrorism means that developments further afield, such as those in the Middle East and Afghanistan, can reverberate much closer to home. Extremists are adept at opportunistically exploiting such overseas conflicts to promote their radical narratives and recruit supporters by tapping on a diverse range of grievances.”

Thousands of ex-separatist rebels poised to become Philippine police officers

From BenarNews (Jul 13, 2022): Thousands of ex-separatist rebels poised to become Philippine police officers (By Jeoffrey Maitem)

Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas line up in formation in the jungles of Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province, southern Philippines, July 29, 2009. Five years later, the rebel group would sign a peace deal with Manila, ending their separatist struggle that began in 1978.  Jeoffrey Maitem/BenarNews

More than 7,000 former Muslim separatist rebels are a step closer to being recruited to the national police force that once hunted them in a volatile region of the southern Philippines, after they passed an entrance exam – the basic qualification for recruitment.

For Ryan Saavedra, a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) foot soldier who took the test, making the cut brings him closer to his dream of securing a future for his young daughter, who belongs to a new generation that he hopes will no longer live in fear of war.

“Allahu Akbar, our prayer was heard by Allah. I never expected that I would pass the test,” said Saavedra, a wiry 36-year-old.

Born and reared in Sultan Kudarat, a town in southern Maguindanao province, Saavedra is a father to a 1-year-old daughter. He wants her to grow up to see him as a police officer instead of an enemy of the state.

“I want my daughter to be proud of her father and finish her studies so she could get a job in the future,” Saavedra told BenarNews.

He and other ex-guerrillas who passed the exam must now overcome two more hurdles – passing a screening and undergoing physical training – before they can be inducted as police officers serving the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), as part of a peace deal struck between Manila and MILF, the main rebel group here, in 2014.

The agreement stated that former members of MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) be given the opportunity for employment as law enforcers, said Mohd Asnin Pendatun, cabinet secretary for the autonomous region’s government.

“We are very grateful that we have a high passing rate for the qualifying exam and we are very happy because the sacrifice of our applicants has paid off,” he said in a statement. “We understand that the validation process of the application is meticulous because we have to ensure that applicants are legitimate MILF and MNLF members.”

As many as 7,145 ex-members of MILF and MNLF, out of the more than 11,000 people associated with those groups who sat for the National Police Commission’s “special qualifying eligibility examinations” in May, have passed, the Professional Regulation Commission said.

The results were vetted and released only this week, nearly two months after the first batch of former guerrillas sat for the exam.

Rashid Karon, another former MILF guerrilla in his 30s, said he enjoyed a special dinner with his family on Tuesday night after learning that he had passed.

“I am one step away from becoming a policeman,” he told BenarNews.

Like Saavedra and Karon, Abdul Hakim Gandarosa, 26, a resident of a village in Marawi City, thanked his family after he posted the highest score in the special examination with a grade of about 92.

In 2017, when he was 21 years old, Islamic State-linked militants ransacked Marawi in a failed attempt to turn the lakeshore city into its caliphate in Southeast Asia.

As with other young Muslims, Gandarosa said he was being recruited to be part of the IS faction, but refused.

The fighting in and around Marawi lasted five months before government forces broke the militant siege, leaving more than 1,000 IS fighters, police, soldiers and civilians dead.

Gandarosa said he wants to help prevent similar attacks in the future, if he eventually becomes a police officer.

“It would be hard, but I have to enforce the law,” he said. “And I will not hesitate to pull the trigger if my life is at risk.”

Former Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas take an entrance test for the Philippine National Police in Cotabato city, southern Philippines, May 29, 2022. [Handout photo/Moro Islamic Liberation Front]

Pendatun, the BARMM cabinet secretary, said the government of the autonomous region would continue to help applicants in their efforts to be inducted into the national police force.

“This is just a testament that symbolized the partnership between the national and Bangsamoro governments for the peace process,” he said.

The MILF signed a peace agreement with the central government in 2014, ending its long-running separatist insurgency in the Mindanao region. The group split from the MNLF in 1978, while the latter signed a separate peace deal with Manila in 1996.

One of the conditions of the MILF-government peace deal was the integration of select fighters into the country’s police and military forces, subject to a rigorous selection process.

Apart from recruiting former militants into the Philippine National Police (PNP), the autonomous government is overseeing the disarming and decommissioning of weapons in the possession of 40,000 ex-fighters.

Under the process, each former combatant who turns in weapons is expected to receive a cash payment, including money for education.

But bringing former enemies into the fold isn’t sitting well with all members of the national police force.

Seven years ago, 44 police commandos were killed in a fierce firefight with the MILF in the southern town of Mamasapano. The dead officers were on a secret mission to capture or kill Zulkifli bin Hir (also known as Marwan), one of Southeast Asia’s most wanted militants at the time.

The commandos hunted down and killed Marwan, but they became trapped in a firefight with the MILF guerrillas who believed they were being attacked by enemy forces. The debacle was described as the biggest single-day combat loss for the government in recent memory.

The fighting set back the peace process, and it was only after Rodrigo Duterte succeeded Benigno Aquino III as president that Congress passed a law giving autonomy to the areas in the south controlled by MILF.

[Mark Navales in Cotabato, Philippines, contributed to this report.]

Kalinaw News: Successful Peace Efforts prompted former rebels to surrender in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte

From Kalinaw News (Jul 13, 2022): Successful Peace Efforts prompted former rebels to surrender in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte

MAWAB, Davao De Oro – Successful localized peace engagement resulted in a peaceful surrender of the remaining four (4) inactive members of the Dismantled Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU) of the Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC5) in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte on July 12, 2022, to the 56th Infantry Battalion under the 1003rd Infantry Brigade.

The 56IB
identified the surrenderors as Jimboy Mambay-an, former squad leader of SRGU; Tata Mambay-an, former medic; Onti Landahay alias “Doseka”; and Inggo Ebudan. Likewise, they also brought along with them one (1) AK47 Rifle, and one (1) M1 Springfield Garand Rifle.

Jimboy and Tata were among the six (6) remaining SRGU deleted personalities after SRC5’s downfall on January 15, 2022, due to their inactive status from the Communist Terrorist Group.

Meanwhile, 10th Infantry “Agila” Division Commander MGen Nolasco A Mempin commended the troops of 56IB and 1003rd Infantry Brigade for facilitating the peaceful surrender of the said former rebels. “Rest assured that 10ID will continue to support our friends rescued who saw greater good with the government, and we will help them in their transition back to the mainstream society with the hope of a peaceful and sustainable life.” 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:]

Bulatlat losing half its readers to ‘terror’ block, but judge says that’s not urgent

From Rappler (Jul 13, 2022): Bulatlat losing half its readers to ‘terror’ block, but judge says that’s not urgent (By LIAN BUAN)

Esperon's lawyer Ferdinand Topacio wants to implead the anti-terror council for an act that the former national security adviser may have done on his own

Barely a month since access to its website was blocked by the Duterte government’s last-minute crackdown moves, news site has lost half of its readership, but this development still failed to get an immediate relief from the court as a judge in Quezon City said the problem was “not urgent.”

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Dolly Jose Bolante-Prado denied Bulatlat’s request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) Wednesday, July 13, which was supposed to be the quick remedy for the websites which former national security adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. asked the National Telecommunications (NTC) to block for alleged links to groups the government had designated as terrorists under the anti-terror law.

The anti-terror law’s designation clause does not mention anything about blocking websites to the designated groups, more so to allegedly “affiliated” groups like what Esperon claimed Bulatlat to be. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines had called this blocking “bereft of legal basis” and an “embarrassment” to the government.

But because some browsers have the ability to bypass the blocks put in place by internet service providers (ISPs), some users can still access Bulatlat’s website. The judge on Wednesday was still able to access the website and cited this in her order.

In her written order, Judge Prado said: “The Court itself was able to gain access to the plaintiff’s website. The Court noted that the plaintiff was able to publish the latest news and its commentaries on recent issues of public interest. Its website is still accessible to the public, hence there is clearly no suppression of the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.”

Bulatlat managing editor Len Olea said that according to data from Google analytics, “we have noted nearly 50% drop in the unique visitors.”

A quick and informal survey by Rappler on Twitter showed that out of 56 users, 36 could not access the website spanning all major ISPs.

“One less [person who can access] is significant in a sea of disinformation and misinformation,” said Olea. is a long-established news group covering human rights and issues of marginalized groups.

The main case, however, will continue as only the TRO was junked. A hearing has been set for August 2, and Bulatlat’s lawyer Minnie Lopez was hoping they could still vie for a preliminary injunction.

Bulatlat’s main petition is for the court to nullify Esperon’s letter to the NTC, and the latter’s memorandum to ISPs. They argue that it is a form of unconstitutional prior restraint, or regulating the content even before it is put out.

Bulatlat is demanding a symbolic P1 worth of damages from the case.

Was the anti-terror council involved or not?

Ferdinand Topacio, Esperon’s lawyer, said after the hearing that Bulatlat should have impleaded the anti-terror council (ATC) “sapagkat sa ATC po nagmula ‘yung order sa NTC na i-block po ang site (because it was the ATC which ordered the NTC to block the site).”

But whether the ATC – an inter-agency body – was involved or whether Esperon did it on his own was an issue before. Esperon’s letter to the NTC was prefaced on his being NSA, and not a member of the anti-terror council.

Former justice undersecretary Adrian Sugay, the representative of former secretary Menardo Guevarra in the council, said before the transition to the Marcos government that “the request in question emanated not from the Anti-Terrorism Council, but from the National Security Council.”

Topacio claims that because Esperon used the ATC resolutions designating the “affiliate” groups, the ATC should be impleaded.

“Wala namang problema sa amin kung ku-kuwestiyunin ninyo ang ATC bilang parte rin para may due process, ready naman kaming ipagtanggol ang actions ng pamahalaan,” said Topacio. (We have no problem if they question the ATC as a part of this also, for due process, we are ready to defend the government’s actions.)

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said “that was not yet our time but I have asked Usec Deo Marco to help me look into this.” Marco was among the undersecretaries of the Guevarra-led DOJ, and seems to have been retained by Remulla.

Malaysia obtains stay order against $15B award to heirs of late Sultan of Sulu

From Rappler (Jul 14, 2022): Malaysia obtains stay order against $15B award to heirs of late Sultan of Sulu (By REUTERS)

The heirs claim to be successors-in-interest to the last Sultan of Sulu, who entered a deal in 1848 with a British trading company over the use of his territory

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia said on Wednesday, July 13, it had obtained a stay order against the enforcement of a French arbitration court ruling ordering the government to pay $14.9
billion to the descendants of a late sultan over a colonial-era land deal.

A British law firm representing the heirs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Paris Court of Appeal on Tuesday allowed an application by the Malaysian government for the stay after finding that enforcement of the award could infringe the country’s sovereignty, Malaysia’s law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said in a statement.

Malaysia is also preparing to have the ruling set aside, he said.

The stay order comes a day after lawyers representing the heirs of the late sultan moved to seize two Luxembourg-based units of Malaysian state oil firm Petronas. Petronas has described the seizure as “baseless” and said it would vigorously defend its legal position.

The heirs claim to be successors-in-interest to the last Sultan of Sulu, who entered a deal in 1848 with a British trading company over the use of his territory, now known as the Malaysian state of Sabah.

Malaysia took over the arrangement after independence from Britain, paying a token sum to the heirs annually. But the payments were stopped in 2013, with Malaysia arguing that no one else had a right over Sabah, which was part of its territory.

A French court issued the $14.9 billion award in favor of the heirs in February, with Malaysia refusing to participate in the arbitration.

Wan Junaidi said Malaysia did not recognize the heirs’ claim and would take all steps to uphold the country’s sovereignty.

Ex-rebels locate hidden firearms

From the Mindanao Times (Jul 13, 2022): Ex-rebels locate hidden firearms (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

THE military reported that former leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) led 10th Infantry Division soldiers to the recovery of five high-powered firearms in Purok 6, Barangay New Leyte, Maco, Davao de Oro last July 9.

Captain Mark Anthony Tito, Public Affairs Office chief of the division, two former leaders of the revolutionary movement who surrendered a month ago led the team to the location where the firearms were hidden.

Found were four M16 and an M14.

Major General Nolasco A Mempin, commander of the division, was elated by the discovery of the firearms.

“The cooperation of the former rebels in leading us to recover their buried firearms is a clear manifestation of the trust and confidence that our friends rescued have in our soldiers,”. Mempin said, adding that the rebels could not use the rifles again to sow violence.

Last month, the military declared the province insurgency-free after it reported that rebel units in the area were dismantled.

Army: NPA recruitment led to wasted life

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jul 14, 2022): Army: NPA recruitment led to wasted life (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Nikka Ledesma dela Cruz* 3ID photo

A good daughter and a brilliant student.

This was how the parents of Nikka Ledesma Dela Cruz, one of the four New People’s Army rebels who died in an encounter with Army soldiers and policemen on July 6, in Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental
, according to Capt. Kim Apitong, Public Affairs Office chief of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

According to her mother, who is a doctor, Apitong said Nikka, a Communication graduate of the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu, wanted to be a journalist. But during her college days, she was already participating in protest rallies, staged by urban poor group Kadamay, Gabriela Women’s Group and other left leaning organizations in Carbon, Cebu City, which led to her being recruited by Anakbayan youth group, upon seeing her potential as an effective “cadre.”

After graduating from college, Nikka worked briefly worked with a television network in Cebu, where she focused on Kadamay’s anti-government protests, which further agitated her to hate the government, Apitong further claimed.

He accused militant groups of facilitating her entry to New People’s Army in Negros Island.

Apitong claimed that Nikka joined the Central Negros (Front 2 of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor) on March this year.

Authorities recovered video footage of her and companions performing a cultural dance in front of NPA leaders, with a backdrop of CPP-NPA-NDF flags and firearms, that confirmed her entry to CN2 unit, he added.

Nikka and three of her comrades died on July 6, barely five months she went underground, Apitong said.

The wasted life of Nikka, other students, and youth who were brainwashed, deceived, and killed in several encounters is enough and must be stopped at once, he stressed.

Apitong also said that the recruiter and the organizations who brainwashed Nikka must take full responsibility for her death, and be punished legally under existing law, to give justice to her death.

Nikka, 26, was reported by the Philippine Army as a “cadre” of CN2 under KR NCBS.

The Army’s 3ID called on private and government educational institutions to be more vigilant in resolving the CPP-NPA-NDF recruitment activities, especially in state universities and colleges, and the strengthening of the National Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), to continue exposing the lies and deception of the CPP NPA sectoral front organizations in recruiting innocent students to become NPA members.

Bangsamoro gov’t kicks off 2nd leg of excellence award in honor of MILF founder Salamat Hashim

From MindaNews (Jul 13, 2022): Bangsamoro gov’t kicks off 2nd leg of excellence award in honor of MILF founder Salamat Hashim (By BONG S. SARMIENTO)

CAMP RAJAHMUDA, Pikit, Cotabato (MindaNews / 13 July) – In commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the martyrdom of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) founder Sheik Salamat Hashim on Wednesday, the MILF and the Bangsamoro government paid tribute to his life works by kicking off the second leg of the Salamat Excellence Award for Leadership (SEAL) for local government units (LGUs) in the region.

Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, BARMM Interim Chief Minister, speaks at Camp Rajahmuda during commemoration of the 19th death anniversary of MILF founder Salamat Hashim. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

Hashim, vice chair of the Moro National Liberation Front who broke away in the late 1970s to form the MILF in 1984, passed away on July 13, 2003 in Camp Bushra in Butig, Lanao del Sur.

The reclusive Hashim succumbed to a lingering illness and was buried in his birth place in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.

He was succeeded by Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, who was then the MILF vice chair for military affairs.

Speaking in Maguindanaoan, Ebrahim, now Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), hailed Hashim as a “respected, inspiring and great Bangsamoro leader,” and urged other Bangsamoro leaders to follow his teachings and examples.

“We are proud to present the SEAL Award in honor of the man who planted the seeds of struggle that we are now reaping,” Ebrahim said, apparently referring to the creation of the BARMM.

“As the Government of the Day, we are guided by moral governance and we make decisions for the BARMM collectively based on consultations,” he added.

After 17 years of negotiations, the MILF signed with the Aquino government the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in 2014, whose key component is the creation of a Bangsamoro region.

Some 300 “Widows of War,” or wives left by the martyred MILF members, were recognized and given P25,000 cash and food assistance. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

During the Duterte administration, Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM was signed, and after a plebiscite that ratified it, the BARMM was officially created in January 2019.

Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo noted his ministry launched the SEAL Award in December 2020, with six local chief executives (LCEs) receiving the pilot recognition last January.

Each awardee received a gold plated medallion worth P250,000 and P2.5 million worth of project.

SEAL is in honor of the great Bangsamoro revolutionary leader Salamat Hashim who had exemplified the true spirit of integrity and commitment to improve the lives of the Bangsamoro people, according to a briefer from the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government.

With hundreds in attendance at Camp Rajahmuda, one of the MILF camps recognized by the government in the peace agreement, Sinarimbo, also the Bangsamoro government spokesperson, said LGUs in the BARMM should take inspiration from Hashim in their bid to improve the lives of their constituents.

“We stand privileged today to remember a man who in his own language once said, ‘I have planted the seeds of struggle and I am confident that it will blossom even if I am gone’,” he said.

“Today’s event is a tribute [again] to a man whose life works and struggle were all dedicated to the Bangsamoro people… Beyond resistance, or perhaps alongside the struggle, he demonstrated a brand of leadership that we must all emulate,” Sinarimbo added.

The SEAL Award is considered by the Bangsamoro government as “the most prestigious award that the region undertook to recognize LCEs who show excellent performance,” he said.

Abhoud Syed Lingga, executive director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, described Hashim as a unique person that the Bangsamoro people should not forget.

“As a student of history, the life of Salamat is very beautiful… His teachings are universal,” said Lingga, a former member of the MILF peace panel.

Also in honor of the martyrdom of Hashim and the other MILF fighters in pursuit of the Bangsamoro struggle, at least 300 Widows of War, or wives left by the martyred MILF members, were recognized and given P25,000 cash and food assistance.

Camp Rajahmuda is part of the Bangsamoro Geographic Area within Pikit, Cotabato.

PH Army units help in Banaue relief ops

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13, 2022): PH Army units help in Banaue relief ops (By Priam Nepomuceno)

CLEARING OPS. Army troops and reservists, along with other volunteers, clear a major road affected by a mudslide in Banaue, Ifugao on Tuesday (July 12, 2022). Heavy monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides in the town, affecting 10 villages and about 1,054 families, based on data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

Philippine Army (PA) regular and reserve units continue to assist in relief and road-clearing efforts in communities heavily affected by floods in Banaue, Ifugao.

"Army troops and reservists continue to clear landslide-hit roads as they help local government workers in distributing aid to families affected by heavy rains in Banaue, Ifugao on July 12, 2022,"
PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement Tuesday night.

Trinidad said personnel of the 1404th Community Defense Center and members of the 1404th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion have launched clearing efforts on key roads blocked by landslides since July 9.

Meanwhile, 54th Infantry Battalion personnel worked hand in hand with reservists to distribute food packs to families affected by the landslides and heavy rains in Barangay Tam-an.

"Army troops also assisted local government workers in distributing aid to calamity-stricken families in Barangay Poblacion," Trinidad said.

Heavy monsoon rains triggered flash floods and mudslides that have affected roads, houses, and farms in Banaue since last week.

PA Chief, Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., earlier committed to beefing up the Army’s reserve component that plays a crucial role in saving lives in times of natural calamities.

The PA has about 790,000 reserves who perform a crucial role in the successful implementation of development support and security operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, especially humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts. (

PNP orders regular inspection of ammo storage hubs

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13, 2022): PNP orders regular inspection of ammo storage hubs (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

File photo

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday ordered all police commanders to regularly inspect their ammunition storage facilities.

This comes following the fire and blasts that razed the ammunition complex of the Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City past midnight on Tuesday.

PNP director for operations, Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, has directed all regional directors to exercise due diligence in storing firearms ammunition that can cause serious accidents when mishandled.

“Our commanders should always make sure to check the weather condition and the temperature inside the storage areas. Moisture may develop inside and this can ignite the ammunition inside. We have to be careful and responsible in handling this because we don’t want any similar incident that happened in Cagayan de Oro City to happen in the police camps or any police offices. So the best way to ensure that this would not happen is to take regular preventive measures,” de Leon said in a statement.

He said the same due diligence must also be observed in evidence storage areas where confiscated firearms and ammunition from criminal elements are stored.

“The PNP, headed by our OIC (officer-in-charge) Lt. Gen. (Vicente) Danao is waiting for the result of the investigation on the incident in Cagayan de Oro City in order to know the lessons that we could learn to prevent any similar incident to happen,” said de Leon.

He warned that those who would be found remiss in their responsibility of properly taking care of ammunition storage areas would be facing administrative cases.

“They would surely be facing administrative liability if they would not exercise due diligence because we have already reminded them through a memorandum issued from the National Headquarters,” said de Leon.

No troops were injured in the fire that was declared out at 3:10 a.m. on Tuesday but three civilians were taken to the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Around 245 residents living near the ammunition complex have also been evacuated and are now temporarily sheltered at the 4th Infantry Division gymnasium and the Barangay Patag covered court.

The facility houses 155mm howitzer rounds and various small arms ammunition.

Sabotage ruled out in ammo dump blaze: Army official

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13, 2022): Sabotage ruled out in ammo dump blaze: Army official (By Nef Luczon)

DEEPER PROBE. The aftermath of the explosion at the ammo dump complex inside the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) headquarters, compared to its original structure (inset, upper left). Based on initial assessment, the 4ID ruled out sabotage since the facility's locks were still intact, and there was no sign of forced entry. (Photo courtesy of 4ID)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID) has ruled out sabotage behind the explosion that destroyed the ammunition dump depot inside its headquarters, Camp Edilberto Evangelista, on Tuesday midnight.

Lt. Col. Vladimir Sta. Maria, the 4ID’s 10th Forward Service Support Unit commander, said the locks securing the depot’s metal doors were still intact, suggesting there was no forced entry.

Sta. Maria noted that the facility has an updated safety inspection certificate as of March 22, 2022, from the Bureau of Fire Protection.

The 4ID's own board of inquiry, he said, will begin this week an investigation on the facility's soaking and cooling mechanism, which acts to prevent remaining unexploded ordnance to explode.

Maj. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, 4ID commander, said the BOI will be composed of Army officials and other civilian stakeholders.

“We will also invite officials from Barangay Patag and representatives from the local government of Cagayan de Oro City,” Mamawag said, adding that the 4ID is expected to finish its report by July 17.

Other than the BOI, personnel of the police's Scene of the Crime Operation and the Bureau of Fire Protection are also conducting their own probes.

From July 14 to 17, the Explosives and Ordnance Division team will conduct clearing operations and handle possible ordnance still present in the place of the incident.

Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, the Philippine Army’s commanding general, said the 4ID incident should be a good reference for upgrading the various facilities inside Army headquarters nationwide.

“We will transfer the ammo dumps into a safer place. There is already a stringent protocol and strict policies in place (for the management of ammo dump facilities), but whatever the result of the investigation, we may make adjustments,” Brawner said in a press conference Tuesday evening.

Brawner said the incident is not isolated, as other military facilities in other countries also experienced the burning of ammunition storage facilities without external threats.

The 4ID estimated damages worth PHP27.7 million, with 61 families or 327 individuals residing near the facility evacuated.

Three injured civilians—identified as Reynald Quirweca, 45; Acolbay Escalante, 22; and Curt Angelo Cuizon, 15—were all declared safe following the incident.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Northern Mindanao has also sent 100 family food packs to the displaced families.

Meanwhile, City Mayor Rolando Uy has appealed for sobriety following the fire incident coupled with a series of explosions.

“I would enjoin all residents to stay calm and refrain from speculating on the accident at the headquarters of the 4ID that shook the city,” he said in a statement.

Scammer preying on aspiring soldiers nabbed in Pagadian

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13, 2022): Scammer preying on aspiring soldiers nabbed in Pagadian (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

An alleged scam artist was arrested in Pagadian City following the Army’s 1st Infantry Division’s (ID) discovery of a swindling syndicate victimizing aspiring soldiers, a military official said Wednesday.

Capt. Mary Jephte Mañebog, the 1ID information officer, said the scammers' existence was uncovered after 20 aspiring soldiers complained why they were not given priority to take the qualifying examination despite paying P1,400 each.

An aspiring soldier should pass the Armed Forces of the Philippines Service Aptitude Test (AFPSAT), the unified written entrance examination, for entry into the military service.

“It came to our attention when some applicants complained why they were not able yet to take the AFPSAT despite they have already paid,” Mañebog said.

The 1ID has scheduled the conduct of AFPSAT in Pagadian City from July 10 to 13, and in Iligan City from July 15 to 17.

When informed that no fee is required, Mañebog said the aspiring soldiers immediately reported the suspects' activity to the Army.

Mañebog said one of the suspects was arrested Tuesday while an AFPSAT review center in Pagadian City was padlocked on the same day.

“We want to make it clear that there is no review center and no specific reviewer for AFPSAT,” she said.

Mañebog said the Pagadian City police are readying charges for usurpation of authority and falsification of public documents against the arrested suspect and his cohorts.

The arrested suspect, whose identity Mañebog withheld, admitted having four cohorts.

Army activates task force vs. NPA in Central Mindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13, 2022): Army activates task force vs. NPA in Central Mindanao (By Edwin Fernandez)

READY FOR DUTY. The Army’s 5th Infantry Division activates Task Group 'Bangis' Tuesday (July 12, 2022) to beef up security forces against remnants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Mindanao. The task force’s mission is to dismantle for good the NPA’s Guerilla Front Musa, the only remaining communist group in the region. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Military authorities here have activated a 500-strong task group that will help beef up security presence against the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Mindanao.

Major Gen. Roberto Capulong, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said Wednesday the activation of the battalion-size unit was in support of the goal of dismantling NPA Guerilla Front Musa, the only remaining rebel unit in the area.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started,” Capulong said, adding that the task force's main strength will be concentrated in the area of responsibility of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade. It covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and South Cotabato.

Despite the task force's creation as an ad hoc body, Capulong said it will fulfill the commitment of the 6ID to the commander-in-chief, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in the campaign against the communist rebel group.

“This will significantly contribute to our continuous quest for long-lasting peace, and sustainable development in Central Mindanao,” he said.

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 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.

Peace effort leads 4 rebels to yield in Davao del Norte

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13, 2022): Peace effort leads 4 rebels to yield in Davao del Norte (By Che Palicte)

SURRENDER. Four New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrender to the Army's 56th Infantry Battalion Tuesday (July 12, 2022) in the Davao del Norte town of Talaingod. They are identified as Jimboy Mambay-an, former squad leader of Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit, Tata Mambay-an, former medic, Onti Landahay, and Inggo Ebudan. (Image courtesy of 10ID)

The Army's peace initiative in Davao del Norte has been credited for the surrender of four New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents, the last of the dismantled rebel unit in the town of Talaingod.

In a statement Wednesday, the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) said the successful localized peace engagement resulted in a peaceful surrender of the four remaining members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area.

Capt. Mark Anthony Tito, the 10ID spokesperson, identified the surrenderers as Jimboy Mambay-an, former squad leader of the NPA's Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU), Tata Mambay-an, a former medic, Onti Landahay, and Inggo Ebudan.

They yielded to the 56th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade Tuesday.

Jimboy and Tata were among the six remaining SRGU personalities after the downfall of Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC5) on January 15, 2022, Tito said.

“In the second quarter of 2022, the six remnants were already deleted in the official PSR (Periodic Status Report) due to being inactive/absence without leave status with SRGU as officially dismantled, hence making the PSR zero as of this date," Tito said.

He said the surrenderers brought along with them an AK47 rifle and an M1 Garand rifle.

Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin, the 10ID commander, assured 10ID will "continue to support our friends rescued who saw greater good with the government, and we will help them in their transition back to the mainstream society with the hope of a peaceful and sustainable life."

The SRGU was officially dismantled on April 25, 2022.

Likewise, 10ID along with other security and government agencies declared Davao Del Norte as an insurgency-free province on June 13, 2022.

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 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.

232 cops sent to finish off NPA in 6 Northern Samar barangays

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 13, 2022): 232 cops sent to finish off NPA in 6 Northern Samar barangays (By Philippine News Agency)

The government is strengthening its fight against the New People’s Army (NPA) in six conflict-stricken barangays in Palapag, Northern Samar with the deployment of 232 policemen who are part of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) team.

The 232 policemen replaced the 162 personnel deployed in Palapag for months to participate in the government’s whole-of-nation approach to end the decades-old insurgency.

“We held a send-off ceremony in Northern Samar last July 11 for these 232 personnel to help suppress insurgency in Northern Samar and promote sustainable peace and development among communities,” said Police Lt. Col. Ma. Bella Rentuaya, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office here in an interview Wednesday, July 13.

The RCSP teams will be assigned to Barangays Pampang, Paysod, Talolora, Binay, Monbon, and Jangtud.

Rentuaya said the new batch of policemen belongs to the Basic Internal Security Operations Course Class 33-2021. They also completed the five-day RCSP orientation.

As part of their RCSP task, they will conduct a needs assessment to identify primary and secondary issues being exploited by the NPAs.

This action of the RCSP will make them the community’s bridge to the concerned government agencies in addressing their issues, according to Rentuaya.

In a statement, PNP Eastern Visayas director Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac expressed optimism that the people would feel secure with the presence of government forces in their area.

“The primary objective is to end the operation of the communist terrorist group in the areas and stop their deceptive recruitment. We must end their armed struggle against the government and promote peace,” Banac added.

Body of NPA who died of nervous breakdown from relentless gov’t pursuit unearthed in Iloilo

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 13, 2022): Body of NPA who died of nervous breakdown from relentless gov’t pursuit unearthed in Iloilo (By Tara Yap)

ILOILO CITY – The body of a New People’s Army (NPA) rebel who died of nervous breakdown from the relentless pursuit of government soldiers was recovered in a shallow grave in Leon, Iloilo.

SOLDIERS recover the remains of a New People’s Army (NPA) rebel in Leon, Iloilo. (61st IB photo)

Lt. Col. Harold Garcia, Army 61st Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said troops from the 61st IB unearthed the cadaver of Glezer Hembra, alias “Karl,” “Bonet,” and “Ram-Ram,” in Barangay Bucari.

Hembra’s body was found after former NPA rebel alias “Toto” who surrendered to authorities last January pinpointed the location of his remains.

Hembra allegedly died last year from a nervous breakdown he suffered as a result of soldiers closing in behind them. He was hastily buried by his comrades in an unmarked and shallow grave.

Hembra was said to be a squad member of the Suyak Platoon of the NPA Southern Front Committee in Panay Island.

Soldiers also recovered ammunition and other items buried with him – 30 rounds for an M16 rifle, 15 cartridges of 5.56mm ball, backpacks, chargers for commercial radios, electrical wires, electrical sockets, surgical gloves, plaster tapes, and intravenous cannulas.

Garcia assured that Hembra’s body will be returned to his family for a proper burial.

7 PNP chief contenders named

From the Philippine Star (Jul 13, 2022): 7 PNP chief contenders named (By Emmanuel Tupas)

Danao, Sermonia, Abu, Natividad, Azurin, De Leon and Cruz.

More than a week after assuming office, President Marcos has yet to choose the next chief of the 226,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP).

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., who has supervision over the PNP, said over the weekend that the matter is still being discussed.

Seven names have cropped up as the possible first national police chief under the Marcos administration. Among them are PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia and directorial staff chief Lt. Gen. Manuel Abu.

The other possible contenders are PNP Area Police Command Northern Luzon head Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Directorate for Operations chief Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Maj. Gen. Eliseo Cruz and National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad.

Danao, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1991, has been serving as the PNP’s caretaker since May, leading the police force in securing the last elections. He will retire on Aug. 10, 2023.

Danao and De Leon are said to be members of the “Davao Boys,” having served in Davao City, the hometown of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

The two, together with Natividad, supervised the security coverage for Marcos’ inauguration at the National Museum in Manila on June 30.

Sermonia, a member of the PMA Class of 1989, previously headed the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations Group. He also served as director of the Central Luzon police. He will retire on Jan. 6, 2024.

Sermonia’s classmate, Abu, had stints as commander of the Area Police Command Eastern Mindanao and director of the Bangsamoro police. He will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Aug. 1.

Azurin served as director of the Police Regional Office 1. Among the areas under its jurisdiction is Ilocos Norte, the home province of Marcos. Azurin headed the Maritime Group and served as deputy head of the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management.

A perceived advantage of Azurin is that he is an Ilocano like Marcos. He will bow out of the police service on April 24, 2023.

De Leon, who is said to have close ties with Vice President Sara Duterte, was among the officials who supervised the security measures in the last elections.

De Leon previously headed the Central Luzon police and Firearms and Explosives Office. He will retire on May 7, 2023.

Cruz had stints as director of the Calabarzon police, Northern Police District and Southern Police District. He will retire on June 14, 2023.

Natividad served as Calabarzon police chief before he was appointed as Metro Manila’s police commander. He was assigned as special police assistant to former Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

As Bohol police chief, Natividad led troops in the fight against Abu Sayyaf bandits who attacked the province in 2017. He will retire on Aug. 23, 2023.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said Abalos should not allow suspended “ninja cops” to return to the police service, to ensure the success of the government’s war on drugs.

A ninja cop is the term used to refer to uniformed personnel involved in the illegal drug trade.

“They are the rogue police personnel who are just waiting for former president Rodrigo Duterte to leave Malacañang and they will apply with the PNP for reinstatement,” Dela Rosa said.

WESTMINCOM: ASG Bailiwick no more – Sinumaan Complex declares liberation from ASG Influence

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jul 11, 2022): ASG Bailiwick no more – Sinumaan Complex declares liberation from ASG Influence 

4th Civil Relations Group

ASG Bailiwick no more – Sinumaan Complex declares liberation from ASG Influence (06 Jul 2022)

A covenant declaring the liberation of the Sinumaan Complex in Talipao from the influence of the ASG has been signed by the chairpersons of the barangays included in the so-called “Sinumaan Complex”, well-known as one of the safe haven of the Abu Sayyaf Terrorists, in a simple ceremony held at Barangay Bud Bunga, Talipao, Sulu.

The covenant affirms the commitment of the local populace from the said area to denounce the ASG and their terroristic activities, and to fully-support the developmental efforts being implemented by the government. Its signing is a symbol, not only of the liberation of the community from ASG Influence, but also from the ignorance and misbelief that there will never be peace and development in the area.
Witnessing the signing of the covenant was none other than the 11th Infantry Division Commander himself, MGen Ignatius N Patrimonio PA; together with BGen Eugenio C Boquio, Commander, 1101st Inf Bde; LTC Benito G Ramos Jr, Commanding Officer, 2SFBn; Hji Abejari-e Sahimarie, LGU Talipao, and other stakeholders from the different spectrum of the society.

“This is a tangible proof that we are already getting there – nearer to the peace and development that we all had wanted for the Province of Sulu. Back a few years ago, this place has been getting the headlines for the deadly firefights that occur between the government forces and the ASG, yet now, it is transforming into a peaceful and beautiful community that hold a lot of potentials.” notes MGen Patrimonio.

MGen Patrimonio cites that development in an area can be possible through the continued cooperation of the Local Government Unit (LGU), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the security forces, and most especially the local community, who are the ones in the area. He also said that the AFP can do nothing so much than to serve as a bridge between the community and the stakeholders who can be of help to them.
“We are very grateful to the AFP for making this possible. Not even in their dreams did the people of Sinumaan Complex thought that there would be peace in this place.” says Hji Aberaji-e Sahimarri.

The signing of the declaration of the liberation of the Sinumaan Complex was followed by the Ribbon-cutting Ceremony of the Bud Bunga-Upper Sinumaan Road Network, that now connects barangays Bud Bunga, Upper Sinumaan, and Lower Sinumaan. This road network is one of the flagship projects of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion under Ltc Ramos, operationally controlled by the 1101Bde under BGen Boquio.
MGen Patrimonio also visited the Peace Formation and Learning Center of Barangay Bud Bunga that has recently conducted a moving-up ceremony for its more or less 150 students. He also inspected the ongoing civic action of 2SFBn at Sitio Santol of Brgy Upper Sinumaan and the ongoing construction of the Peace Formation and Learning Center of Upper Sinumaan at Sitio Banglot of the said barangay.

All projects and activities conducted and being conducted in the Sinumaan Complex are made possible through the continuous support and coordination of the 545th Engineering and Construction Battalion, the 12th Civil-Military Operations Battalion, the Provincial Government of Sulu, the Municipal Government of Talipao, PNP-SAF, MJB-Cares Foundation, SULADS Philippines, Tausug League for Social Transformation (TLST), Youth Leaders of Sulu Towards Peace and Development (YLS-TPD and Moro Youth Catalyst Association (MYCA).

WESTMINCOM: 57IB neutralizes CNT in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jul 13, 2022): 57IB neutralizes CNT in Sultan Kudarat


57IB neutralizes CNT in Sultan Kudarat

Operating troops of the 57th Infantry “Masikap” Battalion neutralized a CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) in an encounter with military troops on July 10, 2022 at Brgy. Tibuhol, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

57IB troops clashed with more or less five CNTs and able to recover the cadaver at the encounter site after the enemies escaped into different directions. Operating troops captured war materiel including a cal.30 M1 Garand rifle and ammunitions.

The Army leadership lauded the 57IB on their relentless combat operations that led to the neutralization of a CNT which contributes to the peace and development in Sultan Kudarat.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Mamamahayag, pinarangalan ng NDF-Negros

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis propaganda articles posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 11, 2022): Mamamahayag, pinarangalan ng NDF-Negros (Journalist, honored by NDF-Negros)

Pinarangalan ng National Democratic Front-Negros si Nikka de la Cruz (Ka Chai), isang Pulang mandirigmang maysakit na pinatay ng 94th IB sa Binalbagan sa isla ng Negros noong Hulyo 6. Kasama niyang pinaslang ang tatlo pang mandirigma na pawang maysakit.

Walang katotohanan ang ipinagkakalat ng Armed Forces of the Philippines na nagkaroon ng putukan, ayon sa NDF-Negros. Ayon sa salaysay ng mga residente sa lugar, sinubukan nilang tulungan ang maysakit na mga mandirigma pero nagpaulan na ng bala ang mga sundalo. Maging ang bukal na pinagkukunan ng tubig ng komunidad ay hinagisan ng mga sundalo ng mga granada ang bukal sa pagdadahilang pinagtataguan diumano ito ng mga mandirigma.

Ilang minuto paglipas, harapang pinaslang sa mistulang isang firing squad ang mga apat na kasamang nasukol at nadakip. Ayon sa mga nakasaksi, ipinwesto ng mga sundalo ang mga bangkay para pagmukhaing nagkaroon ng labanan.

Pinararangalan ng NDF si De la Cruz na anito’s “isang batang rebolusyonaryong intelektwal na tumugon sa panawagang makipamuhay sa kanayunan at sumapi sa hukbong bayan.”

“Namatay siya bilang isang pinakamamahal na mandirigma ng bayan at kadreng proletaryo na kumakatawan sa batayang prinsipyong rebolusyonaryo ng pagsisilbi sa sambayanan.”

Si De la Cruz ay nagtapos ng kursong journalism sa University of San Jose-Recolets at unang nagtrabaho bilang reporter ng dySS, isang istasyon ng radyo ng kumpanyang GMA-7. Dito niya nausisa ang mga kwento at usapin na kadalasan ay di na nakaaabot sa mainstream media. Kalaunan, nagpasya siyang umanib siya sa Aninaw Productions, isang alternatibong grupong pang-midya.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Sonang pang-ekonomya, itatayo sa militarisadong mga erya sa Davao City

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis propaganda articles posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 11, 2022): Sonang pang-ekonomya, itatayo sa militarisadong mga erya sa Davao City (Economic zone, to be built in militarized areas of Davao City)

Pang-aagaw ng lupa ang tunay na pakay ng kampanyang kontra-insurhensya ng noo’y meyor ng Davao at ngayo’y bise presidente na si Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Noong nakaraang linggo, inanunsyo ng Davao City Investment Promotions Center ang pagpapalit-gamit sa 25-ektaryang lupa sa Brgy. Daliao, Toril at 80-ektaryang lupa sa katabing Bunawan at Tibungco, lahat sa Davao City. Ang mga lupang ito ay mga sakahan ng libu-libong magsasaka at Lumad na walang sariling lupa. Sa halip na igawad sa kanila ang lupa, balak ng mga Duterte na itayo rito ang isang agro-industriyal na “economic zone” na pakikinabangan ng mga burukrata (sa anyo ng mga kikbak sa imprastruktura) at dayuhang mga kumpanya.

Ang mga barangay na ito ay kasama sa mga lugar na idineklarang “insurgency-free” noong Hunyo 21 ng 10th ID ng Armed Forces of the Philippines. Ginawa ang deklarasyon sa gitna ng walang patid na militarisasyon, pangmamasaker, pamamaslang, iligal na pang-aaresto at detensyon, intimidasyon, pwersahang “pagpapasurender” sa mga sibilyan at pilit na pagpapailalim sa kanila sa kunwa’y mga “organisasyong masa.”

Ang Toril, sa partikular, ay mahigit isang dekada nang pokus ng walang awat na militarisasyon ng AFP. Noong nakaraang taon, itinayo dito ng 10th ID ang pekeng mga samahan ng magsasaka para bigyan-daan ang pagpasok ng mga komersyal na plantasyon at iba pang dayuhang kumpanya. Pinalabas ng AFP na ang pagsapi ng mga magsasaka sa mga organisasyong ito ay patunay na naggapi na ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa lugar.

“Ang kalokohang plano ng pagtatayo dito ng mga sweatshop (pabrikang atrasado at barat magpasahod) ay magpapalala lamang sa problema ng kawalang lupa sa magsasaka at Lumad at magbubunga sa malalalang porma ng pagsasamantala sa mga manggagawa,” ayon kay Rubi del Mundo, tagapagsalita ng National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao, sa isang pahayag noong Hulyo 9.

Itatransporma ng mga “agro-industriyal na eco-zone” na ito ang produktibong mga lupang agrikultural tungong mga plantasyon na may iisang pananim (monocrop) para sa eksport at mga plantang nagpuproseso at nagpapakete, at mga lugar panturismo. Sa kagyat, palalayasin ng mga ito ang mga magsasaka. Sa pangmatagalan, sisirain nito ang dating produktibong lupa dulot ng paggamit ng nakalalasong mga kemikal (pestisidyo at iba pa), tulad ng nangyari na sa maraming plantasyon sa Mindanao.

“KIlala ang mga eco-zone bilang mga pugad ng mapagsamantalang mga kumpanyang dayuhan na nagpapasasa sa murang lakas-paggawa at nandadambong sa ating mga likas na rekurso,” aniya.

Hindi ligtas sa planong tayuan ng mga “eco-zone” kahit ang mga lupang ninuno ng mga Lumad sa iba pang bahagi ng rehiyon. “Sa Talaingod, ekta-ektarya na ang nilatagan ng mga daan at resort na…nagpapalayas sa daan-daang mga pamilyang Ata-Manobo mula sa kanilang mga lupa at kabuhayan.”

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Palyadong mga airstrike sa Cagayan, perwisyo sa mga sibilyan

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis propaganda articles posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 12, 2022): Palyadong mga airstrike sa Cagayan, perwisyo sa mga sibilyan (Failed airstrikes in Cagayan, persecution of civilians)

Tanda ng kawalang pakundangan (indiscriminate) ng mga pambobomba ng AFP, tatlo sa apat nitong mga airstrike na isinagawa sa Cagayan mula Setyembre 2021 hanggang Pebrero ngayong taon ay palyado at bigong tumama sa sinasabi nitong mga target na yunit ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan at sa halip ay nagdala ng perwisyo sa taumbayan.

Sa isang kaso, mga nag-ooperasyong pulis ang tinamaan ng mga bomba nito. Para pagtakpan ang kapalpakang ito, nag-imbento ang AFP ng mga sagupaan kung saan pinalalabas nitong mga Pulang mandirigma ang mga napatay.

Ayon sa ulat na natanggap ng Ang Bayan nitong Hulyo, sa tatlong beses na naghulog ng bomba sa bayan ng Sta. Teresita, isa rito ay tumama sa isang platun ng Regional Police Safety Battalion. Nag-ooperasyon noong Setyembre 28, 2021 ang naturang platun sa Barangay Aridawen nang bombahin sila ng AFP. Naka-“disguise” o nagpanggap noon ang mga pulis na mga Pulang mandirigma. Ayon sa mga residente sa lugar, di bababa sa 20 ang kaswalti sa pambobomba. Pinalabas ng AFP na tatlong Pulang mandirigma ang napatay gayong walang yunit ang BHB sa lugar sa panahong iyon.

Bago nito, ibinalita na ng BHB-Cagayan ang pagkasawi ng limang Pulang mandirigma sa airstrike na isinagawa sa Dungeg, Sta. Teresita noong Setyembre 21, 2021.

Noon namang Pebrero 4, sa Sityo Tagcar, Barangay Mission sa parehong bayan, naghulog ng bomba ang AFP sa sanga ng Mission River. Isinagawa ito nang araw. Nasira nito ang mga taniman ng mga katutubong Aggay at mga setler na Ilocano at Bicolano na nakatira sa sityo.

Noong Enero 29, nambomba rin ng AFP sa paanan ng Mt. Cagua sa Sityo Maging, Barangay Sta. Clara sa bayan ng Gonzaga nang alas-3 ng madaling araw. Tinamaan nito ang mga kubo ng maliitang mga minero sa tabing ilog. Sa taya ng mga residente, ipinagkamali ng AFP na kampuhan ng BHB ang pwesto ng mga minero dahil “nakahilera” ang mga kubo nito sa ilog at gumagamit ng generator. Pinalabas ng AFP na mga Pulang mandirigma ang kanilang tinamaan.

Noong Pebrero 28, hinarang ng mga pulis ang fact finding mission na papunta sa Sta. Clara para imbestigahan ang insidente ng pambobomba at maghatid ng relief sa mga apektadong sibilyan. Inaresto ng mga pulis ang nanguna sa misyon na si Agnes Mesina ng Makabayan-Cagayan. Dahil dito, hindi nakatuloy ang tim sa lugar.

CPP/CIO: Statement on 6th anniversary of the ruling of the International Arbitral Tribunal

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 12, 2022): Statement on 6th anniversary of the ruling of the International Arbitral Tribunal

Marco Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

July 12, 2022

We join the Filipino people in marking today the 6th anniversary of the decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal which nullified China’s “9-dash line” claim and recognized the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone and extended continent shelf.

For six years, the Philippine government threw the ruling to the garbage heap to kowtow to China’s wishes, and turned a blind eye to China’s rushed land reclamation and building of facilities in the West Philippine Sea to establish possession of the area and its resources.

The Filipino people must unite to demand China to respect the IAT ruling, dismantle its military facilities on maritime features & reclaimed land within the Philippine EEZ and ECS, and stop wanton state-supported industrial fishing and extraction of mineral resources in PH seas.

The Filipino people must unite to seek the support of the international community to press China to recognize the ruling and withdraw its 9-dash line claim, and push for a peaceful resolution that will seek the withdrawal of all military forces in the South China Sea.

At the same time, the Filipino people must be ready to wage national resistance against any imperialist power—whether China or the US—which aims to impose their hegemony and use the country as foothold, amid heightening US-led military aggression in East and Southeast Asia.

CPP/NDF-Southern Mindanao: Mount strong and wide resistance against neoliberal open pit and large-scale mining in Davao Oriental

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 12, 2022): Mount strong and wide resistance against neoliberal open pit and large-scale mining in Davao Oriental

Rubi del Mundo
NDF-Southern Mindanao
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

July 12, 2022

Amid the series of natural and man-made disasters that swamped Davao Oriental since late last year, it is contemptuous that the local ruling class continues trying to deodorize the ill-effects of the on-going open pit and large-scale mining to the environment and the overall welfare of the masses in the province.

Farmers and Lumad in Mati City and Banaybanay town, even academics and religious personalities in the province, have pointed the finger of blame to the operations of Arc Nickle Resources, Austral-Asia Link Mining Corporation and Hallmark Mining Corp., especially over the discoloration and heavy siltation of the Mapagba river in January. The latter two are both owned by Asiaticus Mining Corp. (AMCOR), which has carried out open pit mining operations for several years in the area. The three mining companies’ operations are lodged in the more than 17,000 hectares within and around the vicinity of Mt. Hamiguitan and adjacent to Pujada Bay coastal area by a few kilometers.

Under the dictates of neoliberal policies, decades of mining and the attendant logging operations in the towns of Davao Oriental have denuded the forests, poisoned the rivers, and dislocated farming communities and livelihoods of peasants and Lumad. The masses know all too well how cataclysmal the impact that these operations have wreaked to the environment. The effects were harshly felt, especially during heavy rains and typhoons. Earlier this year, the masses were harrowed by episodes of typhoons, heavy floods, landslides, and an alarming incidences of diarrhea outbreak, all compounded by the reactionary regime’s failed disaster response and neglect.

Therefore, allowing and even justifying the mining operations in Mati City and Banaybanay is patently foolish bordering on irresponsible, as they clearly pose a double-barreled threat to the environment and the welfare of peasant and Lumad masses. Apologists for open-pit mining, which unfortunately include the local government and agencies in the province, continue to eschew and even deny the direct peril that come with the extractive practice. The assurances of “responsible mining practices” ring hallow since long-time mining operators have never faced heavy punitive actions for pumping out toxins and chemical waste onto our rivers and seas.

In stark contrast, only the revolutionary movement, especially the New People’s Army, has consistently taken action against these destructive companies. On May 7, 2017 for instance, Red fighters carried out punitive action against Mil-Oro Mining Corp., then owned by Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp., in Sitio Salingcomot, Brgy. Macambol in Mati City. Less than a year later, the NPA also raided the armed guards of RAM Aggregates, Inc., a nickel mining company in Brgy. Puntalinao, Banaybanay town on January 4, 2018.

The previous Duterte regime and the new and illegitimate Marcos II regime are essentially indistinguishable in their kowtowing to neoliberal policies, especially when it comes to large-scale mining operations. For six years, Duterte had pushed the people into a more vulnerable and precarious state when he lifted of the ban on open-pit mining and offered more areas for new mining agreements. The Marcos II regime is poised to follow suit, espousing neoliberal non-sense as “clean” and “sustainable” mining yet is still adamant in selling wholesale our mineral resources to imperialist interests instead of harnessing these to pursue national industrialization.

The present socio-economic crisis, aggravated by successive disasters brought about by climate change, is bound to worsen, unless a strong and wide united front dismantles the regime’s neoliberal policies, especially in the mining industry, that allow the continued destruction of our environment and people’s lives and livelihood.