Friday, July 14, 2023

The SINKEX Ship That Got Away Prompts Rescue Mission

Posted to the Maritime Executive (Jul 14, 2023): The SINKEX Ship That Got Away Prompts Rescue Mission

Instead of being a SINKEX target the former tanker washed ashore in the Philippines (PCG photo)

Commanders from the Philippine armed forces confirmed that they are mounting a rescue mission for three sailors who had been manning a vessel scheduled to be part of a SINKEX exercise with the U.S. military, but instead washed ashore today near Batan.

The former replenishment tanker BRP Lake Caliraya was scheduled to serve as a target on July 13 as part of the joint military exercise underway in the Philippines. More than 1,200 Filipinos from the Armed Forces are taking part in the exercise which started on July 6 and is scheduled to run till July 21. Seven Philippine Navy vessels were scheduled to be part of the exercise along with nearly 1,500 U.S. Marines.

One of the highlights of the exercise was the planned SINKEX. The tanker had been donated to the Philippine Navy in 2014 by the Philippine National Oil Corporation. It was decommissioned in 2020 and was identified earlier this year to serve as a target for the exercise that is designed to enhance the Philippines coastal defenses and practice tactics for a counter landing. The tanker is reported to be 4,500 dwt and 325 feet in length.

The tanker was moved into position for the exercise which was scheduled to take place approximately 12 nautical miles off the bay of San Antonio, Zambales. It was to be the second SINKEX conducted jointly after a previous exercise in April 2023 in which a World War II vintage vessel was sent to the bottom as the President of the Philippines and military leaders looked on.

As luck would have it for the former tanker, while it was in place yesterday the weather did not cooperate. Forecasters had been warning of a southeast monsoon effect and yesterday in addition to monsoon rains and wind, the officers determined the cloud ceiling and visibility did not meet the threshold for the agreed safety criteria. SINKEX was called off while they discussed possibly rescheduling it before the end of the joint exercise.

This morning as the tanker was being repositioned it instead ran aground while being towed back to base. The vessel is stranded on the shoreline with three sailors aboard. The Philippine Coast Guard reports it was undertaking the mission to get the sailors off the stranded ship.

It appears the decommissioned BRP Lake Caliraya will be the one that got away surviving a SINKEX.

Bongbong Marcos hopes new coastal road may help improve peace in Samar

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 14, 2023): Bongbong Marcos hopes new coastal road may help improve peace in Samar (By: Jean Mangaluz)

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads the Samar Pacific Coastal Road inauguration in Northern Samar on Friday, July 14, 2023. Photo from Radio Television Malacañang.

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the new 11.607-kilometer coastal road on Samar Island is expected to spur economic growth and may help improve peace and order there.

The Samar Pacific Coastal Road (SPCR) was inaugurated Friday. It has three component bridges in the Municipality of Laoang going to the Municipality of Palapag that would allow more effortless movement of goods and services within the island.

“With the opening of this road and its bridges, the development of Northern Samar’s rich agricultural lands and bountiful fishing grounds will follow suit. It will also expedite delivery and movement of basic goods and services, which will hopefully boost our people’s quality of life,” Marcos said in a speech.

“This undertaking strengthens the government’s resolve to improve the peace and order situation in the province and ensure that our economic gains and basic services reach everyone on the island,” he added.

Marcos did not elaborate on the province’s peace and order situation, but Samar Island is a known hotbed of the communist group New People’s Army (NPA). The island is divided into three provinces: Samar, Northern, and Eastern.

According to Marcos, the SPCR had been stalled for around 30 years due to natural calamities and security issues.

“When the economic activity in Samar is increased, then, of course, the peace and order situation should be improved, and then, of course, the local governments will have more options, more ability to take on their initiatives, and this will help the entire region,” he explained.

READ: AFP redeploys Mindanao-based troops to known NPA hotbed Samar, Panay

The President urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to help establish a seamless and smooth inter-island connectivity and assured the local government of the national government’s continued poverty alleviation and health promotion assistance.

Malacañang said that construction of the SPCR was made possible through the help of the South Korean government via the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

South Korea’s Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Sang-hwa and DPWH Secretary Manny Bonoan were present during the inauguration of the new coastal road in Samar Island.

AFP, PNP fail to present 2 missing activists in court

 From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 15, 2023): AFP, PNP fail to present 2 missing activists in court (By: Jacob Lazaro, Jethro Bryan Andrada, Kimberlie Quitasol)

FOR HIS FILE A policeman makes no secret of his task to take photos of the people who joined Friday’s demonstration for the missing activists Dexter Capuyan and Bazoo de Jesus outside the Court of Appeals in Manila. —RICHARD A. REYES

Two Cordillera activists who were allegedly abducted by state agents remained missing on Friday after the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, which were ordered to present them to the Court of Appeals (CA), said they did not receive a copy of the writ of habeas corpus granted by the court to produce the pair.

The hearing on the petition for the writ filed by the families of Dexter Capuyan, 56, and Gene Roz “Bazoo” Jamil de Jesus, 27, who have been missing for more than two months, was reset by the court for Aug. 3 and Aug. 10.

According to Marben Panlasiqui, who represents the families of the activists, said that lawyers of the PNP and the AFP, told the court that they did not receive a copy of the petition and only read about the court’s order on social media.

“But for our part, we sent them a copy of the petition as early as last week, and the CA said they did, too,” Panlasiqui said. “Of course, we want the hearing to proceed so we can determine whether [De Jesus and Capuyan] are in their custody.”

“We hoped that today we would have an idea of where they are and how they are,” he said, adding that the reset of the hearing was “going to add to the anxiety” of the families who had been waiting to know whether the two men were still alive.
Judicial remedy

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial remedy that orders anyone, including a government official or agency, who has custody of a person to present him or her in court and to explain the legal basis for depriving that person’s liberty.

The appellate court directed the National Bureau of Investigation to serve its order to AFP chief Gen. Andres Centino, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Police Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat and Rizal Provincial Director Police Col. Dominic Baccay “to appear in court and produce and bring the bodies” of the two men “if found to be in their custody.”

The Inquirer asked PNP public information office chief Police Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan and PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo for comment, but neither of them responded as of this writing.

They also did not confirm the PNP lawyers’ statement to the court that they did not receive a copy of the CA resolution for the Friday hearing.

The Inquirer also asked whether PNP still stood by Fajardo’s statement, quoting the CIDG chief, who “categorically denied” any knowledge of the disappearance of the two activists.
Hurting families

De Jesus and Capuyan, both indigenous peoples’ rights activists, were last seen on April 28 in Taytay, Rizal province, when they were seized by armed men.

De Jesus’ sister, Idda de Jesus-Tiongco, said the driver of a tricycle that drove them on the day they went missing said the gunmen who abducted them identified themselves as members of the CIDG.

“Whether or not they are operatives, the CIDG hould look into that and investigate because they (the missing) have that right,” Idda said.

Capuyan’s daughter, Gabrielle Capuyan, was dismayed over the postponement of the hearing.

“I find it very disappointing and infuriating as it only prolongs the hurting of our families and we believe only state forces have the reason to abduct or hold him in custody,” she said.

Her father is known for helping the cause of different indigenous groups in the Cordillera Region. He has been tagged by the military as a high-ranking member of the New People’s Army (NPA) with pending warrants of arrest and carries a bounty of P2.8 million on his head.

“Regardless of the accusation and allegations made against my father, it is still his right to face this in court,” Gabrielle said. De Jesus was an information officer of the Philippine Task Force on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights.

Both De Jesus and Capuyan met that night, but their families are not aware of their relationship or the purpose of their meeting. Both have ties to the University of the Philippines Baguio where De Jesus graduated cum laude in 2016 and Capuyan served as editor of The Outcrop, the student paper, in the 1980s.

“The postponement of the hearing only adds to our agony that we continue to endure for more than two months since Bazoo and Dexter were abducted and disappeared,” De Jesus’ mother, Mercedita, told the Inquirer. “But we’re still hoping that justice will prevail.”

It has been 77 days since the two men disappeared.

“Instead of the hearing pushing through, we will be forced to continue wondering what happened to our loved ones. We ask that the AFP, the military and the CIDG face us and answer our questions about Dexter and Bazoo’s whereabouts,” said Capuyan’s brother, Eli.

Troops seize BIFF bomb-making lair in Maguindanao

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Jul 14, 2023): Troops seize BIFF bomb-making lair in Maguindanao

ZAMBOANGA. Military troops seize a bomb-making lair of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) while in combat operation in Salman village, Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur on Thursday, July 13. A photo handout shows some of the personal belongings of the BIFF the troops have recovered from the lair. (SunStar Zamboanga)

GOVERNMENT troops have seized a bomb-making lair of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao del Sur, military officials said Friday, July 14, 2023.

Major General Alex Rillera, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central commander, said the lair was seized Thursday, July 13, in Salman village, Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur.

Rillera said the troops of the 40th Infantry Battalion were conducting combat operations when they discovered a lair of the BIFF.

He said the lair has seven bunkers that could accommodate 10 persons each.

Recovered from the lair were assorted war materials, including bomb-making components, one magazine assembly with 20 rounds ammunition for an M16 rifle, one bandolier, and one bullet pouch.

Also recovered from the lair were assorted personal belongings, construction materials, and cooking utensils.

“The lair belongs to the local terrorist group in the area,” Rillera said referring to the BIFF, adding: “it has been abandoned for a day.”

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Roy Galido, commander of Western Mindanao Command, commended the JTF-Central troops for this accomplishment.

“Rest assured that we will continue to intensify our decisive military operations to prevent the re-emergence of the different threat groups in our area of operation,” Galido said. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Retired cop killed, 2 others hurt in Basilan gun attack

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Jul 14, 2023): Retired cop killed, 2 others hurt in Basilan gun attack

A RETIRED policeman was killed while his wife and brother-in-law were wounded in a gun attack in Isabela City, Basilan province, the police reported Friday, July 14, 2023.

The Isabela City Police Station (ICPS) reported that the incident happened around 8:10 p.m. Thursday, July 13, in Upper Lanote village, Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province.

The ICPS identified the fatality as Renie Tubo, 58. He was declared dead at the hospital by the attending physician.

Wounded were his wife, Patricia, and brother-in-law, Hariberto Diaz, 59.

Investigation showed the victims were having a conversation at the residence of Tubo when they were attacked by an unidentified gunman armed with high-powered firearm.

Tubo, before he retired from police service, has served as security escort of a former politician in Isabela City.

The ICPS continues the investigation to establish the identity of the suspect behind the incident. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Police arrest Abu Sayyaf Group member in Basilan

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Jul 14, 2023): Police arrest Abu Sayyaf Group member in Basilan

LAWMEN have arrested in a law enforcement operation a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan province, the police reported Friday, July 14, 2023.

Police Brigadier General Neil Alinsañgan, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, identified the arrested suspected ASG member as Kumtaman Nusaman, 61.

Alinsañgan said Nusaman was arrested in a law enforcement operation by way of service of a warrant of arrest around 12:45 p.m. Thursday, July 13, in Tumahubong village, Sumisip, Basilan.

Alinsañgan said that Nusaman has a standing warrant of arrest issued by a court in Isabela City, Basilan for the crime of robbery with homicide with no recommended bail dated July 11, 2023.

He said Nusaman is one of the remaining ASG members based in Basilan province.

Nusaman was placed under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Basilan Provincial Field Office. (SunStar Zamboanga)

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Hustisya, sigaw ng mga migranteng biktima ng iligal na rekrutment

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 (Jul 14, 2023): Hustisya, sigaw ng mga migranteng biktima ng iligal na rekrutment (Justice, cries of migrant victims of illegal recruitment)

July 14, 2023

Nagprotesta kahapon, Hulyo 13, ang mga biktima ng iligal na rekrutment sa upisina ng Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) at National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) kasabay ng paghahain ng reklamo kaugnay ng mga pang-aabusong dinanas nila. Kasama nila sa pagprotesta ang mga lider ng Migrante International.

Nagsampa ng kaso ang mga biktima ng malawakang iligal na rekrutment laban sa dating konsehal ng Cebu City na si Prisca Nina Mabatid na CEO ng PCVC Opportunities Abroad at Pinoy Care Visa Center. Ayon sa mga biktima, hiningan sila ng higit ₱100,000 bawat isa bilang kabayaran sa pagpuproseso ng kung anu-anong mga papeles. Itinala ng grupong Migrante ang libu-libong biktima mula sa Pilipinas at ibang bansa ng naturang panloloko.

Reklamo ng mga biktima, “nilansi, nirekrut at nilinlang” ni Mabatid ang mga Pilipino sa bansa at mga migranteng Pilipino sa United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Japan at iba pang mga bansa. Sa pagitan ng 2017 hanggang 2023, inutusan umano ang mga biktima na mag-apply para sa student visa sa Canada nang may pangakong tatlong buwang pagpoproseso nito. Sinabihan silang makakukuha ng trabaho dito para makapagbayad ng matrikula at panggastos sa araw-araw.

“Pinagbayad sila ng higit ₱100,000 bawat isa, o ng mas mababang ₱94,000 sa panahon ng mayroong tatlo hanggang limang araw na promo,” ayon sa Migrante International. Dapat din umano silang magbayad bago simula ang pagpoproseso ng kanilang aplikasyon.

Salaysay pa ng mga biktima, pagkatapos nilang magbayad ay pinapirma sila ng kasunduan na hindi na pwedeng bawiin ang kanilang ibinayad at binigyan ng listahan ng mga “requirement” na naunang inilihim sa kanila. “Sa maraming kaso, hindi na sinasagot ng mga istap ng kumpanya ni Mabatid ang mga tanong at concern o naging masama na ang turing nang humingi na sila ng refund,” dagdag ng Migrante International.

“Nagnakaw ng milyun-milyong piso si Nina Mabatid at kanyang kumpanya sa nagpapakahirap magtrabaho na mga Pilipino at OFWs na nangangarap ng mas maayos na buhay at seguridad sa kabuhayan. Dapat kaagad na ibalik ang perang ito sa kanyang mga biktima,” giit ni Joanna Concepcion, Migrante International chairperson.

Pagdidiin pa ni Concepcion, ang ginawa ni Mabatid at kanyang mga katrabaho ay iligal na rekrutment kung hindi man human trafficking. “Dapat silang maparusahan. Dapat itong imbestigahan ng gubyerno at umaksyon sa malawakang scam na ito,” ayon pa sa kanya.

Sa kabila ng napakaraming reklamo laban kay Mabatid at kanyang mga kumpanya, nakapagpapatuloy pa silang manloko at magsagawa ng mga seminar sa buong bansa at ibayong dagat. Ikinadismaya ng mga biktima ang tila pagsuporta ng mga lokal na upisina ng Public Employment Service Office ng gubyerno at mga upisyal ng lokal na gubyerno na sumusuporta sa mga mapanlansing paraan ng rekrutment ng kumpanya.

Nagsampa na ng kaso ang mga OFW na biktima ni Mabatid sa Hong Kong noong nakaraang buwan laban sa iligal na iskema. Inihain nila ang reklamo sa Hong Kong Police at Philippine Migrant Workers Office na dumaan sa upisina ng Philippine Consulate sa Hong Kong. Itinuring nang kriminal na imbestigasyon ng Hong Kong Police ang naturang mga kaso matapos hindi isauli ni Mabatid ang pera ng walong biktima na nagreklamo, taliwas sa kanyang pangako.

Iniimbestigahan na rin umano ng Department of Migrant Workers ang kanilang kaso.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Barikada sa Valenzuela, marahas na dinemolish ng kapulisan

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 (Jul 14, 2023): Barikada sa Valenzuela, marahas na dinemolish ng kapulisan (Barricade in Valenzuela, violently demolished by the police)

July 14, 2023

Marahas na denimolis ng pinagsanib na pwersa ng PNP at lokal na gubyerno ng Valenzuela ang mahigit-kumulang 400 kabahayan sa Block 6 sa Barangay Veinte Reales noong Miyerkules, Hulyo 12. Sugatan ang ilang residente at kanilang mga tagasuporta. Pinagtangkaan pang dakipin kahit ang midya at kabataan na nagdodokumento ng barikada.

Ayon sa ulat ng mga residente, iligal at walang anumang dokumentong bitbit ang demolition team na pwersahang gumiba at nagpalayas sa kanila sa lugar.

“Wala kaming trabaho noong pandemic. Ang mahal pa ng bilihin. Nagtutuyo na lang kami at noodles para makatipid at makaahon sa pang-araw-araw,” pahayag ni Lucy, isa sa mga residenteng giniba ang tahanan. “(Tapos) gigibain kami. Saan mo kami itatapon, sa kalye?”

Walang nakahandang lugar na paglilipatan ang mga biktima ng demolisyon. Hanggang ₱9,000 lamang ang inialok sa kanilang ibayad kung umalis sila sa lugar.

Kasalukyang nakabimbin ang pagdinig upang imbestigahan ang batayan ng pagpapaalis sa komunidad. Sa kabila nito, itinuloy pa rin ang demolisyon sa kabahayan. Mahigit 25 taon nang naninirahan ang mga residente dito at matagal na nilang sinisikap na magkaroon ng dayalogo sa lokal na pamahalaan ng Valenzuela at iba’t ibang ahensya ng gubyerno.

Nanawagan naman sa lokal na gubyerno ng Valenzuela ang grupong Anakbayan na dinggin ang hinaing ng mamamayan ng Veinte Reales. “Kung tunay na gustong solusyunan ng gubyerno ang pagdami ng maralitang lungsod sa NCR, dapat nitong harapin ang usapin kung bakit ba napipilitan ang kalakhan ng mga Pilipinong umalis ng probinsya?,” anito.

“Ang kawalan ng nakabubuhay na trabaho, kawalan ng akses sa mga batayang serbisyong panlipunan sa prubinsya, at kawalan ng mga batayang imprastruktura para sa maayos na pamumuhay roon tulad ng irigasyon at kuryente,” ayon sa grupo.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Konstruksyon ng coastal road sa Sorsogon, pinaiimbestigahan ng mga mangingisda

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 (Jul 14, 2023): Konstruksyon ng coastal road sa Sorsogon, pinaiimbestigahan ng mga mangingisda (Construction of coastal road in Sorsogon, being investigated by fishermen)

July 14, 2023

Nanawagan ang Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) kahapon, Hulyo 13, ng imbestigasyon sa konstruksyon ng coastal road sa Gubat, Sorsogon dahil sa lumilitaw na paggamit umano ng mga patay na koral sa pagtatayo nito. Bago pa nito, nauna nang ipinanawagan ng Save Gubat Bay Movement ang pagpapahinto sa proyekto at kaakibat nitong reklamasyon dahil sa pinsalang idudulot nito sa baybayin at sa kanilang kabuhayan.

Iginiit ng Pamalakaya sa Department of Natural Resources (DENR) na imbestigahan ang proyekto dahil nais nitong alamin kung saan kinukuha ng konstruksyon ang mga coral na inilalagay dito.

“Dapat atasan ng ahensya ang environment office nito sa prubinsya para magsagawa ng inspeksyon sa proyekto at alamin kung kinuha ang mga koral sa kung saanman,” ayon sa Pamalakaya. Ayon pa sa grupo, hindi katanggap-tanggap kung malalamang sinisira at kinukuha ito para lamang itambak at gamitin sa konstruksyon.

Ang mga koral ay maseselang organismo na bumubuo ng ekosistema sa ilalim ng dagat. Halos isang taon ang kailangan para lamang tumubo ng ilang sentimetro ang mga koral. Inaabot isang dekada ang itinatagal bago lumago sa pagiging grupo ng larvae (uod).

“Mahalaga ang mga ito sa marine biodiversity (mayamang buhay sa karagatan) dahil nagsisilbi itong tahanan ng maraming lamang-dagat at nagtitiyak ng masaganang rekurso sa mga komunidad ng mangingisda,” ayon sa Pamalakaya.

Liban dito, muling ipinanawagan ng Save Gubat Bay Movement (SGBM) ang pagpapatigil sa naturang proyekto dahil lubhang nakapipinsala ito sa baybayin gayundin sa kabuhayan at pinagkukunan ng rekurso ng mga mangingisda sa 13 barangay sa baybaynin ng prubinsya.

“Bukod sa posibilidad na may sinisirang bahura o coral reefs para sa proyektong coastal road, may tiyak na pinsala na ang mismong proyekto sa kalikasan at pangisdaan ng aming bayan dahil sa reklamasyon. Tinatambakan ng lupa ang baybaying-dagat na pangunahing pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan ng aming mga mangingisda, partikular ng mga nag-aalimango,” ayon sa SGBM.

Ang Sorsogon Coastal Road ay proyekto ng Department of Public Works and Highways sa ilalim ng programang Build, Build, Build ng nagdaang administrasyong Duterte.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News & Analysis: Pulis at militar, inutusan ng korte na ilitaw ang 2 dinukot na aktibista

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 (Jul 14, 2023): Pulis at militar, inutusan ng korte na ilitaw ang 2 dinukot na aktibista (Police and military, the court ordered the release of the 2 abducted activists)

July 14, 2023

Matapos magsampa ang mga kaanak ng mga aktibista sa Cordillera na sina Dexter Capuyan at Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus ng writ of habeas corpus (o paglilitaw para iharap sa korte) sa Court of Appeals noong Huly 5, inatasan ng korte ang mga kumander ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Philippine National Police (PNP) na iharap sa korte ang dalawang aktibista ngayong araw, Hulyo 14.

Ang apela ng mga kaanak ay tahasang nag-utos kina Gen. Andres Centino, hepe ng AFP, Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr, hepe ng PNP, at Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat, hepe ng PNP-CIDG. Giit ng pamilya na ilitaw ang dalawa at kagyat silang palayain, lalupa’t walang kasong nakasampa laban sa kanila.

Sa isang resolusyon ng Thirteenth Division ng Court of Appeals na may petsang Hulyo 10, sinabi nitong ang mga petisyong inihain ng mga kaanak ay sapat at may mga batayan para sa gayong kautusan. Ipinagpapaliwanag din ng korte ang militar at pulis sa iligal na detensyon sa dalawa nang higit 70 araw.

Sa nagdaang mga buwan, napag-alaman ng mga grupong naghahanap kina Capuyan at de Jesus na mga ahente ng Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) ang nasa likod ng pagdukot sa kanila noong Abril 28 ng gabi sa Golden City, SM Hypermarket sa Taytay, Rizal. Ayon sa mga ulat, ang dalawa ay sapilitang pinasakay ng mga ahente ng estado sa dalawang sasakayan.

Labis ang pag-aalala ng mga kaanak at grupo ng karapatang-tao sa kalagayan at kaligtasan ng dalawa dahil si Capuyan ay inakusahan ng AFP na lider BHB sa rehiyong Ilocos-Cordillera at may patong sa ulo na ₱1,850,000. Idinadawit siya sa mga kaso ng pagpatay, bigong pagpatay at tangkang pagpatay.

Samantala, si de Jesus ay upisyal sa impormasyon ng Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples. Ang dalawa ay parehong alumni o dating estudyante ng University of the Philippines-Baguio.

CPP/NPA-North Central Mindanao ROC: 1 CAFGU napatay; 1 ka pusil nasakmit

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jul 14, 2023): 1 CAFGU napatay; 1 ka pusil nasakmit (1 CAFGU killed; 1 gun was seized)

Malem Mabini
North Central Mindanao Regional Operational Command
New People's Army

July 14, 2023

Napatay ang usa ka membro sa CAFGU nga si Androy Gil sa Barangay Lawaan, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental niadtong Hulyo 7, 2023, alas-10 sa buntag. Nasakmit gikan kaniya ang usa ka calibre .45 ug duha ka magazine niini.

Namatikdan sa usa ka tim sa NPA nga kalit lamang nakasugok si Gil kuyog ang lain pang usa sa ilang nahilunaan. Namatik dayon ang duha sa tunob ug naniid pa sa lugar. Nikuha og touch screen nga cellphone si Gil ug paspas kini nga nagtuplok. Ni-approach ang mga Pulang manggugubat ug gipugngan ang duha sa paglihok ug pagdagan. Wala naminaw si Gil ug nisutoy kini og dagan ug maoy hinungdan sa pagpusil kaniya. Niresulta kini sa iyang hinanaling kamatayon.

Gawas sa pagka-membro sa CAFGU, aktibo usab nga membro si Gil sa paramilitar nga grupong Alimaong ug aktibong intelligence asset sa AFP.

Sa pikas bahin, gibuhian ang laing kuyog ni Gil tungod kay napamatud-an nga inosente kini. Nagtuo ang maong sibilyan nga igo lamang sila manulo og baki.

EASTMINCOM: Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) officially opens the Unilateral Exercise 2023

Posted to the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jul 13, 2023): Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) officially opens the Unilateral Exercise 2023

Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao

COMMO CARLOS V SABARRE PN, the Commander, Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) officially opened the Unilateral Exercise 2023, held at NFEM Conference Room, Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City on Thursday, July 13, 2023.

The Command will conduct a Unilateral Exercise among its Operational Control and Tactical Control units to sustain peace and security within Eastern Mindanao. Likewise, the exercise intends to equip, capacitate, test, and increase the professional knowledge, skills, confidence, and readiness among NFEM OPCON/TACON units with the participation of Philippine Navy reservists on interoperability operations.

In his message, CNFEM emphasized the importance of said exercise in refining tactics and strategies, which enables all participating units to test their capabilities in times of threats or disasters. "By working together, our OPCON units and naval reservists will foster a seamless integration that maximizes our collective strength and ensures the security of our nation's maritime domain," he remarked.

Further, the Capability Demonstration will be scheduled on July 20, 2023 that will highlight the participating units' and PN reservists' skills and capabilities in medical, legal, HADR and interoperability operations.


EASTMINCOM: Sulads’ Literacy Programs Generate Massive Surrender of NPA Supporters

Posted to the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jul 12, 2023): Sulads’ Literacy Programs Generate Massive Surrender of NPA Supporters

South Philippine Union Conference

San Fernando, Bukidnon, July 10, 2023. Sulads’ literacy initiatives played a vital role in the remarkable surrender of around 100 NPA supporters residing in San Fernando Municipality and three barangays namely, Sacramento Valley, Sitio Sabolwan, and Magkalungay. The initiatives, aimed at empowering marginalized communities through education, shaped hearts and minds while promoting peace and order.

The Sulads organization is renowned for its commitment to “educate and inspire the unreached indigenous people.” It has been operating in remote areas where poverty, insurgency, and limited access to education remain rampant. By offering literacy programs, vocational training, and other educational opportunities, SULADS can help build self-reliant communities and achieve sustainable peace.

The official surrender took place at the municipal gymnasium on Sunday morning, which was also attended by military personnel and policemen, government officials, and leaders from the AWR, CMM, and Sulads. Local authorities and community leaders, and government officials such as the Mayor of San Fernando Hon. Rogelio S. Yeke, and the Governor of Bukidnon Hon. Rogelio Neil Roque praised the organization for its invaluable contributions in fostering positive change.

48th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Gilbert F. Gomez stated that the event should serve as inspiration to achieve peace and order in San Fernando and the province of Bukidnon. Governor Roque led the Panunumpa Sa Pagsalikway. Here, the surrenderees officially renounced their support to the rebel group and affirmed its allegiance to the government. It was followed by the peace covenant signing and the handing over of firearms.

Sulads President Pr. Ephraim L. Pitogo reiterated that the organization’s success happened because of its partnership with the government and men in uniform. He emphasized that the collaboration would address social issues easier and more efficiently in their pursuit of a peaceful and prosperous society.

As the Sulads organization continues its mission to promote education and uplift marginalized communities, it remains an exemplar of how education can be a catalyst of change and foster sustainable peace.

By: Quin Salarda - Reporter
SPUC ComDept (Editorial Board)

Talks on South China Sea code of conduct to resume in PH next month – DFA chief

 From CNN Philippines (Jul 14, 2023): Talks on South China Sea code of conduct to resume in PH next month – DFA chief (By CNN Philippines Staff)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 14) — Negotiations among Southeast Asian countries and China on a code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea are expected to resume in Manila next month, said Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo.

In an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference in Indonesia on Thursday, Manalo welcomed the completion of the second reading of the COC Single Draft Negotiating Text and said the Philippines looks forward to continuing talks on the document in August.

Top diplomats of the 10-member regional bloc and of China attended the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference 10+1 Session.

Manalo called for strengthened cooperation between the Southeast Asian countries and Beijing in various areas, adding that all sides “must ensure that our gains are not undercut by threats to regional peace, security and stability, as well as major power rivalries.”

“Regarding developments in the South China Sea, we call for the effective management and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law,” he said.

ASEAN and China also released a joint statement on Thursday reaffirming their commitment to speed up talks on the long-delayed COC.

The Associated Press reported that both parties have resolved to try to conclude the nonaggression pact within three years, citing a Southeast Asian diplomat who asked not to be named and a copy of the guidelines agreed on.

Beijing claims virtually the entire South China Sea, where trillions of dollars of international trade pass through annually. Four ASEAN member-states — Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei — as well as Taiwan also have claims in the waterway.

Armed Forces explains increase in US military flights in country

Posted to the Panay News (Jul 15, 2023): Armed Forces explains increase in US military flights in country

MANILA — The increasing number of US military air activities within Philippine airspace is due to the ongoing bilateral military exercises with Washington, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Tuesday after some government officials and lawmakers raised alarm over the sudden surge of American military aircraft monitored in the country.

The two longtime treaty allies are holding a new round of Cope Thunder—a large-scale joint air force exercise—from July 3 to July 21, while Marine Aviation Support Activity (Masa) runs from July 6 to July 21.

Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said “more than 10 types of aircraft in different numbers” are involved in Cope Thunder, which are all covered by diplomatic clearances.

The second iteration of Cope Thunder will involve a large-scale deployment of military planes across the country, including the US Air Force’s cargo planes and fifth-generation F-22s, touted as one of the world’s most advanced and lethal aircraft.

Some 1,200 Filipino and American airmen are taking part in the air drills.

For Masa, Philippine Marine Corps spokesperson Cpt. Jarald Rea said 43 types of aircraft would take part in joint Marines exercise.

The highlight of the drills would involve the sinking of a decommissioned Philippine Navy vessel on Thursday in waters facing the West Philippine Sea. The maritime strike would be led by the US Marine Corps F-18 Hornets, an all-weather jet aircraft.

The Masa, which would involve nearly 3,000 Marines, aims to further improve interoperability, to allow both forces “to operate seamlessly and effectively in joint operations in order to respond to evolving security challenges.

Activities over the next few days include expeditionary refuelling, aerial casualty evacuation, water purification, health services, close air support and aviation safety, among others.


Sen. Imee Marcos had raised concerns over the presence of more military air assets of the US in the country, citing information from open-source data and flight trackers.

Makabayan lawmakers have formally sought a probe of the “covert” US military flights.

The three-member bloc on Tuesday filed House Resolution No. 1117, which urged the House foreign affairs panel to investigate the issue in aid of legislation and its impact.

This was after House deputy minority leader Rep. France Castro warned that the Philippines is turning into a military base for the United States with its military aircraft flying into the country.

“The presence of foreign military forces, including of the US military, in Philippine territory raises concerns regarding the extent of foreign intervention and potential threats to national sovereignty and security,” HR 1117 said.

In its resolution, the Makabayan bloc said the Philippines, as an “independent and sovereign nation … should not allow the presence of foreign military and bases in our territory — and worse, freely, actively and covertly conducting military exercises and operations.”
(Frances Mangosing, Julie M. Aurelio © Philippine Daily Inquirer)

[Retired Analyst Note: The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-New Patriotic Alliance) is the main Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) multisectoral umbrella front organization active throughout the Philippines.  The political spin-off of this group is the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamayan (MAKABAYAN-Patriotic Coalition of the People) and includes the following CPP partylist political parties: Bayan Muna (People First); ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers); Anakpawis (Masses); GABRIELA (General Assembly Binding Women for Integrity, Reform, Equality, Leadership and Action); KABATAAN (Youth); KATRIBU (Tribesmen); Migrante (Migrants); Akap-bata (Children's Rights); COURAGE (Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees); PISTON (Unity of Associations Drivers and Operators Nationwide); Kalikasan (Environment/Nature); Aking Bikolnon (My Bicol); and Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Moro People). All of these groups mouth the CPP propaganda line and vehemently oppose any US military presence in the Philippines and will use every opportunity to discredit/undermine the Philippine-US military-to-military relationship.]

Pension reform tops agenda of PNP chief-House Speaker meet

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): Pension reform tops agenda of PNP chief-House Speaker meet (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (4th from left) and House Speaker Martin Romualdez (3rd from right) (Photo courtesy of PNP)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. and House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez on Thursday met to discuss key proposed legislation crucial to advancing the service's legislative agenda.

Topping the list of issues tackled during the meeting was the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension fund that is being deliberated in Congress.

Acorda pointed out that as an institution, the PNP is keenly monitoring the progress of the proposed measure whose outcome is likely to affect the force's 228,000 personnel and those already retired from the service.

“The PNP is hopeful that whatever law is crafted by our legislators will be equitable and just to all the parties concerned," he said in a news release on Friday.

Acorda said representatives of both active and retired personnel of the PNP are actively taking part in the ongoing discussions, which according to him is a positive step moving forward.

“The proposed MUP Reform Bill in the Lower House mirrors Romualdez’s genuine sympathy and open-heartedness, not to mention his deep concern for the plight of MUPs and retirees,” he said.

On the other hand, Romualdez assured the PNP chief that Congress would be "reasonable" in crafting a law that is fair to all parties concerned.

“We must prioritize the well-being of our MUPs and retirees who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. It is our duty to ensure that they are given the care and support they deserve. I am committed to working with Chief PNP Acorda and other stakeholders to provide our MUPs and retirees the decent life they so rightfully deserve,” he said.

Quoting the House Speaker, Acorda said Romualdez promised that consultations would continue as Congress tries to find a "win-win" solution on the MUP pension fund issue.

"I was assured by the good Speaker that we will continue to coordinate and get updates while the matter is being discussed. We both agreed that out-of-the-box solutions should be explored as we collectively attempt to find a lasting remedy anchored on compassion and that it will be sensitive to the sentiments of the uniformed personnel," he added.

In the same meeting, Acorda said he briefed Romualdez about the PNP's security preparations for the President's second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24.

Also discussed during the meeting was the proposed annual budget of the PNP in 2024, which Acorda said Romualdez pledged to support.

PH Army, CHR to improve service's 'culture of safe space'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): PH Army, CHR to improve service's 'culture of safe space' (By Priam Nepomuceno)

PROMOTING 'SAFE SPACES'. Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (right) receives a token from Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Richard P. Palpal-latoc during the latter's official visit at the Philippine Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Thursday (July 13, 2023). Brawner said they would work together with the CHR to develop a more holistic and cohesive mental health program that would protect the well-being and resilience of Army troops. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) has partnered with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to further improve the various mental health programs and promote safe spaces at its headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

This took place after the visit of CHR chairperson Richard P. Palpal-latoc to the PA headquarters on Thursday, Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement Friday.

"CHR chairperson, Atty. Richard P. Palpal-latoc, was delighted to announce that the PA is proactive in developing its advocacy and protection of human rights through training, information dissemination, and open dialogues with the Army officers and enlisted personnel deployed on the ground and in the garrison," he said.

Meanwhile, PA commander Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. highlighted the command’s creation of safe spaces in the Army, which gave importance to respect, openness, and negotiation in the face of personal and social differences among various individuals.

Likewise, the CHR also pledged to conduct regular meetings with the Army Human Rights Office (AHRO) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Center for Law of Armed Conflict to resolve the issues and discuss related matters on human rights.

"Lt. Gen. Brawner expressed his gratitude to the CHR and AHRO for their collaborative efforts to build a safe and secure environment for civilians and military personnel," Trinidad said.

Brawner also reiterated that the leadership would continue to work together with the CHR to develop a more holistic and cohesive mental health program that would protect the well-being and resilience of soldiers in the workplace.

“The advancement of the mental health program will help the soldiers to cope with their anxieties and work efficiently to be of great service in their communities,” he added.

DND, UN to bolster ties in addressing humanitarian issues

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): DND, UN to bolster ties in addressing humanitarian issues (By Priam Nepomuceno) 

United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez (left) and DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (right) (Photo courtesy of DND)

MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) has reaffirmed its commitment to work together with the United Nations (UN) to resolve "complex humanitarian issues".

This collaboration between the two parties was renewed following the courtesy call of United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez to DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on July 12.

"Reaffirming the commitment to foster collaboration and strengthen the longstanding partnership between the Philippines and the UN, both sides underscored the need for joint efforts to address complex humanitarian issues," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Friday.

Gonzalez recognized that cooperation between the Philippines and the UN has particularly been growing in the area of disaster risk reduction and management.

Gonzalez said the Philippines is considered by the UN a model country for humanitarian aid due to the country’s resilience in the face of frequent onslaught of natural disasters.

"Relatedly, he lauded the Philippines’ well-established systems for disaster preparedness, response and recovery, coupled with its robust community networks, which contribute to its ability to effectively address humanitarian crises," Andolong said.

In line with this, Teodoro also expressed his intent to re-engineer the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System to make it "more agile, effective, sustainable, and transparent."

"Both sides expressed their unwavering dedication to work closely and leverage their respective strengths to achieve mutual objectives," Andolong said.

8 PNP officials get new assignments in latest reshuffle

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): 8 PNP officials get new assignments in latest reshuffle (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – Eight ranking police officials have been included in the latest reorganization of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Based on PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr.'s order that took effect Friday, Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) chief Brig. Gen. Faro Antonio Olaguera was designated as acting chief Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) while Col. Dionisio Bartolome Jr., from the Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) will be acting chief of PDEG.

Other officials who were assigned to new posts are:

-- Brig. Gen. Cosme Abrenica, acting deputy director for Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management;

-- Brig. Gen. Robert Alexander Morico, acting deputy director of the Directorate for Intelligence;

-- Brig. Gen. Neri Vincent Ignacio, acting deputy director of the Directorate for Logistics;

-- Brig. Gen. Flynn Dongbo, acting deputy director of the Directorate for Research and Development

-- Col. Noel Sandoval, acting executive officer of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management;

-- Col. Nestor Babagay Jr., acting executive officer for Directorate for Intelligence.

Viscom enhances biowarfare, disaster response skills

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): Viscom enhances biowarfare, disaster response skills (By John Rey Saavedra)

BIOWARFARE. Soldiers from the Visayas Command test the military hazmat biological-chemical suit during one of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) training sessions at the Viscom ground in Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City. Viscom commander Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo said the 10-day drills that started on July 10, 2023 will boost Visayas soldiers' biological-chemical warfare and humanitarian and disaster response capabilities. (Photo courtesy of Viscom PIO)

CEBU CITY – Soldiers in the Visayas beef up their biological-chemical warfare and disaster response capabilities in training exercises with the United States Marine Corps (USMC), an Army official said Friday.

Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the Visayas Command, said the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) training exercise and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) training exercise with the USMC reinforced the soldiers’ skills in territorial defense disaster response during calamities.

The 10-day exercise, which began on July 10, will boost the capability of Viscom personnel when responding to threats and hazards during calamities, Arevalo said in a statement.

“These will help our personnel perform their duties with efficiency, as we ensure the safety and well-being of our people in the Visayas region,” he said.

The two training exercises with the US Marine Corps are part of the five combined interoperability training conducted within Viscom’s operational area under the Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 2023.

MASA 2023 is a bilateral training exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and foreign counterparts that focuses on the conduct of capacity enhancement training to develop the skills and interoperability of the allied forces not only in territorial defense but also in hazards and disaster response operations.

Facilitated by the USMC, the activities are also aimed at developing camaraderie and interoperability among personnel of USMC and Viscom.

Designed in both classroom instruction and practical exercise approaches, the activities were participated by personnel of Health Service Center–Central, organic personnel of Viscom, and personnel from the unified command’s subordinate units.

Arevalo commended the US counterparts, particularly the US Marine Corps, in supporting the capability build-up efforts of the soldiers in the central Philippines.

Wescom conducts semimonthly boat service to Pag-asa Island

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): Wescom conducts semimonthly boat service to Pag-asa Island (By Izza Reynoso)

‘NONE LEFT BEHIND’. Representatives from various government agencies set up the first fuel depot on Pag-asa Island to help fishermen reduce expenses for accessing fuel in this April 2022 photo. More recently, the Western Command started delivering supplies and passengers to the island via ship, ensuring that Filipinos living there are well stocked. (Photo courtesy of Department of Agriculture)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan – The Western Command (Wescom) on Friday announced that it has established a regular twice monthly ferry service to deliver much-needed supplies to stationed military personnel and civilians residents of Pag-asa Island.

Vice Adm. Alberto Carlos, Wescom commander, told journalists that since June 21, two supply runs carried out by BRP Mangyan (AC 71) have successfully brought various goods to Filipinos on the island, which lies in contested waters.

"Our regular ferry service to Pag-asa Island is a lifeline of support and solidarity, ensuring that our fellow Filipinos in remote territories have the essential resources they need and reminding them that they are not alone in the vastness of the West Philippine Sea," he said

The BRP Mangyan embarked on its second ferry and logistics run mission departing from Tidepole Pier in Puerto Princesa City loaded with approximately 10 tons of cargo and carrying 12 military and civilian passengers.

"These missions, occurring every 14 days, not only deliver vital supplies but also provide a brief respite to the sailors and crew, who spend 2-3 days on Pag-asa Island before returning to Palawan. This arrangement reinforces logistical support to the island while strengthening the bond between the military and civilian population in this remote outpost," said Carlos.

He maintains that the regular ferry service highlights the Philippines' commitment to assert its sovereignty and ensure the well-being of its citizens in the area despite constant incursions by Chinese maritime militia vessels, which has drawn international condemnation for Beijing.

Meanwhile, Kalayaan Mayor Roberto del Mundo expressed gratitude to the Wescom for said undertaking.

"We are grateful to VAdm Carlos for initiating this project. The regular ferry service to Pag-asa is a tremendous help," Del Mundo said.

Pag-asa Island is situated 508 kilometers from Puerto Princesa and about 2,938 kilometers from the nearest point in China.

4 top NPA rebels in Caraga killed, 3 yield in 1H 2023

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 14, 2023): 4 top NPA rebels in Caraga killed, 3 yield in 1H 2023 (By Alexander Lopez)

INTENSIFIED OPERATIONS. Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo (left), commander of the Army's 4th Infantry Division, has ordered all operating units in Northern Mindanao and the Caraga Region to intensify operations against the communist New People’s Army. During the first six months of 2023, four top NPA leaders were killed during the series of armed encounters in the Caraga Region, according to a report released Friday (July 14, 2023). (Photo courtesy of 4ID)

BUTUAN CITY – Four top leaders of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) were killed while three other rebel field superiors surrendered during the first half of this year in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions, the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID) said Friday.

In a report, 4ID commander Maj. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo ll said the NPA leaders were killed separately during 58 armed encounters recorded during the period.

During the armed encounters, Cuerpo said three other guerilla leaders turned themselves in to the military.

At least 158 high-powered firearms and 22 low-powered firearms were also seized by troopers from January to June this year, he added.

A total of 135 NPA members and mass supporters in the two regions also abandoned the struggle in the first six months of the year, according to Cuerpo.

Among the top rebel leaders killed were Emmanuel Anub Sr. secretary of Guerilla Front 21, and Alberto Castaneda, commanding officer of a unit under the Weakened GF-16.

Also killed were Chen Pableo Castaneda, a finance officer and political instructor, and Ruel Maglasang, an executive committee member and vice commanding officer of the NPA's Regional Operations Command.

The other top leaders who surrendered were Grecyl Yparaguirre, a front secretary; Lino Atipan Namatidong, a commanding officer; and Nanganlag Namatidong, an education and propaganda head.

With the momentum, Cuerpo directed all Army units in the two regions to increase their "operational tempo for the NPA’s total defeat."

"Focus all your efforts to ensure that you get a decisive engagement, or if not, endeavor for a decisive surrender. We shall end the fight and finish the NPAs no matter what,” Cuerpo said.