Saturday, February 25, 2023

Chinese fighter jet confronts US Navy plane with CNN crew aboard

Posted to KSLTV (Feb 25, 2023): Chinese fighter jet confronts US Navy plane with CNN crew aboard (By IVAN WATSON AND EMIKO JOZUKA)

Chinese PLA J-11 fighter jet near the Paracel Island over the South China Sea on Friday. (Dan Campesi/CNN)

(CNN) — The US Navy reconnaissance jet flies at 21,500 feet over the South China Sea, 30 miles from the contested Paracel Islands, a group of about 130 small atolls, the biggest of which are home to Chinese military bases.

A voice, saying it’s coming from a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) airport, crackles over the radio of the US Navy P-8 Poseidon as a CNN crew, given rare access aboard the US flight, listens in.

“American aircraft. Chinese airspace is 12 nautical miles. Not approaching any more or you bear all responsibility,” it says.

In a few minutes, a Chinese fighter jet armed with air-to-air missiles intercepts the US plane, nestling in just 500 feet off its port side.

The Chinese fighter jet was so close, the CNN crew could see the pilots turning their heads to look at them — and could make out the red star on the tail fins and the missiles it was armed with.

Lt. Nikki Slaughter, the pilot of the American plane, hails the twin-seat, twin-engine PLA aircraft.

“PLA fighter aircraft, this is US Navy P-8A … I have you off my left wing and I intend to proceed to the west. I request that you do the same, over.”

There’s no reply from the Chinese fighter jet, which escorted the US plane for 15 minutes before turning away.

To a CNN crew aboard the American jet, it’s stark evidence of the tensions brewing in the South China Sea, and between the US and China.

The commander of this US Navy mission has a different take.

“I’d say its another Friday afternoon in the South China Sea,” Navy Cmdr. Marc Hines tells the CNN crew.

Potential flashpoint

Over the past several years, the South China Sea has emerged as a major potential flashpoint in the Asia Pacific. Islands in it, like the Paracels near which the US Navy plane was intercepted Friday, are the subject of overlapping territorial claims in part from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Not only does the strategic waterway hold vast resources of fish, oil and gas, but about a third of global shipping passes through it — worth about $3.4 trillion in 2016, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) China Power Project.

China claims historic jurisdiction over almost the entirety of the vast sea, and since 2014 has built up tiny reefs and sandbars into artificial islands heavily fortified with missiles, runways and weapons systems — sparking outcry from the other claimants.

The Paracel Islands, called the Xisha Islands by China, are in the northern part of the South China Sea, east of Da Nang, Vietnam, and south of China’s Hainan Island.

Named by 16th century Portuguese mapmakers, they have no indigenous population to speak of, only Chinese military garrisons amounting to 1,400 people, according to the CIA Factbook.

Surrounding them is 12 nautical miles of airspace that China was claiming as its own Friday — a claim Washington doesn’t recognize.

Far to the southeast sits the Spratly Islands chain, just 186 miles from the Philippine island of Palawan.

In 2016, in a case brought by the Philippines, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled that China’s claim to historic rights to the bulk of the sea had no legal basis.

But Beijing has rejected the tribunal’s ruling and continued its military buildup, building bases in the Spratlys, which it calls the Nansha Islands.

China also conducts regular military exercises in much of the South China Sea and maintains a large presence of coast guard and fishing vessels in the disputed waters — which has frequently stoked tensions with its neighbors.

On Friday, while flying close to the Philippines, the US Navy P-8 spotted a PLA Navy guided-missile destroyer and descended to around 1,000 feet to get a closer look — bringing more warnings from the PLA.

“US aircraft. US aircraft. This is Chinese naval warship 173. You are approaching to me at low altitude. State your intention over,” a voice comes over the US plane’s radio.

PLA warship 173 is the destroyer Changsha, likely armed with dozens of surface-to-air missiles.

The US plane will keep a safe distance, its pilot, Lt. Slaughter, replies.

“US aircraft. US aircraft. This is Chinese naval warship 173. You are clearly endangering my safety. You are clearly endangering my safety,” the Chinese ship says.

“I am a United States military aircraft. I will maintain a safe distance from your unit,” Slaughter replies, and the US mission continues.

The US Navy says these missions are routine.

US vessels and aircraft operate regularly where international law allows, the Pentagon says. But China claims the US presence in the South China Sea is what’s fueling the tensions.

When a US guided-missile cruiser steamed near the Spratly Islands in November, the PLA said such action “seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty and security” and is “hard proof is that the US is seeking maritime hegemony and militarizing the South China Sea.”

The US Navy said the US cruiser conducted the operation “in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in waters where high seas freedoms apply.”

For Hines, the US commander of Friday’s mission, the tensions are always less when he’s talking with the Chinese side.

Silence brings uncertainty, he says.

“Whenever there’s no response, it leaves questions. Do they understand what were saying? Do they understand our intentions? Do they understand we don’t mean any harm?” he says.

For the most part Friday, the answers were there. And the encounters were “professional,” Hines says. And he wants to keep it that way.

Chinese military orders US Navy plane to stay away from its airspace

From the New York Post (Feb 25, 2023): Chinese military orders US Navy plane to stay away from its airspace (By Isabel Vincent)

In a sign of growing tension between China and the US, the Chinese military warned a US plane to leave its airspace over the South China Sea.REUTERS

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In an encounter that added to growing tensions between the US and China, the crew aboard a Chinese fighter jet warned a US Navy surveillance pilot to move away from Chinese airspace Friday.

The US aircraft was 30 miles outside Chinese airspace over the South China Sea but was warned to get back by an operative of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who addressed the US pilot in a radio call, according to CNN, whose reporter was aboard the US plane at the time of the encounter.

“American aircraft, Chinese airspace is 12 nautical miles. Not approaching anymore or you bear all responsibility,” came the voice over the radio.

Lt. Nikki Slaughter, who was piloting the US Navy P-8 aircraft, responded quickly to the radio transmission, just as a Chinese jet armed with air-to-air missiles came up alongside them.

“PLA fighter aircraft, this is US Navy P-8A,” said Slaughter. “I have you off my left wing and I intend to proceed to the west. I request that you do the same, over.”The video player is currently playing an ad. You can skip the ad in 5 sec with a mouse or keyboard

The US aircraft was 30 miles outside Chinese airspace over the South China Sea but was warned to get back.

The aircraft was warned by an operative of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.CNN

The Chinese did not respond to Slaughter, but the Chinese pilot continued to escort the US plane for 15 more minutes from a few hundred feet away.

Navy Commander Marc Hines, head of the US Navy mission at Kadena Air Base, Japan, downplayed the incident, describing it as “another Friday afternoon in the South China Sea,” in an interview with CNN.

But later in the mission over another part of the disputed region, near the Philippines, Slaughter’s plane spotted a PLA Navy guided-missile destroyer warship. When Slaughter descended to 1,000 feet to have a closer look, she received further warnings.

Lt. Nikki Slaughter, who was piloting the US Navy P-8 aircraft, responded quickly to the radio transmission but got no response back.AP

But later in the mission near the Philippines, Slaughter’s plane spotted a PLA Navy guided-missile destroyer warship.via REUTERS

“US aircraft. US aircraft. This is Chinese naval warship 173. You are approaching to me at low altitude. State your intention over,” a voice said on the radio.

PLA warship 173 is the destroyer Changsha, likely armed with dozens of surface-to-air missiles, according to CNN.

Slaughter, replied that she would keep a safe distance, but the Chinese ship countered, “US aircraft. US aircraft. This is the Chinese naval warship 173. You are clearly endangering my safety. You are clearly endangering my safety.”

“I am a United States military aircraft. I will maintain a safe distance from your unit,” Slaughter replied, and the U.S. mission, which the Navy said was routine, continued.

Opinion: Crossing the ‘laser’ thin line: A growing support for joint maritime patrols

Opinion piece posted to the Philippine Star (Feb 26, 2023): Crossing the ‘laser’ thin line: A growing support for joint maritime patrols (Ambassador B. Romualdez )


The decision of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to expand the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the addition of four locations and the resumption of joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea with the United States has buoyed up the sentiment of Filipinos – whose patience has finally crossed the “laser” thin line and is now running very low due to the continued incursion of Chinese vessels in areas that are within our exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

During the recent visit of US Naval Operations chief Admiral Michael Gilday, where he separately met with Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Andres Centino and Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci, discussions delved on expanded Balikatan Exercises with more US and Filipino military personnel participating as the United States reiterated its commitment to conduct joint maritime patrols.

There is definitely a snowballing resolve among many nations to work together in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific and in supporting freedom of navigation, among them Australia, as seen in the recent visit of Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles.

In the meeting between the Australian Defense Minister with his Philippine counterpart, Defense chief Carlito Galvez, discussions centered on the strategic alignment between the two nations and the possibility of conducting joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea.

“We reaffirm the need to continue working together towards a common goal of maintaining a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific Region,” the Philippine Defense chief reiterated.

Australia and the Philippines have a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) that was ratified by the Philippine Senate in July 2012, and was described by then Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell as “an important part of the strong and expanding bilateral relationship” the two countries share.

An online article titled, “The Philippines could be Australia’s most important defense partner in Southeast Asia” published last September in The Strategist (the commentary and analysis site of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute) written by Asian strategy and geopolitics expert and International Institute for Strategic Studies fellow Euan Graham, underscored the potential of the Philippines to become “an indispensable partner” in the face of “demanding military scenarios that may confront the Australian Defense Force in the decade ahead” – for instance, a war over Taiwan or in the South China Sea.

Dr. Graham cited the location of the Philippines, plus the fact that it is a fellow treaty ally of the United States and its “potential willingness” to grant access and logistical support to Australian forces, as positives. And while the defense relationship between the Philippines and Australia may be “low profile,” it has “surprising depth and potential, meriting a closer look,” he said.

Graham points out that since 2015, the Philippines and Australia have been strategic partners and thus have “already established a notably broad-based and bilateral defence relationship. It has deeper historical roots than widely assumed. In World War II, Australian forces made an active contribution to the liberation of the Philippines, incurring significant losses at Lingayen Gulf. The newly independent Philippines and Australia fought side by side in the Korean War.”

President Marcos himself noted during the courtesy call of Minister Marles that “the future lies in strong alliances and in a united front in promoting again the values that we consider important to our countries.”

As correctly pointed out by Defense Secretary Charlie Galvez, counter-terrorism and maritime security remain as core pillars of our bilateral defense relations with Australia, noting that joint patrols in 2017 covering the Celebes and Sulu seas heightened defense cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia due to kidnapping and hijacking activities by terrorists.

Concern over maritime security, transnational crimes and terrorism prompted the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to engage in joint patrols in 2017 known as “Trilateral Maritime Patrol Indomalphi” to secure their water borders from security challenges that include armed robbery against ships, kidnapping, transnational crimes such as human and drug trafficking, gun smuggling and terrorism in the region, particularly in maritime areas of common concern.

Support for joint maritime patrols is undoubtedly snowballing, with many agreeing to the earlier suggestion of Senator Francis Tolentino, vice chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, to form not just a “security triad” but a “quad” involving the Philippines, US, Australia and Japan. During the visit of President Marcos to Tokyo earlier, there were talks about the possibility of Japan and the Philippines forming a security triad with the United States.

The latest Pulse Asia Survey released earlier in January showed the US, Japan and Australia being the top three choices of respondents as nations that they want the administration to work with in terms of strengthened security cooperation to defend our national sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea. The survey conducted in November-December 2022 had the same results as the June 2022 survey with the US, Japan and Australia emerging as countries that are most trusted by Filipinos.

An initiative of this type – meaning the joint patrols and a possible security quad with allies – has long been awaited by Filipinos to signal that no country should be allowed to claim the territory of others.

While the Philippines wants to maintain balance in the region and continues to adhere to an international rules-based order, there is no question that it also wants to maintain its territorial integrity and protect its national sovereignty.

President Marcos unequivocally stated: “This country will not lose an inch of its territory. We will continue to uphold our territorial integrity and sovereignty in accordance with our Constitution and with international law.”

Presence of Islamic State in the Philippines poses gravest threat to global security

Posted to Hindu Post (Feb 25, 2023): Presence of Islamic State in the Philippines poses gravest threat to global security (By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury)

Image used for representational purposes only. Image source -

Ever since the fall of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, this dangerous radical Islamic terror outfit has been eyeing on a number of countries as its next destination. Since then, ISIS fighters, with the help of its followers amongst the Filipino Muslim community have been gradually expanding its existence, thus posing the gravest threat to the national security of the Philippines. The most alarming fact is – ISIS has received pledges of support from certain local militant entities, none represents a viable vehicle for furthering sustained attacks outside of Mindanao. Arguably a more relevant threat relates to the large Filipino expatriate community in the Middle East that could either be co-opted as recruits or targeted in attacks.

The Philippines has long been a significant source of Islamist extremism in Southeast Asia. Although the largest and most infamous militant group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), apparently has abandoned its terrorism madness, at least two other established entities remain active and new ones have emerged. There also are disturbing indications about ISIS recruiting and sending its fighters into other provinces in the country, with the notorious agenda of continuing various types of jihadist activities.

Two main militant entities operate in the Philippines: the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

ASG was established in 1991 by Abdurajak Janjalini, a veteran of the Afghan mujahideen campaign against the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Its stated goals are the purge of all Christian influence in the southern Philippines and the establishment of an independent Islamic State of Mindanao (MIS). From the outset this agenda was tied to larger, transnational extremist plans, mostly rhetorically but occasionally substantively.

In its early years ASG operated as a cohesive and explicitly religious organization. It had also regular interaction with the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), while hundreds of ASG members along with a vast majority of the Muslims from Mindanao were also associated with TJ.

The loss of several senior commanders, however, has progressively seen the group degenerate into a fractured and criminalized entity. Until 2016, the organization, which numbered no more than 100 members, was split between roving kidnap-for-ransom bands operating on the islands of Basilan and Jolo. Isnilon Hapilon, an elderly cleric who now goes by the name of Sheikh Mujahideen Abdullah al-Philippine, was leading the largest and most active of these factions from the island of Basilan.

Other jihadist groups in the Philippines

Besides ASG and BIFF, there are at least three smaller groups that have emerged in the Philippines in the last few years: Jamaal al-Tawhid Wal Jihad Philippines, Ansar Khalifah Sarangani (AKS, or Supporters of the Caliphate), and Khilafa Islamiyah Mindanao (KIM). While information on these entities is scant, none is believed to number more than a handful of followers.

Jamaal al-Tawhid Wal Jihad Philippines (JaTWJP, sometimes also referred to as Tawhid and Jihad Group in the Land of the Philippines and Pride) emerged sometime in 2012. The organization espouses a jihadist ideology, and it has taken responsibility for a number of sporadic assaults against the military. Abu ‘Atikah al Mujahir is thought to lead the group although it is not known how many members he oversees.

AKS surfaced in 2014 under the leadership of Abdul Basit Usman, one of the most wanted men in the Philippines with a US$1 million bounty on his head under the United States’ Rewards for Justice Program. It is essentially a bomb-making outfit but has lost much of its relevance largely due to the death of Usman who was killed by elements of MILF on May 3, 2015. Many of the remaining members have since migrated to KIM.

KIM, the largest of the three, is a dedicated jihadi organization that seeks the creation of an independent religious state in Mindanao. It is led by an Afghan-trained Islamic cleric known as Humam Abdul Najid, who is believed to have carried out twin bombings against the al-Imam mosque and Rural Bus Transit station in Zamboanga City on August 16, 2012. KIM has occasionally been referred to as an umbrella movement that links Islamists from ASG, BIFF, and rump local elements from the now-defunct Jemaah Islamyyia (JI) network, though it is still unclear whether the group acts as a collective entity rather than a stand-alone in its own right.

ISIS in the Philippines

Eversince Islamic State had emerged back in 2014 in Iraq, there have been growing concern amongst the counterterrorism experts as well as law enforcement agencies in the Philippines about ISIS’s spreading ideological and operational influence in Southeast Asia. This far, most attention has been centered on Muslim majority countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Maldives. While these Muslim nations do warrant a cause for worry, there are clear indications that the Islamic State has also sought to extend its reach into the Philippines, alongside some other non-Muslim nations in Asia, such as Bharat, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar.

In a 24-minute audio narration that the al-Furqan Media Foundation aired on December 26, 2015, for instance, ISIS-founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi specifically included the Bangsamoro struggle as one of several campaigns that Muslims from around the world should support. The speech came on the heels of a purported Islamic State-produced video that featured militants performing physical exercises at a “boot camp” in the jungles of Mindanao. There has also been at least some speculation that the bomb attacks in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, were a response to the activities of pro-Islamic State Filipino supporters who were seen as competing with Indonesian jihadists as the recognized standard bearers for al-Baghdadi’s group in Southeast Asia.

While some experts argue saying, none of the above provides definitive evidence that the Islamic State has managed to establish a concerted operational presence in the Philippines, but in my opinion, as Islamic State has used social media tools in an attempt to co-opt potential followers and sympathizers from schools and universities in Mindanao – there is no room to think – this notorious radical Islamic jihadist group has no existence in the Philippines. We also need to remember, Tablighi Jamaat, for instance, has been radicalizing Muslims and recruiting them for jihadist activities under the disguise of preaching Islam.

Equally, Filipino Muslims are also getting radicalized through the mosques and Koranic schools (madrassas).

According to anti-jihadist sites, local Islamist terror groups in the Philippines were directly connected to the Islamic State and had enlisted fighters to join al-Baghdadi’s self-defined jihad in Iraq and Syria. Each of the recruits were offered an amount between US$ 150-200 as joining bonus with the promise of monthly salaries. Such activities first came to light in July 2014 when Musa Ceratino—an Australian-born Christian convert to Islam and regular attendee of the now-closed radical al-Risalah Salafist center in Sydney, Australia—was arrested in Cebu City for inciting terrorism on the internet and exhorting Filipinos to go fight for the Islamic State in the Middle East.

It is not clear how successful the Islamic State’s recruitment efforts have been and/or the extent to which it has been able to sway popular sentiments among radically prone Muslims in Mindanao.

One organization that has certainly not been influenced is MILF, the dominant rebel group in the area. The Front has not only vociferously denounced the “savagery and barbarism” of al-Baghdadi and his movement, it has also stressed a ready willingness to work with Manila to prevent the latent spread of Islamic State ideology.

In August 2014, leaked government documents claimed that as many as 200 Filipino nationals had infiltrated Iraq to undergo militant training with the Islamic State, further warning that many of these volunteers intended to return with the agenda of waging jihad. These were hardened and trained radical Islamic jihadists. Although the Philippines’ Foreign Ministry had quickly issued a statement saying the postulated figures were “entirely hypothetical”, in my personal opinion, the real figure actually would be much bigger.

There had also been a number of intelligence reports confirming the presence of Filipino jihadists in the Middle East, alongside several Filipina sex slaves and brides of the ISIS fighters.

Irrespective of the number of Filipinos who had gone to fight with the Islamic State, it is clear that the group has enjoyed at least a degree of moral support from a major segment of the Muslim population in the Philippines. This first became apparent on June 25, 2014, when the leader of ASG’s largest faction, Isnilon Hapilon, pledged full “loyalty and obedience” to the Islamic State and al-Baghdadi. The bay`a (oath of allegiance) was made on an uploaded YouTube video that also featured more than a dozen men who were praying with him in a forest clearing while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

In January 2016, Hapilon put out a second video announcing his support of the Islamic State. The seven-minute taping, which also featured a pair of militants claiming to represent the previously unheard-of Ansar al-Shariah Battalion and the Ma’arakat al-Ansar Battalion, was distributed on Twitter, Telegram, and the Deep Web forum Shumukh al-Islam. In it, Hapilon declared “a pledge of allegiance to the Caliph, Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Ibrahim bin ‘Awwad ibn Ibrahim al-Qurashi al-Husseini al-Hashimi,” and exhorts Allah to “preserve him, to listen and obey… and not to dispute about rule with those in power.”

In common with ASG, BIFF has also affirmed its backing for the Islamic State, this time in an amateur visual recording that was aired on August 13, 2014. Although not as strong as Hapilon’s twin bay`a—in the sense of articulating full obedience to al-Baghdadi – the video nevertheless made clear that a mutually beneficial alliance had been made. Abu Misry Mama, a spokesman for BIFF, later confirmed the authenticity of the recording, declaring that while his group did not intend to impose the Islamic State’s highly radical brand of Sunni Islam in the Philippines, assistance to the movement would be proffered should such a request be made.

The various smaller groups that have emerged in the Philippines have similarly expressed support for the Islamic State. In November 2012 Jamaal al-Tawhid Wal Jihad Philippines posted a film urging Muslims in Mindanao to back the group’s jihad. Just under two years later, AKS produced its own video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State while also threatening to deploy suicide bombers in the Philippines and make the country a graveyard for American soldiers. And KIM, which uses the black flag as a backdrop on its Twitter and Facebook accounts, has made no secret either of its admiration for al-Baghdadi or its own self-defined role as the leading force of the so-called Black Flag Movement in the Philippines (BFMP).

The various pledges of allegiance that ISIS has managed to solicit from militant groups in Mindanao have generated growing fears that his group has found a new operational base in the heart of Southeast Asia.

Hapilon’s bay`a in January 2016 caused particular concern as it seemed to suggest that ASG had moved to coalesce its own backing for the Islamic State with other additional jihadist outfits, possibly presenting a new unified extremist front against Manila that could have been further buttressed by returning fighters from the Middle East. 

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Pamilyang inaakusahang tumulong sa BHB sa Bukidnon, ginipit ng militar

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 21, 2023): Pamilyang inaakusahang tumulong sa BHB sa Bukidnon, ginipit ng militar (Family accused of helping the NPA in Bukidnon, harassed by the military)

February 21, 2023

Labag sa karapatang-tao at internasyunal na makataong batas ang ginagawang panggigipit ng mga pwersa ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sa isang pamilya sa Sityo Gabonan, Barangay Dumalaguing, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon noong Enero 29. Pinararatangan ang pamilya na tumulong at naghatid ng suplay sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB).

Niransak ng mga sundalo ang bahay ni Nerisa Lumayag, kanyang asawa at mga anak at tinakot sila. Sampung sundalo ang sumugod sa bahay ng mag-anak. Nagdulot ng labis na takot ang teroristang panggigipit na ito ng mga sundalo sa pamilya laluna sa mga bata.

Ayon sa ulat, bago sila sinugod ng mga sundalo, minanmanan ang bahay nila nang madaling araw ng Enero 29 ng mga bayarang aset ng kaaway sa barangay.

Kasalukuyang tumutuloy sa sentro ng barangay ang pamilya dahil sa takot na bumalik sa kanilang komunidad.

Ang pag-atake ng militar ay labag sa Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), na pinirmahan ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines at Gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas.

Nakasaad sa seksyon ukol sa paggalang sa internasyunal na makataong batas, Artikulo 4, Bilang 4:

“Ang sibilyang populasyon at mga sibilyan ay itatrato bilang sibilyan at ipag-iiba sa mga mandirigma at, kasama ang kanilang ari-arian, ay hindi maaaring atakihin.”

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Presensyang militar ng US sa Pilipinas, maaring magpasiklab ng gerang nukleyar

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 22, 2023): Presensyang militar ng US sa Pilipinas, maaring magpasiklab ng gerang nukleyar (US military presence in the Philippines, could spark a nuclear war)

February 22, 2023

Sa pamamagitan ng presensya ng tropa, gamit militar at nukleyar na arsenal nito sa Pilipinas, inilalagay ng US ang buong rehiyong Asia sa “bingit ng isang nukleyar na Armageddon.” Ito ang babala ni Prof. Roland Simbulan sa isang webinar na pinamagatang “Countercurrents: Foreign Policies and Anti-imperialist Struggle na inilunsad noong Pebrero 4. Si Simbulan ay isang propesor sa University of the Philippines at pangalawang pangulo ng Center for People’s Empowerment in Governance.

“Imbwelto ang Pilipinas sa mahigpit na kumpetisyon sa pagitan ng US at China dahil sa lokasyong geopulitikal nito,” aniya. Matagal nang bahagi ang bansa sa “imprastrukturang nukleyar” ng US, na nagsisilbing daungan ng malalaking barkong pandigma na nagdadala ng mga armas nukleyar at pinatatakbo ng enerhiyang nukleyar. “Bahagi na tayo (Pilipinas) ng opensibong first island chain ng pagkubkob sa China dahil sa Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement at ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,” aniya.

Sa pamamagitan ng mga tratado at kasunduang ito, napanatili ng US ang hegemonyang militar ng US sa Pilipinas, kahit wala na itong minamantineng malalaking permanenteng base militar sa bansa.

“Matagal nang itinuturing ng US na krusyal na lokasyon ang Pilipinas para sa sarili nitong pangmatagalang seguridad,” ayon kay Prof. Simbulan. Tinawag niyang “muog ng US” ang Pilipinas sa Asia na nagsisilbing lunsaran ng mga operasyong pandagat at panghimpapawid hindi lamang sa South China Sea, kundi sa buong Asia-Pacific at Middle East.

Ang kontrol ng US at “bakal na ugnayan” nito sa Pilipinas ay hindi nauga at lalong di natumbasan ng pakikipagmabutihan at pagkukunwari ng nagdaang presidente na si Rodrigo Duterte na pagpaling nito sa China.

Katunayan, humigpit pa ang hawak ng US sa Pilipinas sa termino ni Duterte. Isinagawa sa ilalim ng kanyang termino ang luma at bagong malalaking pagsasanay-miliatr. Sa ilalim din niya nagsimula ang “renegosasyon” ng EDCA at MDT para bigyan ng dagdag na mga pribiliheyo at ekstra-teritoryal na mga karapatan ang US sa bansa. Nagsimula din habang presidente pa siya ang negosasyon para gamitin ng Cerberus, isang kumpanyang Amerikano, ang naluging Hanjin Shipyard sa Subic para sa pagkukumpuni, pag-refuel at pagdaong ng US Navy.

Sa ilalim ng rehimeng Marcos Jr, sunud-sunod ang pagbisita ng matatas na upisyal at upisyal-militar ng US sa Pilipinas. Noong Nobyembre 2022, lumapag si US Vice President Kamala Harris para pormal na ipabatid ang intensyon ng US na dagdagan ng lima pang kampo ng AFP para itayo ang mga pasilidad ng US para sa mga tropa at gamit militar nito sa Pilipinas. Sinundan ito ng pagbisita ni Lloyd Austin, kalihim ng State Department ng US noong Pebrero 2.

Naipirmi sa mga pagbisitang ito ang pagpapabilis sa konstruksyon sa unang limang base militar ng US sa bansa na gagastusan ng \$100 milyon, at ang pagdagdag na apat pang lokasyong maaaring lagakan ng kanilang tropa at armas. Ang mga lokasyong ito ay nagbibigay sa US ng bentahe para sa mabilis na paglulunsad ng mga operasyon sakaling magkaroon ng tunggalian sa Taiwan o habang nagsasagawa ang US Navy ng mapanghamong mga “operasyon sa malayang paglalalayag” sa South China Sea.
Pang-uupat ng gera

Noong Pebrero 4, dumating sa Pilipinas ang mataaas na upisyal-miltiar ng US para ipinalisa ang plano para sa paglulunsad ng mas masisinsin at malalaking pagsasanay-militar ng US sa Pilipinas, kabilang ang Balikatan 2023. Noong 2022, inianunsyo ng AFP na magkakaroon ng 469 na iba’t ibang pagsasanay at aktibidad militar ang US sa bansa para sa taong 2023. Mas mataas ito sa 461 na mga operasyong militar ng US sa 2022 at 353 nooong 2021.

Ang mga pagsasanay na lakip dito ay bahagi ng opensibong militar ng US para udyukan ang China. Kasabay at karugtong ang mga ito sa libu-libo pang pagsasanay sa digma (war exercises) na inilulunsad ng US sa rehiyon.

Bagamat sa Abril pa idadaos ang ika-38 serye ng Balikatan, ang taunang “pagsasanay-militar” sa pagitan ng mga armadong hukbo ng US at Pilipinas, nasa Pilipinas na ang mga pwersang Amerikano. Noong Pebrero 20, inilunsad ng US at Philippine Army ang Warfighting Functions Exchange, isang 3-araw na kumperensya bilang paghahanda sa pagdaraos Salaknib 2023, ang dalawang-seryeng pagsasanay na ilulunsad bago at pagkatapos ng Balikatan. Lalahukan ang pagsasanay na ito ng 3,000 tropa mula sa 25th ID ng US at 5th ID, 7th ID at 1st Brigade Combat Team ng Pilipinas. Magsisimula ang Salaknib sa Marso 5, at tatagal ng 20 araw.

Samantala, lalahukan ang Balikatan 2023 ng 16,000 tropa, pinakamarami sa kasaysayan nito. Idadaos ang mga pagsasanay sa Ilocos Norte, at Batanes, Fuga at Calayan — mga islang dikit sa Taiwan Strait.

Hindi lamang ang US ang gumagamit sa Pilipinas bilang lunsaran ng digma. Noong Pebrero 20, binuksan ng AFP at Australian Defense Force ang Philippine-Australia Army-to-Army Exercise 23-1 sa Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte. Katulad ng US, may visiting forces agreement ang Pilipinas at Australia. Nakatakda ring pumirma ang Japan at Pilipinas ng katulad na kasunduan para sa malayang paglabas-masok naman ng mga tropang Japanese sa bansa. Parehong alyado ng US ang Australia at Japan sa panunulsol nito ng gera laban sa China.

Higit sa mga pagsasanay, muli na ring ilulunsad ang mga magkasanib na pagpapatrulya ng US at Pilipians sa South China Sea. Direkta nitong isasangkot ang mga tropang Pilipino sa pakikipaggiriian nito sa mga barko at pwersa ng China.
Mapanganib ng plantang nukleyar

Isa sa itinulak ni US Vice Presidente Harris nang bumista siya sa bansa ang pagtatayo ng US ng mga plantang nukleyar sa tabing ng paglutas ng krisis ng enerhiya ng Pilipinas. Sa ilalim ng “123 Agreement Negotiations for Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation,” itatayo sa bansa ang mga plantang nukleyar (small modular reactor) na pinaunlad ng US Army at sinubok sa mga base militar nito.

Nitong Pebrero, ibinunyag ng Pangasinan People’s Strike for the Environment ang pagraratsada ng lokal na gubyerno para sa pagtatayo ng anim na mga plantang nukleyar, lahat sa Labrador, Pangasinan. Nakaharap ang bayan na ito sa Lingayen Gulf, isa sa pinakamayamang pangisdaan sa bansa.

Babala ng mga kinatawan ng Makabayan, dalawang gamit ang teknolohiyang ipapasok ng US sa bansa — sibil at militar. Maraming aspeto ng programang nukleyar ng US ay napakadaling gamitin para sa gera, kahit ang mga kunwa’y para sa mga gamit sibilyan.

Katunayan, pinauunlad ngayon ng US ang Project Pele na naglalayong maglatag ng mga “mobile nuclear power plant” o “battlefield nuke reactors” na bahagi ng paghahanda nito ng “teatro ng digma” sa rehiyon ng Asia. Lalabas na gagamitin ng US ang Pilipinas bilang laboratoryo ng proyektong ito, na nasa antas eksperimento pa lamang.
Kagyat at kinakailangang pagtutol

Sa kasalukuyan, papalaki ang posibilidad ng paggamit ng armas nukleyar sa gerang itinulak ng US at NATO sa Ukraine, sa Korean Peninsula, Taiwan Straits at South China Sea. Sa gayon, lalong nagiging kagyat ang pangangailangang hadlangan ito ng mamamayan.

“Itinutulak ng papalaking banta ng gerang nukleyar ang lahat ng nagmamahal ng kapayapaan sa buong mundo na pigilan ang paglaki ng posibilidad nito,” ayon kay Prof. Simbulan. “Pigilan natin ang mga probokasyong ginagawa ng US, gayundin ang mga operasyong militar ng China, na maaaring sumiklab sa isang dambuhalang gera para sa kapangyarihan.”

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: 4 na batalyong itinambak sa Samar, magpapalala sa paglabag sa karapatang-tao

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 23, 2023): 4 na batalyong itinambak sa Samar, magpapalala sa paglabag sa karapatang-tao (4 battalions concentrated in Samar, aggravate the violation of human rights)

February 23, 2023

Apat na batalyon ang itinambak ng Armed Forces of the Philippines sa Eastern Visayas sa pagitan ng Disyembre 2022 at Pebrero para “gapiin” ang “natitirang apat na aktibong larangang gerilya” sa hilagang bahagi ng Samar. Tiyak na patitindihin ng mga ito ang pamamaslang, pang-aaresto, pambabanta at pwersahang pagpapasurender sa mga komunidad ng magsasaka sa rehiyon.

Dumating sa Palo, Leyte noong Pebrero 20 ang 74th IB galing sa Basilan at 42nd IB na galing sa Quezon-Bicol noong Pebrero 20. Dumating din sa rehiyon ang 21st Scout Ranger Company na nakapailalim sa 4th Scout Ranger Battalion mula sa Davao City noong Pebrero 17. Bago nito, 400 elemento na ng 4th SRB ang lumapag sa daungan ng Calbayog City noong Disyembre 11, 2022. Dagdag sa mga tropang ito ang 564 bagong mga sundalo na nagtapos sa isang 6-buwang pagsasanay militar sa Camp Eugenio Daza sa Hinabangan, Samay noon ding Pebrero 20.
Duguang batalyon

Mahaba ang listahan ng mga paglabag ng 4th SRC na sangkot sa mga operasyong pamboboma, pamamaslang, pang-aaresto at pwersahang pagpapasurender sa mga sibilyan sa mga barangay sa Agusan del Norte at Misamis Oriental. Mayor din ang naging papel nito sa pagdurog sa Marawi City na nagpalayas sa halos isang milyong Moro.

Samantala, bantog ang 42nd IB sa Bicol sa papel nito sa pagpapatupad ng Memorandum Order 32 ng noo’y rehimeng US-Duterte mula 2018. Ayon sa National Democratic Front-Bicol, nagresulta ang kautusang ito sa pagpaslang ng isang Bikolano kada linggo ng mga pwersa ng AFP at PNP sa rehiyon. Batay sa pagmonitor ng mga kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang-tao, hindi bababa sa 17 ang biktima ng pamamaslang noong Enero-Nobyembre 2022 lamang.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Pesteng militar, pinalayas ng masa sa isang paaralan sa Abra

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 23, 2023): Pesteng militar, pinalayas ng masa sa isang paaralan sa Abra (Military plague, driven out by the masses at a school in Abra)

February 23, 2023

Sama-samang kumilos noong Martes, Pebrero 21, ang mga magulang at guro ng Mataragan National Agricultural School sa Barangay Mataragan, Malibcong, Abra laban sa mga sundalong nagkakampo sa loob mismo ng paaralan, dahil sa banta ng mga ito sa seguridad ng mga bata. Matagumpay nilang napalayas ang mga sundalo.

Reklamo ng mga residente na lagi’t-laging naiistorbo ang buong komunidad dahil sa presensya ng mga sundalo sa lugar. Hindi na sila makatrabaho sa kanilang sakahan at makapasyal sa mga gubat dahil sa walang awat na operasyong militar.

Samantala, iniulat ang panggigipit at pag-iinterogeyt ng mga ahente ng militar kay Jerome Agaid, isang magsasaka na kabilang sa Lupong Tagapamayapa ng tribung Mabaca na naninirahan sa Mataragan, Malibcong. Kasama ni Agaid noong Pebrero 16, 2023 ang kanyang 5-taong gulang na anak na nangingisda sa Barangay Gadani, Tayum, Abra, nang sindakin at hawakan ng mga sundalo.

Dahil sa pangyayaring ito at iba pang nakaraang pang-aabuso ng militar sa Abra, lumalakas ang mga pagkilos ng mamamayan upang magreklamo sa nakakaalarmang pangyayari. (Ulat ng NPA-Abra)

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: 5 pistola at shotgun, nakumpiska ng BHB sa operasyong dis-arma sa Canlaon City

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 25, 2023): 5 pistola at shotgun, nakumpiska ng BHB sa operasyong dis-arma sa Canlaon City (5 pistols and shotguns, confiscated by the NPA during the disarmament operation in Canlaon City)

February 25, 2023

Nakumpiska ng mga operatiba ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB)-Central Negros ang apat na .45 kalibre pistola at isang 12 gauge shotgun, mga magasin at mga bala sa isang operasyong pagdis-arma laban kay Noleto Hermoso ng Sityo Inatito, Barangay Bucalan, Canlaon City noong Pebrero 21. Ayon sa yunit, nagtagal ng 10 minuto ang operasyon.

Si Hermoso ay kilalang may koneksyon sa militar at nag-iimbak ng mga armas ayon sa ulat ng BHB-Central Negros. Dagdag pa nila, nagpapaputok at nananakot sa kanyang mga kapitbahay. Bago ang operasyon, makailang-ulit nang kinausap ng BHB si Hermoso para itigil ang kanyang anti-sosyal na gawi. Ngunit sa halip na tumalima, nagpatuloy si Hermoso sa mga ito.

Nagsimula ang operasyong pagdis-arma bandang alas-7 ng gabi nang surpresang pinasok ng mga Pulang mandirigma ang bahay ni Hermoso para kumpiskahin ang kanyang mga armas. Halos 1.5 kilometro lamang ang distansya ng bahay na ito mula sa detatsment ng militar sa kalapit na Barangay Budlasan. Ang sityo na tinutuluyan niya ay palagian dinadaanan ng militar sa panahon ng nakapokus na operasyong militar.

Agad namang sumunod sa utos si Hermoso nang kausapin siya kasama ang kanyang pamilya. Kwento pa ni Ka Win, tim lider ng naturang operasyon, “nagpasalamat pa ang pamilya nang isinalaysay ang dahilan ng pagdis-arma.” Ayon pa sa kanila, akala nila ay papatayin si Hermoso.

Salaysay pa ng pamilya na “maaring leksyon na sa kanilang ama ang mga kabulastugan na ginawa niya dati…at para magbagong-buhay.”

Sa panig ng mga Pulang mandirigma, nagpatibay ng kanilang loob ang matagumpay na operasyon. Ayon sa kanila, “nagbigay din ng bagong karanasan at kaalaman sa matagumpay na implementasyon ng misyon sa opensiba.”

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Serye ng mga protesta kontra Kaliwa Dam, inilunsad

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 25, 2023): Serye ng mga protesta kontra Kaliwa Dam, inilunsad (Series of protests against Kaliwa Dam, launched)

February 25, 2023

Magkakasunod na protesta ang inilunsad ng mga pambansang minorya at demokratikong grupong bahagi ng Network Opposed to Kaliwa, Kanan, Laiban Dams (No to KKLD) sa Metro Manila noong Pebrero 20 para paigtingin ang panawagang itigil ang mapanirang proyektong Kaliwa Dam sa Sierra Madre.

Nagprotesta sila sa upisina ng National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), House of Representatives at Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). Binatikos nila ang NCIP sa ginawang manipulasyon at panloloko sa pagkuha ng Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) o pagpayag ng mga katutubo para pahintulutan ang kontruksyon ng dam. Humiga sila sa labas ng upisina bilang simbolo ng pagpatay at pagpapalayas ng dam sa humigit-kumulang na 20,000 Dumagat-Remontados sa Sierra Madre.

Nagkaroon din ng porum ang NO to KKLD sa UP Diliman kung saan dumalo ang mga grupo ng estudyante mula sa pamantasan upang dinggil ang panawagan at pakikibaka ng mga Dumagat at Remondato.

Samantala, nakaabot na sa Mendiola noong Pebrero 23 ang halos 300 katutubong Dumagat at Remontado na lumahok sa ‘Alay-Lakad Laban sa Kaliwa Dam’ na nagsimula noong Pebrero 15. Nagmula sila sa Barangay Catablingan sa General Nakar, Quezon. Tinatayang 150-kilometrong layo ang nilakad ng mga pambansang minorya.

Ang mga katutubo ay sinalubong ng iba’t ibang mga grupo sa Metro Manila. Nakiisa rin sa kanila ang University of Sto. Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University at iba pang mga institusyon.

Iginiit ng mga grupo kay Marcos Jr ang kagyat na pagpapahinto sa paghuhukay sa bayan ng Teresa sa Rizal. Nagsimula nang butasin ang kabundukan ng Teresa, Rizal para tumagos tungong General Nakar, Quezon na hindi bababa sa 28 kilometro ang distansyang sasaklawin.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Katutubo, anak nitong 5-taong gulang, ginipit ng 24th IB

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 25, 2023): Katutubo, anak nitong 5-taong gulang, ginipit ng 24th IB (Native, his 5-year-old son, harassed by the 24th IB)

February 25, 2023

Ginipit at sinindak ng mga ahente ng 24th IB ang mag-amang Jerome Agaid at kanyang 5-taong gulang na anak sa bayan ng Malibcong sa Abra sa nagdaang mga linggo. Si Agaid ay Lupong Tagapamayapa at bahagi ng tribung Mabaca.

Pilit na “pinasusuko” ng 24th IB si Agaid at pinagtatraydor sa kanyang sariling tribu. Ayon sa ulat, sinamantala ng militar ang kamakailang pagkakaospital ng kanyang asawa para “kumbinsihin” si Agaid na makipagtulungan sa kanila. Anang mga sundalo, babayaran ng mga ito ang pagpapagamot sa asawa kung susunod sa atas ng militar.

Bago pa ang naturang insidente, ilang ulit nang minanmanan at ginipit si Agaid at kanyang pamilya.

Patung-patong na paglabag sa karapatan ng mga pambansang minorya at karapatang-tao ang ginagawa ng 24th IB at 102nd IB sa maraming bayan ng Abra. Kasabay ito ng matinding militarisasyon at okupasyong militar sa mga bayan ng Lacub, Malibcong, Tineg, Baay-Licuan, Daguioman, Bucloc, Boliney, Sallapadan, Luba, Tubo at Pilar.

Laganap sa mga bayang ito ang mga kaso ng sapilitang pagpapasuko, pagmamanman at pananakot ng militar. Nagdudulot ito ng matinding ligalig at pangamba sa mga mamamayan tuwing pumupunta sila sa kanilang mga sakahan at sa kagubatan.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Sa unang anibersaryo ng New Bataan 5//Panagutin si Gen. Durante at 1001st IBde, giit ng mga grupo

Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis online propaganda posted to the PRWC Newsroom, the blog site of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Information Bureau (Feb 25, 2023): Sa unang anibersaryo ng New Bataan 5//Panagutin si Gen. Durante at 1001st Inf Bde (accountable), giit ng mga grupo (On the first anniversary of New Bataan 5//Hold Gen. Durante and 1001st Inf Bde (accountable), the groups insist)

February 25, 2023

“HUSTISYA SA NEW BATAAN 5!” ang sigaw ng mga grupo ng kabataan at ng Save Our Schools (SOS) Network sa isang martsa kahapon sa University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, unang anibersaryo ng tinaguriang New Bataan 5 Massacre.

Iginiit ng mga nagprotesta na dapat managot ang 1001st IBde sa karumal-dumal na pagpatay kina Chad Booc at Gelejurain Ngujo II, mga boluntir na guro sa paaralang Lumad, kay Elegyn Balonga, isang manggagawang pangkalusugan sa komunidad, at mga sibilyang sina Robert Aragon at Tirso Añar. Tinortyur at sadyang pinatay ang lima ng mga sundalo sa utos ni Gen. Jesus Durante III sa Barangay Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro noong Pebrero 24, 2022.

Sa martsa, iginiit ng mga grupo na papanagutin ang 1001st IBde sa brutal na krimen nito at ang dating kumander nito na si Gen. Durante. Dapat din umanong papanagutin si dating pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa kasong ito at marami pang krimen laban sa sangkatauhan ng kanyang administrasyon.

Naglunsad din ang mga grupo ng isang programang pangkultura at nagtirik ng mga kandila pagkatapos ng martsa.

Ayon sa SOS, natanggap nila noong Pebrero 20 lamang ang pinal na ulat sa awtopsi sa bangkay ni Booc na isinagawa ng kilalang forensic pathologist na si Dr. Raquel Fortun. Ayon kay Dr. Fortun, ang paraan ng pagkamatay ni Booc ay homicide, taliwas sa pinalalabas ng militar na isang “engkwentro” ang naganap na nagresulta sa pagkamatay ng lima.

Liban umano sa maraming tama ng bala, iniulat ni Dr. Fortun iba pang tinamong sugat si Booc na sensyales na posibleng dumaan siya sa tortyur. Mayroong fracture sa kanyang ika-5, 6, 7 at 8 thoracic vertebrae at kanang ika-8, 9, at 11 na ribs, laceration sa kanyang spinal cord, baga, atay, spleen, bato, tiyan at intestine, internal na mga hemorrhage, vertebrae, at kanang buto sa braso. Ayon pa kay Dr. Fortun, ipinakikita ng pinal na resulta ng awtopsi ang “intensyong patayin” sila ng mga sundalo.

Giit ng SOS, dapat magkaroon ng “kagyat, masusi at imparsyal na imbestigasyon sa New Bataan 5 Massacre para papanagutin si General Jesus Durante III ng 1001st IB.”

“Dapat tayong magsama-sama para ilantad ang mga paglabag sa internasyunal na makataong batas at batayang mga karapatang-tao laban sa limang biktima sa New Bataan 5 Massacre,” pahayag pa ng grupo.

Naglabas din ng kanilang pahayag ang Katribu – Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas at Sandugo Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination para kilalanin ang lima at maggiit ng hustisya.

Pinagpugayan nila ang mga ito para sa kanilang mga sakripisyo at “paglalaan ng kanilang oras, kakayahan at kabataan para sa kagalingan ng mga kabataang Lumad at kanilang mga komunidad.”

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: 1 Patay, 1 Gindis-armahan sang NPA sa Central Negros PEOPLE'S WAR

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 24, 2023): 1 Patay, 1 Gindis-armahan sang NPA sa Central Negros

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

February 24, 2023

Ginadayaw sang Leonardo Panaligan Command-New People’s Army ang pursigido nga pagpatuman sang mga desisyon sang Rebolusyonaryong Korte sang Pumuluyo matapos ang pagvista kag pagpamatbat sanday Noleto ‘Noleng’ Hermoso sang Sityo Inatito, Brgy Bucalan, Canlaon City kag Danilo Sandot sang Sityo Palasan, Brgy Guba, Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental sadtong Pebrero 21-22, 2023.

Patay si Danilo Sandot sang ginpatuman sang NPA ang silot-kamatayon sa kaso nga pagpanglugos sa iya kaugalingon nga anak kag bayaw. Ginpatuman ini sadtong Pebrero 22, 2023 sang gab-i sa sityo Palasan, Brgy Guba,Vallehermoso, Negros Oriental. Otso anyos pa ang iya anak nga babaye sang ginkonsumo ni Danilo sadtong tuig 1987. Nahadlok ang biktima sa pagpanugid sa iya iloy kag mga utod bangud ginpahug siya nga patyon kon mabal-an sang bilog pamilya kag iban pa nga mga himata sini. Tuig 2016 pwersa nga ginlugos naman ang iya kaugalingon nga bayaw (asawa sang iya utod nga lalaki). Tuig 2019 pa nga gindesisyunan sang Korte sang Pumuluyo apang may pila ka datus nga ginkonsiderar kag ginreview karun nga tuig 2023. Unanimous nga nagtindog ang mga hukom sang nasambit nga rebolusyonaryong hukmanan nga ipatuman ang pagsilot sang kamatayon kay Danilo pabor sa mga biktima.

Pebrero 21,2023 alas 7:00 sang gab-i, madinalag-on man nga nakumpiska sang New People’s Army ang 4 ka .45 cal pistol kag 1 ka 12 gauge shotgun, mga magasin kag mga bala sa posesyon ni Noleto Hermoso sang sityo Inatito, Brgy Bucalan, Canlaon City. Si Noleng ang taghupot sang illegal nga mga armas. Nagapalupok kag nagapamahug sa iya mga katupad. Pila na ka bes ginpa-andaman sang NPA si Noleng apang wala nagabag-o rason nga ginpatuman sang NPA ang pagdis-arma upod ang mabaskog nga pagpaandam kay Hermoso.

Ginapanawagan sa tanan nga yunit sang NPA idalum sa Leonardo Panaligan Command nga maglunsar sang madinalag-on kag malapnagon nga taktikal nga opensiba batok sa pasistang AFP, PNP kag iban pa nga mga mapintas nga makinaryas sang estado.

CPP/Communist Party of the Philippines: Resist US-Marcos regime’s plan to turn Samar to howling wilderness

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 24, 2023): Resist US-Marcos regime’s plan to turn Samar to howling wilderness

Communist Party of the Philippines
February 24, 2023

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the US-Marcos regime and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the deployment of an excessive number of counterinsurgency troops in Samar over the past weeks.

The fascist surge aims to turn the Samar island back into a “howling wilderness,” in the same manner that US colonial forces sought to crush the patriotic resistance of the people of Samar at the turn of the century. This excessive deployment of combat troops will not solve the socioeconomic problems of the people of Samar, but will only aggravate their hardships. The fascist surge will bring nothing but terror to the people of Samar. It, however, is bound to be frustrated by the revolutionary masses and people’s army in Samar and Eastern Visayas.

Since December, more than 1,000 Army soldiers have been deployed to Samar to augment the 21 battalions of enemy troops already operating in the region under the 8th Infantry Division. The purported aim of this massive deployment is to “crush the four remaining guerrilla fronts” of the New People’s Army (NPA), specifically in Northern Samar. These additional armed troops belong to the 74th Infantry Battalion (from Basilan), the 42nd IB (from the Quezon-Bicol area) and the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion. In addition, the AFP deployed more than 550 new combat troops who completed their training in Camp Eugenio Daza in Hinabangan, Samar last February 20.

These units of the AFP are notorious for attacking civilian communities and perpetrating rampant rights violations. The 4th SRC, in particular, faces numerous complaints in Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental. The 42nd IB is also notorious for its role in implementing Memorandum Order 32 which placed Bicol, Samar and Negros under military rule. The 42nd IB is among the perpetrators of the AFP’s rampage of killings in Bicol, murdering one victim every week since 2018.

Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) have been rampant in Samar and the whole of the Eastern Visayas. Under the counterinsurgency campaign of the AFP and PNP, people belonging to all types mass organizations have been made targets for suppression, since the issuance of Memorandum Order 32.

The AFP has blurred the lines between armed combatants and civilians by considering mass organizations in Samar fighting for land and peasant rights, and defending democratic rights, as being armed rebels. Their members are targeted by the AFP as combatants, subjected to surveillance, harassment and intimidation, arrests and killings, and forced to “surrender” without any legal or judicial process. Entire villages and communities are placed under military hamlet control where their rights are severely restricted. The AFP has also carried out a terrorist wave of aerial bombardment in Samar that target fields, forests and nearby communities. Children have not been spared from violent attacks by the military as shown by the killing of two teenagers by troops of the 20th who indiscriminately fired their weapons in Barangay Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar last February 8, 2022. Human rights defenders and alternative media practitioners, themselves, have been imprisoned in the hope of silencing the people of Eastern Visayas and preventing them from exposing the truth.

With the deployment of more than a thousand combat troops, the AFP will again turn Samar into a howling wilderness adapting the scorched earth tactics of US colonial forces during the Filipino-American war, as well as those applied in the US counterguerrilla war in Vietnam. These tactics, however, are bound to fail as these only further expose the rottenness of the ruling system and inflame the people’s anger against the ruling classes of exploiters and oppressors.

Faced with relentless fascist suppression and worsening socioeconomic oppression and exploitation, the people of Samar and the entire Eastern Visayas region have no other option but to fight back through all forms of resistance. They must strengthen and consolidate their organizations. The canons and bombs of the AFP will ultimately prove futile as the broad masses of the people of Samar courageously act and rise up as one body.

The CPP calls on all commands and units of the NPA in Samar and Eastern Visayas to continue waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever expanding and deepening mass base. They must exert all efforts to spread the flames of the armed revolution. They must be ready to recruit and train more Red fighters as the broad masses of the people are determined to join the armed resistance to defend themselves against the terrorist state.

The NPA in Samar and in the Eastern Visayas region continue to master the war of quick and clandestine maneuvers and ssiduously carry out the tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting to keep the enemy deaf and blind. They can carry out strikes where and when the enemy least expects it, and employ the tactic of feigning to the east and striking in the west. They are determined to mount basic tactical offensives, combined with widespread armed actions, including special partisan operations, and mobilization of militia units, to take away the enemy’s initiative and disrupt its plans. They continue to strengthen their ties with the peasant masses by helping carry out their antifeudal struggles and addressing their urgent social and economic needs.

The regional and various levels of Party leadership are determined to build the revolutionary mass movement in the cities and countryside of Eastern Visayas. The broad masses of oppressed and exploited classes are being aroused, organized and mobilized to fight for their urgent demands for alleviation from the economic crisis and calamities including wage increases for workers, lowering of land rent and loan interests, fare farmgate prices and other urgent agrarian reforms, and others.

They people of Eastern Visayas are determined to link up with the urgent struggle against rising US military intervention, especially as American troops increase their presence in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, and other parts of the region, as part of its war preparations; and denounce US supplying of weapons and military equipment for the AFP used for the suppression of the Filipino people.

The Party calls on the Filipino people, human rights defenders, church people, workers, students, women, artists and all other democratic sectors, to link-up arms and help the people of Samar and Eastern Visayas expose the crimes being perpetrated by the AFP in the course of its futile counterinsurgency drive.

Led by the Party, the people and revolutionary forces in Eastern Visayas are determined to rise, resolutely fight and wage widespread resistance against the US-Marcos regime’s fascist state terrorism and frustrate its aim of transforming Samar into a howling wilderness.

Kalinaw News: Former rebel denounces CTG atrocities, deception

From Kalinaw News (Feb 25, 2023): Former rebel denounces CTG atrocities, deception

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – February 25, 2023

A former rebel withdrew support from the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and pledged allegiance to the government on February 24, 2023.

The former CTG member submitted himself to the 5th Special Forces Battalion in Barangay Butril, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Joint Task Force Central Commander, Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera identified the surrendered personality as a.k.a. Karding, a member of the Platoon Timlas, Regional Sentro De Grabidad (RSDG), Sub-Regional Committee Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region. The former rebel handed over two firearms: one Winchester M1 Garand and one improvised M79 grenade launcher.

During the initial debriefing, a.k.a. Karding expressed his condemnation of the inhumane attacks and false ideologies of the group. He also relayed the hardships he experienced, especially when they tried to evade the government forces due to their lack of strength and capability. He also pledged support to the government and called on his former companions not to be afraid to surrender.

Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Commander of Western Mindanao Command, expressed his admiration for the former rebel for making the brave decision to return to the fold of the law. “Rest assured that we will assist him in his reintegration into mainstream society. His documents will immediately be processed for his enrolment in the programs facilitated by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).”

The WestMinCom Commander attributed this success to the collaborative efforts of the military, other security agencies, local government units, stakeholders, and the communities. “We will remain persistent in our efforts to wipe out communist insurgency here in Mindanao.”

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

Kalinaw News: Army’s 58IB and the Local Government Unit of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental conduct outreach program to former NPA safe haven in the municipality

From Kalinaw News (Feb 25, 2023): Army’s 58IB and the Local Government Unit of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental conduct outreach program to former NPA safe haven in the municipality

Building Trusts, Sustaining the Gains

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – In collaboration with the Regional Association of Government Communication (RAGCOM) Region X, the 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion conducted an outreach program to the former safe haven of Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) at Sitio Curnao, Brgy. Umagos, Lagonglong, Misamis, Oriental on February 24, 2023.

This program is inline with the unit’s campaign of restoring communities, changing lives. Sitio Curnao is categorized as a Kosolidado, Kinokonsolidado, Expansyon, and Rekobery (KKER) area under the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs). As a consequence of its vast terrain and the presence of their family members, said sitio served as a safe haven for top leaders of Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).

The Mobile Community Support Sustainment Teams (MCSSTs) were previously immersed in said area and already declared cleared from CPP/NPA/NDF affectation by the Area Clearing Validation Board (ACVB) on September 11, 2019. Since then, livelihood assistance and trainings have been given and conducted for the people’s organizations (PO) called Curnao Farmers Association (CUFA). This includes goat dispersal, turnover of assorted farm seedlings, water system installation, and solar light installation. Thus a recipient of the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP), which is already in implementarion.

And now, through the initiatives of various line agencies, stakeholders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other legal organizations, a more diverse approach to revisiting Sitio Curnao has been undertaken. Social, health, education, socio-economic, and other essential services are provided to 22 households in Sitio Curnao and 93 others in neighboring communities. In addition, the 4ID Medical team provides medical consultation to 72 patients.

An inspiring message was also given to the community by all department heads about their role in government and the kind of assistance they can also provide, especially to the farmer’s, women’s, and youth sectors, which are regarded as vulnerable to deceptive recruitment by the CPP, NPA, and NDF.

Hon. Edgardo S. Cainglet, Sangguniang Bayan Member and former Brgy Captain of said sitio, expresses his heartfelt gratitude to all government agencies who came without hesitation despite the distance, lack of electricity, no signal connectivity, and the only mode of transportation being by foot and horseback in reaching out to the people of Curnao, bringing social services, and building roads to this small community.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Christian C. Uy, Battalion Commander of the 58IB, lauded all the department heads of the government agencies, stakeholders, NGOs, and other legal organizations who took part in the activity and their dedication for hiking an hour and a half through the rugged terrain just to reach Sitio Curnao. “More blessings will come to those who give,” Lt. Col. Uy stated, urging the community to remain steadfast in the growth of the socio-economic development of the community while remaining resilient to any form of deceptive recruitment by the CTGs.

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

Mangoroban takes over as commander of 3rd Marine Brigade in Palawan

From Palawan News (Feb 25, 2023): Mangoroban takes over as commander of 3rd Marine Brigade in Palawan

Colonel Antonio Mangoroban Jr. has relieved Brigadier General Jimmy Larida as commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade in a change of command ceremony held Friday at Marine Base Rodolfo Punsalang in Barangay Tiniguiban.

The ceremonial ritual of transferring authority and duty for the unit was presided over by the commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), Major General Charlton Sean Gaerlan.

Being the new commander of the brigade that has received the PMC’s Kahusayan Award for three consecutive years and has set the stage and worked hard to end the local armed conflict to render Palawan as insurgency-free, Mangoroban remarked that he is well aware of the simple and arduous challenges before him.

“Ako ay nangangako sa inyong lahat na gagampanan ko ang aking tungkulin ng buong husay at kagalingan,” he said. “I need all your help as we all continue to fulfill our dreams in this part of the country. Please join me as we sustain, protect, and improve the gains made by our predecessors. We shall ensure that their efforts will not be in vain.”

Col. Antonio Mangoroban Jr. (3rd from left), Philippine Marines commandant Maj. Gen. Charles Sean Gaerlan (4th from left), and Brig. Gen. Jimmy Larida ( 3rd from right) during the change of command with some officers of the battalions stationed in Palawan. | Photo from 3rd Marine Brigade

“Makakaasa kayo na ang inyong 3MBde ay magiging kaisa, katuwang, kaagapay sa ating hinaharap,” he added.

Mangoroban is familiar with Palawan, having previously served as deputy commander of the brigade and deputy for marine operation in Naval Forces West (NFW).

His responsibilities are substantial, since his leadership must ensure the province’s insurgency-free status for the province’s long-term growth.

Larida, who now serves as the deputy commandant of the PMC, commended the men and women, the stakeholders, local government officials, and the Palaweños for their support of his leadership, notably for eradicating insurgency from the province.

“You have all stood in the frontlines of the 3MBde’ transformation. I am so grateful to each of you for making my life easier and being a part of my journey,” he said.

“My task two years ago was to continue the achievements of the past two commanders, Maj. Gen. Gaerlan and Maj. Gen. Nestor Herico, to finish off the insurgency problem in Palawan,” he added.

He was particularly thankful that no marine perished in combat operations in the province during his stint.

Gaerlan, for his part, recalled the efforts the marines in Palawan had made to achieve success.

“It is with hard work that the 3MBde has achieved so much success in the past couple of years—focused military operations, civil military operations, and other stakeholder support greatly contributed not only for defeating the communist-terrorists in Palawan, but also the provincial government in all its undertakings,” he said.

He said Larida’s leadership was steadfast, but it wouldn’t be without the support of the marines under the 3MBde and the many stakeholders in the province.

Gaerlan is confident that Mangoroban’s “caliber and expertise” as Larida’s successor will further contribute to the 3MBde’s accomplishments.

“He knows the area of operation, and also knows the situation here in Palawan. Wala na siyang period of adjustment kasi alam na alam na niya dito,” he said.

NPA believed to be behind councilman’s slay

From Panay News (Feb 25, 2023): NPA believed to be behind councilman’s slay (By DOMINIQUE GABRIEL G. BAÑAGA)

BACOLOD City – The Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) believed the New People’s Army (NPA) was responsible for the murder of Barangay Cambayobo Kagawad Benito Hubahib in Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

Lieutenant Colonel J-Jay Javines, 79IB commander, said Hubahib had served as witness in a criminal case filed against a captured NPA leader.

Javines was also active and supportive of the government’s anti-insurgency efforts in the area, the commander added.

On Feb. 22, six armed men introduced themselves to Hubahib as policemen. Three entered the victim’s house and asked for the latter’s identification, while three others served as lookouts.

After the victim verified his identity, the suspects allegedly revealed they were only posing as cops then shot Hibahib.

Four empty .45 pistol bullet shells and three 5.56mm spent shells were recovered by responding policemen./PN

Kagawad shot dead in front of family

From the Visayan Daily Star (Feb 25): Kagawad shot dead in front of family (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Six unidentified armed men, believed to be members of the New People’s Army, shot and killed a barangay kagawad on Wednesday night in Brgy. Cambayobo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

The victim was identified by the police and military as Benito Hubahib, a barangay kagawad of Cambayobo in Calatrava town, which is considered by authorities as a rebel-infested village.

Lt. Col. J Jay Javines, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, yesterday disclosed that the armed men, who introduced themselves as policemen, shot and killed Hubahib, without any reason, in front of his family members.

Hubahib, who is the brother of Cambayobo barangay chairman Dominador Hubahib Jr., succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds. He died on the spot, according to the Calatrava police.

Several empty shells of caliber .45 pistol and M16 assault rifle were recovered from the scene of incident.

Javines recalled that the victim served as a witness during the arrest of rebel leader Felix Susas Jr., secretary of the defunct Northern Negros Front, and two others, last month, in Sitio Pinamactinan, Brgy. Cambayobo, Calatrava.

He clarified that Hubahib only performed his job, as barangay official, when he was requested to do so, during the arrest of Susas, who is facing numerous arrest warrants, including murder cases.

53 Negros soldiers get medals

 From the Visayan Daily Star (Feb 25): 53 Negros soldiers get medals (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Before ending his stint as commanding general of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division on March 1, Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo conferred 53 troopers of the 94th Infantry Battalion with Military Merit Medals, during its 5th founding anniversary, held at Brgy. Tambo in Ayungon, Negros Oriental, early this week.

Arevalo cited them for exemplary performance during a series of encounters in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

Three suspected rebels died in an encounter last month with 94IB soldiers in Brgy. Oringao, Kabankalan City, resulting in the recovery of three firearms.

The awarding of medals to Army soldiers who excelled in the performance of their jobs, has been a routine activity for Arevalo, from when he was still the commanding officer of 303rd Infantry Brigade, until he became the commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Arevalo will turn over the 3ID command to his successor, Brig. Gen. Marion Sison, on March 1 at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz, to be presided over by Army Chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.

Sison is presently the 3ID Assistant Division Commander, while Arevalo is occupying the position of commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command.

Australian defense chief visits troops joining Philippines-Australia military exercise in Maguindanao

From MindaNews (Feb 25, 2023): Australian defense chief visits troops joining Philippines-Australia military exercise in Maguindanao (By FERDINANDH B. CABRERA)

Participants to the Philippines-Australia Army to Army Exercise simulate a close quarter battle scenario on Thursday (23 February 2023) at Camp Siongco in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte. MIndaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao del Norte (MindaNews / 24 February) — Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles and General Andres Centeno, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, on Thursday visited troops taking part in the Philippines-Australia Army to Army Exercise in Maguindanao del Norte.

The six-week exercise, which began on Monday and will continue until the end of March, is taking place at Camp Siongco, the 6th Infantry Division headquarters in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat town.

The exercise is led by the 6th ID and the 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment.

The participating troops demonstrated their capabilities and skills in close quarter battle, marksmanship in combat shooting, and casualty care to Centeno and Marles, who is accompanied by Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Uy.

The close quarter battle exercise simulated an engagement with terrorists inside a building, resulting in “wounded” troops on whom the participants applied their knowledge in tactical combat casualty care.

Aside from Centeno and the Australian officials, Western Mindanao Command Commander LGen Roy Galido and 6th ID Commander LGen Alex Rillera also witnessed the exercise on Thursday.

Rillera said his division was honored to host the exercise.

He said the two countries have shared commitment to regional stability and security.

He cited the lingering threats from ISIS-inspired groups and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Aside from marksmanship and tactical combat casualty care, the participants to the exercise will also undergo training in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance operations, and small unit leaders training through the exchange of techniques, tactics and procedures.

Last year, about 450 Philippine special forces and Australian army troops took part in a similar exercise at Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)

9 PNP informants get P7.9-M reward for arrest of wanted persons

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 25, 2023): 9 PNP informants get P7.9-M reward for arrest of wanted persons (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

REWARD. Confidential informants receive cash rewards totaling PHP7.96 million from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for helping law enforcers arrest nine most wanted persons, on Friday (Feb. 24, 2023). Authorities said they provided vital information that led to the arrest of alleged New People's Army leader Alfredo Mapano and eight other fugitives listed as most wanted persons. (Photo courtesy of PNP)

MANILA – Nine confidential informants received cash rewards totaling PHP7.96 million from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for helping law enforcers arrest nine most wanted persons, including members of the New People’s Army (NPA), a police official said on Saturday.

PNP Director for Intelligence Maj. Benjamin Acorda Jr. presented the cash rewards to the nine informants in rites held at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Friday afternoon.

Acorda said they provided vital information that led to the arrest of alleged NPA leader Alfredo Mapano and eight other fugitives listed as most wanted persons.

The nine most wanted are subjects of warrants of arrest issued by courts for involvement in heinous crime cases ranging from murder to rape, forcible abduction with rape, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple attempted murder.

Acorda encouraged the public to continue supporting and helping the PNP by providing necessary information on criminals and wanted persons for their immediate arrest.

“Granting monetary rewards to persons (except government employees) who are instrumental to the arrest, surrender, or death in legitimate operations of Most Wanted Persons is among the programs of the PNP for the immediate arrest of wanted persons in the country,” he said in a statement.

Korean award

Meanwhile, PNP Chief Gen. Rodoffo Azurin Jr. congratulated PNP Deputy Chief for Administration Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia for winning the Best International Award at the 15th Korea Environmental Awards National Convention 2022.

Azurin said the PNP is grateful for Sermonia's commitment to environmental protection and social service, expressing hope that his achievement would inspire others to follow his lead in making a positive impact on the world.

"This award is a testament to Sermonia's dedication and hard work in promoting environmental awareness and service to our country. He has set a great example for our police organization and we are proud to have him as part of our team," he said.

The awarding ceremony, held on Feb. 20 at the Korean Congress Center Parliamentarian Hall, honored individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to environmental preservation and social service.

The event aimed to promote the preservation of the global environment and share with those who suffer.

"I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award. This recognition only inspires me to continue my advocacy and commitment to protect the environment and serve our communities," Sermonia said.