Monday, July 31, 2023

CPP/NPA-Southeast Negros: Another fake surrenderee in Santa Catalina–RMPC-NPA

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jul 30, 2023): Another fake surrenderee in Santa Catalina–RMPC-NPA
 


Estrella Banagbanag
Spokesperson
NPA-Southeast Negros (Rachelle Mae Palang Command)
Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command)
New People's Army

July 30, 2023

The Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB)-7 has again spewed lies in its claim that an alleged rebel has surrendered to them and turned over a caliber .38 revolver, the Rachelle Mae Palang Command-New People’s Army Southeast Negros Front (RMPC-NPA) said on Sunday.

According to Ka Estrella Banagbanag, RMPC-NPA spokesperson, another innocent farmer has fallen victim to the corrupt business of state forces that is the E-CLIP aimed to conjure the illusion of a “dismantled” guerrilla front in Southeast Negros.

“The so-called ‘remnant,’ a certain alias ‘Genie,’ is actually Tonying Sulano, a mere farmer in his 30s from Barangay Nagbalaye, Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental,” Banagbanag said.

Banagbanag likewise remarked that the Sulano family has been subjected to red-tagging, harassment, and forced surrender in the RMFB detachment in Barangay Nagbagang, Santa Catalina.

The rebel spokesperson also recalled that Tonying’s brother, Onyot Sulano, was murdered by the 11th IB last 2021, while his uncle Nene Sulano was forced by the RMFB to surrender last 2022 in exchange for the freedom of his two sons.

The said deal has led to the current detention of at least six members of the Sulano family by the RMFB with no freedom in sight.

“After the harassment suffered by the Sulano family, including the murder of Nene Sulano’s son-in-law Franklin Lariosa during the Oplan Sauron 2 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) last March 2019, the NTF-ELCAC has converted some of the family members as intelligence assets and military guides,” Banagbanag said. “Clearly the 11th Infantry Battalion (IB) and the RMFB-7 are desperate to cover up their failure to prevent the armed revolution from persisting in Southeast Negros.”

Moreover, Banagbanag, in an earlier statement, noted the increasing state-sponsored crimes in Southeast Negros in the first year of the current Marcos regime.

Banagbanag reported the extrajudicial killing of Crisanto Lagradilla on July 1 last year by the 11th IB, three fake encounters and 10 cases of forced and fake surrenders.

According to Banagbanag, forcing civilians to become intelligence agents amidst relentless military operations is also rampant in Santa Catalina, Siaton, Pamplona, Valencia, Sibulan and Bayawan City, all in Negros Oriental.

Banagbanag also recalled the brutal Pamplona massacre that killed Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others last March 4 wherein most of the suspects came from the ranks of military and police.###

https://philippinerevolution.nu/statements/another-fake-surrenderee-in-santa-catalina-rmpc-npa/

CPP/NPA-Sorsogon: Taas kamaong pagpupugay sa iyo Ka Karen!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jul 29, 2023): Taas kamaong pagpupugay sa iyo Ka Karen! (Raise your fist to salute you Ka Karen!)
 


Samuel Guerrero
Spokesperson
NPA-Sorsogon (Celso Minguez Command)
Bicol Regional Operational Command (Romulo Jallores Command)
New People's Army

July 29, 2023

Download the video here.

Pinakamataas na pagpupugay ang iginagawad ng Celso Minguez Command-NPA Sorsogon at ng buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan kay Fernado “Ka Karen” Dialogo na pinaslang ng mga armadong ahente ng AFP noong Hulyo 15, 2023 sa Brgy. Boton, Casiguran, Sorsogon sa edad na 47.

Nagmula si Kasamang Karen sa pamilya ng maralitang magsasaka sa Brgy. Lapinig, Gubat, kung saan pagkokopra ang pangunahing porma ng hanapbuhay. Nang muling mag-organisa ang mga kasama sa kanyang baryo noong 1983 ay naging bahagi siya ng grupong ng mga kabataan. Naging madali para sa kanya na maunawaan ang mithiin ng kilusan at ang kahalagahan ng rebolusyon, kung kaya’t kahit sa murang edad na 10 ay tumutulong na siya sa mga kasama bilang courier o tagahatid ng mga mensahe at gamot sa mga pasyente.

Taong 1985 ay nagdesisyon siyang magtrabaho sa Maynila bilang panadero sa bakery at ilang taon ding nawalan ng ugnay sa mga kasama. Pag-uwi niya sa Gubat noong 2006 ay muli niyang nakahalubilo ang mga kasama at inaya siya na sumampa sa hukbo. Mula noon ay naging tuloy-tuloy ang kanyang pagsisilbi sa sambayanan.

Dahil sa husay niya sa gawaing militar at sa pamumuno ng tropa, mula sa pagiging iskwad lider ay naging commanding officer siya ng platoon. Nag-organisa siya sa mga bayan ng Prieto Diaz, Bacon, Gubat, Casiguran, Barcelona, Bulusan, Sta. Magdalena at Irosin.

Masayahin, palabiro, mahusay na lider, maalaga sa tropa, masipag, matapang, magaling na propagandista at puno ng dedikasyon sa kanyang gawain – ito ang mga katangian ni Ka Karen na tumatak sa puso at diwa ng lahat ng mga kasama at masa na kanyang nakadaupang-palad.

Madaling nakakahalubilo ni Ka Karen ang masa. Idinadaan niya lamang sa simpleng biruan habang nagsisigarilyo o nagmama-mama hanggang sa kalaunan ay naipapasok niya sa mga usapan ang mga pagpapaliwanag kung bakit mayaman ang Pilipinas ngunit naghihirap ang sambayanan at ang kawastuhan ng pagrerebolusyon.

Bilang kadre, hindi naiiba ang pagtrato niya sa mga kasama, palagi siyang nakikipagbiruan at nagkukwento ng mga karanasan niya bilang kasama at sibilyan. Lagi rin niyang tinitiyak na nasa mahusay na kalagayan ang kanyang tropa, kahit sa gitna ng labanan o gipit na sitwasyon.

Mapagmahal din siyang asawa at ama sa kanyang limang anak. Bagamat laging malayo sa kanyang pamilya, sinisikap niyang gabayan ang kanyang mga anak kahit sa simpleng paraan ng pagtawag at pagkamusta.

Hindi matatawaran ang dedikasyon, sakripisyo, lakas, talino at buhay na inalay ni Ka Karen para sa bayan at sambayanan. Ilang beses man siyang tinamaan ng bala sa iba’t ibang labanan ay patuloy pa rin siyang nagrerebolusyon para sa kinabukasan ng susunod na salinlahi hanggang sa huling sandali.

Maraming salamat Kasamang Karen! Ipagpapatuloy namin at ng mga susunod na henerasyon ang pakikibaka para sa tunay na malaya at masaganang bukas. Taas-kamaong pagpupugay sa iyo at sa lahat ng mga bayani ng rebolusyon!

https://philippinerevolution.nu/statements/taas-kamaong-pagpupugay-sa-iyo-ka-karen/

Kalinaw News: Troops of the 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion capture an NPA rebel

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jul 31, 2023): 58 Inf Bn troops capture NPA rebel

Troops of the 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion capture an NPA rebel in pursuit operation in Misamis Oriental
Read: https://bit.ly/3q8VCEY

#StrongUnitedReliable
#PhilArmy
#ARMY126







https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=295754326478470&set=pcb.295754406478462

https://www.facebook.com/kalinawnews/

Kalinaw News: NPA’s Yunit Militia Leader Nabbed in Himamaylan City, NOC.

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jul 31, 2023): NPA’s Yunit Militia Leader Nabbed in Himamaylan City, NOC.

Joint Enhanced Military and Police Operation arrests wanted NPA Yunit Militia leader in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental
Read: https://bit.ly/3KgIIf5




303rd Infantry Brigade

NPA’s Yunit Militia Leader Nabbed in Himamaylan City, NOC.

A commanding officer of the CPP-NPA Terrorists Yunit Militia was arrested in a Joint Enhanced Military and Police Operation (JEMPO) by the Army's 94th Infantry Battalion and units of the Philippine National Police on Saturday, July 28, 2023.

The 68-year-old Lodorico But-ay, also known as Jude, was arrested by the combined elements of 94IB, Himamaylan City PNP, 2nd NOCPMFC, and PNP Maritime Negros Occidental in Sitio Cunalom, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City. The arrest was carried out through a warrant issued by Honorable Walter Zorilla, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 55, Sixth Judicial Region, for a rape case.

Lodorico is now in the custody of Himamaylan City Police Station for further investigation and proper disposition.

The 303rd Infantry Brigade leadership commended the joint efforts of 94IB and PNP for their strong commitment to maintaining peace and security in Negros, which led to the arrest of a wanted Yunit Militia leader.

"As we commend our troops for arresting Lodorico, we also attribute the successful operation to the vigilance and cooperation of the residents of Himamaylan City. This achievement serves as a testament to the significant role each member of the society plays in upholding peace and order and safeguarding their community from any threats posed by lawless elements” said 303rd Brigade Commander BGen Orlando Edralin.

#AFPYouCanTRUST!
#AvailECLIP
#SupportEO70
#Team303rdInfantryBrigade


May be an image of 2 people and text that says '4 BUT-AY.LODORICOY CASLET RAPE CCNO 19-4411-HC JULY 28, 2023 BUT-AY, LODORICOY CAILET FOR RAPE CCNO.19-4411-HC NO. 19-4411-HC JULY 28, 2023 The 94th Infantry Battalion together with the PNP of Himamaylan City. 2nd NOCPMFC and PNP Maritime Negros Occidental successfully conducted a Joint Enhanced Military and Police Operation (JEMPO) resulting in the arrest of a suspect, Lodorico But-ay y Cailet @Jude in Sitio Cunalom, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on July 28, 2023.'

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=600634338940422&set=a.570661138604409&fbclid=IwAR3gWa3gcIR6ZbfiSscAe7kDUv7X26Eaj5_qQHvJF3nlhYPx9Pzj9R5dsis

https://www.facebook.com/kalinawnews/

Kalinaw News: Lieutenant General Roy M. Galido has been newly appointed as the 66th Commanding General of the Philippine Army

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jul 31, 2023): Lieutenant General Roy M. Galido has been newly appointed as the 66th Commanding General of the Philippine Army

JUST IN: Lieutenant General Roy M. Galido has been newly appointed as the 66th Commanding General of the Philippine Army by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. today, July 31.
Read: https://bit.ly/3QkhPKR



Department of National Defense - Philippines

PBBM appoints LtGen Galido as the new CGPA

The Commander-in-Chief, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. designated LtGen Roy M Galido PA as the 66th Commanding General of the Philippine Army.
 
A member of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Bigkis Lahi” Class of 1990, LtGen Galido has led a sterling military career, which includes his tour as Commander of 6th Infantry "Kampilan" Division, Philippine Army

and Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. His extensive experience and well-honed skills resulted in the significant victories of his Command against lawless elements, especially in Mindanao.
 
With LtGen Galido at the helm, the Philippine Army will undoubtedly and excellently pursue the strategic path set by the Commander-in-Chief in pursuit of the country’s stability amid the changing security landscape.

#OneDefenseTeamPH 



https://www.facebook.com/DNDPHL/posts/pfbid02tpmKngSZbgxdeqsCuP5GKHXikTKoHXp5VwukYtQDoTBpwiMkStVLRThFVnrbpGsVl?fbclid=IwAR0LanyTBFoQv2fY4hfDCcenhDHdU1HChyYtGe0fx9bqu5ZR3gQcAxezk6I

https://www.facebook.com/kalinawnews/

AFP: Commemorating the Life and Legacy of President Fidel V. Ramos

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Facebook Page (Jul 31, 2023): Commemorating the Life and Legacy of President Fidel V. Ramos

On this day, we remember the life and legacy of former President and AFP Chief of Staff, Fidel V Ramos.
 
Born in Pangasinan, his passion for service was first inspired by his mother who was an educator and his father who has served as the Foreign Affairs Secretary. President Ramos attended the United States Military Academy where he earned his degree in military engineering. He has since then spent most of his career in the military service. The former AFP Chief of Staff was elected by the Filipino people in 1992 as the country’s 12th President.

(Source: AFP Museum)



https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=653539466808467&set=a.219815940180824

https://www.facebook.com/armedforcesofthephilippines

AFP: IN PHOTOS | The Philippine Marine Corps hand-in-hand with the United States Marine Corps carry out cleanup operations in Laoag following the onslaught of #EgayPH

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Facebook Page (Jul 31, 2023): IN PHOTOS | The Philippine Marine Corps hand-in-hand with the United States Marine Corps carry out cleanup operations in Laoag following the onslaught of #EgayPH


IN PHOTOS | The Philippine Marine Corps hand-in-hand with the United States Marine Corps carry out cleanup operations in Laoag following the onslaught of #EgayPH. Relief and emergency supplies are also being delivered to affected areas in Northern Luzon.
(Source: US Embassy in the Philippines)











https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=653558473473233&set=pcb.653559686806445

https://www.facebook.com/armedforcesofthephilippines

PH-US forces strengthen strategic partnership with year-round training activities in Palawan

From Palawan News (Jul 30, 2023): PH-US forces strengthen strategic partnership with year-round training activities in Palawan

PH-US Forces exchange their skills and knowledge in a joint military exercise. (Photo from WESCOM)

The Western Command (WESCOM) is looking forward to several upcoming training events that will further enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ capabilities alongside its U.S. and international allies.

Among the joint military activities set to be held between the AFP and its U.s. counterparts is a bilateral exercise between the Philippine Marine Corps, American troops, and the Australian Defense Force (ADF) called Exercise ALON, scheduled from August 14 to September 22, and is focusing on enhancing interoperability and rehearsing territorial defense strategies and island maneuver operations.

A multilateral exercise designed to foster cooperation among participants in addressing maritime crises and illegal activities or SEACAT 2023 is also set for August.

In September, a crisis action mission rehearsal between the AFP’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and U.S. SOCPAC Tempest Wind 2023 will be held focusing on inter-agency crisis planning at a national level.

KAMANDAG 07-2023, scheduled for October between the PMC and USMC, and Lantern Piston will further enhance the strategic partnership between the AFP, the US, and other allied forces through joint training and capacity-building exercises.


According to WESCOM, these training activities showcase the commitment of both the Philippines and the US to collaborate in addressing challenges and establishing a rules-based order through shared expertise, capacity-building efforts, and continuous joint exercises in WESCOM’s joint operational area. This strategic partnership also aims to promote stability, peace, and adherence to international law.

A recent successful joint training event was the Gas-Oil Platform Takedown and Recovery (GOPLAT-TR) Training 2023, held at the Headquarters Joint Task Force Malampaya in El Nido, Palawan.

Earlier, the US Army Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) Piston 2023 exercise focused on bolstering unconventional warfare capabilities for direct action and territorial defense, with the Philippine Army’s 18th Special Forces Company (18th SFC) from Rizal, Palawan, and US counterparts undergoing intensive training to acquire specialized skills to counter unconventional threats.

PH and US troops also underwent Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 2023, which emphasized aviation-supported operations for joint and combined forces in countering external threats. This exercise aimed to enhance coordination between the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and its US Marine Corps (USMC) counterparts while utilizing aviation capabilities.

https://palawan-news.com/ph-us-forces-strengthen-strategic-partnership-with-year-round-training-activities-in-palawan/

Marcos names Roy Galido as new Army head

From CNN Philippines (Jul 31, 2023): Marcos names Roy Galido as new Army head (By CNN Philippines Staff)



Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed Lieutenant General Roy Galido, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, as the 66th commanding general of the Philippine Army, the Department of Defense (DND) announced Monday.

"His extensive experience and well-honed skills resulted in the significant victories of his Command against lawless elements, especially in Mindanao," the DND said in a statement.

Before becoming the WesMinCom chief, Galido was also the commander of the 6th Infantry Division.


"With LtGen Galido at the helm, the Philippine Army will undoubtedly and excellently pursue the strategic path set by the Commander-in-Chief in pursuit of the country's stability amid the changing security landscape," the DND said.

Galido began his 36-year long military career as a platoon leader of the 63rd Infantry Battalion and later as a company commander in the 1st and 2nd Infantry Divisions.

He also spearheaded the campaign against counterterrorism groups in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao provinces.

Galido will replace Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner, who is now the 60th Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff.


https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/7/31/roy-galido-army-commanding-general.html

EU to share maritime security info with PH amid rising tensions in Indo-Pacific

From CNN Philippines (Jul 31, 2023): EU to share maritime security info with PH amid rising tensions in Indo-Pacific (By CNN Philippines Staff)



Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union (EU) is ready to extend more assistance to the Philippines, including sharing data to beef up its maritime security, as she warned that the illegal use of force in the Indo-Pacific cannot be tolerated.

In a speech addressing the Philippine government in MalacaƱang, she expressed concern about the "rising tensions" in the Indo-Pacific, and stressed that the EU remains "very supportive of a free and open Indo-Pacific."

"The European Union underlines that the 2016 award of the arbitral tribunal on the South China Sea is legally binding and that it provides the basis for peaceful resolving disputes between the parties," Von der Leyen said, referring to the tribunal ruling that largely sided with the Philippines in its maritime dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea.


The ruling, however, has long been rejected by China, with aggressive tactics not ceasing in the disputed waters.

In late June alone, the Philippines recorded another "dangerous maneuvers" from China, seeking to block the resupply mission of Philippine ships. A lawmaker also filed a resolution urging the government to raise the issue before the United Nations General Assembly.

READ: Hontiveros wants DFA to seek UNGA resolution to stop China's harassment in WPS

Amid the challenges, Von der Leyen said the EU is "ready" to boost its security ties with the Philippines, including "sharing information, conducting threat assessment and building the capacity of your national CoastWatch center and your coast guard."

The EU official also described the global geopolitical landscape as "volatile" and "more threatening" amid the continuous war between Russia and Ukraine.

"[T]he illegal use of force cannot be tolerated, not in Ukraine, not in the Indo-Pacific. Security in Europe and security in the Indo-Pacific is indivisible. Challenges to the rules-based order in our interconnected world affect all of us," she added.

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/7/31/eu-commits-sharing-info-on-maritime-security.html

Former Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels seek long-term safe conduct passes, leniency

From Rappler (Jul 31, 2023): Former MILF rebels seek long-term safe conduct passes, leniency (By ROMMEL REBOLLIDO)



The ex-rebels appeal to the Marcos Jr. administration to expedite the amnesty program

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – Former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have appealed for long-term safe conduct passes for their members facing criminal charges and subjects of arrest warrants.

During a Stakeholders’ Forum on Bangsamoro Amnesty held at Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao del Norte, on Thursday, July 27, the ex-combatants also asked the Marcos Jr. administration to exercise leniency in law enforcement operations and expedite the amnesty program.


The event, organized by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) regional government and attended by National Amnesty Commission chairperson Leah Tanodra-Armamento and other NAC commissioners, provided a crucial platform for aging MILF combatants to voice their concerns about the challenging situations they currently face.

MUST READ
In 2nd SONA, Marcos promises amnesty to surrendering rebels



“How can those needing medical treatment go to the hospital?” asked Hadji Bayan Abas, commander of the MILF’s 108th base command.

He lamented the difficulties they face, particularly combatants with pending criminal cases.

“We cannot just move around for fear of being harmed or arrested, and even those who want to work abroad cannot do so anymore because of this situation,” he said.

They said the issuance of safe conduct passes is in line with the 1993 Memorandum Circular No. 57, which mandates the provision of Safe Conduct Passes to rebels seeking to participate in the peace process or apply for amnesty.

Abas said he was among those who were proposing long-term safe conduct passes instead of the existing ones that need to be renewed monthly.


“Why not make it a one-time issuance, valid until the decommissioning process is completed?” he said.

Hadji Wahid Tundok, commander of the MILF 118th Base Command, voiced the same grievance, pointing out that many of his colleagues were aging and had difficulties traveling to military camps to secure their safe conduct passes.

“It takes time to travel from their house to military camps, and many things can happen along the way because the safe conduct pass has expired. The police are unforgiving to those with arrest warrants,” Tundok said.


He said the safe conduct passes may need to be issued only by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) instead of availing them from military headquarters.

Another field commander of the MILF, Hashim Husain, said the government should fast-track the implementation of the amnesty to avoid possible problems in the future, pointing out that that amnesty is a vital component of the peace agreement.

“This is where we can gauge the government’s sincerity in talking peace and in implementing what was agreed upon,” Husain said. “Without amnesty, we will see it as a half-baked sincerity.”

He also said he was worried about the consequences of further delays in granting amnesty to them.

NAC Commissioner Jamar Kulayan said they would explore the possibility of issuing safe conduct passes arranged locally.

Under the amnesty program, safe conduct passes would be provided to former combatants who apply for amnesty.

“This is the arrangement in the peace agreement between the MILF and the government, and once we issue the pass, you can immediately use it. The safe conduct pass will be valid until your amnesty is granted or denied, meaning it will last until the termination of your amnesty application,” he pointed out.

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) director Homero Matthew Rusiana explained during the forum that in criminal offenses, there are two victims – the person who was harmed and the government.

He said the amnesty only covers offenses against the government, and not for criminal cases not related to the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination.

Rusiana said those seeking amnesty must apply for it as required by law.

https://www.rappler.com/nation/mindanao/former-milf-rebels-seek-long-term-safe-conduct-passes-leniency-marcos-jr-administration/

Marcos picks Mindanao veteran Galido as new Army chief

From Rappler (Jul31, 2023): Marcos picks Mindanao veteran Galido as new Army chief (By Ferdinandh Cabrera)



Despite his move to Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Lieutenant General Roy Galido vows to continue his work in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines – Lieutenant General Roy Galido, a soldier who has spent the bulk of his career in Mindanao, is the new chief of the Philippine Army, the Department of National Defense announced Monday, July 31.

Galido, who belongs to the “Bigkis Lahi” Class of 1990, succeeds newly appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner Jr.

Despite his move to Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Galido vowed to continue his work in Mindanao.

“Efforts will still continue. I will now be managing the Army. I know how to guide them on, how to be more effective d’yan sa area (in that area),” he said in a phone interview Monday evening.

“His extensive experience and well-honed skills resulted in the significant victories of his command against lawless elements, especially in Mindanao,” said defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a press release.

Galido’s career started in Mindanao when he was assigned to the 6th Division. He went on to become battalion commander of the 40th Infantry Battalion. He later headed the 601st Brigade and was the 6th ID commander from August 2022 to January 2023.

He then headed the Western Mindanao Command, which oversees military operations in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.


https://www.rappler.com/nation/marcos-picks-mindanao-veteran-roy-galido-new-army-chief/

NPA rebel captured in hot pursuit

From the Mindanao Times (Jul 31, 2023): NPA rebel captured in hot pursuit (By RHODA GRACE SARON)


ANOTHER New People’s Army (NPA) fighter was captured by soldiers of the 58th Infantry Battalion following a pursuit operation in Barangay Lawaan, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental on July 30.

2Lt Maryknoll Rhea Cuis, Civil-Military Operations officer of the 58th IB, identified him as
Rubin Palyares Bago alias Troy, a resident of Municipality of Carmen, Agusan del Norte, and member of the Regional Operations Command of the Northern Central Mindanao Committee (NCMRC).

According to the report, the 58IB troops clashed with the group of Dionesio Micabalo alias Muling, resulting in the death and capture of high-powered firearms, personal belongings and other war materiel.


Afterwards, the 58IB launched a pursuit operation on the fleeing enemy that resulted in the capture of Bago.

On July 30, a concerned citizen informed the military regarding the presence of a suspicious individual in Sitio Minlanag, Barangay Lawaan.

Seized from him was his backpack containing anti-personnel mines.


He was turned over to the Philippine National Police of Gingoog City on the evening of the same day.

Lt. Col. Christian C. Uy, commanding officer of the 58IB, along with the dedicated personnel of the 58th IB reaffirms their call to the remaining members of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) to surrender.

“With unwavering determination, the battalion remains steadfast in tracking down the remaining individuals associated with the NPA, we reiterate our call to the remaining members of the CTGs to voluntarily surrender before it is too late or else end up with the same fate as Dionesio Micabalo alias Muling who was killed in the recent encounter with our troops,” he emphasized.

“As we celebrate this significant achievement, we urge citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities. Together, we can continue to build a safer and more prosperous nation for all,” he added.

https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2023/07/31/npa-rebel-captured-in-hot-pursuit/

PH, Singapore keen on deepening security ties

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): PH, Singapore keen on deepening security ties (By Priam Nepomuceno)



DEEPENING DEFENSE TIES. Philippine and Singaporean defense officials tackle various matters during the 6th Philippines-Singapore Defense Policy Dialogue (DPD) in Manila from July 19 to 20, 2023. The Department of National Defense on Monday (July 31, 2023) said the officials also exchanged views and insights on recent security developments in the region as well as future initiatives which the two defense ministries could further discuss through bilateral and multilateral platforms. (Photo courtesy of DND)

MANILA – The Philippines and Singapore expressed mutual commitment to further revitalize the two nations' defense and security ties.

Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, in a statement Monday, said the commitment was made during the 6th Philippines-Singapore Defense Policy Dialogue (DPD) last July 19 to 20 in Manila.

"Co-chaired by (DND) Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs Pablo M. Lorenzo and Singapore's Deputy Secretary (Policy) BGen. (Brig. Gen) Kelvin Fan, both sides acknowledged the positive momentum of bilateral defense relations, marked by the signing of two defense arrangements over the past year," he added.

The officials also exchanged views and insights on recent security developments in the region as well as future initiatives which the two defense ministries could further discuss through bilateral and multilateral platforms.


"The Singaporean side commended the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on its counter-terrorism operations, which contributed to a conducive environment for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and expressed interest to learn the best practices and experience of the Philippines on counter-terrorism," Andolong said.

"In response, the Philippines looked forward to chairing in 2024 the Counter-Terrorism Information Facility (CTIF), initiated by Singapore in strengthening regional intelligence capabilities to monitor and deter terrorist activities through research and analysis, and information-sharing," he added.

Lorenzo also expressed the country's interest to learn more about the recently established Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) of Singapore.

He also hoped that the Philippines and Singapore could work toward enhancing their respective cybersecurity initiatives through subject matter expertise exchange and information sharing.

"In addition, both sides saw a positive trajectory on enhanced bilateral cooperation through the establishment of working groups of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Philippine Navy (PN) with their respective counterparts at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Opportunities for education and training exchanges were also explored in support of the thrust of the Secretary of National Defense (SND) in improving the professionalization of the DND," he said.

Before the meeting, DND Undersecretary Angelito de Leon received Fan during a courtesy call, where they briefly discussed future defense frameworks that could be pursued between the two countries.

"As part of his visit to the Philippines, the Air Force City Council of Commanders also welcomed Deputy Secretary Fan during his visit to the Clark Airbase on July 19, 2023. The visit provided an opportunity for both countries to discuss potential joint activities and initiatives to enhance cooperation between the air forces of the two countries," Andolong said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206794

Joint relief efforts w/ China more feasible than maritime patrols

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): Joint relief efforts w/ China more feasible than maritime patrols (By Wilnard Bacelonia)



Senator Francis Tolentino (Photo courtesy Senate PRIB)

MANILA – A joint disaster relief effort between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China is more feasible amid the proposal for both countries to conduct joint maritime patrols along the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Sen. Francis Tolentino said Monday.

In a radio interview, Tolentino cited the possibility of joint disaster teams from Manila and Beijing under the so-called humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), which is backed by various United Nations (UN) resolutions.

“Kung gusto nilang tumulong doon sa nabaha sa atin, payagan natin kasi mayroon naman pong U.N. resolution ito (If they want to help our flood victims, we can allow them because there is a UN resolution about this),” the lawmaker said citing UN Resolution Nos. 46-182 and 58-114 which are both imbued with principles on humanity, partiality and independence.

“Ang kundisyon ko lang, kapag tumulong sila sa relief at disaster assistance [dito sa Pilipinas], payagan din tayong pumasok sa China (The only condition I have is if they help us through relief and disaster assistance here in the Philippines, they should also allow us to enter China),” he added.

The vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations stressed that it’s hard for the Philippine government to accept Beijing’s proposal for the conduct of bilateral patrol in WPS, considering that China is not a treaty ally nor has the Philippines had any existing mutual defense treaty with the Asian superpower.

“Kung magkakaroon ng joint patrol [kasama ang China], dapat po ito maging bahagi ng isang tratado na may concurrence ang Senado (If there will be a joint patrol with China, it should be part of a treaty that has the Senate's concurrence),” Tolentino said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206798

AFP welcomes solon's move to scrutinize MUP pension system

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): AFP welcomes solon's move to scrutinize MUP pension system (By Priam Nepomuceno)



AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday welcomed a lawmaker's move to look closely into the proposed pension system for military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension system in the upcoming deliberations for next year's national budget.

"We are very thankful to (
ACT Teachers Party-list) Rep. France Castro for her concern to our retired AFP personnel and veterans. We assure her that the AFP leadership is one with her in ensuring the well-being of our soldiers after retirement," AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a statement.


He added that this pension system is one way of recognizing the untiring services and selfless sacrifices of Filipino soldiers in the performance of their duties as protectors of the people and the state.

Aguilar said military personnel who have rendered at least 20 years of service deserve to get pension.

"The AFP thanks our lawmakers for taking the steps to reform the MUP pension system. Rest assured that the AFP will remain faithful to our mandate," he added.

Castro, who is also House deputy minority leader, said she and the Makabayan bloc would carefully look into the MUP pension system during the upcoming budget deliberations.

"Talagang bubusisiin namin ang MUP pension budget dahil ayon nga sa Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ay aabot ito ng PHP300 bilyon sa 2024 budget tapos pumasok pa ngayon ang mga isyu na maaari pa daw makuha ang pensyon ng mga drug cops at ang overpayment/underpayment ng pensyon (We will closely look into the MUP pension budget as the Department of Budget and Management said that it amount to PHP300 billion of the 2024 budget. Adding to this is the issue that drug cops could still get their pension along with overpayment/underpayment)," she added.

This came as the Commission on Audit (COA) instructed the AFP to reconcile and update its Pension Management Information System (PenMIS) after it noted discrepancies on the list of pensioners which resulted in PHP17.095 million in overpayment and PHP2.301 million in underpayment last year.

In the same audit report, the COA also called out the AFP over its failure to timely tag and delete from the pension payroll a total of 1,026 delinquent pensioners who were remiss or delayed in giving updates on their status for several months to more than a year.

“These resulted in the continuous payment to unverified pensioners of monthly pension benefits totaling PHP159.420 million,” the COA said.


https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206829

Ex-village chair, son slain in NoCot ambush

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): Ex-village chair, son slain in NoCot ambush (By Edwin Fernandez)



Google map of Matalam municipality, North Cotabato.

MATALAM, North Cotabato – A former village chairperson who was known for his Bangsamoro peace-building activities was killed with his son following a Sunday evening ambush here, police said Monday.

Lt. Col. Arniel Melocotones, town police chief, identified the victims as Anwar Ebrahim Salem, 52, and his son, Anwar Salem Jr., 21, both of Barangay Arakan.

Melocotones said unidentified gunmen waylaid the victims who were on a motorbike at about 6 p.m.


“The father was killed on the spot while the son expired while undergoing medication in the hospital,” he said.

The elder Salem is a member of the Bangsamoro Council of Elders, a civic organization that helps settle local disputes and “rido” (family feud) involving Moro families in Matalam.

Salem Sr. used to be the village chair of Barangay Arakan and served as president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC).


Melocotenes said the victims were going home when ambushed in Sitio Lambayao, Barangay Kibia.

“It could be a personal grudge,” Melocotones said in a radio interview.

Melocotones also said the ambush may not be related to the upcoming village polls since the latter has publicly declared not running for any political position.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206816

1 hurt in Cotabato bus terminal grenade attack

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): 1 hurt in Cotabato bus terminal grenade attack (By Edwin Fernandez)



GRENADE BLAST. Police closed off the main entrance of the Husky Bus private terminal in Cotabato City after unidentified men threw a hand grenade at 5 a.m. on July 31, 2023. A barker at the terminal was hurt in the incident. (Photo courtesy of DXMS Radio Cotabato)

COTABATO CITY – A “barker” was hurt after unidentified men on board a motorbike tossed a hand grenade at the main entrance of a bus terminal here Monday morning, police said.

Maj. John Vincent Bravo, police station 2 chief, said the blast occurred at about 5 a.m. at the gate of Husky Bus terminal on the national highway in Esteros District here.

Grenade shrapnel also damaged a passenger van parked outside the terminal compound.

Witnesses said they heard a motorbike speeding away from the bus terminal followed by a loud explosion.

No one has claimed responsibility, but investigators believed the grenade attack was not meant to hurt but to threaten the bus firm that had been receiving extortion demands from lawless elements.


The victim, whose name was withheld pending investigation, was rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center for minor injuries.

On May 31, three improvised explosive devices were planted at the same bus terminal that bomb experts safely detonated while the city was hosting the Palarong Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association’s sports competition.

On April 17 this year, at least six passengers were hurt after an improvised explosive device went off inside a new double-decker bus at the public terminal in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

Police have filed charges for frustrated murder against about 15 men, mostly from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) operating in nearby Maguindanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte provinces, in connection with the Isulan bus bomb attack.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206810

Suspected NPA rebel falls in MisOr

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): Suspected NPA rebel falls in MisOr (By Nef Luczon)



DETAINED. A suspected communist rebel, Rubin Paylares Bago, is currently detained at the Gingoog City Police Office in Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental. Bago was captured after a pursuit operation by the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion on Sunday (July 30, 2023). (Photo courtesy of Gingoog CPO)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Government troops captured a suspected communist rebel in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, over the weekend, an Army official said Monday.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Christian Uy, the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion commander, identified the suspect as
Rubin Palyares Bago, an alleged member of the New People’s Army Regional Operations Command of the Northern Central Mindanao Committee (NCMRC).

Bago, of Carmen, Agusan del Norte, was nabbed Sunday night in Sitio Minlanag, Barangay Lawaan while in possession of anti-personnel mines inside his backpack.

Following his capture, Bago was brought to the Gingoog City Police Office for the filing of rebellion-related charges and other violations of the law against him.

Uy said Bago was captured with the help of the community in the sitio through a concerned citizen.

"We reiterate our call to the remaining members of the NPA to voluntarily surrender before it is too late or else end up with the same fate as Dionesio Micabalo who was killed in a recent encounter with our troops,” he said.

Uy was referring to the recent death of Micabalo, the NCMRC secretary, in a July 26 encounter with the 58IB in Barangay Libertad.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206780

Viscom targets ranking NPAs to support PBBM amnesty offer

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 31, 2023): Viscom targets ranking NPAs to support PBBM amnesty offer (By John Rey Saavedra)



The Headquarters of the Visayas Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City. (PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY - The Visayas Command (Viscom) on Monday vowed to sustain focused military operations against officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in the central Philippines to support the amnesty offered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, Viscom commander, said while soldiers in the Visayas sustain the momentum in neutralizing communist rebels, they find the need to pressure ranking CPP-NPA members to surrender and avail of the amnesty.

"With the pronouncement of our President to grant amnesty to former rebels, we will sustain our relentless focused military operations to pressure the ranks of the CPP-NPA for them to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law," Arevalo said in a statement.


Viscom's public information officer, Lt. Col. Israel Galorio, said these ranking officials operate under one remaining guerrilla front active in Northern Samar.

"What we are sure about is that the members of this guerrilla front are in low morale, considering the fall of the two of their leaders in recent security operations," Galorio told the Philippine News Agency.

In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos said his administration is dedicated to implementing reintegration programs for former combatants.

The President said he would issue a Proclamation to complete the reintegration process and asked Congress for their support.

Arevalo, meanwhile, said they remain committed to the mandate of ending the local communist armed conflict as soon as possible.

He urged the remaining members of the CPP-NPA in the Visayas to heed the call of the national government for peace, unity, and reconciliation.

He said a wide array of assistance is waiting for the rebels who would lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law via the whole-of-government approach to addressing local communist armed conflict.

The Army official also said military personnel in the Visayas are busy collaborating with the public and private stakeholders, especially the Commission on Elections as the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE) nears.

"This is also our way of ensuring the peaceful conduct of the upcoming BSKE in the region by preventing the CPP-NPA from sowing terror and threat to our people to generate funds and install individuals affiliated with the terrorist group," Arevalo said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1206823

Sunday, July 30, 2023

State troopers kill NPA leader in Quezon

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 30, 2023): State troopers kill NPA leader in Quezon (By DANNY ESTACIO)

SARIAYA, Quezon – A New People’s Army leader was gunned down when he opened fire at government forces serving warrants of arrest on Sunday morning, July 30, in Barangay Lutucan Malabag, this town.

Sariaya police chief Police Major Romar Pacis identified the communist rebel as
Isagani Isita, alias “Alkin,” “Sid,” “Gani,” and “Shoge,” 42, a resident of Barangay Banana, Padre Garcia, Batangas.

Pacis said the police and military arrived in the area to implement five warrants of arrest against the suspect for various criminal cases issued by the courts in Occidental Mindoro, Rosario, Batangas; Tanauan City, Batangas, and Batangas City.

Pacis said Isita fired at lawmen who retaliated and wounded him.

Isita was taken to a hospital in Candelaria, this province, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Authotiries said the suspect is a vice platoon leader of Sinag 2, team leader of Tax Implementing Unit, Sub-Regional Military Area 4C, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (SRMA4C-STRPC), affiliated with Bayan Batangas, leader of Bayan Muna-Batangas, acting secretary general and spokesperson of Defend-Batangas, and member, Wacom-Batangas, in 2008.


https://mb.com.ph/2023/7/29/state-troopers-kill-npa-leader-in-quezon

Army troops encounter rebels in Cagayan amid typhoon relief op

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 30, 2023): Army troops encounter rebels in Cagayan amid typhoon relief op (By MARTIN SADONGDONG)

Philippine Army (PA) personnel from the Northern Luzon Command (NolCom) have figured in an armed encounter with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels while they were conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operation in Lasam, Cagayan amid the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Egay”, the NolCom revealed on Sunday, July 30.



Troops from the Philippine Army's 17th Infantry Battalion recover various firearms, ammunition, and personal belongings after an encounter with alleged New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Sicalao, Lasam, Cagayan on July 27, 2023. (Courtesy of Northern Luzon Command)

Maj. Al Anthony Pueblas, acting chief of NolCom public information office, said members of the 17th Infantry Battalion were on an HADR deployment in Barangay Sicalao last July 27 when one villager spotted at least 15 armed men in a mountainous area of the community.

The 17th IB then deployed personnel to initiate security operations and cover their comrades who were conducting HADR operation. This triggered a 20-minute gunbattle, Pueblas said.

Pueblas identified the armed men as members of the NPA’s Cagayan Provincial Committee (KomProb Cagayan) and Cagayan Valley Regional Committee (Komiteng Rehiyon Cagayan Valley) led by a certain
Edgar Bautista alias “Ka Simoy,” the alleged secretary of the West Front Committee of KomProb Cagayan.


No casualty was recorded on both sides but Pueblas noted that stains of blood were left on the trail where the rebels escaped.

The troops also recovered an M16 rifle, an M14 rifle, two shotgun ammunitions, two rifle grenades, 40 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, three backpacks, three claymore mines, four magazines, one hand grenade, and commercial radio at the encounter site.

Lt. Gen. Fernyl Buca, NolCom commander, thanked the concerned citizen who reported the sighting to the military.

“The willingness and active cooperation of the residents and the community to end the local communist armed conflict led to the success of this operation,” he said.

He also commended the troops and reaffirmed his commitment to continue the HADR operations for the victims of Egay in Cagayan.

“No compromises will be made in addressing security challenges. The gains scored against the CTG [communist terrorist group] manifest the military's intensified efforts in pursuit of peace, security and development in Northern Luzon,” Buca said.

https://mb.com.ph/2023/7/30/army-troops-encounter-rebels-in-cagayan-amid-typhoon-relief-op

Cotabato bus terminal grenade attack leaves barker injured

From NDBC News (Jul 31, 2023): Cotabato bus terminal grenade attack leaves barker injured (By: Edwin O. Fernandez)



GRENADE BLAST. Police cordoned off the main entrance of Husky Bus private terminal in Cotabato City after unidentified men tossed a hand grenade at about 5 a.m. on Monday, July 31. (Photo courtesy of DXMS Radyo Bida)

COTABATO CITY – Unidentified men on board a motorbike tossed a hand grenade at the main entrance of bus terminal here that injured a barker, police said.

Maj. John Vincent Bravo, police station 2 chief, said The blast occurred at about 5 a.m. at the gate of Husky Bus terminal along national highway, Esteros district, Cotabato City.

Grenade shrapnel also damaged a passenger van parked outside the terminal compound.

Witnesses said they heard a speeding motorbike away from the bus terminal followed by a loud explosion.

No one has claimed responsibility but investigators believed the grenade attack was not meant to hurt but to threaten the bus firm that had been receiving extortion demands from lawless elements.

The wounded barker was rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center for minor injuries.

Due to today’s blast, the bus first trip that was supposed to leave for Gen. Santos City before 6 a.m. was delayed while the bomb experts conduct post blast probe.

Last May 31, three improvised explosive devices were planted in the same bus terminal here that bomb experts safely detonated while the city was hosting Palarong Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association’s (BARMMAA) sports regional competition.

On April 17 this year, at least six passengers were hurt after an improvised explosive went off inside a new double-decker bus at the public terminal in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

Police have filed charges for frustrated murder against about 15 men, mostly from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) operating in Maguindanao provinces.


https://www.ndbcnews.com.ph/news/cotabato-bus-terminal-grenade-attack-leaves-barker-injured

Military sees ‘total victory’ vs terrorists in Mindanao

From Malaya Business Insight (Jul 31, 2023): Military sees ‘total victory’ vs terrorists in Mindanao (By Victor Reyes)

ARMED Forces chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr yesterday said the military is optimistic it will achieve “total victory” in the fight against terrorist groups in Mindanao this year.

In a radio interview, Brawner said there had been kidnap-for-ransom activity in the past two years due to intensified military operations against these terrorist organizations.

Brawner also said terrorists in Mindanao are no longer that many. He did not give figures but sources said the number could be in the range of 100 to 200.

“That’s why, as you can see, especially in the areas of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, it’s been more than two years now that we’ve not heard of any kidnap-for-ransom (incident),” said Brawner.


Several terrorist groups are operating in Mindanao, including the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for a number of kidnapping cases and even beheading of kidnap victims.

“There were many kidnap-for-ransom cases reported before. “In fact, many foreigners fell victim,” said Brawner.

“But for more than two years now, there are no more such incidents because of the military operations we are conducting. Many of them were neutralized. Many of them died but more of them surrendered,” said Brawner.

“That is why we are very optimistic that by the end of the year, we are going to defeat them, we will achieve total victory against all of these terrorist groups,” he said.

Last week, President Marcos Jr lifted the state of emergency national emergency in Mindanao. Former President Duterte placed Mindanao under a state of emergency in 2016 due to a spate of violent and lawless acts, including kidnappings and bombings, committed by different terrorist groups.

Brawner said soldiers will maintain presence in key areas in Mindanao to attain “sustainable peace.”

“We are not going to be satisfied with the neutralization of these threat groups. We have to sustain our gains. So what will happen is that soldiers will continue their presence in these area and contribute to the whole of nation approach (in achieving peace),” he said.

https://malaya.com.ph/news_news/military-sees-total-victory-vs-terrorists-in-mindanao/

Sayyaf in kidnap-slay of farmer captured

From the Manila Times (Jul 31, 2023): Sayyaf in kidnap-slay of farmer captured (By Al Jacinto)

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police are holding a suspected Abu Sayyaf man linked to the kidnap-slay of a farmer here in April 2009 with officials saying the suspect is a relative of an Abu Sayyaf commander in the southern Philippine province of Basilan.

Maj. Shellamie Chang, a regional police spokesman, confirmed on Saturday, July 29, 2023, the capture of
Muhamad Akbar Bakil in the village of Buenavista. She said the 63-year-old Bakil is a relative of Wahab Bakil, an Abu Sayyaf subleader in Basilan's Sumisip town; and Ben Mungkay, also an Abu Sayyaf member whose group is operating in Zamboanga City.

Chang added that joint Zamboanga and Basilan police forces armed with warrants swooped down on Friday, July 28, on Bakil's hideout and arrested him. Policemen also seized a.45-caliber pistol and ammunition from Bakil.


"The search warrant was served in the presence of two village officials from Buenavista. The subject person is allegedly involved in a kidnapping that transpired on April 25, 2009 in Buenavista," she said, referring to the kidnapping of Doroteo Gonzales, then 61.

Gonzales' captors spirited him to Basilan where he was beheaded a month after his kidnapping in the town of Akbar when his family failed to pay P25-million ransom. Since then, several of Bakil's cohorts had been captured separately in Zamboanga and Basilan. There was no immediate statement from Gonzales' family over this latest development.

https://www.manilatimes.net/2023/07/31/regions/sayyaf-in-kidnap-slay-of-farmer-captured/1903198

Exercise Pagsasama 2023 enhances interagency operations, reserve force

From Palawan News (Jul 31, 2023): Exercise Pagsasama 2023 enhances interagency operations, reserve force (By Gerald Ticke)



The country continues to hone the skills of its reserve units as the Philippine Navy, through the Naval Forces West, hosts Exercise Pagsasama 2023, with the focus on utilizing its reservists and other auxiliary reserve units as force multipliers in maritime security and interagency operations.

Exercise Pagsasama 2023, which started last Saturday, July 29, aims to continually evaluate the extent of the navy’s interoperability with the reserve force and has the objective of enhancing their capability and testing their integration with the regular force for conducting amphibious operations, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR), and other duties and missions.

This year’s Exercise Pagsasama, which will run until August 4, will focus on Maritime Security Operations (MARSEC), HADR, and Civil-Military Operations (CMO).


During the opening ceremony, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs, Brig. Gen. Doroteo Jose Jalandoni, emphasized the need for further development of the AFP reserve corps to stand alongside the regular force in addressing the actual security and defense needs of the country.

“The concept of an AFP total force shall be a capable professional regular force supported by an operationally ready and responsive AFP reserve. That’s why naval and joint exercises that involve the reserve force is very important for developing the AFP,” Jalandoni said.

He further stated that the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Retirees and Reservist Affairs (OJ9) is currently designing a progressive six-year reserve force development plan from 2023 to 2028 that will pursue a more propulsive reserve force development.

Jalandoni explained that, with the development plan, the AFP aims to conduct more mobilization exercises for reservists to be incorporated with regular forces in order to prepare them in case the need arises for them to join active duties.

“Aside from the plans and policy development efforts, we also facilitate the conduct of mobilization exercise that will evolve into a joint training exercise to improve the readiness and capabilities of our ready reserve and affiliated reserve units,” he said.

“Thus, this undertaking is timely and fundamental as it will test and constantly improve the operational readiness and interoperability of our naval reservists with the regular force,” he added.

Furthermore, he said that the conduct of regular mobilization exercises will also familiarize reservists and allow them to engage in various scenarios resembling emerging challenges in the country’s maritime domain. This provides them with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills, learning and progressing from past training activities and exercises.

“Moreover, this will develop the needed capabilities to ensure the interoperability and seamless integration of the reservists into the regular force when the need arises,” he said.

Meanwhile, Navforwest commander Commodore Allan Javier said Exercise Pagsasama will involve a series of trainings on shipboard operations where reservists will be boarding navy vessels to train them in navigational duties.

This is to familiarize them and then when time comes that there will be a calamity that we will need to land our regular force and it is augmented by our reserve force where we will be conducting medical procedures using our assets in order to deploy navy, marines and reservists in a literal environment to be able to relieve our citizenry,” Javier said.

https://palawan-news.com/exercise-pagsasama-2023-enhances-interagency-operations-reserve-force/#google_vignette

Grenade explodes outside Cotabato terminal

From Rappler (Jul 31, 2023): Grenade explodes outside Cotabato terminal (By FERDINANDH CABRERA)



Police suspect an extremist group into extortion is behind the explosion in BARMM's regional capital

COTABATO, Philippines – A grenade went off outside a bus terminal in Cotabato City, before 6 am on Monday, July 31.

Police said a man who works as a barker was wounded after being hit by a splinter.

In May, bomb experts detonated at least three crude bombs at the bus terminal hours before the start of the Palarong Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao Athletic Association’s (BARMMAA) fourth regional competitions in the city.

Major John Vincent Bravo, a police precinct chief, said the explosion at the main gate of the Husky Bus Terminal delayed the first bus trip from Cotabato to General Santos City.


The passengers are all safe, said Bravo.

In recent months, police said the company’s buses and terminal have been targeted by an extremist group that has resorted to extortion to raise funds for their causes.

Police suspected that Monday’s explosion was part of attempts to pressure the bus company to give in to the group’s demands.


https://www.rappler.com/nation/mindanao/grenade-explodes-cotabato-city-terminal-july-31-2023/

2 rebels killed in Leon encounter

From Panay News (Jul 31, 2023): 2 rebels killed in Leon encounter (By Ruby P. Silubrico)

ILOILO City – Two New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed in a gun battle with government troops on Saturday, July 29, in Sitio Pagas, Barangay Ayabang, Leon, Iloilo.

John Eric “Blue” Talibo of Barangay Indaluyon, Igbaras, Iloilo and Jennifer “Hope” Fariolan of Barangay Cabala-unan, Miag-ao, Iloilo were allegedly the squad leader and finance taxation implementor, respectively, of the NPA’s Sibat Platoon, Southern Front, KR-Panay.

Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade, said the encounter occurred around 6:20 a.m. and lasted five minutes.

An improvised M16 rifle, two shotguns, one .45 pistol, anti-personnel mines, six blasting caps, one detonating switch, one NPA flag and four backpacks containing extortion letters and valuable subversive documents were recovered.


“This encounter served as a resounding confirmation that ending the decades-long insurgency is a collective responsibility. The support and cooperation of the people have thwarted the NPA’s extortion activities,” said Samson./PN

https://www.panaynews.net/2-rebels-killed-in-leon-encounter/

NPA unit head nabbed in Himamaylan City

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jul 31, 2023): NPA unit head nabbed in Himamaylan City (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

An alleged commanding officer of the New People’s Army Yunit Militia was apprehended on July 28 in Sitio Cunalom, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, during a Joint Enhanced Military and Police Operation (JEMPO) of the police and military, by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Walter Zorilla.

The arrested suspect identified as
Lodorico But-ay, alias Jude, was tagged by the police and military as the commanding officer of Yunit Militia in Sitio Cunalom, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City.


According to the 94th Infantry Battalion, But-ay was denied bail by Judge Zorilla, the presiding judge of Himamaylan Regional Trial Curt Branch 55, due to being charged with rape.

Troopers of the 2nd Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company also apprehended Jesus Mahinay, with aliases of Kit, Suli and Jose, by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of homicide, at Purok 4 in Brgy. San Antonio, also in Himamaylan City.

The apprehension of Mahinay, 43, of Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, also yielded a hand grenade, according to a report of the Himamaylan City Police Station.


The court recommended P120,000 bail for his temporarily release from jail.

Troopers of the 2nd NOCPMFC were assisted by the 94IB, 604th Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 and other law enforcement agencies in the serving of arrest warrant issued to Mahinay.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94IB commander, said the successful operations serves as a testament to the continuous commitment of law enforcement agencies and the military in ensuring public safety and upholding the law.*

https://visayandailystar.com/npa-unit-head-nabbed-in-himamaylan-city/

Former NPA rebel inches way to becoming soldier

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jul 31, 2023): Former NPA rebel inches way to becoming soldier (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)


Former rebel-turned CAFGU member James Durimon with 1Lt. Analyn Lonjawon, who attended his graduation on July 28 in Escalante City.* PA photo

Former rebel James “Ka Joros” Durimon is on his way to his dream of becoming a member of the Philippine Army, as he completed on July 28 his Basic Education, through the efforts of the 79th Infantry Battalion and the Department of Education.

Ka Joros was among the 212 K-to-12 graduates from 21 barangays of Escalante City, who attended the graduation rites and completion ceremony held at a coliseum in Hacienda Fe, Escalante City, Negros Occidental.

Now serving as a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit, the achievement of Ka Joros, who previously surrendered to the 79IB, serves a stepping stone for him to continue serving his country, in order to become a qualified enlistment in the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to 1Lt. Analyn Lonjawon, the battalion Civil Military Operations officer.

The former rebel expressed his gratitude to the continued support of 79IB and his “Ate Glen,” also a former rebel, who is now a regular member of the Philippine Army, whom he described as his “mentor and adviser.”

In a statement, Lt. Col. Arnel Calaoagan, 79IB commanding officer, also congratulated Ka Joros, whose perseverance and sacrifices to secure a better future for himself and his family, will serve as a “call” to the remaining rebels to surrender, lay down their arms, and pursue their education to secure brighter future as they return to the mainstream of society.*

https://visayandailystar.com/former-npa-rebel-inches-way-to-becoming-soldier/

Grant of amnesty to former rebels: a long wait from Duterte to Marcos

From MindaNews (Jul 31, 2023): Grant of amnesty to former rebels: a long wait from Duterte to Marcos (By CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 July) – In his State of the Nation (SONA) last Monday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed to issue a Proclamation granting amnesty to rebel returnees, a move that is long overdue because the year-long period for application in the amnesty proclamations of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, had lapsed in January this year.

“For almost half a century, some of our fellow Filipinos have taken to arms to make their views known and felt. We are now at a point in our history when their armed struggle has evolved. We have now progressed together towards peace and development,” Marcos said during his SONA.

He said his administration has incorporated capacity-building and social protection into its reintegration programs to guarantee full decommissioning of former combatants. Community development and livelihood programs, the Barangay Development and Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Programs “have been effective in addressing the root cause of conflict in the countryside,” he added.

To complete the reintegration process, Marcos vowed to “issue a Proclamation granting amnesty to rebel returnees, and I ask Congress to support me in this endeavor.”


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24, 2023 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. Malacanang Photo

Marcos has not issued the Proclamation as of Sunday, July 30. “It might be out this August,” Galvez told MindaNews on Sunday, adding that “language is being finalized.”

“What is good is that we have already the guidance from the President and we have now a working National Amnesty Commission,” he said.

Long wait

For members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other revolutionary groups, it has been a long wait for amnesty, from the Duterte administration to Marcos Jr. administration.

On February 5, 2021, President Duterte signed Proclamations 1090, 1091, 1092 and 1093, granting amnesty to members of the MILF (1090) and MNLF (1091), the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (1092) and the “communist terrorist group” (1093), “who have committed crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special penal laws” such as rebellion or insurrection, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection, among others.


Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants in a military formation at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao. MindaNews file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Applications for the grant of amnesty in the four proclamations, however, were to be filed with the National Amnesty Commission (NAC) within one year from the effectivity of the Proclamations. The Proclamations took effect on January 24, 2022. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives concurred on Proclamations 1090, 1091 and 1092. Only the House of Representatives concurred on Proclamation 1093.

Under Article VII, Section 19 of the 1987 Constitution, a presidential amnesty proclamation takes effect only upon the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress.

Duterte issued Executive Order 125 creating the NAC on the same day he signed the four amnesty proclamations. The NAC is tasked with receiving and processing applications for amnesty and determining whether the applicants are entitled to amnesty under the four proclamations.

But Duterte, the first Mindanawon to rule the nation, stepped down as President on June 30, 2022 without constituting the NAC.

Marcos constituted the NAC only in February 2023, when the year-long period for amnesty application had already lapsed a month earlier.

The NAC is chaired by Atty. Leah Tanodra-Armamento with Atty. Nasser Marohomsalic and Atty. Jamar Kulayan as commissioners. Armamento was a former member of the legal team of the government peace panel in the negotiations with the MILF.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. thanked the President for his unwavering support to the Bangsamoro and for helping former rebels in their transformation process.

“What we have witnessed in today’s SONA is President Marcos’ genuine sincerity in implementing all the signed peace agreements, and his commitment to bring sustainable peace throughout the country. This is true to his mantra of unity towards national healing and reconciliation,” Galvez said after the SONA.

In a press statement, House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan of 4Ps partylist, said Marcos’ amnesty plan is “an act of grace that will help heal the nation.”

“Forgiveness is necessary in conflict resolution. We are in full favor of the President’s amnesty plan. It is an act of grace that will help heal the nation,” Libanan said.

Extend application period

On July 18, six days before Marcos’ SONA, several members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) called on the President to extend the application period for the grant of amnesty to the MILF and MNLF as the deadline was last January 24.

He said they hope Marcos will grant a blanket amnesty to qualified applicants

“We are asking the President to extend the application for amnesty for MILF and MNLF members. The granting of amnesty will help sustain the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process,” Deputy Parliament Speaker Atty. Lanang Ali Jr. said in a hybrid press conference livestreamed from Cotabato City.

“We appeal to President Marcos to extend and fully complete the amnesty program in the spirit of unity,” Deputy Floor Leader Mary Ann Arnado said.

Arnado noted that amnesty is part of the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the peace agreement signed by government and the MILF in 2014.

The Annex on Normalization provides that in order to “facilitate the healing of the wounds of conflict and the return to normal life,” Government shall take “immediate steps through amnesty, pardon and other available processes towards the resolution of cases of persons charged with or convicted of crimes and offenses connected to the armed conflict in Mindanao.”

“By granting them blanket amnesty (for waging an armed revolution against the government), you remove the sword hanging over their heads that they can be arrested anytime. Amnesty is about forgiveness,” Arnado said.


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 24, 2023. According to the 1987 Constitution, Presidential proclamations granting amnesty require the concurrence of the majority of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Malacanang Photo

In response, the NAC welcomed the recommendation of the BTA members on the extension of the application period but noted that the amnesty proclamations enumerated the specific crimes that are the subject of amnesty.

“Blanket amnesty… will obliterate criminal liabilities for crimes committed by private individuals with self-serving interests. Consequently, this will have an adverse impact on the nation’s quest for justice,” Armamento said.

Armamento and Commissioner Kulayan attended the Stakeholders’ Forum on the Bangsamoro Amnesty in the MILF’s Camp Darapanan, Maguindanao del Norte last Thursday, three days after Marcos’ SONA. The Commission touched base with MILF base commanders and BTA members.

According to the Proclamations, amnesty shall not be granted to those who have already been proscribed or those charged under RA 9372 (Human Security Act of 2007) or RA 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Amnesty, according to the Proclamations, “shall not cover kidnap for ransom massacre, rape, terrorism, and other rimes committcd against chastity .. crimes committed for personal ends, violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, grave violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949, and those identified by the United Nations as crimes that can never be amnestied such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances and other gross violations of human rights.”

Before the NAC was constituted, the Action for Advancement and Development of Mindanao (AFADMin, Inc.), a Cotabato City-based Moro youth-led organization submitted to the MILF’s Peace Implementing Panel on October 4, 2022 in Cotabato City, a total of 523 application folders for amnesty, mostly from within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The applicants filled out forms “that contain validation from the chain of commands of the MILF. This is for purposes of making sure that only bona fide members can be granted under 1090,” the AFADMIN said.

The folders were turned over to the MILF Peace Implementing Panel “for further processing” and later for submission to the NAC. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

https://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2023/07/grant-of-amnesty-to-former-rebels-a-long-wait-from-duterte-to-marcos/

96 families flee as armed group burns tribal worship hall in Maguindanao Sur

From MindaNews (Jul 30, 2023): 96 families flee as armed group burns tribal worship hall in Maguindanao Sur (By FERDINANDH B. CABRERA)

COTABATO CITY (July 30) — At least 96 Teduray families in Sitio Nunagen, Barangay Blanting in Talayan, Maguindanao del Sur fled their homes Wednesday night after armed men stormed their village and burned a tribal worship hall.

“Their tenines or Tribal Worship Hall was burned, the people left the area for fear of their lives,” Member of the Parliament Froilyn Mendoza, a Teduray who represents the Non-Moro Indigenous Groups in the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), said.

Displaced residents sought shelter in Barangay Biarong, South Upi in Maguindanao del Sur.


Some of the 96 Teduray families who fled their homes in Barangay Blanting in Talayan, Maguindanao del Sur Wednesday night after armed men stormed their village and burned a tribal worship hall. They sought shelter in Barangay Biarong, South Upi in Maguindanao del Sur. Photo courtesy of MP Froilyn Mendoza

Mendoza, who also serves as women empowerment and tribal rights leader for the Teduray and Lambangian Indigenous Peoples said the reason behind the attack was that “the armed men don’t like the new installed leader in the area.”

MindaNews asked the provincial police command for details but it has not responded as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency on Disaster Incidence (READi) immediately sent food and relief assistance to the affected families. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2023/07/96-families-flee-as-armed-group-burns-tribal-worship-hall-in-maguindanao-sur/