Friday, January 19, 2024

Borongan City mayor mulls hiring ex-rebels as tourist guides

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 19, 2024): Borongan City mayor mulls hiring ex-rebels as tourist guides (By: Joey Gabieta)

FILE / Borongan Airport Facebook page

TACLOBAN CITY — Former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Borongan City, Eastern Samar may find themselves part of the tourism sector.

Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda pointed out that hiring former rebels who returned to the fold of the law as tourist guides is like hitting two birds with one stone – provide these surrenderees a source of income, and at the same time, make a very good tourism pitch.

In a Viber message to the Inquirer, Agda said social injustices including lack of job opportunities drove these former rebels into the underground movement.

“So I realized why not hire them as job order (workers of the city government)? This way, they will be given regular income and dignity of labor,” he said.
“Providing decent job to former rebels is a good story for tourism promotion,” he added.

READ: Eastern Samar opens sites to local tourists

As job order employees, the mayor said these former rebels could earn P320 a day. But of course, he added, they had to undergo training first before they would be allowed to handle tourists.

While the mayor had not disclosed when his plan would roll out, Agda earlier hired some former rebels as forest rangers who were helping him in his campaign against timber poachers and to protect the city’s forest cover.

Agda said he believed these individuals joined the rebel movement not because of ideology but due to poverty and lack of access to various government services and programs.

“By hiring them as workers of the city government, these former rebels could have a change of perception that the government is there to help them, especially after they left the armed movement,” Agda said.

READ: A remote village in Borongan City, Eastern…

Since last year, more than 100 former rebels and their sympathizers in Borongan have surrendered to authorities.

This had led to a drop in the insurgency problem in Borongan, the capital city of Eastern Samar, said Brigadier General Noel Vestuir, commanding officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade based in Borongan City.

He said the insurgency problem in Borongan and the rest of the province was no longer a major concern because a lot of rebels had surrendered.

The city government of Borongan was also bent on improving its tourism industry to generate income and provide jobs.

READ: Borongan City unveils new airport terminal

Among the emerging tourist attractions of the city is its surfing sports events and competitions that have attracted some of the best surfers in the country.

The latest tourism attraction being promoted in Borongan was its version of the “Sea of Clouds and Nature Park” in Barangay Hebacong, more than five kms away from the city proper.

The little Baguio of Borongan has gained the support of the Department of Tourism through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), which allocated P17 million for the construction of a view deck, coffee shop, cottages, and parking area.

The construction of these facilities are expected to start within the year.

READ: PAL to open Cebu-Borongan route

The interest in Borongan has prompted an increase in the Manila-Cebu-Borongan flight to thrice a week starting in July this year.

At present, Philippine Airlines (PAL) flies to the Eastern Samar capital twice a week.

More than 7,400 passengers preferred to take advantage of the flight, bypassing the Manila-Tacloban route.

“I am very happy that little by little, we have progressed in our flight bookings to the extent that there are times when flight schedules are fully booked during fiestas and Christmas season,” Agda said.

“I thank PAL for granting the additional flights for the Borongan-Cebu-Manila route and vice-versa. This will certainly boost not only the flight booking demands but also the value of our tourist arrival,” he added.

Suspected NPA rebel killed in Catigbian clash

From the Bohol Chronicle (Jan 19, 2024): Suspected NPA rebel killed in Catigbian clash

A suspected remnant of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a clash with military forces at Barangay Liboron, Catigbian early Tuesday morning.

A press statement issued by the Visayas Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) identified the fatality as one Julieto Rizalso Alban alias “Billy”, an alleged remnant of the dismantled Bohol Party Committee (BPC) , Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor (KR-NCBS).

Catigbian Police Station chief Capt. Edelberto Timagos bared that troops of the 47th Infantry Battallion, together with elements of the Bohol Provincial Mobile Force Company and the Bohol Intelligence Unit were conducting joint operation to serve a warrant of arrest against Billy.

However, as the joint team were on their way to the rebel’s reported hideout at around 4:00 in the morning, they ran into Alban who was driving a motorcycle along the national highway in Barangay Liboron, Catigbian.

A gun battle immediately ensued resulting in Alban’s death.

The government forces recovered a 45-caliber firearm, a grenade, the rebel’s personal belongings in a bag with subversive documents.

Alban has pending warrants of arrest for murder, ten (10) counts of attempted murder and seven (7) counts of attempted homicide. (KB, AD)

Ex-rebel surrenders in Nueva Ecija

From the Manila Bulletin (Jan 19, 2024): Ex-rebel surrenders in Nueva Ecija (By LIEZLE BASA IΓ‘IGO)

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – A former communist rebel surrendered to the police on Thursday, January 18, in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

KA Allan, the NPA surrenderer.

Police and the 84th Infantry Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division conducted a special intelligence operation that resulted in the surrender of Ka Allan, 52, of San Jose City.

Ka Allan was a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front under Arnel Calosa operating in San Jose City, Carranglan, Talugtog, and Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija between 1985 and 1989.

Ka Allan is now undergoing debriefing with the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company.

He surrendered a caliber .38 revolver with bullets.

Meanwhile, police recovered high explosives in Barangay Santa Monica, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, after a former “Dado,” a former communist rebel, surrendered on January 11. These war materials are set for disposal.

Deadly Clash in Negros Occidental: Lives Lost and Families Displaced

From BNN Breaking News (Jan 19, 2024): Deadly Clash in Negros Occidental: Lives Lost and Families Displaced (By: BNN Correspondents)

In a remote village of Hacienda Gomez, Barangay Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, tranquillity was shattered on January 17, when an unexpected skirmish between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) erupted. The clash left an indelible mark, displacing 10 families, claiming the lives of two NPA rebels, and sending shockwaves across the community.

Tragic Casualties and Displacement

The deceased, identified as Bernard Torres Sr., 56, and Dionisio Baloy, 67, hailed from Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Their bodies, recovered after the encounter, were handed over to their grieving families in a somber ceremony. The incident also resulted in the displacement of 10 families, comprising 50 individuals, who had to flee their homes amidst the turmoil.

Government Response to Rebel Activities

The engagement was a response to reports of extortion and recruitment activities allegedly conducted by the communist rebels in the area. The local government, in conjunction with the 62nd Infantry Battalion, swiftly swung into action, allowing the evacuees to return to their homes the following day. Assistance was extended through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, ensuring the disrupted lives found some semblance of normalcy.
Continued Encounters in Negros Island

This incident is not an isolated event but part of an ongoing series of encounters between the Army and NPA on Negros Island. In a separate incident earlier in the week, a similar encounter in Calatrava led to the discovery of a rebel camp and military supplies, hinting at the embedded presence of the NPA in the region.

Muslim, Christian leaders condemn violence ‘under the guise of religion’

Posted to Interaksyon (Jan 19, 2024): Muslim, Christian leaders condemn violence ‘under the guise of religion’ (By CBCP News)

Lanao Del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. looks on as law enforcement officers investigate the scene of an explosion that occurred during a Catholic Mass in a gymnasium at Mindanao State University in Marawi, Philippines, December 3, 2023. (Lanao Del Sur Provincial Government/Handout via Reuters)

Muslim and Christian leaders met this week in a display of interreligious unity more than a month after a deadly bombing rocked a Catholic Mass at a university in the southern city of Marawi.

In deploring the December 3 attack that claimed four lives, they asserted that the killing of innocent civilians and religious believers is a “demonic act” that must be “condemned by the teachings of every religion in the world.”

“The killing of innocent civilians by terrorists under the guise of religion is a condemnable and cruel irreligious act that defiantly contradicts both Muslims and Christian beliefs,” they said in a statement.

As religious leaders, they have agreed to be “pro-active against similar terrorist acts” by imparting the true teachings of their religious traditions and sacred scriptures—the Qur’an and the Bible—to their followers.

The way of interreligious dialogue is one of the most effective ways of establishing a culture of peace, mutual respect and understanding among peoples of different faiths in the Bangsamoro and the whole country in general,” they added.

The meeting took place on Jan. 16 to 17 in Cotabato City, which was also in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Jan. 24 Peace Day.

In attendance were 11 Muslim and seven Christian religious leaders in Mindanao, together with Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.

Among the signatories of the statement titled ‘Religions are for Peace’ were Dr. Muhammad Nadzir Ebil, an Islamic Jurist from the Bangsamoro Darul-Ifta; Emran Mohamad, the executive director of Bangsamoro Darul-Ifta; Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop emeritus of Cotabato; Archbishop Angelito Lampon of Cotabato; Bishop Edwin Dela PeΓ±a of Marawi; and Archbishop Emeritus Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro.

WESTMINCOM: Warring Moro Islamic Liberation Front Commanders in Basilan Concede to Peace

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Jan 17, 2024): Warring Moro Islamic Liberation Front Commanders in Basilan Concede to Peace

πˆπ¬πšπ›πžπ₯𝐚 𝐂𝐒𝐭𝐲, 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐒π₯𝐚𝐧 – On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, the long-standing feud internally within the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has finally come to an end through a formal program of peaceful settlement and the signing of a peace covenant with a pledge of sincerity and commitment on the Holy Qur’an ‘Magsapa’ held at Barangay Buton, HMA, Basilan Province.

The event formally resolved the conflict between Commander Geon Arasad, the Deputy Battalion Commander of 1st Battalion, 114th Base Command, and Commander Tanad Nasalon, the Battalion Commander of the same Battalion, which have already claimed numerous lives. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front internal strife started in May of 2020 and, if not settled, is seen to hinder the ongoing peace process, particularly the decommissioning of firearms as one of the efforts to fully attain the long-sought peace in the Island province of Basilan.

The conflict resolution was graced by Honorable Hadjiman S. Hataman-Salliman, Governor of Basilan Province; Mr. Ariel “Ayi” C. Hernandez, Co-Chair of GPH-JNC and represented Secretary Carlito G Galvez Jr of OPAPRU; Major General Ignatius N. Patrimonio PA, Commander of JTF ORION; and Brigadier General Alvin V. Luzon PA of the 101st Infantry Brigade.

Mr. Ayi Hernandez underscored the importance of peace and understanding in the implementation of the normalization program with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. “With this very positive development, we in the normalization committee are confident of the smooth and successful continuation of the peace process, particularly with the ‘decommissioning,” he said.

Major General N. Patrimonio, for his part, congratulated the warring groups for finally embracing peace. “The period of conflicts and violence in your communities is over. You may now concentrate on improving the plight of your families, looking to the future. Congratulations,” he gladly declared.

Hon. Jim S. Hataman-Salliman extended his appreciation to the ‘men-in-uniform’ for its continuous efforts of brokering peace and resolving conflicts. He also congratulated the warring parties for their decision to end the long-standing conflict.

As a gesture of sincerity and goodwill, the warring parties surrendered ten (10) high-powered firearms composed of eight (M16 rifles and two (2) M653 rifles.

The ‘rido’ settlement was made possible through the initiatives and collaborative efforts of the 101st Infantry (Three Red Arrows) Brigade through the 4th Special Forces Battalion led by Col Bernard Samin PA, Moro Islamic Liberation Front-CCCH Basilan Hadji Samad Ahaddin and LGU Hadji Muhammad Ajul led by Honorable Talib G. Pawaki.

CPP/NPA-Sorsogon: Mga pasistang elemento ng 31st at 22nd, naghahasik ng lagim sa bayan ng Barcelona at Gubat

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 19, 2024): Mga pasistang elemento ng 31st at 22nd, naghahasik ng lagim sa bayan ng Barcelona at Gubat (Fascist elements of the 31st and 22nd, sowing terror in the town of Barcelona and the Forest)

Samuel Guerrero
NPA-Sorsogon (Celso Minguez Command)
Bicol Regional Operational Command (Romulo Jallores Command)
New People's Army

January 20, 2024

Kinukundena namin ang panghaharas at kawalan ng respeto ng AFP sa pamilya ng namartir na kasama na si Ka Patrick.

Kaninang ala-una ng umaga, sinugod ng 10 elemento ng MICO at 31st IBPA ang burol ni Baltazar “Ka Patrick” Hapa sa punenarya sa sentro ng Gubat, sa pamumuno ni Jordan Enconado, ahente ng 96th MICO. Ayon sa pamilya, binantaan sila ng mga ahenteng militar na papatayin nila ang kapatid ni Ka Patrick na matagal nang namuhay bilang sibilyan, kung hindi daw ito susuko.

Nananawagan naman ang pamilya ni Ka Patrick na irespeto sila at tigilan na ang panghaharas sa kanila, lalo na’t may matagal nang kasaysayan ang AFP na maski sa libing ng martir ay sinusundan at hinaharas pa rin ng mga pasista ang naiwang pamilya.

Si Ka Patrick ay pinaslang ng mga elemento ng 31st IB nitong Enero 14, sa Barangay Togawe, Gubat, Sorsogon.

Kasalukuyan naman hinaharas at binabantaan ng mga pasistang AFP ang mga magsasaka sa mga bayan Gubat at Barcelona habang naglulunsad ng kanilang combat operation. Nag ooperasyon ang mga elemento ng 22nd IBPA sa Barangay Alegria, San Antonio, San Ramon, at Sta. Lourdes sa bayan ng Barcelona. Nag ooperasyon din ang mga elemento ng 31st IBPA sa barangay Sangat, Jupi, Dita at Cabiguhan sa bayan ng Gubat.

Ang pananakot at panghaharas sa walang kalaban-labang mga sibilyan ay isang karuwagan at paglabag sa internasyunal na makataong batas at sa Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) hinggil sa wastong pagtrato sa mga sibilyan sa gitna ng umiiral na gera sibil sa bansa. Ipinapakita lamang ng mga insidenteng ito ang kaduwagan at kawalang respeto ng mga reaksyunaryong armadong pwersa sa mga batas ng digma.

Nananawagan kami sa mamamayang Sorsoganon na maging mapagmatyag sa posible pang maging paglabag sa karapatang-tao sa gitna ng pinatitinding mga operasyon ng AFP/PNP. Dapat magkaisa ang mamamayan sa paglalantad at paglaban sa lahat ng porma ng paglabag sa karapatang-tao.

Hinahamon naman namin ang mga opisyal ng lokal na reaksyunaryong gubyerno na aksyunan ang mga daing ng mamamayan laban sa mga abusong militar.

CPP/NDF-Masbate/NDF Bicol-PKMM: Tinututulan ng mga Masbatenyo ang Charter-Change! Digmang bayan ang tunay na people’s initiative!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 19, 2024): Tinututulan ng mga Masbatenyo ang Charter-Change! Digmang bayan ang tunay na people’s initiative! (MasbateΓ±os Oppose Charter-Change! People's war is the real people's initiative!)

Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid-Masbate
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

January 19, 2024

Tulad ng ginawa niyang pandaraya para manalo sa pagkapresidente, tusong itinutulak ngayon ni Marcos Jr ang pagbabago sa Saligang Batas sa pamamagitan ng panlalansi sa taumbayan na pumirma sa petisyong sumasang-ayon sa naturang panukala.

Ipinapakalat ngayon sa pamamagitan ng nga alkalde sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa ang isang petisyon na tinatawag na people’s initiative kung saan inoobligang pumirma ang kada botante kapalit ng P100 o ayuda mula sa TUPAD at DSWD.

Ano ang pagbabago ng Konstitusyon o Charter Change, na mas kilala sa tawag na Cha-Cha? Ito ay ang ilang dekada nang tangka ng mga nakaupo sa poder na baguhin ang Saligang Batas upang patagalin ang sarili sa pwesto, gawing ligal ang terorismo ng estado at batas militar na paghahari, at tanggalin ang mga natitirang proteksyon ng lokal na ekonomya laban sa dayuhang pandarambong.

Sa Masbate, hindi pa man naipapasa ang Cha-Cha, damang-dama na ng mga Masbatenyo ang mapaminsalang epekto nito.

Damang-dama ng mga Masbatenyo ang epekto ng dayuhang kontrol at panghihimasok. Inutil ang gubyerno sa mababang presyo ng kopra dahil dayuhan ang nagdidikta sa presyo nito. Pinadapa rin ng pagbaha ng mga imported na produkto ang kabuhayan ng mga lokal na magsasaka. Dayuhan lang ang nakinabang sa tone-toneladang ginto na namina ng Filminera samantalang tayo ang magdurusa sa pagkawasak ng mga kabundukan at kapaligiran.

Liban dito’y hawak lang ng iilang pamilya ang mga lupain at pusisyon sa reaksyunaryong gubyerno. Halos kalahati ng kalupaan sa Masbate ay mga rantso na pinagmamay-arian ng iilan lamang na pamilya. Ang mga dinastiyang ito ang siya ring nagpapalit-palitan sa pagkontrol sa lokal na gubyerno.

Batas militar ang umiiral sa prubinsya. Linalapastangan ang konstitusyunal na prinsipyong pangingibabaw ng sibilyang otoridad sa militar. Walang habas na yinuyurakan ang mga kalayaang sibil at batayang karapatan sa lupa, kabuhayan at buhay.

Walang intensyon ang Charter Change na solusyunan ang paghihirap na dinaranas ng sambayanan. Sa halip, patitindihin lamang ng Cha-Cha ang mga kundisyon ng pang-aapi at pagsasamantalang dulot ng imperyalismo, pyudalismo at burukrata kapitalismo.

Sino ang makikinabang sa Cha-Cha? Walang iba kundi ang imperyalistang US, mga malalaking negosyo at mga pulitikong tulad ni Bongbong Marcos at Gov. Antonio T. Kho.

Itinatakwil ng mga Masbatenyo ang Cha-Cha at iba pang pakana para lalo silang ilugmok sa kahirapan. Handa silang iboykot anumang pakana ng panlilinlang para palabasing sinusuportahan nila ang panukalang Cha-Cha tulad ng pagpirma sa petisyong umano’y people’s initiative.

Sa halip, hangad ng mga Masbatenyo ang tunay na panlipunang pagbabago sa pamamagitan ng demokratikong rebolusyon. Sa armadong rebolusyon lamang nila maibabagsak ang bulok na sistemang malakolonyal at malapyudal na pinaghaharian ng imperyalismo, pyudalismo at burukrata kapitalismo na siyang ugat ng kanilang kahirapan.

Sinusuportahan ng mga Masbatenyo ang Programa ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas bilang natatanging programa para sa tunay na panlipunang pagbabago. Sa halip na dayuhang panghihimasok, hangad nila’y tunay na reporma sa lupa, mekanisasyon ng agrikultura at pagtatayo ng pambansang industriya. Handa rin silang suportahan ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa balangkas ng mga naunang kasunduan. Maisasakatuparan lamang lahat ng ito sa paglahok nila sa digmang bayan bilang tunay na inisyatiba ng mamamayan.##

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: Peke nga Engkwentro sa La Castellana, Panghinabon sang 62nd IB

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 18, 2024): Peke nga Engkwentro sa La Castellana, Panghinabon sang 62nd IB (Fake Encounter at La Castellana, Attack of the 62nd IB)

Kanor Alpeche
2nd Deputy Spokesperson
NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command)
Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command)
New People's Army

January 18, 2024

Mabaskog nga ginapakamalaot sang Leonardo Panaligan Command-New People’s Army (LPC-NPA) ang brutal nga pagpaniro-patay sang berdugong tropa sang 62nd IB sa duha ka mga sibilyan nga sanday Boy Baloy, masobra 60 ang edad, mangunguma sang Brgy. Linantuyan, Guihulngan City kag Bernard Torres, masobra 50 anyos, mangunguma kag habal-habal driver sang Brgy. Buenavista proper, Guihulngan City tanan sang Negros Oriental. Wala kaluoy nga ginpaniro-patay sang nasambit nga tropa militar ang duha ka biktima sa Sityo Gomez, Brgy. Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental alas 6:45 sang aga, Enero 17.

Sandig sa pagpangusisa sang LPC-NPA, 6:45 sang aga, Enero 17 pilit nga ginransak sang platun nga tropa sang pasistang 62nd IB ang balay nga ginatineran ni Baloy kag Torres. Gulpi nga gindakop ang duha, pilit nga gindala sang militar palayo sa nasambit nga balay, gin-interogar, ginkastigo, gintorture kag ginpaniro nga nagresulta sang gilayon nga kamatayon sang mga biktima. Taliwas sa binutig nga palayag sang militar nga kasawalti ang mga biktima sa tatlo ka oras nga engkwentro sa tunga sang NPA kag 62nd IB.

Dugang man nga pagpangusisa, si Boy Baloy ang katapo sang Kaisahan sa Gamay’ng Mag-uuma sa Oriental Negros (KAUGMAON-Guihulngan Chapter). Tuig 2007-ginredtag kag ginpasibangdan sang militar nga “NPA Supporter” rason nga nagpalayo sa lugar. Samtang si Bernard Torres ang biktima man sang iskema sang redtgging sadtong 2017. Katapo si Torres sang UNDOC/PISTON-Guihulngan Chapter. Biktima man siya sang Oplan Sauron sadtong sang US-Duterte nga rehimeng sadtong December 2018.

Indi mga katapo sang NPA si Baloy kag Torres. Si Boy kag Bernard ang lunsay mga sibilyan nga ginredtag sang kapintas nga estado. Indi man armado ang mga biktima kag gintamnan lamang ang duha sang shotgun, .45 cal pistol kag iban pa nga subersibong dokumento. Wala man sang lehitimo nga engkwentro sa tunga sang NPA kag 62nd IB sa lugar kundi muklat nga ginhinabon sang berdugong tropa ang peke nga engkwentro sa ila palpak nga operasyon militar. Ini nga kalakasan kag kabutigan sang 62nd IB batok sa mga inosenteng sibilyan ang indi na bag-o kundi pasista nga tatak sang reaksyonaryo kag mersenaryong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Ang brutal nga pagpaniro-patay sang berdugong tropa sang 62nd IB kay Baloy kag Torres sa Brgy Sag-ang (Enero 17), tuyo nga pagpatay kay Cerilo Bagnoran Brgy Manghanoy sadtong Enero 14 kag pag-abdak kay Alan Paul Rayna sa Brgy Puso sadtong Disyembre 23, 2023 tanan sang Banwa sang La Castellana paagi sa peke nga engkwentro ang desperado nga lihok sang pasistang 62nd IB sa pagwasak sang CPP-NPA sa Central Negros.

Samtang nagapabilin ang pagpamintas sang AFP sa mga sibilyan, ang nagapalig-on sang rebolusyonaryong kahublagan, nagapasingki sang inaway banwa dira sa armadong paghimakas paagi sa nagabaskog kag nagadako nga isip sang New People’s Army sa larangan gerilya.###

CPP/NPA-Negros Island ROC: Fake encounters behind 3rd ID’s ‘dismantled’ illusion

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 18, 2024): Fake encounters behind 3rd ID’s ‘dismantled’ illusion

Maoche Legislador
Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command)
New People's Army

January 18, 2024

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) 3rd Infantry Division is shameless than ever in declaring New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla fronts on Negros Island as “dismantled” after two fake encounters last January 15 and 17 in Calatrava and La Castellana towns in Negros Occidental, respectively. In the second fake encounter, two civilians were captured and murdered in cold blood by elements of the 62nd Infantry Battalion.

Units of the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command-NPA Northern Negros Guerrilla Front are all intact and performing their revolutionary tasks with renewed fervour among farmers and farm workers who are greatly suffering from landlessness and slave-like wages imposed by notorious despotic hacienderos and their mercenaries. The supposed camp raided by 79th IB soldiers was staged and the encounter claim was taken from worn out drama scripts of the AFP.

Meanwhile, the 62nd IB used an old ruse of unleashing intelligence assets pretending to be deranged in order to surveil farmer communities and forcibly enter residences in La Castellana, particulary Barangay Sag-ang, ahead of combat operations. The 62nd soldiers were pursuing families and individuals who were in hiding after being red-tagged and targeted during the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) bloody Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) or Oplan Sauron 1 last December 2018 in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

On January 17, 6:45 in the morning, at Brgy. Sag-ang, La Castellana, victims Bernard Torres and Boy Baloy were taken and then brutally killed by 62nd IB soldiers. They were unarmed. More importantly, they were not members of the NPA, contrary to Philippine Army reports. As a matter of fact, there was no encounter between the 62nd IB and the NPA that day.

Bernard Torres, from Brgy. Buenavista, Guihulngan City, was a habal-habal driver and member of PISTON Guihulngan City Chapter. Boy Baloy, a senior citizen, on the other hand, was a farmer and native of Brgy. Linantuyan, Guihulngan City. Both experienced harassment from state forces since 2017. They would have been part of the death toll of Oplan Sauron 1 if they were not able to flee together with other families.

Obviously, the 3rd ID, 302nd and 303rd Brigade, and six battalions under their command here in Negros Island are on a fake news spree. Their “dismantled” illusion is endangering the lives of Negrosanons, especially farmers and farm workers. They are becoming more reckless in their anti-insurgency campaign, engaging in heightening degrees of human rights violations.

The AFP’s bases for declaring ‘dismantled’ guerrilla fronts in Negros Island is farther from the truth. The people of Negros Island knows that. The NPA is ever growing and its mass base deepening because of the worsening semifeudal and semicolonial system. The AFP merits the people’s rage because of its sustained focused military operations that sow terror in farmer communities, its defense of foreign interests and local big compradors and landlords, and exploitation of the people for military corruption.

The armed revolution is a historical necessity and inevitability. While the US-Marcos II regime continues its oppressive socioeconomic policies and sycophancy to its imperialist master, the broad masses, composed majorly of peasants and workers, are posed to fight back against landlessness, poverty, low wages, job insecurity, hunger, skyrocketing prices, and absence of social services.

The 3rd ID is up to its neck in deception and state terrorism. In the end, its “dismantled” illusion will be its downfall.###

CPP/NPA-Masbate: Lalabanan ng mga Masbatenyo ang papatinding atakeng militar na hatid ng kampanyang “ganap na pagdurog” sa NPA ni Marcos Jr

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Jan 18, 2024): Lalabanan ng mga Masbatenyo ang papatinding atakeng militar na hatid ng kampanyang “ganap na pagdurog” sa NPA ni Marcos Jr (Masbatenyos will resist the intensifying military attack brought about by Marcos Jr's campaign to "completely crush" the NPA)

Luz del Mar
NPA-Masbate (Jose Rapsing Command)
Bicol Regional Operational Command (Romulo Jallores Command)
New People's Army

January 18, 2024

Bagamat wala nang nakukumbinsi sa pakana ng militar, dapat paghandaan ng masang Masbatenyo ang mga desperadong hakbangin ng AFP para patindihin ang militarisasyon sa prubinsya, sang-ayon sa utos ni Marcos Jr na umano’y ganap na pagdurog sa NPA.

Nabatid ng Jose Rapsing Command-Bagong Hukbong Bayan Masbate ang paglilibot ng militar sa iba’t ibang sulok ng prubinsya para ipagpatuloy at malamang ay madaliing kampanya ng clear-hold-consolidate-develop upang tuluyang ideklara ang Masbate na insurgency-free. Sa ilang barangay tulad sa Liong sa bayan ng Cataingan, pinupwersa ang mga upisyal ng barangay na magtayo ng ALSA MASA at gawing mga aset o intel ng militar yaong mga napilitang sumurender. Sa Barangay Rizal, bayan ng Dimasalang, nagsagawa ng mga pulong-pulong at pinilit ang mga residente na hawanin ang masusukal na bahagi ng kani-kanilang komunidad. Sa bayan ng Mobo, hinahagupit muli ng okupasyong militar sa ilalim ng Retooled Community Support Program ang kanilang komunidad.

Ang totoo, walang ibang kahulugan ang kampanyang ganap na pagdurog sa NPA kundi ang ibayong pagsupil sa pakikibaka ng masa. Sa Masbate, nangangahulugan ito ng malawakang militarisasyon at kaakibat na mas matitinding pang-aabuso upang wasakin ang pagkakaisa ng mga Masbatenyo.

Sa tangkang durugin ang NPA, pakay ni Marcos Jr na makabuwelo ang mga dayuhan at lokal na mandarambong sa pang-aagaw ng lupa at paghuthot sa yamang likas ng prubinsya. Nagsisilbi rin kay Gov. Antonio T. Kho ang pagdurog sa NPA para makapanatili sa tuktok ng kapangyarihan at malubos ang pangungurakot sa yaman ng Masbate.

Sa mga lugar na hindi pa naaabot o pansamantalang naiwan ng Hukbo sa prubinsya, dinaranas ng masa ang walang kaparis na pang-aapi at pagsasamantala. Talamak sa mga lugar na ito ang pagpatay sa sibilyan, pagwasak sa kabuhayan at iba pang abuso. Damang-dama ng masa ang kahalagahan ng Hukbo at Partido, laluna sa mga komunidad na pinakaapektado ng pangangamkam ng lupa at pagpasok ng operasyong pagmimina, ekoturismo, rantso at iba pang neoliberal na proyekto.

Hindi na dapat pang pumayag ang mga Masbatenyo sa nagpapatuloy na batas militar sa Masbate. Ito na ang rurok ng kanilang pagtitiis. Kung hindi magkakaisa at lalaban, tiyak magtatagumpay ang militar na tuluyang lunurin sa takot at buwagin ang pagkakaisa ng mga Masbatenyo. Oras na mawala ang rebolusyonaryong paglaban ng mga Masbatenyo, tiyak na mawawala rin sa kanila ang lupa, karapatan, kabuhayan, at kinabukasang naipundar nila sa pakikibaka.

Pinakamahalagang tungkulin ng mga Masbatenyo sa kasalukuyan ay ang higpitan ang suporta at pakikipagkaisa sa kanilang Bagong Hukbong Bayan. Kailangan nilang itaguyod ang linya ng ugnayan at komunikasyon sa mga kasama, gaanuman kasidhi ang mga tangka ng kaaway na ilayo ang masa sa kanilang Hukbo.

Sa gabay ng Hukbo, kailangang buuin at paganahin ng masa ang kanilang mga rebolusyonaryong organisasyon bilang haligi ng kanilang pagkakaisa. Tanging sa aktibong pagkilos ng kanilang mga organisasyon maipagtatanggol ng masa ang kanilang mga komunidad laban sa panghihimasok ng militar.

Pinakamahusay kung makapag-ambag kada baryong may nakatayong organisasyon ng mga dagdag rekrut sa Hukbo, laluna mula sa hanay ng kabataan!

Sa mga lugar na di pa naaabot ng Hukbo, dapat paghandaan at salubungin ng masa ang tiyak na pagdating ng mga kasama. Dumalo sa kanilang mga patawag at papulong.

Mas malubhang pang-aapi at pagsasamantala ang mapapala kung magpapadala sa takot, pananahimik at pagkakanya-kanya. Sa banta ng mas matinding atake ni Marcos Jr, walang ibang solusyon kundi ang magrebolusyon.

TOW West honors air force pilot with military hero gallery

From the Palawan News (Jan 19, 2024): TOW West honors air force pilot with military hero gallery (By Gerald Ticke)

[Updated] The Tactical Operations Wing West (TOW West) opened a collections gallery on Thursday, January 18, in honor of Lt. Col. Antonio M. Bautista, a Philippine Air Force pilot after whom the air base’s headquarters was named.

The unveiling of the gallery was held as part of a series of activities for the celebration of the 51st anniversary of TOW West on March 2 and the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the naming of the air force base in Palawan as Antonio Bautista Air Base on March 21.

TOW West said the gallery aims to honor the sacrifice and selflessness “of our heroes, especially Bautista, and serve as an inspiration for military personnel to continue fulfilling their duties in promoting peace and progress in the country.”

Other members of the late pilot’s family and other TOW West personnel were present as Brigadier General Erick Escarcha, the commander of TOW West, and Alice Jane Bautista, her widow, led the unveiling.

“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa inyo sa pagbibigay sa amin ng opportunity for this afternoon na mabigyan natin ng honor si sir. Grabe ang kuwento ni sir. Nakakabagbag damdamin nakaka-antig ng puso,” Escarcha said.

The gallery features Bautista’s uniforms, photographs, and other personal belongings from his time as an air force combat pilot.

During the ceremony, Bautista’s son, Anthony James, recalled the time when his father was still with the Philippine Air Force, recounting how he courageously fought rebels in Parang, Jolo, Sulu, on January 11, 1974, while flying an F-86 Sabre fighter plane.

In the course of the engagement, he executed multiple low-attack runs, putting both himself and his aircraft in the line of intense rifle fire. Following two bombing runs and five strafing passes, he eventually disengaged, but by that point, his fighter had sustained severe damage.

“My mom asked my dad, ‘Why do you need to fly low?’ Yong answer niya, and I am not making this up because these are actually from a series of letters between my mom and my dad, and I read these letters—nakita ko—my dad said, ‘Sweetheart, the Philippines is not a rich country. Everything we have is like scrap—yong natatanggap lang natin [galing] sa US. If I drop from a height and I miss my target, I’m only wasting valuable resources that the country could hardly afford,'” James spoke about his father.

Even though he successfully ejected from the aircraft, Bautista touched down in enemy territory, where insurgents fatally attacked him before rescue helicopters could reach his location.

In recognition of his extraordinary bravery and unwavering determination in the face of overwhelming odds, the Armed Forces of the Philippines awarded Bautista the Distinguished Conduct Star posthumously on April 29, 1974, as per General Order 519. Alice Jane accepted the honors from Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippine President at the time, on behalf of her late husband.

To remember his sacrifice, the PAF designated the airbase in Puerto Princesa as the Antonio Bautista Air Base.

Bautista’s gallery is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday (except holidays).

US SOCPAC meets Gov. Socrates ahead of Tempest Wind 2024 drill

From the Palawan News (Jan 20, 2024): US SOCPAC meets Gov. Socrates ahead of Tempest Wind 2024 drill

Governor Dennis Socrates welcomes members of the US Armed Forces Special Operations Command Pacific to discuss the upcoming Tempest Wind 2024 exercise in Palawan. (Photo from the Palawan Provincial Information Office)

The US Armed Forces Special Operations Command Pacific paid a courtesy visit to Governor Dennis Socrates on Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming Tempest Wind 2024 drill, scheduled to take place in Palawan later this year.

Tempest Wind, a bilateral inter-agency law enforcement counter-terrorism drill involving the governments of the Philippines and the United States, had a prior iteration in the country in September of the previous year.

Its primary objective is to bolster inter-operability, preparedness, and the ability to respond effectively in the face of global threats.

The visiting U.S. delegation was comprised of Major Scott Leuthner, Sgt. Major Jessie Heinne, Steve Wratthal, John Ascenzo, and Scott Lidick. Accompanying them were representatives from the Palawan Provincial Police Office, led by Director P/Col. Carlito Narag Jr.

Zaldy AblaΓ±a from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Bantay Palawan Program Manager Dir. P/Gen. Reynaldo Jagmis (Ret), and Atty. Lara Cacal from the Provincial Legal Office, were also in the meeting with Governor Socrates.

PH winning narrative war in West PH Sea – Coast Guard

Posted to the Panay News (Jan 20, 2024): PH winning narrative war in West PH Sea – Coast Guard

File photo shows the Philippine Navy’s BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA — The country is winning the narrative war in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) spokesperson, Commodore Jay Tarriela said during an INQSide Look interview on Thursday.

“I think in terms of the battle as to who really holds the truth and narrative, I think we have been very effective in doing that,” Tarriela said.

“So if our fight for sovereignty is [done by] telling the right story, dominating the narrative, I think we are winning…” he added.

Tarriela said the PCG’s initiative to allow the media to cover the regular resupply mission in the WPS means that the government has the “factual narrative.”

“The Philippines is a democratic country; we do not dictate to our journalists or the media whatever stories they are going to write,” Tarriela said. “This is the reason why it is easier for us to say that we hold the truth and those stories the Chinese have been releasing are just made up or half-baked truth.”

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, which includes the WPS, disregarding an international tribunal ruling in 2016 that effectively dismisses its sweeping claims.

Practicing the country’s sovereign rights inside WPS, the PCG regularly conducts rotation and resupply missions to the BRP Sierra Madre, a Navy outpost grounded in Ayungin Shoal since 1999, to assert the country’s claim in the sandbank.

BRP Sierra Madre became the flashpoint of tensions between Manila and Beijing, and the local and international press witnessed the constant harassment of China Coast Guard (CCG) ships against Filipino boats bringing supplies for military personnel stationed in the area.

Several incidents like the CCG’s blocking and ramming, as well as its usage of military-grade laser and water cannons against Philippine vessels, drew international condemnation and even reignited the patriotism of Filipinos, according to Tarriela.

“The Philippine government cannot do this alone; [it] cannot just directly respond to whatever threat and aggression of China. The only way that we can, hopefully, make a deviation of the behavior of China is for the international community to persistently condemn and call out China’s aggressive and illegal action,” Tarriela said.

“We believe that with the right information, we can be able to unite our country since this information will also ignite patriotism among the Filipino people,” he also said.

“I think we already met this objective.”
(John Eric Mendoza © Philippine Daily Inquirer)

3ID intensifies combat ops vs rebels

From the Panay News (Jan 20, 2024): 3ID intensifies combat ops vs rebels (By Ruby P. Silubric)


ILOILO City – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division reiterated that there will be no let-up in their campaign against the New People’s Army (NPA) following the death of a soldier in Tubungan, Iloilo clash.

Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, has ordered to intensify combat operations in Panay Island and Negros Occidental by deploying more soldiers to strategic areas.

“We have to double our combat operation against the terrorists. We have to maintain our men sa field kag may mga additional personnel kita to run after them. Indi kita mag-untat sa operation sa ila. We are thankful sa mga community nga nagahatag sang information sa aton about the movements of armed groups sa ila area,” said 3ID spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel J-Jay Javines.

Private First Class Rodelo Alfanza Palma of Negros Occidental died in an encounter in Barangay Igpaho, Tubungan town on Wednesday, Jan. 17. He was assigned to the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB).

Another soldier, ranked sergeant, was injured and confined in a hospital.

Javines said the 61IB troops clashed with 15 armed men of the Puregold (SYP) Platoon, SPF, KR-Panay under Nahum Camariosa alias “Bebong” at 10:30 a.m.

The firefight lasted for 12 minutes after the rebels scampered in different directions.

AFP counter-intel group to help curb espionage, sabotage vs. PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 19, 2024): AFP counter-intel group to help curb espionage, sabotage vs. PH (By Priam Nepomuceno)

BOOSTING COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE. AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (left) and AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Maj. Gen. Ferdinand Barandon (center) unfurl the banner of the military's Counter-Intelligence Group during its reactivation ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday (Jan. 18, 2024). The unit will assist the military's activities aimed at neutralizing espionage efforts by other countries and their agents. (Photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA – A ranking military official said Friday the reactivated Armed Forces of the Philippines Counter-Intelligence Group (AFPCIG) would help the service's counter-intelligence operations nationwide.

"(Its mission is) to conduct counter-intelligence nationwide to support the AFP mission," AFP public affairs office chief, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, said in a message to the Philippine News Agency when asked about the mandate of the AFPCIG.

Trinidad, citing security reasons, did not provide other details on how these missions would be carried out.

Counter-intelligence refers to military activities aimed at neutralizing espionage efforts by other countries and their agents.

Trinidad said the AFPCIG was ordered reactivated based on a Jan. 11 memorandum issued by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

The AFPCIG was organized and activated on Dec. 29, 1989, and was deactivated in 1995. It is distinct from the Intelligence Service of the AFP.

During the AFPCIG's reactivation ceremony on Thursday, AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. emphasized the important role of the unit in securing the nation in an ever-shifting global landscape and encouraged its members to strive for excellence, embrace innovations, and uphold the highest standards of integrity.

“To the valiant men and women of the AFPCIG, the security of our beloved nation rests upon your capable shoulders. Your tireless efforts will ensnare any threats and guarantee the safety of our treasured citizens. May the AFP Counter-Intelligence Group ascend to unimaginable heights, preserving the rights and liberties of our great nation,” he said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier directed the AFP to "reconfigure our approaches to dealing with the different threat groups" being faced by the country.

CIDG: 11.5K criminals nabbed, 9 terror financing raps filed in 2023

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 19, 2024): CIDG: 11.5K criminals nabbed, 9 terror financing raps filed in 2023 (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) said it arrested 11,588 during 11,424 operations in 2023.

Among those arrested were 54 leaders and 442 members of criminal gangs and 125 communist and local terrorist group members, CIDG chief Maj. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr. reported at their 71st founding anniversary rites in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Friday.

CIDG also filed nine terrorism financing cases.

"On loose firearms, a total of 1,370 operations were conducted that resulted in the confiscation of 1,990 loose firearms, 435 explosives, and 41,244 assorted ammunition," he said in his speech.

In the campaign against illegal gambling, CIDG agents confiscated more than PHP3.9 million worth of bet money and arrested 2,522 suspects in 1,072 police operations.

"I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all those who actively contribute to our mission, for it is through these alliances that we forge a safer and more just society for everyone," Caramat said.

The CIDG has 1,932 investigators running six special operating units and 17 regional field units.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, the event's guest of honor and speaker, also feted the CIDG's accomplishments for the first week of January alone -- the arrest of 141 wanted persons and one member of the communist New People's Army in 147 operations.

He acknowledged the CIDG as a partner of the National Prosecution Service in maintaining peace, security and justice.

"We are filled with much optimism, knowing that we possess a common goal to defeat criminality. Guided by the primacy of the rule of law and by our respect for the supremacy of civilian authority that is enshrined in our Constitution itself, it is a great deal that our institutions are in accord with both objectives and actions as this promotes optimal cooperation and efficiency amidst a volatile social climate," Malcontento said. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)

PH, Canada sign MOU on defense cooperation

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 19, 2024): PH, Canada sign MOU on defense cooperation (By Priam Nepomuceno)

DEFENSE TIES. Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, David Bruce Hartman (2nd left), and Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. (right) show the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Defense Cooperation between the two nations on Friday (Jan. 19, 2024). The MOU jumpstarts cooperation between the defense and military establishments of Philippines and Canada on military education, training exchanges, among others. (Photo courtesy of DND)

MANILA – The defense relations between the Philippines and Canada were further strengthened after ranking officials of the two nations signed on Friday the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who signed on behalf of the Philippines, expressed his satisfaction at the "robust commitment" shown by the two countries in deepening their defense ties.

“I'm glad to hear that there is a strong intention on both sides to deepen and strengthen the relationships by forging new milestones in our defense relations to culminate, perhaps, with the Visiting Forces Agreement,” he said.

Teodoro emphasized the role of the Department of Foreign Affairs in facilitating such connections.

The signing of the MOU, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada, jumpstarts cooperation between the defense and military establishments of the two nations on military education, training exchanges, among others.

Teodoro also pledged the DND’s commitment to the full implementation of the MOU, in line with the department's thrust to strengthen its defense partnerships with like-minded states, given the evolving regional security landscape.

While acknowledging the interrelated dynamics of the Middle East, Europe, and the recent conflict between Pakistan and Iran, he noted the imperative for nations to collaborate, particularly in areas of common vulnerabilities.

“The strongest assets we have are the mutual trust and confidence that we have in one another on a people-to-people basis, and because we are dealing with each other in a straightforward, open, and on a rules-based manner, such trust is reinforced and will surpass political changes and the tests of time,” Teodoro said.

Meanwhile, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, David Bruce Hartman conveyed Canada’s intention to advance its relations with the Philippines and the region as outlined in Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Teodoro thanked Hartman, acknowledging the envoy's role in fostering strong ties between the two nations.

Earlier, a bilateral defense meeting was also convened to exchange views on global security concerns, as well as to discuss future activities and initiatives between the two countries headed by DND Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs Marita Yoro for the Philippine side, and Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) Peter Hammerschmidt for the Canadian side.

3 rebels killed in Negros clashes turned over to kin

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 19, 2024): 3 rebels killed in Negros clashes turned over to kin (By Mary Judaline Partlow)

NEXT OF KIN. The family of a New People's Army rebel, who was killed in an encounter in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, claims his remains on Friday (Jan. 19, 2024). Two other rebels killed in a separate encounter this week were handed over to their families in Guihulngan City. (Photo courtesy of 11th IB, Philippine Army)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in separate encounters with government troops this week have been claimed by their families, Army officials said Friday.

The slain NPA rebels were identified as Dionisio Baloy, 67, of Barangay Linantuyan; and Bernard Torres Sr., 56, a resident of Barangay Buenavista, both in Guihulngan City; and Edmar Pat Solano, of legal age and a resident of Sitio Omol, Barangay Talalak in Sta. Catalina town, all in Negros Oriental.

The family of Solano claimed his remains on Friday, a day after he was killed in an encounter with troops of the Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Sug-ong, Barangay Milagrosa in Sta. Catalina, Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, battalion commanding officer, said in an interview.

Solano (alias Meme/Maymay/Jane) was a member of Squad 1 of the dismantled South East Front.

Meanwhile, the remains of Baloy and Torres were turned over to their families on Thursday after they were killed in an encounter with 62nd Infantry Battalion troops in Barangay Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental.

Both belonged to remnants of the NPA’s Central Negros 1 guerilla front, the same armed group that figured in previous encounters in Guihulngan City and Moises Padilla, Negros Oriental.