Sunday, January 29, 2023

CPP/Ang Bayan: AFP soldiers massacre family in Northern Samar

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 21, 2023): AFP soldiers massacre family in Northern Samar

This article is available in PilipinoBisaya

January 21, 2023

An entire family was massacred by soldiers of the 43rd IB at Kilometer 9, Barangay Happy Valley, San Isidro in Northern Samar last November 18, 2022. The fascist-terrorist soldiers claimed that the victims were NPA fighters killed in an encounter. The area has been under intense combat operations.

In the last quarter of 2022, the military conducted a series of at least three bombings in the province. On October 1, 2022, at least 25 artillery shells were fired by soldiers using 105mm and 155mm howitzers hitting farms in Barangay Paco, Las Navas, Northern Samar. This was followed by another bombing in Barangay San Isidro on November 11, 2022.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Ka Elay, exemplary woman cadre and fighter

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 21, 2023): Ka Elay, exemplary woman cadre and fighter

This article is available in PilipinoBisaya

January 21, 2023

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines honored Helenita Parladis, 65, one of the Party’s leading cadres who was killed last year. She is known by the masses and comrades in Bicol and Samar as Ka Ning, Ka Eliz, Ka Celine and Ka Elay.

She is among the hundreds of women Party cadres who have taken on heavy duties to advance and develop the people’s war.

In the past years, she has led the fight against relentless enemy attacks and operations by expanding and deepening guerrilla warfare in Eastern Visayas. Along with five other Red fighters, she died in an aerial bombing operations by the military last November 23, 2022 in Barangay Imelda, Las Navas, Northern Samar. That day, the military bombed the area in the nearby community 50 times from 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

A native of Bicol, Ka Elay first served as a Party official in a guerrilla front in Camarines Sur where she eventually became the secretary of the entire province in the 1990s. She was appointed as the deputy secretary of the National Peasant Bureau which conducted advanced agrarian campaigns and later, as the deputy secretary of the Party committee in Eastern Visayas.

She was elected as a member of the Central Committee in the Second Congress in 2016. She was the secretary of the regional committee of the Party in Eastern Visayas at the time of her death. She bequeathed to all revolutionary forces the strong unity between the people’s army and the masses.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: NCMR holds a Party course in expansion area

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 21, 2023): NCMR holds a Party course in expansion area

This article is available in PilipinoBisaya

January 21, 2023

Aunit of the New People’s Army (NPA) in one of the expansion areas in North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR) daringly and determinedly launched a Basic Party Course (BPC) during last quarter of 2022. Despite various challenges, 17 NPA fighters successfully graduated from the course.

Sessions started on November 26, 2022 and ended on December 18, 2022. All BPC students were young peasants and have been members of the people’s army for 2-3 years.

During the study course, the people’s army deployed a unit for mass work and social investigation in nearby communities. Being in an expansion area that is under the fascist rule of reactionary state forces, mass action was just only beginning to pick up.

Study sessions were interrupted several times because the camp had to be moved to avoid enemy operations. Every time the camp moved, the students and instructors worked together to rebuild the school to continue their classes.

Despite the challenges, the unit persevered and completed their study course. “Most of them are high in spirits! It’s been a long time since the last course was launched,” said one of the instructors.

“I am more determined to work for the revolution because I learned about how the Party has surmounted past challenges and advanced,” said one student.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Editorial-Study theory and history to advance revolutionary practice

Propaganda editorial from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 21, 2023): Study theory and history to advance revolutionary practice

This article is available in PilipinoHiligaynonBisaya

January 21, 2023

Awidespread study movement to review Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the Party’s basic principles is now being carried vigorously through the entire revolutionary movement. Party committees and cadres, as well as the commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) and activists in the mass movement in the rural and urban areas, are energetically studying theory and principles as weapons to wage revolution.

At the center of this study movement are the writings and teachings bequeathed by Ka Joma (Jose Maria Sison), honored teacher of the Philippine revolution, who then led in laying the Party’s basic principles, policies, strategies and tactics for carrying out the two-stage revolution in the Philippines.

Among the writings that comrades are now re-studying are the most definitive documents developed under Ka Joma’s leadership including: Rectify Errors and Rebuild the Party, Our Urgent Tasks, Specific characteristics of Our People’s War, Reaffirm Our Basic Principles and Rectify Errors, and Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism.

Comrades are enthusiastically re-reading Ka Joma’s other books and articles such as Struggle for National Democracy and Philippine Society and Revolution. These books are classic writings that remain reflective of the concrete situation of the Philippines which is oppressed by imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. These are studied along with the classic writings of great communist teachers such as Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Ho. These explicate the universal truth about the history of class struggle and the need for revolutionary change to end exploitation and oppression.

This study movement was brought forth by the call of the Party’s central leadership to use the treasury of Ka Joma’s teachings as guide to carry forward the revolution. It is also part of the call to sum-up experiences of the past five and 25 years, identify and repudiate the subjective errors which have led to losses or which have impeded our work in various fields, and to comprehensively advance the revolutionary movement.

Along the principle of “without revolution theory, there can be no revolutionary movement,” Party cadres are currently using Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and Ka Joma’s teachings to assess and sum-up their practical experiences, build the determination to correct these, and overcome weaknesses and mistakes. They are reviewing history to draw positive and negative lessons, strengthen positive practices and avoid repeating previous errors.

This study movement is key to the consolidation of the Party. We must all-sidedly strengthen the Party in order to shoulder the heavy tasks of leadership.

The study movement is part of the general effort to raise the theoretical knowledge and tighten all cadres and activists’ grasp of the Party’s principles and ideology, as guide in carrying out revolutionary practice. It raises the militance and determination of the Party and the Filipino masses to fight amid the brutal repression of the reactionary state.

Party committees are exerting efforts to have cadres and members complete the Party’s 3-level course. Even more basic, non-readers are being taught to read through literacy programs. Through these efforts, the Party continues to raise the ability of its cadres and members to lead various fields of work at different levels. It also trains new generation of communist leaders and fighters.

Marxist-Leninist-Maoist knowledge and methods of analysis are used to research concrete conditions, problems and urgent demands of the Filipino masses. It clarifies that rising prices of commodities, low wages, landlessness, and various problems faced daily by the people are rooted in the chronic and worsening crisis of the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system. It shows how the suffering and hardship of Filipino workers and toiling masses are essentially the same suffering and hardship of masses oppressed and exploited by monopoly capitalism in other parts of the world.

We are strengthening the determination of revolutionary forces to uphold mass line, and exert all efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize millions of workers, peasants and all oppressed and exploited classes and sectors. This study movement increases the enthusiasm of revolutionary forces and activists to carry out propaganda work in factories, schools, villages and other places to encourage the masses to unite and intensify their courage and will to tread the path of collective resistance to raise their grievances and fight for their interests.

In the countryside, this study movement further energizes Red fighters to strengthen the bonds between the masses and their army, expand and strengthen the guerrilla fronts, fight state terrorism, and valiantly advance guerrilla warfare.

Through the study movement, the Party guides and teaches the NPA to more further vigorously carry out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever expanding and deepening mass bases, and step by step strengthen the NPA from being small and weak to being big and strong people’s army.

Fighters and activists are exerting all out effort to mobilize the peasant masses to fight for genuine land reform and other demands in the face of the crisis and disasters brought about by the Marcos regime. The mass organizations are being expanded and strengthened and the seeds of the people’s democratic government are being sown. In addition, tactical offensives are set to be mounted to annihilate the enemy part by part, to take his weapons, and raise the strength of the NPA from one level to the next.

During the current year, we anticipate this study movement to result in a steady advancement of the entire revolutionary movement in the rural and urban areas and galvanize the people’s struggles for national freedom and democracy.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: 2 upisyal, 4 na sundalo, sangkot sa pagpatay sa isang babaeng negosyante

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 26, 2023): 2 upisyal, 4 na sundalo, sangkot sa pagpatay sa isang babaeng negosyante (2 officers, 4 soldiers, involved in the murder of a business woman)

January 26, 2023

Pinangalanan na bilang utak ng pagpatay sa isang babaeng negosyante si Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, kumander ng 1001st IBde at dating hepe ng Presidential Security Group noong presidente pa si Rodrigo Duterte. Liban sa kanya, limang sundalo pa ang itinurong sangkot sa pagpatay.

Ang pagpangalan sa anim na sundalo ay resulta ng imbestigasyon ng Special Investigation Task Force na binuo para tukuyin ang mga pumatay kay Yvonne Chua Plaza, ang nabanggit na negosyante, noong Disyembre 30, 2022. Liban kay Durante, sangkot din sina Colonel Col. Michael D. Licyayo, Staff Sergeant Gilbert P. Plaza, Sergeant Delfin Llamansares Sialsa Jr., Corporal. Adrian N. Cachero, Private First Class Rolly Cabal at Romart Longakit. Pinangalanan din ang isang sibilyan na nagngangalang Noel Japitan, isang alayas Master Sergeant at isang alyas Junior.

Ayon sa task force, mismong ang bumaril na si Sialsa ang nagturo kay Durante. Inutusan umano ni Durante si Licyayo, ang kanyang deputy commander, para buuin ang 6-kataong tim para patayin si Chua-Plaza. Ginamit ng mga sundalo ang baril na inisyu sa kanila ng militar. Hawak na ng pulis ang apat sa mga salarin. Samantala, itinago na ng Philippine Army si Durante at Licyayo kahit wala pang inilalabas na warrant para sa kanya. Gayunpaman, animo’y minamaliit na ng hepe ng task force ng pulis ang krimen ni Durante sa pagsabing maaaring “crime of passion” ang pagpatay.

Noong Enero 2, iginiit ng grupong pangkababaihan na Gabriela ang mabilis at independyenteng imbestigasyon sa kaso lalupa’t sangkot dito ang mataas na upisyal-militar.

Kamakailan lamang, ipinaskil ng mga kaibigan ni Chua-Plaza ang mga mensahe niya noong nakaraang taon kung saan takot na takot siya kay Durante. Ipinadala niya sa naturang mga kaibigan ang mga screenshot ng mga post niya sa Facebook na pinag-initan at personal na binura ni Durante sa kanyang selpon.

Kabilang sa mga post na ito ang mga litrato na nagpapakita ng kanyang mukha at braso na bugbog sarado. May nakalagay na teksto na “ginawa ito ni Jess Durante.” Isa pang post ang isang banta ni Chua na isisiwalat niya ang tunay na kwento sa pagpaslang ng militar kina Menardo Villanueva (Ka Bok) at Chad Booc. Aniya, maraming siyang ebidensya na sangkot si Durante sa naturang mga krimen, at tiyak siya na kung isisiwalat niya ang ito, matatanggal sa militar ang upisyal.

Updated: 7:10 pm, January 27, 2023

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Mga akawnt ng progresibong organisasyon na tinanggal ng Facebook, nakabalik na

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 28, 2023): Mga akawnt ng progresibong organisasyon na tinanggal ng Facebook, nakabalik na (Accounts of progressive organizations deleted by Facebook are back)

January 28, 2023

Matapos igiit ng mga progresibo at demokratikong organisasyong kabilang ang Bagong Alansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) at Anakabayan, ibinalik na ng Facebook ang tinanggal nitong mga page ng naturang mga grupo. Inianunsyo kahapon ng Bayan ang pagbabalik sa kanilang mga Facebook page.

Walang paliwanag na sinensor ng Facebook ang tatlong page at marami pang indibidwal na akawnt noong katapusan ng Disyembre. Pinaniniwalaang may kaugnayan ito sa pag-post ng mga ito ng mga pahayag at parangal para sa lider-rebolusyonaryo na si Prop. Jose Maria Sison na pumanaw noong Disyembre 16, 2022.

Nauna nang kinundena ng Bayan ang panggigipit ng Facebook na binansagan nitong “automated censorship” at “pamumulis sa internet kasabwat ang mga troll ng estado at mga awtoritaryang rehimen.”

Inakusahan ng Facebook ang mga grupo ng paglabag sa mga pamantayan nitong “delikadong mga indibidwal at organisasyon.” Ang mga pamantayan at patakarang ito ay itinatakda ng Facebook katuwang ang Atlantic Council, isang maka-Kanang organisasyon na pinatatakbo sa kalakhan ng mga dati at aktibong myembro ng Central Intelligence Agency ng US.

Nagpasalamat ang Bayan sa lahat ng nakiisa at tumulong sa kanilang ipanawagan ang pagbabalik ng kanilang mga platapormang online. Anila, “mahalaga ang pushback (o pagkontra) na ito laban sa online na pagsesensor.”

Ayon pa sa grupo, magpapatuloy sila sa paggamit ng kanilang presensya online para magsalita para sa mga inaapi at pinagsasamatalahan at para sa kilusan ng mamamayang Pilipino para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya.

Sa kasagsagan ng kampanya ng mga grupo na ibalik ang kanilang mga akawnt, nakaisa nila ang Commission on Human Rights. Gayundin, kabi-kabila ang pagkundena ng mga indibidwal at organisasyon sa pagsensor na ito ng Facebook.

Humigit-kumulang 130,000 ang kabuuang bilang ng pinagsamang followers ng Bayan, KMU at Anakbayan sa Facebook.

Sa kabila nito, maraming akawnt pa sa Facebook ng mga progresibong organisasyon ang hindi na ibinalik at patuloy na sinesensor ng Facebook.

CPP/NPA-Southwest Negros: 3 patay kag 7 ang pilason sa engkwentro sa Sipalay City

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 25, 2023): 3 patay kag 7 ang pilason sa engkwentro sa Sipalay City (3 dead and 7 injured in the encounter in Sipalay City)

Andrea Guerrero
NPA-Southwest Negros (Armando Sumayang Jr. Command)
Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command)
New People's Army

January 25, 2023

Sadtong Enero 18, 2023 alas 4:30 sang hapon, nagluntad ang isa ka engkwentro sang ASJC-NPA kag 15th IB sang AFP sa Sitio Malipayon, Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City. Sa nahitabo nga engkwentro, 3 ang napatay kag 7 ang pilason sang 15th IB human nga aktibo nga nakuha ang inisyatiba sang mga pula nga hangaway.

Masobra 10 minutos ang ginlawigon sang inaway kag luwas man nga nakamaniobra ang mga NPA nga wala man sang nahalitan.

Militarista nga lockdown, ginpatuman

Human sang engkwentro ginpatuman sang AFP ang militarisado nga lockdown sa Sitio Tabon-tabon kag Sitio Malipayon sang Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City kag halos bilog Barangay Baclao sang Cauayan. Halos 200 ka mga pamilya nga may ara masobra o kon kulang 500 ka mga indibidwal ang ginpabakwit sa mga lapit nga eskwelahan kag Barangay Gym. Bangud sini, naapektohan ang mga pangabuhian kag kahayopan sang pumuluyo. Ginabawalan sila na mag-uma, mubalik sa ila panimalay kag mugawas sang ila sitio. Iligal man nga ginausisa sang mga militar ang mga pinamakal sang pumuluyo kag ang mga berdugo nga militar ang nagtinir sa mga panimalay sang pumuluyo. Ang bilog nga ini walay iban nga ginbunga kundi ang kahadlok kag kakugmat sang pumuluyo.
Peke nga engkwentro

Indi matuod ang ginpagguwa sang 15th IB sang AFP nga may isa pa ka engkwentro nga nagluntad sa Barangay Camalandaan, Cauayan. Mga sibilyan ang ila gintiro kag ginpagguwa lang nga isa ka engkwentro. Ini nagapamatuod nga wala ginakilala sang AFP ang kinatuhay sang sibilyan kag armado. Sila ang matuod nga berdugo kag tigpatalang sa pumuluyo.

Ang ASJC-NPA hugot nga nagkundena sa paglapas sa tawhanon nga kinamatarung sang mga sibilyan, sa militarisado nga paglockdown, kag sa pagpaniplang sang AFP.

Ginapanawagan ang tanan nga pumuluyo nga maghiliusa kag ibuyagyag ang kalakasan kag pagpamintas sang berdugo nga 15th IB. Samtang ang ASJC-NPA andam nga mangapin para madepensahan ang kabuhi kag pangabuhian sang masang pigos kag ginhimuslan kag hatagan hustisya ang mga biktima sang pasista nga militar sa ila padayon nga paglapas sa tawhanon nga kinamatarung.

CPP/NPA-South Central Negros: Asset sg AFP kag PNP ginsilotan

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 25, 2023): Asset sg AFP kag PNP ginsilotan (AFP and PNP assets punished)

Dionesio Magbuelas
NPA-South Central Negros (Mt. Cansermon Command)
Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command)
New People's Army

January 25, 2023

Madinalag-on nga natigayon sa isa ka yunit sang NPA idalom sang Mt. Cansermon Command (MCC-NPA) ang pagpahamtang sang silot kamatayon kay Regie “Gang-gang” Dela Cruz sa Sitio Maiti, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City sadtong Enero 25, 2023, alas 7:30 sang aga.

Matapos ang ma-id-id kag madalom nga pagtalakay sang Rebolusyonaryong Korte sang Pumuluyo, ginpamatbatan sang silot kamatayon si Gang-gang bangud sa iya mga nakomiter nga sala. Isa siya sa mga imboldado sa pagkadakop kag pagpatay sa duha ka kaupod nga sanday Ka Carding kag Ka Clea sadtong bulan sang Abril 2022. Masupog siya nga asset sang PNP kag AFP nga amo ang nagatudlo kag naga-guide sang pagpangransak sang mga kabalayan sa sakop sang Brgy. Buenavista. Siya man ang suspek sang pagpaniro sa isa ka mangunguma sadtong tuig 2022 sa amo man gihapon nga baryo.

Nakumpiska sa iya posisyon ang duha ka bilog nga granada kag iban pa. Ginadayaw sang pumuluyo kag Rebolusyonaryong pwersa ang ini nga aksyon kabahin sa pag-angkon sang hustisya sa mga pamilya nga biktima sang pasismo sa estado gamit ang ila armado nga makinaryas kag mga kaangot sini.

Ginalauman sa bilog pumuluyo labina sa sakop sang Himamaylan nga tinguhaan sang MCC-NPA nga kab-oton ang hustisya batuk sa may mga utang nga dugo sang pumuluyo. Paandam man ini sa mga nagapagamit sang AFP-PNP nga nagapatuman sang mahigko kag brutal nga gyera nga nanguna nga nagakabiktima amo ang pumuluyong mangunguma sa kabukiran.

Mabuhay ang NPA!

CPP/CIO: AFP general who ordered Yvonne Chua killing is also behind killing of Ka Bok and Chad Booc

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 27, 2023): AFP general who ordered Yvonne Chua killing is also behind killing of Ka Bok and Chad Booc

This article is available in Pilipino

Marco Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

January 27, 2023

Gen. Jesus Durante III, whom the police named mastermind behind the recent killing of Davao City model Yvonne Chua, is also the criminal behind the torture and murder of NPA commander Menandro Villanueva (Ka Bok) and the killing of Chad Booc and four others last year.

A few days ago, a special police investigation determined that General Durante, commanding general of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, and former head of the Presidential Security Group under Duterte, ordered the killing of Yvonne Chua, a Davao-city based model. Chua was Durante’s lover.

Murder charges have been filed against Durante and a number of other officers and soldiers. According to the police investigation, a group of six soldiers under General Durante were ordered to carry out the killing of Chua last December 30 using their AFP-issued guns. They shot Chua outside her home in Davao City and took her belongings. Probably pricked by their conscience, a number of these foot soldiers revealed the truth about the crime.

The CPP has taken special interest in this case considering that General Durante was head of the military unit that was directly involved in the torture and killing of New People’s Army (NPA) commander Menardo Villanueva (Ka Bok). Ka Bok was captured by forces of the 1001st on December 25, 2021 in Davao de Oro, and subjected to torture and subsequently killed while under military custody. General Durante himself announced the killing of Ka Bok.

Before she was killed, Chua said she was being physically beaten by General Durante. At that time, she showed her friends on Facebook pictures of her bloodied face, arms and body. These conversations are now being made public. In one of her message, she said: “Feeling ko talaga… papatayin nya talaga ako. Andami kong alam na illegal nyang gawain… Kung isisiwalat ko lahat matataggal sya sa position nya” (I really think he will have me killed. I know a lot about his illegal activities… He will be kicked out of his position if I reveal all these).

More evidence about Durante’s motive was revealed when one of Chua’s friends posted a message from Chua where she said she holds “a vault of evidences and the real story about… the death of Menandro Villanueva aka Bok,” as well as “the real story about the death of Chad Booc.” Chad Booc, a volunteer teacher and activist supporter of the struggle of indigenous people of Mindanao, was extrajudicially killed by military personnel under the 1001st IBde on February 24, 2022 in New Bataan, Davao de Oro together with four other companions, after a meeting with local Lumad communities.

Indeed, had Chua possessed such damning information revealing detailed secrets of the AFP’s dirty operations, she would be target not only of General Durante, but of the 10th Infantry Division and the entire AFP as well.

We join Yvonne Chua’s family and friends in their clamor for justice and demand that all the criminals in the AFP be punished for their brutal crime. We denounce the AFP for giving Durante the Palparan special treatment for taking him into its custody instead of having him detained in police jails.

We denounce the local police for describing the murder of Chua as a “crime of passion” when it was evidently premeditated and carried out with a clear intent to kill. It appears the police does not want its investigation to reveal the real extent of the crime.

We urge all of Chua’s family and friends to reveal all information that can help bring the secrets of the AFP’s illegal and dirty operations to the fore. They can have Chua’s computer and gadgets be subjected to independent forensic examination to retrieve all information that she had stored.

The killing of Chua reveals how the AFP is led by pathological criminals who use their power to order their men to carry out torture and murders. We urge all men of the AFP, especially its rank and file, who can no longer stand the stench of the military to leave the AFP and not allow yourselves to be used in the criminal schemes of their power-hungry fascist officers.

US, Phl mull potential restoration of bases

Opinion piece posted to the pro-CPP/NDF/NPA online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Jan 28, 2023): US, Phl mull potential restoration of bases

Invoking the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty – acknowledging and repeatedly stressing its applicability in the West Philippine Sea (a Philippine proposition earlier rejected by the Obama administration) – the United States appears to be angling to use Subic Bay once more as its naval base in this part of the world.

After the Philippine Senate voted in 1991 to reject the continued presence of American bases, Subic is now a freeport, with a 300-hectare shipyard that was built in 2006 by the South Korean firm Hanjin. Considered in 2015 as one among the top 10 shipbuilders in the world, Hanjin was sold to US-based Cerberus Capital Management in 2020 in the wake of the Korean company’s financial troubles. (It is now known as the Agila Subic Shipyard.)

Cerberus appears to have entered the picture to foil a move by Chinese investors to buy the facility, according to a report last year citing an unnamed “security official.”

It was “very opportune that the (US) came into the picture,” Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez candidly admitted in a forum early this month. “We would like to have more economic activity between the Philippines and China, being a neighbor, but we were also quite disturbed by the fact that they came in very strongly wanting to take over that project.”

The shipyard could soon see the presence of US Navy ships because an American defense contractor, Vectrus Inc., has set up shop there. Earlier, in May last year, the Philippine Navy had leased the shipyard’s northern part to set up a naval operations base.

Security cooperation and “issues related to the South China Sea” were the core issues tackled at a four-day meeting held in Manila last week, billed as the 10th Bilateral Strategic Dialogue. In a joint statement, the Philippine and US foreign affairs and defense panels highlighted Subic Bay as “priority site” for “high quality, private sector-led infrastructure investment as a means of supporting Philippine economic growth and enhancing connectivity in the Philippines.”

But the visits by US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson last November and, last week, by Lindsay Ford, the US defense deputy assistant secretary for South and Southeast Asia, showed their specific interest in the shipyard. Notably, Ford was joined by Maj. Gen. Chris McPhillips, the US Indo-Pacific Command’s director of strategic planning and policy directorate. That move aroused more curiosity over the US military’s plans on how to maximize use of the shipyard.

Besides the Subic project, the US is hurrying up the completion of building facilities inside five selected Philippine military bases: three in Luzon, one in the Visayas and one in Mindanao. Purpose: to enable, as soon as possible, the US armed forces to store war equipment and other materials in these facilities.

The five sites, however, seem not enough for the US, as it presses for hastening the verification of “additional agreed locations” for the same purpose.

On this point, DFA Undersecretary Teresita Lazaro clarified that “we agreed to finalize the procedures for the additional agreed locations. In fact, it is a work in progress.”

Lazaro co-headed the Philippine panel with Defense Undersecretary Angelito de Leon. The US panel was co-headed by Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Ford representing the defense department.

One can easily see that, in effect, the US facilities would be mini-military bases within Philippine bases, wherein US and not Philippine jurisdiction would prevail.

Note that under the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), such facilities would be strictly controlled by American forces and off-limits to Filipinos. EDCA is the executive agreement that implements the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement or VFA, which allowed the rotational stay of US troops – numbering 600 per batch – in the country throughout a year.

Last week’s 10th Bilateral Strategic Dialogue was intended to “facilitate focused and sustained inter-agency coordination, planning and implementation of action plans on priority areas.” The 9th BSD, held in Washington DC, came out with a “Joint Vision for a 21st Century United States-Philippines Partnership,” which Ambassador Romualdez said “outlined several areas of cooperation aimed at boosting security and economic ties” in the face of “current realities and challenges.”

Besides the above-cited moves, at the 10th BSD, the two panels agreed on the following:

• The US will host a “maritime dialogue” this year to identify potential points of maritime activities;

• The Philippines will take steps to “streamline technology transfer” and develop a “road map for defenses mobilization;”

• Aside from the BSD, defense and foreign affairs ministers of both countries will hold their “two-plus-two ministerial dialogue” – the third since 2012 and 2016 – and stage a “policy-centric tabletop exercise” by the third quarter of 2023. Supposedly intended to ensure “more coordinated responses to potential flashpoints,” no further details were provided.

• Set a year-end target for the conclusion of their General Security of Military Information Agreement to help simplify technological transfers of their respective defense units; and

• Reconvene the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement meetings that apparently have been temporarily sidelined.

Ambassador Romualdez has also disclosed that in the past few months, “we have been discussing with the White House a possible visit by President Marcos to Washington.” The objective, he wrote, is “to further cement the ties between the longtime allies on various areas of mutual concern and interest. We hope to find a suitable schedule for both our leaders to meet this year.”

Last Thursday, in a television interview, Romualdez couldn’t help turning up the volume on the trumpets and drums that the current administration has been deploying to promote its initiatives.

Certain US officials are impressed by Marcos Jr., according to him. “They find it refreshing, to say the least. They’ve obviously seen him when they came here… and they were very pleased to hear the things that the president has articulated, especially with regard to our relationship with the US.”

* * *


Published in Philippine Star

January 28, 2023

LOOK: The trainer planes of the Philippine Air Force

From Rappler (Jan 27, 2023): LOOK: The trainer planes of the Philippine Air Force (MATTHEW G. YUCHING)

The air force uses trainer planes acquired from the 90s that have been upgraded over time

MANILA, Philippines – An SF-260TP basic trainer aircraft of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) crashed in Pilar, Bataan on Wednesday, January 25. The two pilots on board died in the accident.

While the cause of the accident is being determined, other similar aircraft are grounded as a standard procedure in the investigation. 

(READ: 2 killed in Bataan military plane crash)

Which aircraft does the PAF use in training? How many are currently in use?

PAF training planes

Due to the costly price of the purchase and maintenance of aircraft, some planes in service often double as training planes.

Army, NBI collaboration hastens police work on Chua-Plaza murder case

From Rappler (Jan 27, 2023): Army, NBI collaboration hastens police work on Chua-Plaza murder case (By ROMMEL REBOLLIDO, HERBIE GOMEZ)

The collaboration, with authorities getting a boost because of a P1-million reward offered by concerned citizens, results in the filing of the complaint against Brigadier General Durante and other suspects, less than a month after the murder

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – It was an Army board that got several suspects in the shocking murder of Davao City-based businesswoman and model Yvonette Chua Plaza to confess, while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) extracted much of the electronic evidence to help the police in building a case against former Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Brigadier General Jesus Durante III and his subordinates.

The collaboration, with authorities getting a boost because of a P1-million reward given by concerned citizens, resulted in the filing of the complaint against Durante, his deputy commander, several other soldiers, and a civilian, Special Investigation Task Group Yvonette spokesperson Major Eudisan Gultiano told Rappler on Friday, January 27.

Authorities submitted a complaint against the suspects to Davao prosecutors on Wednesday, January 25, less than a month after Plaza was killed in a gun attack outside her Green Meadows home in Davao City’s Tugbok District. It was the same day they identified Durante as the alleged brains behind the murder.

Gultiano said witnesses, all of them civilians, went to the police to identify the soldiers who allegedly carried out the December 29, 2022 gun attack right after the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) announced a P1-million reward for informers.

Proposed ROTC program can be fully implemented in 5 years – Galvez

From Rappler (Jan 28, 2023): Proposed ROTC program can be fully implemented in 5 years – Galvez (By JAIRO BOLLEDO)

Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.'s statement comes days after Senator Bato dela Rosa was irked by a DND official's attitude about the program during a Senate hearing

MANILA, Philippines – The proposed Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program can be fully implemented in five years, newly appointed Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Saturday, January 28.

“The projected timeline from enactment of the law to initial implementation is 2-3 years, while full implementation can be done in 5 years.”

The defense chief, who is also a retired military general, said the DND, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Commission on Higher Education, and other relevant agencies have already come up with the concept of how the proposed program would be implemented.

“We can implement this using a ‘phased approach’ wherein we will have pilot and simulation runs in selected universities while preparing our personnel, logistical, and budgetary requirements for its full implementation,” Galvez explained.

Army expects court martial vs Durante, 6 other soldiers after Plaza slay

From Rappler (Jan 29, 2023): Army expects court martial vs Durante, 6 other soldiers after Plaza slay (By SOFIA TOMACRUZ)

The Philippine Army is starting to look for members who would constitute a general court martial to try Brigadier General Jesus Durante III and other soldiers linked to the killing of Yvonette Chua-Plaza

MANILA, Philippines – Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner Jr. said the Philippine Army is anticipating court martial proceedings against Brigadier General Jesus Durante III and six other soldiers for their alleged involvement in the killing of Davao businesswoman Yvonette Chua-Plaza.

Brawner, the army’s commanding general, ordered the formation of a general court martial after an internal board of inquiry that investigated Plaza’s killing recommended trying Durante and the other soldiers in a military court.

“At my level…I still have to ask the JAGO (Judge Advocate General Office) to review it, but I already issued an order, I ordered them to start looking for members to constitute the GCM (general court martial),” Brawner told reporters in a mix of Filipino and English on Sunday, January 29.

Brawner said recommendations from the JAGO may be available as soon as this week.

Drones are military’s best friend in hunting down NPAs in MisOr

Posted to MindaNews (Jan 25, 2023): Drones are military’s best friend in hunting down NPAs in MisOr (By FROILAN GALLARDO)

Unmanned aerial drones flying over the skies of Misamis Oriental have provided vital information to military commanders hunting down the New People’s Army rebels in the mountains.

The Hermes 900. Photo from Elbit Systems

In highlighting the role of drones, Lt. Colonel Christian Uy, commander of the 58th Infantry Battalion, said information from the “eye of the sky” have allowed them to know the whereabouts of the rebels.

“Even if the rebels are hiding in the deep mountain gullies, the drones can spot them. The technology has improved that much,” Uy said.

The Philippine Air Forces operates from the Lumbia military airbase here light plane-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) it acquired from Israel.

One of those drones, the Hermes 900 built by Elbit Systems, crashed near a popular resort in Baungon town in neighboring Bukidnon province last May 28, 2022.

Uy said information from the UAV helped the military to launch military operations against the NPA rebels operating in Misamis Oriental.

He said the military operations have crippled the strength of the NPA rebels from four platoons to one.

“At some point the rebels numbered around 100 armed fighters. Now they are downed to 20 to 25 fighters and we are hunting them wherever they are,” Uy said.

The military presented to the Misamis Oriental Provincial Peace and Order Council last Tuesday eight NPA fighters who surrendered because of the relentless military operations.

“We were always on the run. We subsisted on root crops because our food supply line from the villages were disrupted,” said Jorinelle Remadavia, alias “ Rambo,” an NPA political officer and one of the eight rebels who surrendered.

Remadavia said they slept in the mountain gullies by slinging their hammocks on trees to avoid military patrols.

“We lost the political will and I decided to surrender and go back to my family,” he said.

Remadavia said the rebels lost the support of its mass base as one of the major reasons why the NPA is losing the insurgency war against the military. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

Under a ‘culture of peace’, MP NurRedha Misuari keeps flame of Bangsamoro dreams burning

Posted to MindaNews (Jan 27, 2023): Under a ‘culture of peace’, MP NurRedha Misuari keeps flame of Bangsamoro dreams burning (By JOHAIRA SAHIDALA)

Member of Parliament NurRedha Ibrahim Misuari. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

NurRedha Ibrahim Misuari is no stranger to the Bangsamoro struggle.

But unlike her father Nur Misuari, founding chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who led a bloody armed revolution in the 1970s during the term of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., she is now waging a jihad (struggle) for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao not in a war zone but in the battlefield that is the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

At 28, Misuari is the youngest female member of the BTA, the interim body that governs the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), a homeland reaped through the blood, sweat and tears sowed by their forebears.

She took her oath as Member of Parliament before President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., son and namesake of the deceased strongman, at Malacañan Palace’s Heroes Hall on August 13, 2022.

One of the 16 women members of the 80-member BTA, Misuari expressed optimism that the dreams of their forebears and the mujahideens will bear fruit now that the “culture of peace” has been taking root in the Bangsamoro region.

“It’s somehow poetic to think that the peace process started under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. In Shaa Allah (by God’s Grace) with our collective efforts, we will achieve success during the time of another Marcos,” Misuari said.

MP NurRedha Misuari during the resumption of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament’s 12th regular session in December 2022. Photo from Facebook page of the Office of Hon. NurRedha Misuari

Marcos, Sr. and the MNLF forged the Tripoli Agreement in Libya on December 23, 1976, which provided for the creation of the first autonomous region in the southern Philippines. A year after the signing of the Tripoli Agreement, some MNLF founding members like Ustadz Salamat Hashim bolted away and formed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). On September 2, 1996, the government and the MNLF signed the Final Peace Agreement (FPA), also called the Jakarta Accord.

Peace, however, remained elusive in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) even with the signing of the FPA, as the MILF continued fighting the government for the right to self-determination of Muslims in Mindanao.

Hashim led the MILF until his death in 2003. He was replaced by Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, who was appointed Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister in 2019, since then addressed by his formal name Ahod Ebrahim.

The Philippine government and the MILF forged the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in 2014 after 17 years of peace negotiations. The creation of a new autonomous Bangsamoro region was the key component of the CAB and was realized in January 2019 following a plebiscite that ratified Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM, popularly called the Bangsamoro Organic Law. The ratification effectively dissolved the ARMM.

For Misuari, it was her first time to be part of the MILF-led BTA, and as one of the “torchbearers” of the dreams of her forebears, she’s trying to prove she’s worthy of the seat given to her at the Bangsamoro Parliament.

The BTA would have ended its mandate on June 30, 2022 when the first set of elected officials shall have taken their oath of office. However, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed a measure postponing the first parliamentary elections, effectively extending the transition period in the Bangsamoro region.

Misuari was not part of the first BTA. She and her half-brother Abdulkarim Tan Misuari served in the second BTA with the blessings of their father. The MNLF-Nur Misuari faction did not nominate anyone from its ranks for the first BTA.

NurRedha is the eldest of Nur’s children with third wife Tarhata Ibrahim while Abdulkarim is the eldest of the six children of Nur with first wife Desdemona Tan.

Her involvement in the BTA indicates that women could play significant roles in making a difference in the Bangsamoro peace process.

As a young woman with a strong faith and dedication to serving the Bangsamoro people, Misuari is showing that the jihad for their people nowadays is in the realm of the peace process, which recognizes the role of women as peacemakers unlike decades ago.

MP NurRedha Misuari attends the ASEAN Women Political Leadership Coalition for Change on Dec. 7 to 8, 2022 in Bali, Indonesia. Photo from Facebook page of the Office of Hon. NurRedha Misuari

When she was 16, Misuari was assigned by her father to serve as deputy head of the MNLF Peace Coordinating Committee and head of the MNLF National Identification Committee, which deals with the group’s membership cards.

Undeniably at a very young age, she became an instrument to be a peacebuilder and connected to communities with the advocacy of empowering the Bangsamoro women and youth.

Misuari was the only child of her firebrand father and former University of the Philippines professor to have been born in Sulu.

She finished her elementary and high school in Quezon City, graduating from St. Joseph’s College with high scholastic records. Misuari finished her tertiary education magna cum laude, with a degree in Business Administration Major in Financial Management from the University of Immaculate Conception in Davao City in 2019.

Based on BTA records, Misuari has so far authored 29 principal acts, co-authored 50 acts, authored three principal resolutions and co-authored 53 proposed resolutions.

Since she’s a woman and a youth, such sectors come close to her heart, particularly in the island-provinces that are far from the Bangsamoro seat of government in Cotabato City.

“We will be conducting more research on how we can help the women and youth on the ground (particularly) on their health, protecting their rights and give them a voice, especially the young Bangsamoro women in the region,” she said.

Misuari, who is representing Sulu aside from MNLF, is a member of the BTA committees on social services, science and technology, agriculture, fisheries and agrarian reform, education, and justice.

As a Parliament member, she vowed to design policies, laws, programs, projects and services that would benefit not just the youth and the women in the Bangsamoro region but the rest of the constituents.

Among others, Misuari strongly pushed for the review and strengthening of Presidential Decree 1083 or the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, which was formulated during the time of Marcos, Sr.

PD 1083 is a decree to ordain and promulgate a code recognizing the system of Filipino Muslim laws, codifying Muslim personal laws and providing for its administration and for other purposes.

“It will not just empower the Bangsamoro women but all our Bangsamoro constituents,” she said.

MP NurRedha Misuari (L) joins the presentation of the “Youth Monitors: A Citizens Community Monitoring Initiative on Women, Peace and Security” report by the Generation Peace Network on December 9, 2022 in Pasig City. Photo from Facebook page of the Office of Hon. NurRedha Misuari

Misuari is working closely with the Bangsamoro Youth Commission and the Bangsamoro Women Commission to push her advocacies in the BARMM.

She also gives priorities on addressing issues in early marriage for women, abortion and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the constituents in the Bangsamoro region. (Johaira Sahidala via MindaNews)

(Johaira Sahidala is one of the staff writers of the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO). This article was produced under a mentoring project initiated by the Mindanao Institute of Journalism with support from The Asia Foundation.)

83 more UXOs detonated in Marawi’s ‘Ground Zero’

From MindaNews (Jan 29, 2023): 83 more UXOs detonated in Marawi’s ‘Ground Zero’ (By RICHEL V. UMEL)

Eighty-three assorted unexploded ordnance (UXOs) were detonated Sunday morning in a safe zone inside Marawi’s ‘Ground Zero’ (now referred to as MAA or the Most Affected Area), the former battleground during the five-month war between government forces and the Maute Group in 2017.

The Joint Task Group Builder composed of Army Explosive Ordnance and Disposal Unit and 553 Engineer Battalion disposed the 83 assorted UXOs.

Lt. Col. Roy C. Tapat, Commanding Officer of 553 Army Engineers said most of the UXOs were found during the construction of different buildings in the last two quarters of 2022.

“The MAA is now 99 per cent safe,” Tapat said.


Detonation of unexploded ordnance in Marawi City’s Ground Zero on 03 August 2019. MindaNews photo buy RICHEL V. UMEL

Tapat said the UXOs were mostly 40 mm projectiles.

The 553 Army Engineers Construction Battalion under the 55th Army Engineer Brigade is in-charge of security within MAA in coordination with Task Force Bangon Marawi and 103rd Infantry Brigade in Marawi.

At the consultation/dialogue with Marawi’s internally displaced persons (IDPs or bakwits) in mid-March 2019, then Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo del Rosario said the MAA was already 90% cleared as “more than 4,500 explosives were already recovered” but the biggest concern” then was the recovery of 49 ammunitions “as big as 500-pounder” general purpose (GP) bombs.

He said the 49 GP bombs – 110, 260 and 500 pounds — were “scattered all over the MAA and that is the reason why we do not like you to go back there for your safety.”

On May 6, 2019, in his presentation to the Cabinet, Del Rosario said a total of 3,973 unexploded ordnance had been retrieved from Ground Zero, along with 816 improvised explosive devices, and 21 of 70 GP bombs.

His presentation showed 13 of 16 500-pounder bombs, four of 17 260-pounder and four of 37 110-pounder had been recovered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), leaving 49 more unrecovered.

In late October 2019, the Army Engineers’ Explosive Ordnance and Disposal (EOD) team detonated another 500-pound UXO. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)

Barroquillo is new commander of 103rd Brigade

From MindaNews (Jan 29, 2023): Barroquillo is new commander of 103rd Brigade (By MARIVIC OMANDAM DAVIS)

Brig. Gen. Yegor Rey Barroquillo, Jr. is the new commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

Barroquillo took over the command from Colonel Billy dela Rosa during the turnover of command Saturday morning in Kampo Ranao in Marawi City presided by Maj. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, commander of the 1st Infantry Division.

Dela Rosa will remain as Deputy Brigade Commander of the unit.

Brig. Gen. Yegor Rey P. Barroquillo (L), takes over the command of the 103rd Brigade from Col. Billy dela Rosa in Marawi City on 28 January 2023. MindaNews photo by MARIVIC OMANDAN DAVIS

Before his designation as 103rd Brigade Commander, Barroquillo Jr. served as the Regiment Commander of the Army Intelligence Regiment (AIR) of the Philippine Army. He also led the 44th Infantry Battalion and served as Battalion Commander.

Barroquillo emphasized that he will focus on the attainment of the Brigade’s mission, support the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and enhance engagements with various stakeholders. “We shall primarily focus on peaceful mechanisms and put premium on the peace process in dealing with local threat groups and other security issues.”

“We cannot put aside the threats of the terrorist group. And for those who choose the path of violence and lawlessness, they shall bear the brunt of our full might,” he said.

Nafarrete commended Dela Rosa for his dedication, great passion, and commitment to the organization. “Your adherence to the standard of excellence in leadership has instilled encouragement and strength to your subordinates,” he said.

“To Brigadier General Barroquillo, my congratulations to you. Your long experience spans years of dedicated work in various positions have certainly honed you as a dependable and relevant leader. And to all Haribon troopers, continue your good deeds, seek for more improvement and always support your new commander in all his undertakings, particularly toward the accomplishment of your mission. I encourage you to keep the fire burning, step up the level of your performance, and continue to focus on accomplishing your goals. In doing this, always be guided by the AFP Core Values of Loyalty, Honor, Duty, Valor, and Solidarity,” Nafarrete said. (Marivic Omandan Davis / MindaNews)

New military chief vows to work hard for peace in Sulu

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jan 26, 2023): New military chief vows to work hard for peace in Sulu

SULU – New Western Mindanao Command Chief Maj. Gen. Roy Galido vowed to continue various peace and development projects in Sulu and at the same time assured government leaders of the military’s steadfast resolve to eliminate all the remaining threats in the province.

Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan is flanked by senior military officials led by new Western Mindanao Command Chief Maj. Gen. Roy Galido and Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 11th Infantry Division during a courtesy call on Monday, January 23. (Sulu Provincial Photo)

Galido, the former commander of the 6th Infantry Division in Sulu recently and paid a courtesy call on Gov. Sakur Tan at his office in Patikul town.

“The two talked about the good relationship between the military and the local government officials of Sulu. Governor Tan assured the new commander of his continued support of the Western Mindanao Command’s endeavors particularly in sustaining the peace in the province.”

“Maj. Gen. Galido, likewise, gave assurance of the military’s steadfast resolve to eliminate all the remaining threats in Sulu,” said Army Lt. Col. Abdurasad Sirajan, the Western Mindanao Command spokesman.

Galido was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 11th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Sulu; and Brig. Gen. Antonio Bautista, the Deputy Division Commander; and Brig. Gen. Benjamin Batara Jr, commander of the 1103rd Infantry Brigade.

Galido formally assumed the top Western Mindanao Command post on January 20. He replaced Maj. Gen. Arturo Rojas.

While in Sulu, Galido also met with soldiers where he emphasized the importance of discipline and work-life balance. “Maintaining a high level of morale is essential in the accomplishment of our mission, hence, we must ensure that we are always inspired to do our job well,” he said, adding, troops must be reliable, responsive and relevant as part of nation-building.

“Reliability will be anchored on our ability to prepare and anticipate security implications of any event or situation either natural or man-made. Responsiveness will be the key output of our reliability, and this is where constant planning and simulations of scenarios with security implications must be done, with this our response will always be positive,” Galido said.

“Relevance is what I must emphasize and most importantly be understood if our stakeholders do not appreciate the way we perform our missions, we are irrelevant, thus, we can be considered a wasted investment of the government and people, to avoid this, we must constantly communicate and coordinate our plans and much better if we could integrate with the plans of our stakeholders to build a better nation…this for me is pagkakaisa,” he added.

NHA turns over 48 housing units to ex-rebels in Isabela

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 25, 2023): NHA turns over 48 housing units to ex-rebels in Isabela (By Zaldy De Layola)

(File photo)

MANILA – The National Housing Authority (NHA) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)-Region 2 on Wednesday turned over housing units to the families of rebel returnees in Sitio Casisiitan, Brgy. Minanga, San Mariano, Isabela.

A total of 48 housing units, with 28.4 square meters floor area and lot area of 70 square meters, were awarded to the families of former KAPATIRAN members who earlier returned to the fold of the law.

The turnover ceremony was part of the Peace-Building Program of the NHA, which aims to provide homes and hope to former rebels as well as to motivate other members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and other extremists to follow suit.

In his message, General Manager Joeben Tai said under the Build Better and More (BBM) Program, “the NHA will continue to collaborate with various government agencies and above all, with local government units, so that we can continue to deliver our mandate to the Filipino people.”

“Let's all keep in mind that the NHA is an instrument that guides Filipino families to fulfill their dreams of having a new house and a new life,” Tai added.

Present during the event were CAR Manager Ferdinand Sales; San Mariano, Isabela Mayor Edgar Talosig Go; 502nd Infantry Brigade Commander Danila Benavidez and Liga ng mga Barangay president Eduardo Viernes.

The national government has been extending genuine concern and services to improve the well-being of the former rebels and their families.

Last Monday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity held a sit-down meeting to properly coordinate in supporting the reintegration of the KAPATIRAN members into the society.

The agencies wanted to ensure that they have open communication lines in between to strengthen their partnership for the succeeding implementing years.

They envision a mechanism that will avail sustainability and stable progress of the grants and other subsidies being provided to rebel-returnees.

High public trust on AFP to further motivate troops: DND

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): High public trust on AFP to further motivate troops: DND (By Priam Nepomuceno)

(File photo)

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Thursday said the excellent public satisfaction ratings received by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will further motivate military personnel in doing their duties.

"This show of trust and confidence will surely motivate our men and women in the AFP even more to continue fulfilling their duties as our nation's defenders," Galvez said in a statement.

The DND chief was referring to the December 2022 survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) where the AFP achieved an "excellent +76" net score for its performance, an increase of nine points from the net of +67 in December 2021.

Conducted with 1,200 adult respondents, the SWS survey also showed the AFP maintaining high confidence scores in addressing internal and external threats to the country's peace and stability.

"On behalf of the entire One Defense Team, I proudly and warmly congratulate our Armed Forces for once again garnering the unequivocal support of the Filipino people with their performance," Galvez said.

He also assured the public that the DND remains committed to supporting the AFP's further development as well as pursuing policies and programs that will enable the organization to better serve the country.

"Amid the complex challenges to our national security, the AFP continues to rise to the occasion and serve the people with integrity, strength, and patriotism," Galvez added.

DND condoles with families of pilots killed in crash

Meanwhile, the DND offered its deepest sympathies and sincerest condolences to the bereaved families of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots who perished in the Siai-Marchetti SF-260TP aircraft mishap in Pilar, Bataan on Wednesday.

The aircraft was from the 15th Strike Wing of the PAF and was undertaking a training flight from Sangley Point, Cavite when the mishap occurred.

"As part of the PAF's standard operating procedures, the entire SF-260(TP) fleet is now grounded. The PAF is currently investigating the incident in coordination with local authorities," it said in a statement.

PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said the pilots of the SF-260TP were conducting "recurrency training" when it went down at about 10:34 a.m. Wednesday.

“Recurrency training" refers to the training given to aircrew members or pilots to be proficient in a particular aircraft.

Castillo said the ill-fated aircraft was assigned to the 15th Strike Wing, which is based at the Major Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite.

The ill-fated plane had a tail number of 701 and took off to perform "recurrency/training flight" around 10 a.m.

"At around 10:40 a.m. the aircraft was reportedly seen to be descending to a field in Sitio Tabon, Barangay Del Rosario, Pilar, Bataan where it eventually crashed. Two PAF pilots perished in the mishap while no civilian casualties were reported. Our aircraft accident investigation team (is) already at the site for a thorough investigation, while our SF-260TP fleet has been grounded," she added.

The SF-260TP is a highly maneuverable and fully aerobatic basic trainer aircraft of the PAF that serves as a light attack combat aircraft.

It was used during the Marawi siege and various combat missions of the PAF.

It can perform close air support, battlefield air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, persuasion flight, armed escort, maritime patrol, air cover, flare drop, forward air controller, and aerial demonstration.

PA’s ‘Pambato’ Division showcases 13 upgraded armor vehicles

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): PA’s ‘Pambato’ Division showcases 13 upgraded armor vehicles (By Priam Nepomuceno)

UPGRADED. Officials of the Armor "Pambato" Division leadership attends the blessing ceremony for the newly upgraded six Armored Combat Vehicles (ACV-300) and seven re-powered Simba Fighting Vehicles at Camp O'Donnell, Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac on Wednesday (Jan. 25, 2023). PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. earlier lauded newly appointed Armor Division commander Maj. Gen. Facundo Palafox IV for allocating funds for the upgrade of vital armor assets. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

MANILA – In line with ongoing upgrades in the military, the Philippine Army's (PA) Armor Division on Wednesday presented 13 newly modernized armored vehicles to PA commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.

These consist of six newly upgraded armored combat vehicles (ACV-300) and seven re-powered Simba fighting vehicles, PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said Thursday.

Enclosed weapon stations were integrated into the six ACV-300s while the seven Simba fighting vehicles received upgraded engines.

"The newly-upgraded 'Pambato' (nickname of the Armor) Division’s armor assets -- equipped with modern communication, navigation, and weapons systems -- provide close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver units on the battlefield," he added.

The blessing ceremonies for these vehicles took place at Armor Division headquarters at Camp O'Donnell, Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac.

Brawner earlier lauded newly appointed Armor Division commander Maj. Gen. Facundo Palafox IV for allocating funds for the upgrade of vital armor assets.

"The newly upgraded and upcoming armor assets will bolster our capability to deal with constantly evolving threats and security challenges," Brawner said.

Aside from these modernized armored vehicles, the PA chief inspected the newly-constructed igloo-type ammunition dump of the Arrmor Division.

He said the newly built ammo dump will help in packaging properly and safely all various weapon ammunitions to avoid ammo wastage in the PA.

The facility will be used by the military to have ready access to supplies when needed. Brawner added the PA will continue to provide and support the Army’s modern warfare assets to improve the capacity of the Armor Division.

"The ammo dump is constructed so we can able to manage our ammunitions properly and prevent depletion due to unwanted fires and hazards in the camp," he added.

27 ex-rebels get livelihood packages in Quezon

Meanwhile, the 85th Infantry Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Division facilitated the distribution of livelihood packages to 27 former rebels (FRs) at Barangay San Rafael, Lopez, Quezon on Jan. 24.

The event was done in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Quezon through the "Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa" (PPG) program in which each FR received a sari-sari store business package worth PHP8,000 to help them to start their new lives as they reintegrate in the society.

The PA leadership commended the 85th Infantry Battalion and the DTI-Quezon on their initiative to assist the FRs as they reintegrate into their communities.

Presidential Security Group chief gets first star

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): Presidential Security Group chief gets first star (By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)

ONE-STAR GENERAL. Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Col. Ramon Zagala (2nd from right) earned his first star after being promoted to Brigadier General. The donning of rank ceremony for Zagala was led by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Wednesday (Jan. 25, 2023). (Photo courtesy of the Office of the President)

MANILA – Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Col. Ramon Zagala has been promoted to one-star general, earning the rank of Brigadier General.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led the donning of ranks rites at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Wednesday, based on the photo shared by the Office of the President (OP) on its official Facebook page.

In a short video clip shared by Radio Television Malacañang on Facebook, Marcos was seen pinning the star of Zagala, who was accompanied by his wife, Nenita, and their son.

The donning of ranks ceremony is a time-honored tradition that celebrates and acknowledges the commitment, excellence, and leadership capabilities of those who advance in their military careers.

The PSG, in a Facebook post, congratulated Zagala for his "well-deserved promotion."

Zagala, a seasoned military officer, belongs to a family whose military heritage spans three generations, from his grandfather, Col. Ramon Zagala, to his father, Maj. Gen. Rafael Zagala.

Zagala was installed as the head of the PSG on July 4, 2022, replacing then outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Randolph Cabangbang.

Before being appointed PSG commander, Zagala served as spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Zagala took up AB Political Science at the De La Salle University in Manila where he graduated in 1991.

He then entered the Officer Candidate School in 1993 and became his class' First Captain, earning him the Chief of Staff Saber.

He was commissioned to the regular force on Aug. 9, 1994, and later held various command and staff positions in different Army and General Headquarters units covering Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Zagala also received various awards and commendations for his sterling service record in both administrative and combat duties.

He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Star, Gold Cross Medal for gallantry in combat, Gawad sa Kaunlaran Medal, two Bronze Cross Medals, 19 Military Merit Medals (three in combat), AFP Senior Parachutist Badge, Army Aviator's Badge, US public affairs badge, the Presidential Medal of Merit and other distinguished awards and decorations.

2nd ASEAN multilateral naval exercise set in PH this May

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): 2nd ASEAN multilateral naval exercise set in PH this May (By Priam Nepomuceno)

(Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy)

MANILA – The 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise (AMNEX) will be held in the country in May, the Philippine Navy (PN) said Thursday.

This came after the successful conduct of the multinational staff meeting organized to lay the groundwork for the 17th ASEAN Navy Chiefs Meeting (ANCM), at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taguig City from Tuesday to Wednesday.

"Participants coming from the navies of ASEAN member-states discussed and resolved matters covering future ANCM activities, including the execution of the ANCM proper and the 2nd ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise in May 2023. These activities are aimed at maintaining and strengthening maritime security in the Southeast Asian region," PN spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said in a statement late Wednesday night.

A total of 25 delegates from various ASEAN member states attended the activity.

Also discussed during the two-day planning session was the alternate conduct of the ASEAN Naval Exercise as a command post exercise or field training exercise, ANCM Road Map 2024-2032, and the ANCM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction draft, all of which are for the ratification of the ASEAN Navy chiefs during the 17th ANCM proper, which is also set in May.

"The staff meeting ended with closing remarks delivered by the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Jose Ma. Ambrosio Ezpeleta. On behalf of the Philippine Navy and the Flag Officer in Command, he expressed appreciation for the commitment, hard work, and participation of delegates," Negranza said.

Ezpeleta also urged everyone to continue synergizing efforts for regional cohesion, peace, and prosperity.

The two-day meeting centered around the theme, “Synergy at Sea: Regional Cohesion for Peace and Stability.”

"A basic training plan that will direct the staging of this naval exercise aimed at advancing interoperability and seamless execution among ASEAN naval forces was developed at the conference by Navy representatives from ASEAN member countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam," Negranza said earlier.

The idea for the AMNEX was submitted by the Royal Thai Navy during the 8th ANCM in 2014.

The AMNEX, first held in 2017 in Thailand, is anchored on three main pillars – interoperability, responsiveness, and readiness – to address common regional maritime concerns.

"This endeavor represents the PN's resolve to forge closer ties, deepen understanding, and foster cooperation in the direction of a peaceful and stable ASEAN region," Negranza added.

No special treatment for Army general linked to bizwoman's murder

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): No special treatment for Army general linked to bizwoman's murder (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Philippine Army (PA) commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Philippine Army (PA) commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. assured that no special treatment would be given to a ranking official who was tagged as the alleged mastermind in the murder of businesswoman Yvonette Plaza in Davao City.

"Hindi po natin tinu-tolerate yung mga ganitong wrongdoings o itong criminal acts, kahit na ano pong ranggo ng ating mga sundalo, maging opisyal or enlisted personnel ay pare-pareho po yung treatment natin sa kanila. So nung nalaman po natin na meron pong report nga ganito at person of interest si Gen. (Jesus) Durante at kaagad agad nag-conference po kami and then we decided na tanggalin muna sya sa pwesto nya bilang commander ng 1001st (Infantry) Brigade so that yung investigation po ay magiging impartial and thorough, SOP (standard operating procedure) naman po yan (We do not tolerate any wrongdoings or criminal acts of any of our soldiers, be they officers or enlisted personnel, our treatment of them, if they err, are the same. And we learned from reports that Gen. Durante is a person of interest, we immediately had a conference and decided to relieve him from his post as commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade so that the investigations will be impartial, although our actions are SOP)," Brawner said in an interview with DZBB on Thursday.

He was referring to Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, the commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, who was identified by police as the person behind the crime.

Brawner also said they respect the judicial system and will allow the legal process to take its course.

He said Durante and his deputy Col. Michael Licyayo, who was also implicated in the case, are already being held at PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila after being relieved from their posts.

"Yan po ang SOP natin pag especially pag mga ganitong kaso ano like criminal case, wala po silang pwesto but they will be placed on custody po ng PA (That is our SOP especially for criminal cases, they are relieved of their posts immediately but they will be placed in PA custody)," he added.

Brawner also said these Army personnel would also be charged under the military justice system.

"Magkakaroon ng court martial and we will have custody over them, meron po tayong custodial center parang kulungan din, oo, so posible na mapunta po sila dun for their safekeeping habang dinidinig po yung kaso nila (There will be a court martial and we will have custody of them, we have a custodial center where they will be kept for safekeeping while their case is being heard)," the PA chief added.

He also said the court martial proceedings will proceed along with the criminal case filed against these personnel.

On Wednesday, Police Regional Office 11 director Brig. Gen. Benjamin Silo Jr. said they have sufficient evidence to charge Durante with murder and obstruction of justice in the killing of Plaza.

Plaza was shot at close range by motorcycle riding in tandem gunmen in front of her rented house at Green Meadow Subdivision in Davao City's Tugbok District on Dec. 28, 2022.

PAF looks into materiel, weather, human factors in aircraft crash

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): PAF looks into materiel, weather, human factors in aircraft crash (By Priam Nepomuceno)

(Photo courtesy of Pilar, Bataan Municipal Police Station)

MANILA – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is looking into materiel, meteorological, and human factors in determining the cause of Wednesday's crash of a Siai-Marchetti SF-260TP turboprop light attack aircraft that killed two pilots.

In an interview with reporters on Thursday, PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said aircraft accident investigation teams have secured the crash site in Sitio Tabon, Barangay Del Rosario in Pilar town, Bataan as the probe is ongoing.

"We (are looking) at all possible angles para po matunton natin yung (to trace the) real cause of the accident," she added.

For the materiel angle, she said this would be investigated by examining recovered aircraft components and the last transmissions made by the pilots before the actual crash landing. This is to determine if there were problems encountered during the flight.

"And then of course, we also have to look at possible human factors, meteorogical factors, sabi nga ho nila clear daw ho yung weather but, you know, there could be possibilities na merong wind or sudden buildup of clouds na posible ring nakaapekto sa flight ng ating SF-260TP (they said the weather was clear but, you know, there could be possibilities of a sudden gust of wind or sudden buildup of clouds that could have affected the flight of our SF-260TP)," she added.

Castillo said PAF crash investigators would look extensively into these factors in the coming days or weeks.

She noted that while the remaining SF-260TPs would be grounded while the investigation is ongoing, the PAF has sufficient aircraft at hand to conduct close-air support missions.

"Patuloy po ang atin (our mission will continue) because we have other types of attack aircraft, fixed wing or rotary to perform these combat operations," she added.

As of this time, Castillo said, the PAF has four remaining SF-260TPs in its inventory.

She, however, noted that more training versions or models of the aircraft are being used in basic training and flight schools.

The ill-fated SF-260TP took off from the Maj. Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite City to perform a recurrency/training flight at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

The PAF said the aircraft was seen descending on a field in Pilar, Bataan at about 10:40 a.m. where it eventually crashed.

The SF-260TP is a highly maneuverable and fully aerobatic basic trainer aircraft of the PAF that serves as a light attack combat aircraft. It was used during the Marawi Siege and various combat missions of the PAF.

It is capable of performing close air support, battlefield air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, persuasion flight, armed escort, maritime patrol, air cover, flare drop, forward air controller, and aerial demonstration.

"The PAF enjoins the public to join us in condoling with the bereaved families as we further request to refrain from spreading unconfirmed/unofficial news and pictures about the incident. The PAF assures that all necessary aid, assistance, and support will be provided to them," it added.

Fallen pilots identified

Castillo identified the fallen pilots as Capt. Ian Gerru Pasinos, the pilot-in-command, and Capt. Jhon Paulo Ong Aviso, co-pilot.

Pasinos is from Cagayan de Oro City while Aviso is from Zamboanga.

Both pilots are recipients of Gold Cross Medals for gallantry in action in different air combat operations to include the military offensives against the dreaded Maute Group during the Battle of Marawi.

Pasinos was also directly involved in different tactical missions including support to Joint Task Force Zampelan's Operations in Lanao Del Sur in April 2017, and the all-out military offensives against the Abu Sayyaf in Bohol in August 2017.

"With Capt. Pasinos and Capt. Aviso's passing, not only have we lost two brave pilots, but we also lost brothers in arms; and to their loved ones, it is a painful loss of a father, a husband, a son, and a friend. Until the end, they fulfilled their mandate as Filipino soldiers, and their final act of heroism was ensuring landing on a clear area that will prevent possible casualties on the ground," Castillo added.

Envoy: Joint maritime patrols with US, other partners possible

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 26, 2023): Envoy: Joint maritime patrols with US, other partners possible (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez (File photo)

MANILA – The possible joint patrols between the Philippines and the United States is to enhance "interoperability" between the two allies and is not necessarily directed against any country, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Thursday.

In an ANC interview, the envoy said Manila has always had an agreement with the US for maritime patrols but it was "never really implemented" formally.

"This has been on the table for quite some time and I'm sure that at some point our defense establishment and the US defense establishment will come out with an operational plan to be able to have these joint patrols," he said.

He said these activities are not confined to Washington DC but also with other partners like Japan and "possibly Australia".

Romualdez highlighted that Manila's main objectives in the West Philippine Sea are to maintain peace and security, and ensure that Filipinos are able to fish within the country’s waters.

"He (Marcos) went to China and communicated that to President Xi (Jinping), and he made it very clear to the US that that is his number one objective," he said.

"Our agreement with the US is there, it's intact and if it requires for us to continue with our maritime security defense posture with having the US join us, we will do it. I think the President is very open to that one because he sees that as part and parcel of the entire picture of trying to find peace in the area," he added.

In a separate presser, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said the exercise to be undertaken together with the US is still in discussion.

"In terms of discussions, all of these are work in progress whether it be (the) EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) or what kind of exercises will be undertaken," she said.