Thursday, April 27, 2023

Next for Philippines, US: Cope Thunder drills

From the Philippine Star (Apr 23, 2023): Next for Philippines, US: Cope Thunder drills (By Michael Punongbayan, Pia Lee-Brago)



US and Philippine Marines sharpen their skills at the firing range of Gen. Gregorio Lim Marine Base in Ternate, Cavite as part of Balikatan 2023.  US Marine Corps photo

MANILA, Philippines — With the conclusion of this year’s Balikatan exercise today, the United States and the Philippines are set to revive on May 1 a joint air-training maneuver they last conducted 33 years ago.

Cope Thunder-Philippines 23-1 is scheduled to take place at Clark Air Force Base on Monday until May 12.

The Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said Cope Thunder Philippines, the first since 1990, would involve bilateral fighter training with the Philippine Air Force aimed at improving combined interoperability.


“It provides a unique opportunity to integrate forces and improve interoperability between the Philippines and the United States,” the Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said in a statement.

The US Air Force will dispatch 12 aircraft from the 35 Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan for Cope Thunder, according to the statement.

US Air Force personnel will fly the 12 aircraft as well as handle their maintenance and support services while participants from the AFP will share tactics, techniques and procedures for improving interoperability.


Cope Thunder began in the Philippines in 1976 when Clark Air Base was still under US control. The air force training event was moved to Eielson Air Force Base in 1992, and eventually renamed Red Flag Alaska. Monday’s event would be the first time Cope Thunder would be held in the Philippines since 1990. The Pinatubo eruption in 1991 and the dismantling of the US bases in the Philippines the following year dealt a deathblow to Cope Thunder.

Some 100 members of different militant groups picketed outside the US embassy in Manila to protest the holding of another round of military exercises between the US and Filipino forces.

“It is US militarism that has kept us in this sorry state for nearly eight decades,” Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said.

“Peasant women should unite with the Filipino people to defend the country’s national sovereignty against the continuing military intervention of the US government,” said Zenaida Soriano, president of the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women.

Fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas or Pamalakaya said the Balikatan exercises in Zambales have put the livelihood of fishermen at greater risk.

Highlighting this year’s Balikatan, meanwhile, was a grand display of firepower including the sinking of an “enemy” ship off San Antonio, Zambales on Wednesday.
Interruption

A light civilian plane straying into a no-fly zone and a motorized boat entering restricted waters interrupted the joint exercises.

Beginning on April 11, 17,600 Filipino and American soldiers trained together in various locations in the country involving live fire events, military drills, learning exchanges, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response activities in the biggest iteration so far of the annual joint war games between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the United States military.

Maj. Gen. Marvin Licudine, Balikatan exercise director for the Philippine side, called the joint maneuver a huge success with no less than President Marcos personally witnessing the deadly performance of modern weapons launched from ground, sea and air. Capping the event was the sinking of an “enemy ship” 12 nautical miles off San Antonio, Zambales last Wednesday.

“So far, I believe we have achieved all the exercise goals of the Balikatan Exercises – that is achieving the interoperability between the combined forces of the Philippines and the US and the different services that includes the army, navy and the air force and special operations forces,” he told reporters yesterday. — Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Rudy Santos, Emmanuel Tupas

[Retired Analyst Note: The protesting groups, BAYAN, AMIHAN, and PAMALKAYA, are all Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) front organizations who have long opposed any US military presence in the Philippines and especially Philippine-US military exercises.]

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2023/04/28/2262291/next-philippines-us-cope-thunder-drills

Marcos has turned the Philippines towards America – not without risks

Posted to the Lowrey Institute//The Interpreter (Apr 28, 2023): Marcos has turned the Philippines towards America – not without risks (By ANDREA CHLOE WONG)

An expanded US military presence will benefit efforts to stand up to China. But Filipinos are wary of the social cost.



Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr waves ahead of a live fire drill as part of the US-Philippines Balikatan joint military exercise at Zambales on 26 April (Iya Forbes/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

With President Ferdinand Marcos Jr about to make an official visit to Washington, the Philippines this month granted the United States rotational access to four more military facilities in the country. This expansion will be in addition to the five existing sites under the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed in 2014.

Although the agreement does not allow the establishment of permanent military bases, it does permit the United States to build and operate facilities on Philippine bases such as runways, fuel storage, and military housing. Following the latest announcement, the US Embassy in the Philippines stated “through EDCA, the United States supports the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ goals of force readiness, military modernisation, infrastructure improvements, and interoperability with US forces.”

Under Marcos, the expansion of EDCA is intended to benefit the Philippines through the revitalisation of its alliance with the United States, which had been relegated during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s term. The most recent joint Balikatan military exercises in the Philippines saw in the largest number of participants to date, with 5,400 from the Philippines, 12,000 from the United States, and 111 from Australia. The additional EDCA sites also allows supplies and materials to be positioned around the country, which can be used during combating local insurgencies or in response to disasters.

Most importantly, the Philippines benefits from EDCA as it can serve as a deterrence against China’s belligerent actions in the West Philippines Sea (also called the South China Sea), which, despite Duterte’s appeasement policy towards China, continues to challenge Philippine sovereignty. One of the new EDCA sites is Balabac Island, located at the southwestern tip of Palawan, closest to the Spratly Islands, where China’s coast guard and maritime militia chase Filipino fishing vessels away and swarm islands and maritime features in Philippine territory.

The Philippines has recent memories of crimes committed by US Marines, including rape and murder, cases that roused domestic uproar among Filipinos.

But the expanded EDCA is not without its own challenges. Some Filipino senators have questioned the new access sites in the country’s north – Camp Melchor Dela Cruz, Lal-lo Airport, and the Camilo Osias Naval Base – given that the main threats to the Philippines lie in the west. These northern locations can potentially be used in a conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan. Camilo Osias, for example, is located approximately 500 kilometres from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. These Philippine military bases could provide crucial logistical support for American troops against China, despite Marcos’ assertion that the new EDCA sites are not intended for offensive attacks. One analyst concluded that whether willingly or not, “the Philippines has, in effect, joined the US in making preparations to defend Taiwan.” And if hostilities break out, the Philippines could be targeted by Chinese attacks due to American military presence in the country.

Another issue of the expanded US military presence is the potential social ills it may bring. The Philippines has recent memories of crimes committed by US Marines, including rape and murder, cases that roused domestic uproar among Filipinos. The expanded EDCA will result in the largest American military footprint in the country since 1992, when the United States closed its large military facilities in Clark Air Base in Pampanga and Subic Bay Naval Base in Zambales. The 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement provides the rules, guidelines and legal status of the US military stationed in the Philippines, yet its most contentious provision is its criminal jurisdiction, which provides American military authorities custody of its soldiers that commit crimes in the Philippines. In the recent cases the agreement was seen to have favoured the welfare of the American servicemen at the expense of their Filipino victims.

So while the increase in American military presence can provide a balancing force for the Philippines in developing at least a “minimum credible defence” posture, it is not with strategic risks or the danger of social harm. Given the asymmetrical relationship between the Philippines and the United States, the Marcos administration will present the agreement carefully – not to imply a dependence on the United States, especially given its colonial legacy, or overcommit the country to America’s broader security agenda in the region. But equally, standing up to a great power bully in its neighbourhood will be helped by a powerful friend.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/marcos-has-turned-philippines-towards-america-not-without-risks

Kill Chain Tested At First-Ever Balikatan SINKEX

Posted to Naval News (Apr 27, 2023: Kill Chain Tested At First-Ever Balikatan SINKEX (By Aaron-Matthew Lariosa)

U.S. and Philippine forces tested various concepts at Balikatan 2023's SINKEX, including the linking of sensing, fires and command and control.



U.S. Army HIMARS “Tommy” from the 5-3 Long Range Fires Battalion of the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force fires at BRP Pangasinan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Fletcher)

For the first time, U.S. and Philippine forces jointly targeted and sunk a target in the South China Sea off Zambales for Balikatan 2023. The sinking of a World War II-era corvette was the main event for the largest iteration of the joint U.S.-Philippine military exercise to date.

The target


BRP Pangasinan (PS-31) shortly before the commencement of the SINKEX. Philippine Navy Photo.

Serving from 1948-2021, Pangasinan was one of nine Malvar-class corvettes that the Philippine Navy received from the U.S. during the Cold War. The corvette partook in many actions during its service life, from disaster relief to engagements against rebel groups. After an inspection by Philippine officials, BRP Pangasinan was towed out of Cavite in its last mission as Balikatan 2023’s SINKEX target off Zambales.

The SINKEX

 

BRP Jose Rizal fires the first shots of the SINKEX. Philippine Navy Photo.

The SINKEX kicked off with naval gunfire from BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150). After that, more assets from various U.S. and Philippine branches joined in. The most publicized section of the SINKEX was the ground fires component, in which both the Philippine President and U.S. Ambassador were in attendance. Philippine Army Artillery Regiment ATMOS 2000s, M-71 Soltams, and M101 guns were deployed for the Philippine ground fire contribution towards the SINKEX. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army deployed a HIMARS battery from the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF), a first for the service. The 25th Infantry Division also contributed with their guns.
 

From left to right: Philippine M101s, ATMOS 2000s, and M-71 Soltams engage BRP Pangasinan. Philippine Army Photo

While this was the main event of Balikatan 2023, several unforeseen incidents occurred during the SINKEX. Intrusions into the area of the SINKEX from “interlopers,” which supposedly included at least one vessel and an aircraft, stopped firing from the ground-based fires for almost an hour.
 

U.S. Army HIMARS “Tommy” from the 5-3 Long Range Fires Battalion of the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force fires at BRP Pangasinan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Fletcher)

The performance of the Army HIMARS was also questionable, with it being reported on the SINKEX’s live stream that the system missed all six of its shots at the World War II-era corvette. In previous SINKEXs, such as those held at RIMPAC exercises, targets were relatively static which allowed for munitions that struggle or cannot hit moving targets to participate. One of these systems that cannot hit moving targets is HIMARS with its current set of rockets. Due to unknown circumstances, BRP Pangasinan developed a drift that threw off the HIMARS’ targeting.

Yet, even with these difficulties, the SINKEX was deemed to be “amazing” by both forces. Lt. Col. Nick Mannweiler, Communications Strategy Planner for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, told Naval News the actual purpose of the exercise.

Connecting the Kill Chain


The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations during the SINKEX, transmitting their sensing to another Marine unit for target processing and designating fires. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marcus E. Melara)

The SINKEX was more about deploying concepts relating to Force Design 2030 and Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations rather than just sinking a ship. Specifically, concepts relating to integrating fires, sensors, and command and control:

“Sinking the ship is an obvious desired outcome from a professional warfighter’s perspective, but the goal wasn’t to do this as quickly and realistically as possible. Otherwise, we would have used a Mk-48 ADCAP or a Harpoon or JAGM or JDAM. The true purpose of yesterday and the mutual training value was sensing the target at sea with an ashore sensor expeditionary advanced base location, pass that to a Marine Division COC in Cavite, augment it with a combined joint sensor and intel fusion center, then pass 10-digit grid coordinates to ground and air fires from both countries.”

 

Information from the sensors of the 13th MEU at Zambalewasre transmitted to Marine Base Gregorio Lim, where command and control coordinated the joint fires of the SINKEX. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Davin Tenbusch)

During the SINKEX, the joint U.S.-Philippine force managed to connect this kill chain.

“That’s extremely hard to do for just the U.S. in a joint environment. We did it fast enough that HIMARS rounds could get extremely close for point detonation, but still have to aim ahead with 5 minute time of flight.”


A Philippine Air Force Hermes 900 filming bombs impacting BRP Pangasinan. Alongside U.S. Air Force MQ-9A Reapers, the two countries’ drones provided a live feed of the exercise to command and control. Screenshot from 300th Aerial Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing

Mannweiler highlighted the variety of aviation employed, which included F-35Bs, F-16s, FA-50PHs, A-29Bs, AH-1s, T-129Bs, and AH-64s:

“Aviation-delivered fires demonstrated the most amazing killing power. Cobras hit [the] bridge and waterline. Apaches drilled it with a barrage of Hellfires. Then F-35Bs ruined the fun for everyone else, dropping 10x GBU-12s and GBU-32s in under two minutes. The smoke cleared and she was nowhere to be seen.”

After a hail of naval gunfire, artillery shells, and laser-guided bombs, Pagasinan slipped under the waves.

The Philippine perspective

Many of the concepts tested and employed during this SINKEX are being closely followed by Philippine forces, specifically the Philippine Army and Marine Corps. The two forces are looking to develop similar units to the American MDTF and Marine Littoral Regiment (MLR).

 

Members of the Philippine Marine Corps’ Coastal Defense Regiment attend a presentation on the Avenger. The CDR’s Shore-Based Air Defense System Battalion is currently searching for missiles to protect the Regiment’s incoming BrahMos missiles. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis.)

The PMC was seen to have deployed elements of its Coastal Defense Regiment (CDR) during Balikatan 2023, learning from their American counterparts on the Avenger anti-aircraft system and HIMARS. The CDR is to operate three batteries of BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles, previously ordered by Manila in 2022. The Philippine Army’s Artillery Regiment is also expected to order the missiles in the next phase of modernization.

This SINKEX was one of the many firsts, including a joint littoral operation in Batanes and a Patriot missile live fire, held during this year’s Balikatan exercise.

[Aaron-Matthew is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He is currently studying International Relations at American University, and is interested in U.S. Marine Corps developments in the Pacific and Philippine Naval modernization efforts.]

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2023/04/kill-chain-tested-at-first-ever-balikatan-sinkex/

AFP eyes amnesty for Reds amid final push to end communist insurgency

From the Manila Bulletin (Apr 27, 2023): AFP eyes amnesty for Reds amid final push to end communist insurgency (By AARON RECUENCO)

Gen. Andres Centino, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), has expressed support for the granting of amnesty to all communist rebels in a bid to finally end the decades-long armed conflict in the country.

In a statement, Centino said there are a number of New People’s Army (NPA) fighters who are discouraged to surrender due to the criminal charges filed against them during the course of their armed struggle.

“Some members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are quite apprehensive about surrendering because of their pending cases in court,” said Centino during his interview on the “Balik-Loob sa Pagbabago” program of Task Force Balik-Loob on Thursday, April 27.

“I have advocated that other approaches of the government in dealing with insurgency should be considered, such as the granting of the amnesty,” he added.

Based on the military intelligence reports, the strength of the NPA in the country is now only around 2,000—from its peak of over 25,000 during the 1980s.


The same reports disclosed that the NPA fighters in the country are allegedly demoralized due to the vacuum of leadership following the death of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison late last year.

The supposed replacements, couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, died in the clashes with the military in the Visayas.

“Their presence is only in a few remaining areas in the country, and that is where our focus is. We are confident that it will not take long before their force is reduced to a minimum,” said Centino.


Since the Duterte administration, the national government opted for localized peace talks through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The agency, however, became controversial over red-tagging allegations.

The localized peace talks is reinforced with Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), a reintegration program of government that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach towards the higher objective of lasting peace.

It provides social equity to former members of the NPA by providing assistance in their reintegration process into mainstream society.

Centino then encouraged the remaining active members of the armed rebel groups to return to the fold of the law and mainstream society, saying that the AFP has been the catalyst in harnessing the collective efforts of the government and other agencies that aimed to put an end to insurgency in the country.

He also urged Filipinos to accept the former rebels, also called “friends rescued,” in their community and give them fair treatment and support, so they can easily adjust in their new life back in the mainstream society.

“By achieving the goal of really creating an environment of enduring peace, I think that will be the victory of the Filipino people. Then we will have progress and development that we, for so long, deserve. With peace, there is progress,” said Centino.

The CPP-NPA has been waging more than five decades of armed struggle against the government, one of the longest in the world. Efforts for peace talks repeatedly bogged down due to differences on the conditions set by the CPP-NPA.

https://mb.com.ph/2023/4/27/afp-eyes-amnesty-for-reds-amid-final-push-to-end-communist-insurgency

Anti-communist task force reiterates: CPP-NPA-NDFP a terrorist organization

From the Manila Bulletin (Apr 23, 2023): Anti-communist task force reiterates: CPP-NPA-NDFP a terrorist organization (By TARA YAP)

ILOILO CITY – The government’s anti-communist task force has reiterated that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are terrorist organizations.



THE alleged body of Rogelio Posadas, a high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed during an encounter with the Philippine Army in Binalbagan town, Negros Occidental province. (3rd ID)

Gonzales reiterated this after a newspaper (not the Manila Bulletin) labeled slain high-ranking NPA leader Rogelio Posadas as an NDFP consultant.

Posadas was killed in an encounter with soldiers under the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) of the Philippine Army on April 20 in Negros Occidental.

Gonzales slammed the report for describing Posadas as a “revolutionary.”

“It cannot alter the fact that Rogelio Posadas is a CPP-NPA-NDFP leader responsible for several atrocities against the people of Negros Island,” said Gonzales.

“It is about time that mainstream media must learn to stick to the facts rather than to water down the facts by playing with words for the purpose of painting a totally different picture of the reality,” added Gonzales.


https://mb.com.ph/2023/4/23/anti-communist-task-force-reiterates-cpp-npa-ndfp-a-terrorist-organization

NPA now ‘leaderless’ in Western, Central Visayas – military

From the Manila Bulletin (Apr 23, 2023): NPA now ‘leaderless’ in Western, Central Visayas – military (By MARTIN SADONGDONG)

AT A GLANCE
  • The New People’s Army (NPA) units in Western and Central Visayas are now “leaderless” with the death of an alleged high-ranking communist rebel in Negros Occidental recently, the military said Sunday, April 23.
  • The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Visayas Command (AFP VisCom) said that the death of Rogelio Posadas alias “Putin” further contributed to the leadership vacuum suffered by the NPA.
  • Posadas was identified by the military as the alleged secretary of the NPA Regional Committee Negros – Cebu – Bohol – Siquijor.
The New People’s Army (NPA) units in Western and Central Visayas are now “leaderless” following the death of an alleged high-ranking communist rebel in an armed encounter in Negros Occidental recently, the military said Sunday, April 23.



(Rogelio Posadas / Courtesy of Philippine Army 94th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Visayas Command (AFP VisCom) said that the death of Rogelio Posadas alias “Putin” further contributed to the leadership vacuum suffered by the NPA.

Posadas was identified by the military as the alleged secretary of the NPA Regional Committee Negros – Cebu – Bohol – Siquijor.

“With the death of Rogelio Posadas, the CPP – NPA [New People’s Army] – NDF [National Democratic Front] in Western and Central Visayas are now leaderless with no clear operational direction on the ground,” said Lt. Col. Israel Galorio, chief of VisCom public information office.


The Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade reported that [Posadas died in an armed encounter]between suspected communist rebels and joint units from the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62nd IB) and 94th Infantry Battalion (94th IB) in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental last April 20.

According to the military, the troops clashed with the armed individuals for 10 minutes.

The skirmish resulted in the death of Posadas who, according to the VisCom, was a “notorious” NPA leader that orchestrated “numerous terroristic activities” in Western and Central Visayas.

Posadas was tagged by the military in the killing of three civilians and wounding of three others during an ambush of a cargo truck in Toboso, Negros Occidental in 2009; bombing and attack to two construction firms that built the Bacolod-Silay International Airport in Silay City in 2006; and burning of facilities of the Central Lopez and Victorias Milling Company in Toboso in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

“His death is a crushing defeat to the CPP-NPA-NDF as this will clearly manifest the decimation of the terrorist group in the Visayas region and will send a strong message to their already demoralized ranks that they have no safe haven to hide,” Galorio said.

Posadas’ death came several days after the arrest of Eric Casilao in Malaysia on April 1 and his deportation to the Philippines on April 17.

Casilao was identified as the alleged secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – NPA, and an “active member” of the Central Committee of CPP.

https://mb.com.ph/2023/4/23/npa-now-leaderless-in-western-central-visayas-military

Soldier held, then shot dead by alleged NPA rebels in Occidental Mindoro — Army

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Apr 27, 2023): Soldier held, then shot dead by alleged NPA rebels in Occidental Mindoro — Army (By: John Eric Mendoza)

MANILA, Philippines — A soldier, who was on his way home, was held and blindfolded before he was fatally shot by alleged members of communist New People’s Army in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, the Philippine Army (PA) said on Thursday.

PA said the victim was identified as Pvt Mayuay Onaw, a soldier from the 4th Infantry “Scorpion” Battalion and a member of Tao Buhid tribe.

“He was only doing peace development works before he was killed,” the PA said of Onaw in a statement.


Onaw, together with his two children and four other locals, were returning home to Sitio Danlog after buying construction materials at a nearby village when they were fired upon by eight fully-armed Maoist rebels on Wednesday, according to the Army.

“Three other victims were able to escape while four of them with his children were held and blindfolded,” the Army said.

“It was later reported that his two children and another victim were released, however, Pvt Onaw was murdered with his body dumped at the location of the shooting incident,” it added.

The Army condemned the incident, saying: “These brutal attacks on the troops who were doing community peace and development works are not only an attack on the military but on the peace-loving IP communities.”

The Army also called on the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the incident.

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1762163/soldier-held-then-shot-dead-by-alleged-npa-rebels-in-occidental-mindoro-army

AFP chief Centino backs amnesty for former rebels

Posted to GMA News Online (Apr 27, 2023): AFP chief Centino backs amnesty for former rebels (By JOVILAND RITA, GMA Integrated News)

Armed Forces chief General Andres Centino on Thursday expressed support for the proposed amnesty for former rebels.

In a statement, the Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) said Centino noted the value of a multi-faceted approach in addressing the armed insurgency including the granting of amnesty.

“I have advocated that other approaches of government in dealing with insurgency should be considered, such as yung pagbigay talaga ng amnesty [the granting of amnesty],” Centino said.

According to Centino, some members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are apprehensive about surrendering to authorities because of their pending cases in court.

The military chief encouraged the public to accept former rebels in their community and give them fair treatment and support so they can adjust easily with their return to mainstream society.


He said the strength of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has been “significantly” reduced and their members now are present only in a few remaining areas in the country.

“We are confident that it will not take long before their force is reduced to a minimum,” he said.

In July 2022, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict strongly recommended to President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. the offering of amnesty to the communist rebels.

The government's anti-insurgency task force in November 2023 appealed to the Senate to support the measure seeking to provide amnesty to communist rebels.

In February 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamations Nos. 1090, 1091, 1092, and 1093, granting amnesty to members of rebel organizations and communist groups.

The grant of amnesty requires an admission of guilt on the part of beneficiaries and the concurrence of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In January 2022, the Senate concurred only with Proclamation Nos. 1090, 1091, and 1092, which cover amnesty for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB).

Proclamation No. 1093, which was left out by the Senate, seeks to grant amnesty to former rebels from the CPP who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal Laws in furtherance of their political beliefs. 

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/topstories/nation/868276/afp-chief-centino-backs-amnesty-for-former-rebels/story/

Brief: The Philippines on the Verge of Victory Against Abu Sayyaf

Posted to the Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Monitor (Feb 9, 2023): Brief: The Philippines on the Verge of Victory Against Abu Sayyaf (By: Jacob Zenn)

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 21 Issue: 3



Abu Sayyaf militants surrender via Benar News

Abu Sayyaf’s origins date to the period after the Soviet army left Afghanistan in 1989. However, its most lethal attacks began occurring in the years surrounding 9/11 and reached a peak in the 2010s. The U.S. designated Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist group in 1997. Now, more than 25 years later, the Philippines has gained the confidence to declare victory against the group (fas.org, October 21, 2003).

According to the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincon) head, Arturo Rojas, the fact that Abu Sayyaf took no hostages in Mindanao in 2022 indicates that the group is now “a thing of the past” (rappler.com, January 4). Also reflecting the progress made against Abu Sayyaf was U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s visit to Mindanao on February 1. Secretary Austin met with the U.S. Special Operations Task Force operating on the island and “highlighted the interoperability of the U.S-Philippine alliance”, citing the “successes we’ve had with counterterrorism cooperation” (defense.gov, February 1). Secretary Austin emphasized that “more than hundreds of Abu Sayyaf and terrorist jihadists have already surrendered, and they’re are now leading a peaceful life” and highlighted the U.S.’s contribution to the defeat of Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic State (IS)-loyal militants in a months-long battle in 2017 around the city of Marawi (defense.gov, February 2).

The rise in the number of Abu Sayyaf militants surrendering also points to the group’s demoralization. On January 14, for example, five Abu Sayyaf members surrendered, turning over their weapons and ammunition and accepting interrogation. They were then aided by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office to receive social services, financial assistance, skills training, and other support generally given to surrendered Abu Sayyaf members (pna.gov.ph, January 14). In addition, they received health and medical assistance from U.S. troops at Camp Navarro, the main site of Secretary Austin’s visit (manilatimes.net, January 24).

This approach is intended to encourage additional members of Abu Sayyaf to surrender and utilize the country’s de-radicalization and reintegration programs. Only one week before the five Abu Sayyaf members surrendered, another commander who was loyal to IS, Majid Said, also surrendered alongside two dozen of his fighters and his deputy (rappler.com, January 9). In the long-run, these surrenders could lead to the general reduction of attacks in their former area of operations, which were centered around Patikul on Sulu Island. In the short-term, however, this has not been the case, as Patikul still saw a Philippine soldier killed in an ambush two weeks after Majid Said’s surrender (philstar.com, January 26).

As a result of these surrenders and the Philippine military’s killing of Abu Sayyaf members in various operations, the military now estimates Abu Sayyaf has only 130 active fighters remaining in its strongholds (benarnews.org, November 8, 2022). This is less than half their strength, with 134 fighters and 40 logisticians having previously surrendered to government forces. While Abu Sayyaf cannot be considered fully defeated yet, the group is no longer remotely the same threat to the Philippines as it was five years ago, when Abu Sayyaf and its IS-loyal allies were capable of occupying a town as significant as Marawi.

https://jamestown.org/program/brief-the-philippines-on-the-verge-of-victory-against-abu-sayyaf/

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Brutal na pagpaslang sa mga Tiamzon at Catbalogan 10, pinaiimbestigahan

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 (Apr 27, 2022): Brutal na pagpaslang sa mga Tiamzon at Catbalogan 10, pinaiimbestigahan (Brutal killing of Tiamzon and Catbalogan 10, under investigation)
 





April 27, 2023

Lumalakas ang panawagan ng mga demokratikong grupo, abugado at tagapagtanggol ng karapatang-tao na imbestigahan at isiwalat ang katotohanan tungkol sa brutal na pagpaslang ng Armed Forces of the Philippines kina Benita at Wilma Tiamzon (Ka Laan at Ka Bagong-tao) noong Agosto 21, 2022.

Kasama ng mga Tiamzon na pinatay ng AFP sina Ka Divino (Joel Arceo), kalihim ng isang subrehiyon sa Eastern Visayas at mga pwersang gerilya na kasama nila sa kanilang upisina na sina Ka Yen, Ka Jaja, Ka Matt, Ka Ash, Ka Delfin, Ka Lupe at Ka Butig. Sa panahon ng kanilang pagkapaslang, tumatayong tagapangulo ng Komiteng Tagapagpaganap ng Komite Sentral si Ka Laan habang pangkalahatang kalihim ng Partido si Ka Bagong-tao.

Kinumpirma ng pamunuan ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) noong Abril 20 ang brutal na pagpaslang ng AFP kina Ka Laan at Ka Bagong-tao, kasama sina Arceo. Ayon sa ulat ng Kawanihan sa Pulitika, lulan ang grupo nila Tiamzon ng dalawang inarkilang van at bumibiyahe sa direksyong silangan patungo sa baybayin ng Catbalogan. Hindi sila nakaabot sa kanilang destinasyon.

Hinarang sila ng mga ahente ng militar sa pagitan ng alas-12 nang tanghali hanggang ala-una ng hapon. Huli silang nakontak sa selpon bago nito. Mula noon ay naputol na ang komunikasyon ng mga kasama sa kanila.

Anang PKP, may mga saksing nakakita sa mga bangkay ng mga Tiamzon at ibang kasama na may tanda na dumanas sila ng malalang tortyur, bago isinakay at pinalubog ang bangka noong umaga ng Agosto 22, 2022 sa karagatan sa pagitan ng Catbalogan at isla ng Taranganan upang burahin lahat ng ebidensya ng krimen.

Pinasisinungalingan ng ulat ng PKP ang unang mga ulat ng AFP na nagkaroon ng armadong engkwentro sa karagatan sa pagitan ng AFP at mga tauhan ng AFP, at ang diumano’y pagsabog ng bangka. Sa araw na iyon, may lumabas na impormasyong sa mga Facebook page ng mga sundalo ng AFP na “inaresto” ang mga Tiamzon.

Malalang paglabag sa internasyunal na makataong batas

Matapos isiwalat ang impormasyon ng pagkadakip, pagtortyur at pagpatay sa mga Tiamzon at Catbalogan 10, nagsalita ang iba’t ibang grupo at indibidwal na kumundena sa krimen. Binatikos ni Kasamang Julie de Lima Sison, pansamantalang pinuno ng Negotiating Panel ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ang ginawang pagpatay sa mga Tiamzon na nagsilbing konsultant pangkapayapaan.

Kasama sa nananawagan para sa isang imbestigasyon ang grupong Karapatan at Bayan Muna.

Kabilang rin sa mga kumundena sa sadyang pagpatay sa tinaguriang Catbalogan 10 ang National Union of People’s Lawyers. Ayon sa pahayag nito noong Abril 21, malalalang paglabg sa internasyunal na makataong batas ang pagpaslang kina Ka Laan, Ka Bagong-tao at walo pa nilang kasama. Anito, kabilang ang mga Tiamzon sa kanilang mga kliyenteng konsultant sa usapang pangkapayapaan na pinaslang ng estado kahit hindi sila sangkot sa armadong sagupaan o malinaw na walang kakayahang depensahan ang kanilang mga sarili.

“Ang naiulat na manera ng pagpaslang, palatandaan ng tortyur sa mga bangkay ng di armadong mga sibilyan at sadyang pagtatakip sa pamamagitan ng pagpapasabog at paglubog ng isang “kaaway na barko” sa karagatan ng Catbalogan City, ay lahat nagpapatunay ng pagsagawa ng militar ng mga krimen sa digma,” pahayag ng grupo.

Inilalantad ng malalalang paglabag na ito ay ang kawalang hustisya sa kasalukuyang balangkas ng “kontra-terorismo” kung saan pinalalabo ang pagkakaiba ng armadong tunggalian sa terorismo, itinutulak ang arbitraryong pagbabansag ng mga kalahok sa matagalang armadong tunggalian bilang mga terorista, at nagpapahina sa mga proteksyon sa mga hors de combat, prisoner of war at mga protektadong indibidwal na alinsunod sa mga batas ng digma.

Anang mga abugado, obligasyon ng estado na galangin at tiyakin na ginagalang ang internasyunal na makataong batas sa lahat ng pagkakataon, katulad ng nakasaad sa Geneva Conventions of 1949 at mga protokol nito, sa Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), at maging sa batas ng gubyerno ng Pilipinas na Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

Binweltahan rin ng NUPL ang Legal Cooperation Cluster ng NTF-Elcac sa pahayag nito noong Abril 26 kung saan binansagang “CTG-affiliated” ang kanilang mga abugado. “Habang nagkakaiba tayo ng mga pananaw, opinyon at pusisyon, dapat magsumikap tayong maging sibilisado at patas sa ating mga propesyunal na gawain, gumamit lamang ng lenggawaheng may dignidad, iwasan ang mga patamang di angkop, at umiwas sa pagtaguyod ng di ligtas na mga sitwasyon sa anumang kalagayan, katulad ng itinatakda sa atin ng Code of Responsibility and Accountability at sa paggalang natin ng kapwa natin tao,” pagbatikos nila sa kanilang kapwa abugado sa NTF-Elcac.

Tinawag nilang “non sequitur” o walang lohika ang pahayag ng mga abugado ng ahensya na nagsabing nasa nananawagan ng imbestigasyon ang pagpapatunay ng krimen. Ayon sa NUPL, isinasapanganib ng NTF-Elcac Legal Cluster ang buhay ng kapwa nila mga abugado at hinahadlang nito ang independyenteng pagpapatupad ng mga tungkulin sa abogasya.

https://philippinerevolution.nu/angbayan/brutal-na-pagpaslang-sa-mga-tiamzon-at-catbalogan-10-pinaiimbestigahan/

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: All Philippine Trade Unions, magmamartsa sa Mayo Uno

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 (Apr 27, 2022): All Philippine Trade Unions, magmamartsa sa Mayo Uno (All Philippine Trade Unions, will march on May Day)
 





April 27, 2023

Naglunsad ng pagtitipon ang iba’t ibang mga sentrong unyon at samahan sa ilalim ng All Philippine Trade Unions (APTU) noong Abril 26 para ianunsyo ang pagsasama-sama nila sa pagmartsa sa darating na Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa sa Mayo 1.

Ayon sa APTU, magmamartsa ang 10,000 manggagawa mula EspaƱa patungo sa Mendiola sa Maynila para igiit ang pagtataas ng sahod, disenteng trabaho at karapatan sa malayang pag-uunyon.

Ang APTU ay binubuo ng Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) at iba pang mga sentrong unyon at kumpedersasyon. Nabuo ito noong Enero kaugnay ng pagsusumite ng ulat ng Pilipinas sa ILO High Level Tripartite Mission sa kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa bansa.

“Magmamartsa ang mga manggagawa sa Mayo 1 para itulak ang MalacaƱang na dinggin ang mga kahingian para sa inclusive roadmap (planong walang pinupwera) para makamit ang disenteng trabaho, at kagyat na aksyon sa panawagang dagdag sahod…Titiyakin naming maririnig ang sigaw ng manggagawang Pilipino saanman sa mundo,” pahayag ni Elmer Labog, tagapangulo ng KMU.

“Hindi na makapaghihintay ang mga manggagawa at malinaw na nararapat na tratuhin ng tama ang mga manggagawa,” ayon kay Paul Gajes, Legislative Officer ng Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

Kasalukuyang nakabimbin sa iba’t ibang upisina ng mga Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) ang mga petisyon ng mga unyon at manggagawa para sa pagtataas ng sahod sa kada rehiyon. Kasabay nito, mayroon ding isinusulong na iba’t ibang panukala para sa dagdag-sahod sa loob ng kongreso.

Binatikos din ng APTU ang patuloy na pag-iral ng kontraktwalisasyon sa bansa. “Milyung-milyon ang walang trabaho, at kung meron man, karamihan ay kontraktwal. Hamon natin sa gobyerno: ibasura ang Department Order 174, iwaksi ang kontraktwalisasyon, at igarantiya ang regular at ligtas na trabaho para sa lahat,” ayon kay Atty.Luke Espiritu, pangulo ng BMP.

Samantala, hustisya ang panawagan ng APTU sa patuloy na pagpatay sa mga unyonista at organisador at iba pang mga paglabag sa karapatan ng mga manggagawa. Sa isinumiteng ulat ng APTU sa ILO HLTPM noong Enero, hindi bababa sa 68 ang naitalang bilang ng mga manggagawang pinaslang na may kaugnayan sa kanilang pag-uunyon habang daan-daan ang kaso ng paglabag sa karapatan sa malayang asosasyon at iba pa.

Makikiisa rin sa pagkilos ang Women Workers’ United, alyansa ng mga kababaihang unyonista na kasabay binuo ng APTU.

https://philippinerevolution.nu/angbayan/all-philippine-trade-unions-magmamartsa-sa-mayo-uno/

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Pakanang pag-deactivate ng social media accounts ng di rehistradong SIM Card, binatikos

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 (Apr 27, 2022): Pakanang pag-deactivate ng social media accounts ng di rehistradong SIM Card, binatikos (Deactivation of social media accounts of unregistered SIM Card, criticized)
 





April 27, 2023

Mahigpit na binatikos ng Computer Professionals Union ang balak ng Department of Information, Communication and Technology (DICT) na dahan-dahang pag-deactivate ng mga social media account ng mga di pa nakarehistrong SIM Card. Pinalutang ang pakana matapos mapwersa ang gubyernong Marcos at mga kumpanya sa telekomunikasyon na palawigin ng 90 araw ang pwersahang SIM registration. Halos 60% ng mga subscriber ang hindi pa nagparehistro pagsapit ng dedlayn noong Abril 26.

“Pinagbabantaan ng DICT ang mga Pilipino para isuko nila ang kanilang personal na impormasyon o kung hindi ay mawawalan sila ng akses sa mga serbisyong telekomunikasyon,” pahayag ng CPU sa isang pahayag noong Abril 26. Ibinubunyag ng mga bantang ito ang pagiging kontra-mamamayan ng pwersahang SIM Card Registration, at ang tunay na layunin nitong magkulekta ng personal na impormasyon at hindi para “sugpuin” ang mga internet at text scam. Sadya nilang pinalalaki ang SIM Card registration bilang solusyon sa mga scam para lokohin ang publiko, anang grupo.

Inianunsyo noong Abril 26 mismo ang pagpapalawig ng dedlayn ng pwersahang pagpaparehistro. Isang araw bago nito, ibinasura ng Korte Suprema ang petisyon na patawan ng TRO o pansamantalang ipatigil ang batas sa harap ng malalalang paglabag nito sa karapatan sa pribasiya at nararapat na proseso.

Patuloy na iginigiit ng CPU at mga grupong demokratiko ang pagtutol nila sa SIM Registration Law at panawagan na ibasura ito.

“Kailangan na itong ibasura bago dumami pa ang personal na impormasyon na maisasapeligro dahil dito,” ayon sa CPU.

Noong Abril 21 at muli noong Abril 26, nagrali ang mga myembro ng Junk SIM Registration Network at mga alyado nito sa harap ng upisina ng DICT para muling igiit ang pagbabasura ng mapaniil na batas na nagkakait sa marami ng batayang serbisyong telekomunikasyon, at para kundenahin ang estado sa pananakot nito para pwersahin ang mamamayan na magparehistro.

https://philippinerevolution.nu/angbayan/pakanang-pag-deactivate-ng-social-media-accounts-ng-di-rehistradong-sim-card-binatikos/

CPP/NDF-CPDF: NDFP anniversary is a day of reaffirming pledge to advance revolution//Ka Benito & Wilma embodied national democratic principles

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Apr 24, 2023): NDFP anniversary is a day of reaffirming pledge to advance revolution//Ka Benito & Wilma embodied national democratic principles
 


Cordillera People's Democratic Front
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

April 24, 2023

This day marks the anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Despite the deep sense of loss, the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front observes today as one made more special by the fiery pledge of the national democratic forces to take up the responsibilities left by comrades Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon. The CPDF joins the revolutionary forces of the Philippines in grieving their deaths and that of eight other comrades. For Ka Benito and Ka Wilma, the people’s movement commits to ensure that the present Marcos administration takes accountability for his latest crimes of against the people’s movement.

The NDFP was founded 50 years ago no more than a year after the senior Marcos declared Martial Law. It was thus immediately tempered in the life-and-death struggle against tyranny and fascism, the ruling class’ knee-jerk response to the people’s justified and necessary uprising against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Marcos’ greed itself caused the Filipino people to mass up in the streets and form themselves as militant organizations.

Both Benito and Wilma were among the products of that revolutionary period, with their incubation as Communist cadres spanning from the late 60s to early 70s. They worked among the sector of the youth and graduated to working with the workers and then the peasant class. On every occasion, the couple proved themselves exemplary leaders of and for the people by effectively utilizing revolutionary tools at their disposal. In Eastern Samar during the late 70s, they used social investigation and class analysis to gain a deep understanding of the anti-feudal struggle of the peasants. In Central Luzon, they merged armed struggle to mass campaign focusing on the basic alliance of peasant and working classes to contribute to the eventual downfall of the dictator Marcos.

The lives, struggles and methods of work and leadership of comrades Benito and Wilma embody the principles of the NDFP. The coalition serves as framework for the establishment and development of its allied organizations according to the revolutionary class line. Benito and Wilma gave life to these principles by helping strengthen the leadership of the working class and by building the basic alliance between farmers and laborers. Their revolutionary work is a testament to the correctness of the principles guiding the national democratic revolution.

The leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is directly responsible for the deaths of the comrades. The CPDF condemns in the strongest possible sense the torture and murder they suffered in the hands of Bongbong Marcos as the AFP commander-in-chief, then chief-of-staff Lt.Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, Joint Task Force Storm’s Gen. Edgardo De Leon and Intelligence Service’ Brig.Gen. Marceliano Teofilo. Enabled by the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident, a unit trained and provisioned by the US Army, these murderers will forever have on their hands the blood of beloved revolutionary martyrs. The CPDF cannot stress enough the gravity of their crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement. The North will remember and the North will be there on the day of reckoning.

Pick up the torch and continue the struggle of the slain martyrs with intensified fervor!

Hold the Marcos II regime for its crimes of abduction, torture and summary execution!

Strengthen the national democratic movement and join the People’s Democratic Revolution!

https://philippinerevolution.nu/statements/ka-benito-wilma-embodied-national-democratic-principles/

NTFELCAC: NPA recruitment of student at PUP

Posted to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTFELCAC) Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): NPA recruitment of student at PUP

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict
·
Si Francis Ern Mariveles ay dating estudyante ng Polytechnic University of the Philippines na kumuha ng kursong political economy. 

Siya ay naging manunulat para sa legal na pahayagan ng PUP. 

Ang iniisip ng kanyang ina ito ay tagumpay para sa kanyang anak. 

Ngunit ito pala ang naging tulay upang siya ay marekrut si France sa Anakbayan, Kabataan Partylist, at LFS at ngayo'y kasapi na ng New People's Army. 

Ito ang dahilan kung bakit sumali ang kanyang ina sa Hands of our Children Parent Movement. 

Gusto niyang tumulong at gagawin ito ng buong puso, handang mag-alay ng buhay para sa kinabukasan ng anak at iba pang kabataan.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Francis Ern Mariveles is a former student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines who took a course in political economy. 

He became a writer for the legal newspaper PUP. 

His mother thinks this is a success for her son. 

But this became the bridge for France to recruit him in Anakbayan, Kabataan Partylist, and LFS and now he is a member of the New People's Army. 

This is why his mother joined the Hands of our Children Parent Movement. 

She wants to help and will do it wholeheartedly, ready to sacrifice her life for her child's future and other youth.



https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=585817300317053&set=a.199097248989062

https://www.facebook.com/ntfelcac/?eid=ARDR7pt-s3UhmJYPlGXMzSgkJLmJCeAUNHyPW9rHKYoew_W92GQ9wIqC308-GfIfbooTAqBbMYKl9mco&hc_ref=ARSPwvXRt7SP6Vugt7ydQu75U43a3kdSREB6uUy_1j0r7Pw_3rEUqYJerVVpDJF_9sg&fref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARBQka9V4E3XYNG0IT7TOrVUGZ4fNAbCNnm2JnI8apVRfT7BZHEc9SAc7R1_fFkgcGkvsDCu78bQB2uTCVQA1uoG8ceN72D6LOkTsUJwEycO0KQNl9F5otTftP_FtLD8aMGfg-qS8AaDJ9EQm-odBUrMNd9AV5Xn62Hil5_BppWCRZ9Kq26gKo-_rnO0KH9wRbMuxBBUGpP-S5rxD-rxosHiT2IqaX4HzM_VASKUw1GthWkBW7g-5WswdaaxOGJgzKxsh1dbaknMSIeNHCsq0wHipkWIXorn2tLyLdcXyoXZxan9f6Z4ACdYQfLjIR49YsBiPbhJ2dKTRAaN1JMDu06sogmweDc2rYnUj4lJWsvAl79VxeUqPpMrtqrZsesPoJUq0em7kmwPfHsTNa89c9Z3nX57ZFtL4k6S9KtriWFLbH1rzmT12veyx4YCtwMx13n00XbKE39rFXXPP20mTyTh5ahuGsSNmKGa0cN1zctEuyQCZjhssA

AFP-CRS: Kagamitang pandigma nabawing AFP-PNP sa Maguindanao del Sur

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): Kagamitang pandigma nabawing AFP-PNP sa Maguindanao del Sur (AFP-PNP seized war equipment in Maguindanao del Sur)

Nabawi ng pinagsanib na pwersa ng 2nd Mechanized Infantry (Makasag) Battalion at 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company ng Maguindanao del Sur Police Provincial Office.

Ayun kay Maj. Gen. Rillera, hindi maituturing na isang kultura ang “Rido” dahil nagiging dahilan lang ito para mag-gantihan ang mga nag-aaway na grupo. Mas makabubuti aniya kung ipapaubaya sa umiiral na batas ang pangyayari.

“Hindi naman talaga naging kultura itong “Rido”, gantihan lang ito. Hindi ito dapat maging kultura na kapag may namatay ay papatay ka rin. Hindi tama iyon, ilagay natin sa tamang proseso”, wika pa ni Maj. Gen. Rillera.

Sa pagtutulungan ng AFP-PNP-LGU ay tinugunan ng 6ID at JTF Central ang sitwasyon alang-alang sa taumbayan at inosenteng sibilyan na nakakaranas ng pagdurusa bunga ng sigalot sa dalawang magkaalitang paksyon at para maiwasan na rin ang paglala ng kalagayang pang seguridad sa lugar.

“Ginampanan natin ang ating mandato para agarang maibsan ang tensyon alang-alang sa taumbayan at mga inosenteng sibilyan na nakararanas ng pagdurusa dahil sa nangyayaring kaguluhan. We will always secure peace and with the PNP, LGU and peace loving people, we will always be together for peace”, dagdag na pahayag ng 6ID at JTF Central Commander.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION

AFP-PNP seized war equipment in Maguindanao del Sur

Recovered by the joined forces of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry (Makasag) Battalion and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company of Maguindanao del Sur Police Provincial Office.

According to Maj. Gen. Rillera, "Rido" cannot be considered a culture because it just becomes a reason for the fighting groups to retaliate. He'd better leave the event to the existing law.

“This “Rido” wasn’t really a culture, it was just revenge. It shouldn't be a culture that if someone dies you kill them too. That is not right, let's put it in the right process", said Maj. Gen. Rillera.

With the cooperation of AFP-PNP-LGU, 6ID and JTF Central responded to the situation for the citizens and innocent civilians who are suffering as a result of the conflict between the two factions and also to avoid the deterioration of the security situation in the area.

“We have fulfilled our mandate to immediately alleviate the tension for the sake of the citizens and innocent civilians who are experiencing suffering because of the ongoing chaos. We will always secure peace and with the PNP, LGU and peace loving people, we will always be together for peace”, added the statement of 6ID and JTF Central Commander.



https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=623553506481667&set=a.228486002655088

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/

AFP-CRS: Two (2) militia surrender; eight (8) CPP-NPA-NDF supporters, withdraw support in Quezon

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): Two (2) militia surrender; eight (8) CPP-NPA-NDF supporters, withdraw support in Quezon

Two Milisyang Bayan members have surrendered while a total of eight CPP-NPA-NDF supporters have withdrawn their support to the Communist Terrorist Group across the municipalities of Tagkawayan and San Francisco, Quezon.

The Tagkawayan and San Francisco Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict with assistance from 85th Infantry "Sandiwa" Battalion, Quezon PNP, Tagkawayan PNP and San Francisco PNP facilitated the surrender of two milisyang bayan members from barangay Don Juan Vercelos of San Fancisco and the withdrawal of support of eight CPP-NPA-NDF supporters in barangays Casispalan and Mahinta in Tagkawayan.



https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=623623026474715&set=a.228486002655088

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/

WESTMINCOM: Isang suspek, nasawi; armas at pampasabog nabawi sa Cotabato at Maguindanao del Sur

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Apr 26, 2023): Isang suspek, nasawi; armas at pampasabog nabawi sa Cotabato at Maguindanao del Sur (One suspect died; weapons and explosives recovered in Cotabato and Maguindanao del Sur)

6th Infantry "Kampilan" Division, Philippine Army
·
Isang suspek, nasawi; armas at pampasabog nabawi sa Cotabato at Maguindanao del Sur

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao del Norte – Matagumpay na naisagawa ng pinagsanib na pwersa ng kasundaluhan at kapulisan ang isang Joint Law Enforcement Operation nitong umaga ng Linggo (April 23, 2023) sa Brgy Kilangan, Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur at Brgy Gokotan, Pikit, Cotabato.

Ayun kay Lieutenant Colonel Rowel Gavilanes, Commanding Officer ng 90th Infantry (Bigkis-Lahi) Battalion, unang inihain ng 90IB, 34IB, PNP-SAF at Pagalungan MPS ang warrant of arrest sa suspek na si Joel Manampan (alyas Maula) sa Brgy Kilangan, Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur na isang Most Wanted Person – National Level sa kasong double murder, gun for hire, gun running, extortion, carnapping at robbery.

“Nadatnan ng kasundahulan at kapulisan sa itinuturong tirahan ni Joel Manampan ang kapatid nitong si Moner Manampan. Sa ginawang pagsisiyasat ay nadiskobre sa kanyang kustodiya ang ilang mga kasangkapang pampasabog kabilang ang isang blasting cap; isang metro ng detonating cord at isang MK2 fragmentary grenade subalit si Joel Manampan alyas Maula na kapatid ng arestado ay nakatakas habang isinasagawa ang paghahain ng arrest warrant”, dagdag pa ni Lt. Col. Gavilanes.

Samantala, nauwi naman sa engkwentro ang paghahain ng arrest warrant sa isa pang lugar na tinitirhan ng suspek sa Brgy. Gokotan, Pikit, Cotabato na ikinasawi ng isang armadong lalaki at pagkabawi ng isang Garand Rifle, isang bandolier at isang jungle pack.

Sa mensahe ni Major General Alex Rillera, Commander ng 6ID at JTF Central mariin nyang sinabi na hindi habambuhay na makakawala sa batas ang sino man sa mga gumagawa ng kriminalidad sa Central at South-Central Mindanao.

“Hindi habambuhay na makakawala sa batas ang mga taong gumagawa ng krimen. Magtutulungan ang pulisya, militar at iba’t ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan para mahuli kayong lahat, isa-isa. Kaya sa inyong lahat na gumawa at patuloy sa paggawa ng krimen at karahasan, dapat lang na mapagtanto ninyo na pwede pang magbago. Mapayapa kayong sumuko bago pa dumating ang oras na huli na ang lahat,” mensahe ni Maj. Gen. Rillera.
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One suspect died; weapons and explosives recovered in Cotabato and Maguindanao del Sur
CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao del Norte – A Joint Law Enforcement Operation was successfully conducted by the combined forces of the army and police this morning of Sunday (April 23, 2023) at Brgy Kilangan, Pagalungan, Maguindano del Sur and Brgy Gokotan, Pikit, Cotabato.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Rowel Gavilanes, Commanding Officer of the 90th Infantry (Bigkis-Lahi) Battalion, 90IB, 34IB, PNP-SAF and Pagalungan MPS served the warrant of arrest to the suspect Joel Manampan (alias Maula) in Brgy Kilangan, Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur who is a Most Wanted Person - National Level at Double murder case, gun for hire, gun running, extortion, carnapping and robbery.

"The army and the police found the brother of Moner Manampan in the residence where Joel Manampan is teaching. In the investigation, it was discovered in his custody some explosive weapons including a blasting cap; a meter of detonating cord and a MK2 fragmentary grenade but Joel Manampan aka Maula brother of the arrested escaped while serving the arrest warrant", added Lt. Col. Gavilanes.

Meanwhile, the serving of an arrest warrant led to an encounter in another place where the suspect lives in Brgy. Gokotan, Pikit, Cotabato captured by an armed man and recovered a Garand Rifle, a bandolier and a jungle pack.

In the message of Major General Alex Rillera, Commander of 6ID and JTF Central, he said that anyone who commits crimes in Central and South-Central Mindanao will not get away with the law forever.

“People who commit crimes can never escape the law forever. The police, military and various government agencies will all work together to catch you all, one by one. So to all of you who have done and continue to commit crime and violence, you just need to realize that there is still time to change. You have peace to surrender before it's too late," message of Maj. Gen. Rillera.









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WESTMINCOM: Former Violent Extremist turned over to Tawi-Tawi Provincial Government

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): Former Violent Extremist turned over to Tawi-Tawi Provincial Government

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – April 27, 2023

Marine troops turned over a former member of the Abu Sayyaf Group to the Provincial Local Government Unit of Tawi-Tawi on Monday, April 24.
 
Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi Commander, Brig. Gen. Romeo Racadio said the former violent extremist surrendered to the Marine Battalion Landing Team 12 on July 12, 2022, to clear his name and assure his family’s security. He handed over one M1 Garand rifle with a clip and six rounds of live ammunition.
The former ASG member was recruited to be a follower of Sulu-based ASG under sub-leader Jamiri Jawhari, a.k.a. Amah Bers, in 2010. He stayed with the group for eight years and served as the courier/errand of the ASG in Patikul, Sulu.
 
Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi formally presented the former violent extremist to Vice Governor Al-Syed Sali and was subsequently turned over to Councilor Nagder Sangkula who represented Bongao Mayor Jasper Que.
 
“Rest assured that we will continue to monitor the status of the former violent extremist as he returns to mainstream society. We will also continue to process surrendered personalities, in partnership with other government units, for their rehabilitation and reintegration programs,” Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Commander of Western Mindanao Command, said.







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WESCOM: WESCOM's elite SPECOPS Teams train with foreign allies on Over the Beach in connection with BK 38-23

Posted to the Western Command (WESCOM) Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): WESCOM's elite SPECOPS Teams train with foreign allies on Over the Beach in connection with BK 38-23

April 26 2023- the United States Armed Forces (USAF) and Australian Defense Force (ADF) counterparts conducted actual demonstrations on Over the Beach (OTB) Drill as part of the ongoing Balikatan (BK) 38-23 events in the AFP Western Command (WESCOM) joint operational area (JOA). WESCOM's elite Naval Special Operation Units 4, 8 and 10 participated in the said training activity which was held at vicinity of El Nido Bay in El Nido, Palawan.
 
Over the Beach (OTB) is a mode of insertion and exfiltration when land and air insertion is not applicable due to the level of threat and possible resistance of the enemy.

WESCOM will continue to support BK 38-23 training activities because they help maintain a high level of readiness and responsiveness, and enhance military-to-military relations and capabilities. These training activities also enhance the allied forces' tactics, techniques, and procedures across a wide range of military operations.











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WESCOM: US troops demonstrates Artillery Rocket System as part of BK38-23 events in WESCOM area

Posted to the Western Command (WESCOM) Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): US troops demonstrates Artillery Rocket System as part of BK38-23 events in WESCOM area

ANTONIO BAUTISTA AIR BASE, Palawan - The US Armed forces conducted dry fire exercise with its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in a simulation exercise called HIMARS Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) on April 26, Wednesday.

The truck-mounted HIMARS can strike distant targets and can rapidly move around the battlefield. US forces have demonstrated the HIMARS in the Philippines several times.

The HIMARS demonstration forms part of the ongoing Balikatan (BK) 38-23 exercises which started on April 11 and will run until April 28, 2023.
 
WESCOM strongly supports and advocates BK training events such as the HIRAIN as it offers opportunities for capability development and advances combined military modernization through subject matter expert exchanges.











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Kalinaw News: Look: Army's 91st IB conducts an information and awareness drive against CPP-NPA's deceptive youth recruitment

Posted to Kalinaw News Facebook Page (Apr 27, 2023): Look: Army's 91st ID conducts an information and awareness drive against CPP-NPA's deceptive youth recruitment

Look: Army's 91st Infantry Battalion conducts an information and awareness drive against CPP-NPA's deceptive youth recruitment to 180 students of Lyceum of the East-Aurora in Maria Aurora, Aurora on April 22, 2023. 

The troops warned the students to be wary of the infiltration and deception of the communist-armed wing. 

The college students were also briefed on the Army recruitment process for those who want to enter the profession of arms.









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