Sunday, June 4, 2023

EASTMINCOM: Government Troops Encounter NPAs, Seize Firearms in AgNor

Posted to the Eastern Mindanao Commaand (EASTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jun 3, 2023): Government Troops Encounter NPAs, Seize Firearms in AgNor

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) launched a relentless Intense Military Operations (IMO) against Platoon Sagay, Sub-Regional Sentro de Gravidad (SRSDG), Sub-Regional Command 3 (SRC-3), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) led by Arnel Bahian @ANDRO.

A twenty-minute firefight ensued between the NPA terrorists and the troops who acted upon the information tipped off by the residents of the said barangay. The troops gained the upper hand against the NPA terrorists who clearly panicked, got shocked, and confused, thereby, scampering in different directions.

A high-powered firearm, medical and subversive documents, and other Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) belongings were recovered after the firefight between the government troops and CNTs in Sitio Nakan-an, Brgy. Sangay, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on June 03, 2023.

The troops recovered an M16, a high-powered firearm, two (2) short magazines, and one (1) long magazine. Other war materials found within the encounter site were nine (9) rounds of live ammunitions, one (1) bandoleer, 45 meters of electric wire, medical and subversive documents.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey P Balingao, Commanding Officer, 23IB, warned the remaining CNTs that the government will make sure that they will be made to answer and be held liable for their terroristic acts under the full force of the law. “We will end the insurgency and stop this terrorism in every community.
The terrorist group is now desperate but we will not give them a chance to sow fear against the people.”

He emphasized that the 23IB has been relentless in the conduct of IMOs to drive out the remaining communist/ terrorists from the barangays and isolate the communities from their influence and atrocities.

The 23IB commander also reiterated his call for the remaining NPA rebels in the area to surrender, otherwise, they will be facing the might of the continuing military operations.

Brigadier General Adonis Ariel G Orio, Commander of 402nd Brigade, expressed his gratitude to the local populace for their full cooperation and support which helped the soldiers locate the terrorist group and spoil whatever violent activities the CPP-NPA are planning to do.

He also added that various communities are frequently reporting the presence of these terrorists in their area, because they can no longer tolerate their repeated extortion activities, other violent and unlawful actions against the people.

He further assured the public that the Army will continue to protect the people of Agusan del Norte and put an end to CPP-NPA’s terroristic activities.

EASTMINCOM: Another life has paid the cost of defending his motherland.

Posted to the Eastern Mindanao Commaand (EASTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jun 3, 2023): Another life has paid the cost of defending his motherland.

Today, the 16th Infantry (Maglilingkod) Battalion, Philippine Army mourns the passing of a volunteer, who gave nothing but selfless service and dedication as a CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) under the operational control of the unit.

The Maglilingkod Troopers, together with the 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion paid their last respects as CAA Ricky L Lirawan was laid to rest today at the public cemetery of Bal-ason, Misamis Oriental.

The Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) are unsung heroes of our country, playing a vital role in the anti-insurgency efforts of the National Government, and always at the forefront of providing peace, order, and security within the communities.

They voluntarily work alongside our military troops, serving as force multipliers to strengthen and implement the Integrated Territorial Defense System in remote villages, insulating the people from the threats of Communist Terrorist Groups, and sustaining the AFP’s momentum in ending local communist armed conflict.

These unsung heroes, self-sacrificing and operating often in the background with almost no recognition, have been contributing immensely to the campaign of the National Government, risking their lives and bravely protecting their villages to attain lasting peace.

Maglilingkod Troopers Hotline Number: 0910-188-1458

16th Infantry "Maglilingkod" Battalion, Philippine Army

WESCOM: LOOK || WESCOM Chief officially closes PN MOBEX 2023

Posted to the Western Command (WESCOM) Facebook Page (Jun 2, 2023):LOOK || WESCOM Chief officially closes PN MOBEX 2023

Macarascas, Puerto Princesa City, June 2 – The head of the AFP Western Command (WESCOM), Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos PN graced this morning’s closing ceremony of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) first-ever mobilization exercise dubbed as PN MOBEX 2023. Naval Forces West (NFW) successfully conducted the week-long exercise with a total of 114 naval reservists benefiting from all the lined-up training events.

The overall exercise objective is to improve the capability of the Fleet-Marine team along with its counterparts from the Naval Reserve Force particularly in planning and execution of External Security Operations (ESO) such as maritime and sovereignty patrols in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), and enhancing interagency collaboration in support of the PN’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts in the WESCOM Joint Operational Area (JOA).
The successful conclusion of the PN MOBEX 2023 is a testament to the PN’s commitment to continuously improve the capabilities and readiness of both its regular and reserve force components toward providing WESCOM with the “Total Force” necessary to fulfill its mandate of securing and protecting the country’s national interest. “I could no longer tell the difference between the reserve force and the regular force. They all looked and performed equally well in the exercises”, remarked VAdm Carlos during his message to all the participating troops. “Number one sa akin ang mga reservists and I thank all of them for voluntarily committing their much precious time and effort in serving the country through the reserve force”, added the WESCOM Chief.

NPA claims farmer’s killing

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 5, 2023): NPA claims farmer’s killing (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The Mt. Cansermon Command of the New People’s Army issued a statement claiming responsibility for the death of a farmer they accused as a military asset on May 25 in Sitio Colihao, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Rebel spokesman Ka Dionesio Magbuelas accused Raul Enmacino of having been among the suspects in the killing of two NPA members on April 1 last year, when Elbert Nicholas Quillano, alias Carding, and Jessa “Ka Clea” Quillano, were both staying at his residence when the incident took place.

Military records showed that Quillano, a platoon leader of the Central Negros 2, and his wife, Jessa, a medical officer of the same unit, died in an encounter with 94IB,

Army soldiers recovered from the encounter site a caliber .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, a Lenovo computer tablet, a Baofeng hand-held radio, two mobile phones, assorted medicines, and subversive documents.

Enmacino was working in a rice field near his residence, when he was approached and shot without any provocation by two armed suspects, according to the police.

The wife of the victim identified the assailants of her husband, as NPA members, through photographs presented to her.

Magbuelas claimed that based on the investigations of the revolutionary court, Enmacino was proven to participate in the death of the Quillanos.

10th ID scores superior rating

Posted to the Mindanao Times (Jun 4, 2023): 10th ID scores superior rating (By Gabrielle Aguilar/AdDU Intern)


THE 10TH Infantry Agila Division garnered a 91.88% rating after the 15-day activity of the Philippine Army Annual General Inspection last May 30.

There were four areas of inspections: operational readiness; mission accomplishment in terms of trial operations; resource management on logistics and personnel; and leadership, moral, and welfare and discipline law and order.

Maj Mark Anthony Tito, spokesperson of the 10th ID, said attaining and sustaining the insurgence-free status of the region became a big factor in the rating and it also shows the professionalism of the 10th ID soldiers.

“Considering the fact that we are also able to achieve ang atuang mission that is to clear our area of responsibility from the insurgence. Actually, they lauded the 10th Infantry Agila Division because we excel not only in terms of operations but also in terms of administration,” Tito said.

The garnered rating of 91.88% is categorized as a superior rating. Twenty-seven more offices under the 10th ID also garnered the same rating within the range of 91-95.99% after the inspection.

The 10th ID vowed to improve and amend the observed lapses to render constant services to the public.

“Rest assured that your 10th Infantry Agila Division will continue to secure our area of responsibility,” Tito said.

Why PH, Sweden’s MOU on defense materiel acquisition matter

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 4, 2023): Why PH, Sweden’s MOU on defense materiel acquisition matter (By MARTIN SADONGDONG)

The Philippines and Sweden have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allowing both countries to advance its defense cooperation particularly in the procurement of military equipment and materials, the Department of National Defense (DND) said.

(L-R) Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson and Department of National Defense OIC Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Cooperation in the Acquisition of Defense Materiel at the sidelines of the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 3, 2023. The MOU allows the Philippines and Sweden to advance its defense cooperation particularly in the procurement of military equipment and materials. (Photo by DND)

The MOU Concerning Cooperation in the Acquisition of Defense Materiel was signed by DND OIC Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson at the sidelines of the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, June 3.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong explained that the MOU “opens up opportunities” for the Swedish defense industries “to participate in the modernization program” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“The signed agreement paves the way for advancing cooperation in the areas of logistics, defense industry development, and exchange of related information between the two countries,” Anolong said.


The AFP is now on the third “horizon” of its revised modernization program which will run from 2023 to 2028. From 2013 to 2022, the AFP has procured frigates, fighter jets, and sealift vessels among others as part of the first two horizons of the modernization program.

At this phase, the military is expected to procure assets and equipment that will boost its external defense operations or its ability to defend the country from external threats. Among those eyed for procurement are missile systems, multi-role fighter aircraft, and others.

Relatedly, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is pushing for its Multirole Fighter (MRF) Acquisition Program which is originally part of the second horizon.

Under the PAF’s MRF Acquisition Program, the AFP is considering to buy JAS-39 “Gripen” fighter aircraft from Swedish manufacturer Saab AB or the F-16V "Viper" fighter jet from American aerospace company Lockheed Martin.

The AFP has yet to choose its supplier of multi-role fighter aircraft for the PAF.

Self-reliant defense posture

Furthermore, Andolong also said that the MOU on defense materiel cooperation enables possible joint initiatives between the two countries to help the Philippines achieve a self-reliant defense posture.

The AFP is aiming to revive the Self Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) Program which was initiated in the 1970s to allow the military to construct its own weapons, land assets, aircraft, and navy vessels instead of buying them from other countries.

The bilateral meeting between Galvez and Jonson concluded as they “exchanged views on the current security issues” in the Pacific region and Europe, and “discussed ways ahead for cooperation towards a more secure environment.”

The two officials also welcomed the “positive progress” of the Philippines – Sweden bilateral defense relations which, Andolong said, was demonstrated by the exchange of visits to Manila and Stockholm by defense, military, and foreign affairs delegations in recent months.

The latest of such visits was when Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell paid a courtesy call at the DND Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last March 19.

Forssell had highlighted Sweden's intent to further develop bilateral defense relations with the Philippines through the signing of the MOU Concerning Cooperation in the Acquisition of Defense Materiel.

Philippine Coast Guard: No fisherfolk displaced by exercises with US, Japan

From the Philippine Star (Jun 4, 2023): Philippine Coast Guard: No fisherfolk displaced by exercises with US, Japan

The Philippine Coast Guard, the United States Coast Guard, and the Japanese Coast Guard will conduct the first-ever trilateral maritime exercises from June 1 to 8, 2023.  Philippine Coast Guard, handout

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard on Sunday said its ongoing trilateral exercises with counterparts from the United States and Japan will not affect the livelihoods of fisherfolk in Mariveles, Bataan.

The PCG said the first-ever trilateral exercises from June 1 to 8 will only occupy a small space in the waters and exercises will not include war games.

“This is just a search and rescue [exercise]. There will be no live fire drills like the ones held by the military under the Balikatan exercises,” R. Adm. Armando Balilo, PCG spokesperson, told Super Radyo DzBB in Filipino on Sunday.

A no-sail-zone policy was implemented in at least five towns in Zambales province in April as military personnel from the Philippines, the US, and Australia participated in the largest-ever annual Balikatan exercises that lasted until the end of that month.

Fisherfolk group PAMALAKAYA previously opposed the government’s no-sail-policy in Zambales and its move to relocate some fishers from 21 Ilocos Norte towns because of the exercises.

RELATED: AFP: Balikatan disruption of fishing a 'small inconvenience' for national security

Together with the US Coast Guard and the Japan Coast Guard, the PCG will be holding communication and photo exercises, and maneuvering drills, among others until this week. Balilo said at least 250 personnel from the PCG will participate, while 70 Japanese coastguardsmen and around 90 to 100 American personnel will join the exercises.

Personnel will also be involved in an exercise simulating a situation involving piracy and the transfer of weapons of mass destruction at sea.

“[The] US and Japan have long been helping out with the Philippines’ human resource development and they always have mobile training units here for law enforcement and search and rescue operations,” Balilo said.

The PCG also sends some of its personnel to the USCG and the JCG’s respective headquarters in Tokyo and in the US for professional opportunities. Aside from maritime exercises, the trilateral exchange will also pave the way for women-to-women staff exchange opportunities.

“This is the right avenue to validate and see the fruit of their mentorship for Filipinos,” he said.

[Retired Analyst Note: The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas also known in English as the National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organizations in the Philippines) is Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) front group active in the fishing sector. The group is a member of the main CPP umbrella/sectoral front organization the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN--New Patriotic Alliance).]

Maranaws support Lanao Sur Army, police anti-terror ops

From the Philippine Star (Jun 2, 2023): Maranaws support Lanao Sur Army, police anti-terror ops (By John Unson)

The firearms and explosives found beside the cadavers of the four slain Dawlah Islamiya members. / John Unson

MARAWI CITY, Philippines — Local executives lauded the military for having prevented Dawlah Islamiya terrorists from getting close to the town proper of Marogong in Lanao del Sur, killing four and wounding five others in a brief clash Thursday.

“The military is efficiently carrying out its peacekeeping mission there. We in the provincial government are also doing our best to address the security issues besetting Marogong municipality” Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said Friday.

Members of the multi-sector Lanao del Sur Provincial Peace and Order Council, led by Adiong as presiding chairperson, have also assured of their support for the joint police and military anti-terror operations in Marogong.

“I’m grateful to the Maranaws and non-Maranaws helping us solve this issue. This is resolvable,” Adiong said.

Army Scout Rangers shot dead four members of the Dawlah Islamiya and wounded five others in an encounter on Thursday morning in Barangay Piangologan in Marogong.

The incident was preceded by the group’s circulation last week of threats, via text messages and Facebook, to attack the town proper of Marogong if the police will not set free its members arrested and detained for various criminal offenses in a series of law-enforcement operations in Lanao del Sur in recent weeks.

Sources from Lanao del Sur’s Islamic religious community confirmed to reporters Friday that besides the Dawlah Islamiya’s four fatalities, five other terrorists were wounded in Thursday’s incident in Barangay Piangologan whom they said were carried by companions as they hastily escaped when they sensed that more Army reinforcements were closing in.

The encounter left a Scout Ranger, Pfc. Jemric Pol Contingo, dead and three others, Corporals Cronel Ducrao and Regi Macahilig and Pfc. Noel Notario, wounded.

Adiong said their provincial social welfare office and the local government unit of Marogong are together attending to the needs of more than 3,000 Marogong residents who abandoned their homes and relocated to nearby towns last week after the Dawlah Islamiya warned of attacks using fictitious Facebook accounts.

Some members of the Dawlah Islamiya were followers of the slain siblings Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute, the founders of the fanatical Maute terrorist group that instigated the deadly and destructive May 23 to October 16, 2017 siege of Marawi City.

Records from the military’s Western Mindanao Command and the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region indicate that 27 Dawlah Islamiya members perished in one encounter after another in Lanao del Sur with pursuing policemen and soldiers in the past 22 months.

5 killed, 3 wounded in Army-Dawlah Islamiya clash

Posted to Maharlika TV (Jun 5, 2023): 5 killed, 3 wounded in Army-Dawlah Islamiya clash

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Five combatants were killed, including four Dawlah Islamiya (DI) militants, while three others were wounded in a clash in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) confirmed Friday.

Maj. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said the firefight around 8:58 p.m. Wednesday lasted for about five minutes in Barangay Piangologan, Marogong town and resulted in the death of four DI militants and a government soldier.

The clash broke out when the troops of the Army’s 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion chanced upon a group of DI-militants led by Abu Zacariah while conducting a combat operation.

Three other soldiers were wounded as troops rescued three civilians, a female and two young males, who were caught in the crossfire.

Nafarrete withheld the identities of the slain and wounded soldiers pending notification to their families.

“The wounded soldiers are now in stable condition and recuperating in the hospital,” said Nafarrete, concurrent commander of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces).

He said the troops managed to recover an AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, two M16 rifles, an R4 rifle, three handheld radios, ammunition, an improvised explosive device (IED), a logbook diagram for IED, three mobile phones, backpacks, and assorted foodstuffs.

Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of Westmincom, commended the JTF-ZamPeLan for continuously employing more pressure on the remaining DI militants in their area of operation.

“I urge the remnants of the DI to lay down their arms and surrender peacefully to avoid gun battles and prevent loss of lives and bloodshed,” he said. (PNA)

Focused AFP operations neutralize 163 local terrorists in May

Posted to Maharlika TV (Jun 5, 2023): Focused AFP operations neutralize 163 local terrorists in May

'Alakdan' holds trail run in ex-Abu Sayyaf stronghold

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (May 31, 2023): 'Alakdan' holds trail run in ex-Abu Sayyaf stronghold

ZAMBOANGA. The Army's 11th Infantry "Alakdan" Division (ID) holds the first-ever trail run in the former stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Mount Sinumaan, Patikul, Sulu on Sunday, May 28, 2023. (SunStar Zamboanga)

THE Philippine Army's 11th Infantry "Alakdan" Division (ID) held the first-ever trail run in the former stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the province of Sulu.

A total of 123 runners coming from different units of 11ID have participated the trail run held on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at Mount Sinumaan, Patikul, Sulu.

The event started from Danag village in Patikul at 6 a.m. and ended in Kantitap village in the same town around 8:30 a.m.

In a statement Wednesday, May 31, Major General Ignatius Patrimonio, 11ID and Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu commander, said the trail run was held in preparation for the 125th Philippine Independence Day celebration, which will be held on June 12, 2023 at Mount Sinumaan.

Patrimonio said that through the trail run, they were able to visit and engage with the residents, who have expressed their appreciation on the improved peace and development in their communities.

"This (trail run) activity clearly manifests the improved security landscape in the province of Sulu. We were able to trek Mount Sinumaan, a well-known battleground and ASG lair four years ago," Patrimonio said.

"This also proved that our peace and security campaign and our collaboration with the Provincial Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict are successful since Sulu is now enjoying a relative peace," Patrimonio added.
(SunStar Zamboanga)

Brief: Abu Sayyaf Surrenders Indicate Growing Dysfunction

Posted to the Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Monitor Volume: 21 Issue: 11 (May 26, 2023): Brief: Abu Sayyaf Surrenders Indicate Growing Dysfunction (By: Jacob Zenn)

The eight former Abu Sayyaf members after recently surrendering via the Manila Times

On May 23, eight former Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to the Philippine government by handing over their guns and pledging loyalty to the state (, May 26). This continues the broader depletion of the group’s ranks due to defections, which have put the group on the brink of extinction. Earlier this year, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Col. Medel Aguilar, went so far as to announce that Abu Sayyaf’s “reign of terror” had ended when 20 fighters under Abu Sayyaf commander Radullah Sahiron surrendered (, May 24).

Sahiron himself may be deceased, according to the AFP (, May 23). Since March, the AFP has been hearing rumors that the commander, who had participated in kidnappings of foreigners as early as 1993, is no longer active. Prior to his reported death, Sahiron’s most recent major operation was leading a battle in 2020 that led to the deaths of eight AFP soldiers (, April 18, 2020).

Although many Abu Sayyaf commanders had pledged loyalty to Islamic State (IS), Sahiron was among the few, at least initially, to remain more “local,” displaying less eagerness to consider the group a part of IS (, June 19, 2018). While a majority of the most ardent IS-loyal commanders have been killed already, Sahiron’s departure from the scene would mean Abu Sayyaf’s local-oriented networks are also fraying. Besides leadership deaths, the group’s logistical web has been dismantled by the arrests of its key couriers (see Militant Leadership Monitor, May 5).

The latest Abu Sayyaf defections, however, are attributable to successful non-military efforts of the AFP and Philippine government. For example, the Abu Sayyaf members who surrendered on May 23 had first seen their funds cut off by the Anti-Money Laundering Council and then their recruitment disrupted by the local army brigade in Sulu, Mindanao. Ultimately, with little hope of any battle victories ahead, the Abu Sayyaf members surrendered. These militants were then inducted into the Balik Loob program, offering them education, livelihood, and social welfare benefits in exchange for their surrender (, January 9).

Al-Qaeda and IS are both struggling with a high rate of leadership turnover (and few ideal, suitable replacements) as well as intense pressure on their entities in the Middle East. These Jihadist groups, then, are searching for a region from which they could source recruitment, funding, or win battles to use for propaganda purposes. Southeast Asia is proving to be increasingly hostile to such efforts; the region’s counter-insurgency forces, especially in the Philippines and Indonesia, have significantly reduced the threats that the Jihadist groups pose locally. Nonetheless, al-Qaeda and IS have found another region—Africa—where they can continue to conquer territory and showcase battlefield successes.

[Jacob Zenn is an adjunct assistant professor on African Armed Movements and Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics at the Georgetown University Security Studies Program (SSP) and editor of Terrorism Monitor and senior fellow on African and Eurasian Affairs for The Jamestown Foundation in Washington DC. ]

CPP/CIO: Are US drones dropping bombs in the Philippines?

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jun 4, 2023): Are US drones dropping bombs in the Philippines?

Marco Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

June 04, 2023

The US imperialists and its military forces are notorious for outright military intervention and violating the territorial sovereignty of countries around the world. Indeed, it is well known that the US military has been freely operating their drones and other aircraft within Philippine airspace to transport war matériel and personnel in their various military bases and facilities, as well as take part in local military operations, including conducting drone surveillance, in the name of “counter-terrorism.”

In the same way that US soldiers played an active role in the bombing of Marawi City in 2017, American military officers are also often sighted in tactical outposts of the AFP in various parts of the country, acting as advisers and directing counterguerrilla operations of Filipino soldiers against Filipino revolutionary fighters.

It is thus not surprising, but nonetheless a condemnable act of outright intervention, that the US military is flying drones and carrying out air strikes in the Philippines against the New People’s Army. A few weeks ago, a unit of the NPA in Surigao del Sur, reported that a “Hermes”-type drone fired rocket bombs at their position as they engaged members of the 30th IB in a gun battle in the Katarugan mountains, in Barangay Lobo, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, last May 11, 2023 at around 5:15 p.m. Two Red fighters were killed in the attack. Images of the area taken after the drone strikes show surrounding burned trees and vegetation.

NPA Red fighters are familiar with how the AFP uses its noisy FA-50s, Super Tucano jets or McDonnel Douglas and Agusta Westland helicopters for firing rocket bombs and strafing.

With the AFP not having publicly acknowledged that its drones are being armed with rocket bombs, there is high probability that the May 11 armed drone strike in Surigao del Sur was carried out by the US military itself, either by arming the AFP’s Hermes drones purchased from Israel with its Hellfire missiles, or using its own Reaper drones which from the ground could be mistaken for a Hermes drone.

The US military is known for having carried out tens of thousands of drone strikes operations overseas, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where up to at least a few hundreds of civilians have been killed. On US instigation, drones are now also being increasingly used by the Indian government in its attacks against the people and revolutionary forces.

It is up to the AFP to explain whether it allowed the US to operate armed drones and fire rockets or drop bombs within the Philippines, in violation of Philippine sovereignty. Or whether, the AFP is now itself using armed drones to carry out aerial bombing in its counterinsurgency operations, which puts the lives of civilians in danger, and cause excessive loss of lives, in violation of international humanitarian law.

NPA sa Visayas nihinay na—VISCOM

From the Freeman/Banat News (Jun 4, 2023): NPA sa Visayas nihinay na—VISCOM (NPA in Visayas slowed down—VISCOM) (By Decemay P. Padilla)

CEBU, Philippines — Padayon matud pa ang paghinay sa pwersa sa Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) tungod sa kadaghan na sa mga nakalas ug mga mitahan sa ilang mga miyembro nawala sa ilaha grupo sulod sa usa ka buwan.

Sumala pa sa Visayas Command, 15 ka mga engkwentro ang natala sa rehiyon sa buwan sa Mayo nga miresulta sa neutralization sa 40 ka NPA. Ang NPA gikonsiderar na sa gobiyerno nga usa ka teroristang grupo kansang kalihokan gikonsiderar nga longest-running insurgency sa tibuok kalibotan nga mikalas na og kaliboang kinabuhi ug nakapaut-ot og samot sa kahimtang sa mga kabus sa mga hilit nga mga probinsya sa nasud.

Sa report sa Visayas Command ang maong mga katag-katag nga engkwentro niresulta sa pagkamatay sa 17 ka rebelde ug 23 sab ang nawagtangan na og pagsalig sa kawsa sa NPA ug namalik sa sabakan sa gobyerno.

Atol sa maong mga operasyon ug pagtahan sa mga rebelde, 54 ka armas ang nakuha sa kasundalohan, ang 38 niini nakuha diha mismo sa lugar human sa engkwentro, pito ang na-recover gikan sa gitagoang lugar tungod sa tabang sa nitahan nga kanhi NPA samtang siyam ang boluntaryong gi-surrender ngadto sa tropa sa gobyerno.

Sa nahitabong engkwentro niadtong Mayo 28 sa Barangay Mabini, Catarman sa Northern Samar tali sa mga miyembro sa CPP-NPA’s Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit ubos sa Sub-Regional Party Committee ug miyembro sa 43rd Infantry Battalion, napatay ang upat ka rebelde ug na-recover ang upat ka armas diin apil niini ang duha ka M16 rifles ug tulo ka magazines nga puno sa bala, duha ka kalibre .45 nga armas, duha magazines.

Naa sab sa report sa VisCom nga moabot sa 562 ka rebelde ug supporters ang mi-withdraw sa ilang suporta ug misaad nga motabang na sa gobyerno. Ang 63 niini mga miyembro sa Batakang Organo pang Partido; 157 sa Yunit Militia ug 342 sa CTG’s underground mass organization.

Ang mass withdrawal sa suporta miresulta sa neutralization sa CTG’s support system, pagkahugno sa pipila ka mga political-military structures sa giestablisar nga terrorist groups sa Samar ug Northern Samar.

“The CPP-NPA in the Visayas region has been substantially weakened having incurred devastating losses in their manpower and armed capability, as well as the collapse of their support system from the community. Hence, our focused military operations will go on. There will be no safe place for these terrorists to hide nor a haven for them to rest. We will hunt them down until justice is served for all the atrocities and sufferings that they’ve caused to our country and our people,” sigon ni Lieutenant General Benedict Arevalo, Commander sa Visayas Command (VISCOM). Nanawagan kini sa mga nahibiling CPP-NPA sa Visayas nga mobalik na sa sabakan sa gobyerno.

Negros Occ. political detainee seeks CHR help on daughter’s disappearance

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 4, 2023): Negros Occ. political detainee seeks CHR help on daughter’s disappearance (By: Carla P. Gomez - Correspondent)

Map of Negros Occidental |

BACOLOD CITY — A female political detainee at the Negros Occidental District Jail on Tuesday, May 30, called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct an “immediate and impartial” investigation on the disappearance of her daughter and two motorcycle-for-hire drivers from La Castellana town last April 19.

Rossine Enyong, in a letter dated May 20, informed the CHR that her 28-year-old daughter Lyngrace and motorcycle-for-hire drivers Renel de los Santos and Denald Mialen went missing after they were reportedly abducted somewhere in the Aranda-La Castellana road in Hinigaran town.

“As a mother, I could not help but feel worried about my daughter’s safety. That is why I call your (CHR) office to conduct a probe on the incident,” Enyong said.

“Even after 40 days since my daughter’s disappearance, we continue to hope that we will still see her alive,” she added.

Aside from the CHR, Enyong also sent a copy of her letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross for proper action.

Fellow political prisoners of Enyong at the provincial jail also held a dawn-to-dusk fast on Tuesday to express their support for what they called “the latest victims of the AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines’) mindless and futile drive to end the insurgency in the country at the expense of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

Enyong, an alleged platoon commander of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Amy (CPP-NPA) regional committee, was arrested in a joint military and police operations in Negros Occidnetal on July 30, 2020.

According to Enyong, her daughter’s other companion, CPP-Negros leader Roger Posadas, was found dead on April 21 and was declared by the military as among the fatalities in an armed clash between the NPA and government troopers in Binalbagan town, Negros Occidental on April 20.

The 3rd Infantry Division (ID) of the Philippine Army identified Posadas as the secretary of the NPA regional committee in Central Visayas and was a notorious NPA leader who was behind numerous murders, kidnappings, and extortions in Negros Occidental.

Among these were the murder of three civilians and wounding of three others during an ambush of a cargo truck in Toboso town in August 2009.

Posadas, according to the 3rd ID, was also allegedly among those behind the bombing and attack of two construction firms that built the Bacolod-Silay International Airport in Silay City in October 2006.

Former rebel surrenders in San Vicente

From the Palawan News (Jun 4, 2023): Former rebel surrenders in San Vicente

A former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel surrendered to authorities on Friday, June 2, in Brgy. Poblacion, San Vicente, northern Palawan.

The surrender of a certain “Ka Euric” was facilitated by the Regional Intelligence Unit 4B, with assistance from the San Vicente Municipal Police Station (MPS), Palawan Provincial Police Office, 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company, Provincial Intelligence Unit, Regional Intelligence Division MIMAROPA, DID, QCPD, RMFB 4B, NICA 4B, MBLT3, and 3rd Marine Brigade.

According to the police investigation, “Ka Euric” operated in various areas, including Pandacan, Manila; San Mateo, Rizal; Catarman, Northern Samar; Ilagan City, Isabela; Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur; Burongan City, Eastern Samar; Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, and the province of Palawan.

PRO MIMAROPA chief P/Brig. Gen. Joel Doria commended the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and expressed his appreciation for the collaboration between government units, agencies, and private stakeholders through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“We will continue to collaborate with various government units, agencies, and private stakeholders via NTF-ELCAC to demonstrate their dedication to putting an end to local insurgency across the region,” he said.

Two construction workers killed by rebels-laid mine in Northern Samar

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 3, 2024): Two construction workers killed by rebels-laid mine in Northern Samar (By MARIE TONETTE MARTICIO)

CATARMAN, Northern Samar -- Two civilians died due to anti-personnel landmines (AP mine) allegedly planted by the New People's Army (NPA) in Barangay Magsaysay, Las Navas, Northern Samar, Saturday, June 3.

The victims whose names were withheld by the Army were workers in the construction of the farm-to-market road that will connect the interior villages of said town.

Initial investigation showed that aside from injuries suffered from the APM explosion, the victims also sustained gunshot wounds.

Lieutenant Colonel Joemar Buban, Commanding Officer of the 20th Infantry Battalion, said that the terrorist attack of the NPAs is a clear violation of the Ottawa Convention (Mine Ban Treaty), which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines (APLs).

"The 20IB has been doing its best to help the former conflict-affected barangays through our Mobile Community Support and Sustainment Program Teams to achieve long-lasting peace and sustainable development in Northern Samar. But the CPP-NPA's recent AP mine attack shows violence and senseless killings, which does not contribute to improving the way of life of the Nortehanons," Lt. Col. Buban lamented.

He added that the use of these AP Mines that killed two civilians and numerous innocent individuals in the past is a matter of procedure for said terrorists who are bent on inflicting death and damage to lives and properties.

"We are calling the Commission of Human Rights to investigate and make a statement on these continuous inexcusable violations of Ottawa Convention, International Humanitarian Law, and RA 9851, by communist NPA terrorists in Northern Samar,” stressed Lt. Col. Buban.

NPA medic, 3 others surrender to police in Surigao

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 4, 2023): NPA medic, 3 others surrender to police in Surigao (By MIKE CRISMUNDO)

CAMP RAFAEL C. RODRIGUEZ, Butuan City – A New People’s Army (NPA) medical officer, political instructor, and two regular members surrendered to the Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Police Office (PPO), on Saturday, June 3.

Police Regional Office-13 Director Police Brig. Gen. Pablo G. Labra II identified the surrenderers as alias “Christian,” political instructor of Sentro de Grabidad (SDG), Guerilla Front 16 (GF16), Periodic Status Report (PSR) listed in 2018; alias “Andie,” medical officer of SDG, GF16, PSR listed in 2018; alias “Jasmine,” a member of the local guerrilla unit, GF16/Militia ng Bayan, non- PSR listed; and alias “Ronald,” a member of Regional Sentro se Grabedad (RSDG), and non-PSR listed.

They turned over three caliber .45 pistols with 14 bullets and one caliber .38 revolver with ammunition.

They are under the custody of the Surigao del Norte Provincial Intelligence Unit for debriefing and interview and subsequent enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for rebel returnees.

“Yes, they will be given assistance under our ECLIP program,” Labra said.

“PNP-Caraga’s campaign to end the local communist armed conflict has been gaining headway,” he added. “We urge our remaining Filipino brothers and sisters who are still fighting the government forces to lay down their arms and embrace other peaceful means to attain sought-after changes.”

The surrenderers vowed to help the government’s peace and development program.