Friday, March 1, 2024

Rebel death toll in San Joaquin encounter rises to 4

From Palawan News (Mar 1, 2024): Rebel death toll in San Joaquin encounter rises to 4 (By Ruby P. Silubrico)

The bodies of three rebels killed in an encounter killed in an encounter in Barangay Torocadan, San Joaquin, Iloilo were recovered on Wednesday, February 28. 301ST INFANTRY BRIGADE PHOTO

ILOILO City – The number of rebels killed in Barangay Torocadan, San Joaquin, Iloilo rose to four on Thursday from an initial three.

The body of
Rena Rhea Camariosa, known as Ka Kira/Sheena, was recovered yesterday morning during follow-up operations after Wednesday’s clash between Philippine Army troops and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

According to Brigadier General Michael Samson, commander of the Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade,
Camariosa – a resident of Barangay Camabaan, San Joaquin – was a daughter of Nahum Camariosa alias “Bebong,” the suspected leader of the NPA’s Southern Panay Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (SPF KR-Panay).

The three others whose bodies were recovered on Wednesday were the following:

* Jonathan Sasi Sanogal, also known as Ka Jeros, a member of Squad SM, Puregold Platoon, from Barangay Langca, San Joaquin (body taken to Siscar Funeral Service in Barangay Palaca, Miag-ao town)

* Patrick Reovoca, alias Ka Kim, a member of Squad Gaisano, Puregold Platoon, from Barangay Alegre, Sebaste, Antique; and

* Mario Reovoca, alias Mike/Jaguar, a Squad Leader of RSDG Platoon, also from Barangay Alegre, Sebaste, Antique (body taken to Sumagpao Funeral Homes, Santa Barbara, Iloilo).

Meanwhile, a wounded suspected rebel was captured – Rocel Nabua Esmediana, alias Ka Michelle/Nitchelle, a squad member of the PUREGOLD Platoon, SPF KR-P, from Sitio Burak, Barangay Alimodias, Miag-ao.

Currently receiving care at the San Joaquin Mother and Child Hospital, it was Esmediana who identified the casualties.

Samson said the rebels’ group, consisting of 20 to 30 fighters, was planning a meeting likely for coordinating attacks or operations against government forces.

“They were caught off guard, unaware of our soldiers’ proximity. Thanks to information from local residents, we managed to preempt their plans,” said Samson.

“If only they had surrendered, we could have avoided this outcome. We don’t want to kill because we are all Filipinos, but they continued to resist. We had to defend ourselves while still offering them a chance to surrender, assuring their safety,” added Samson.

The group engaged with the Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion personnel at 3:20 a.m., Wednesday.

Lieutenant Colonel J-Jay Javines, spokesperson for the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), saod the 61IB acted on intelligence from locals about armed individuals in the area’s mountains.

Additionally, Brigadier General Jack Wanky, director of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), instructed Iloilo police provincial director, Colonel Ronaldo Palomo, to coordinate with the local government regarding the burial of the rebels if their families do not claim their bodies.

“We will ensure they are given a decent burial if no family comes forward to claim them,” said Wanky./PN

Army slams NPA child warrior recruitment

From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 2, 2024): Army slams NPA child warrior recruitment (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion slammed the recent admission of the New People’s Army Roselyn Jean Pelle Command of recruiting “child warriors,” which it said was a blatant disregard of International Human Rights standards of the United Nation rulings on the use of children as warriors.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Arnel Calaoagan, 79IB commander, said that the recruitment of Christopher Cabahug, alias Ka Michael, that the rebels admitted as their child warrior among others, is a grave violation of the Child Protection Law of the Philippines, which explicitly prohibits the engagement of minors in armed conflict.

This reprehensible act goes against the principles and values that our nation upholds in safeguarding the welfare and rights of children, Calaoagan stressed.

Cabahug was among the three rebel fatalities in an encounter on February 21 in Brgy. Pinapugasan, Escalante City, Negros Occidental.

Calaoagan said that the recruitment of child warriors by the NPA, through their venomous lies and propaganda, which was being utilized by their legal sectoral fronts organizations, is in direct violation of International Human Rights standards, as outlined by the United Nations.

He stressed that the use of child soldiers is universally condemned, and such actions by armed groups undermine the global commitment to protecting children from the horrors of armed conflicts.

Reiterating calls for immediate and thorough examination of recruitment of minors, Calaoagan urged different sectors both from private, government, religious and real “rights advocates” to unite in one voice, to condemn such boastful admittance and heinous actions of the CPP-NPA.

“We emphasize the necessity of holding accountability to those responsible for abuses, recruitment, and exploitation of children as combatants, in an armed conflict, and we must ensure that justice is served in accordance with the law,” the 79IB commander further said.

Calaoagan also pointed out that the use of antipersonnel mines by the NPA, merciless killing of innocent civilians, and other human rights violations which they openly admit, are the matters that should be given due emphasis.*

SC fines former NTF-ELCAC spox for indirect contempt

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): SC fines former NTF-ELCAC spox for indirect contempt (By Benjamin Pulta)

Former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy (File photo)

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has fined former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy for indirect contempt for making online comments against a trial court judge who dismissed the government's petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a terrorist group.

Aside from the PHP30,000 fine, the SC also warned Badoy that a repetition of similar acts in the future shall merit a more severe sanction.

In a news release Thursday night, the SC said the SC en banc found Badoy guilty of indirect contempt of court for statements she made online attacking Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar in September 2022.

The judge issued a resolution, dismissing the petition of the Justice department against the CPP-NPA.

In its ruling, the SC noted that Badoy’s assertion that Magdoza-Malagar's decision because of her supposed friendly ties with the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF) threatens the impartial image of the judiciary.

It also ruled that Badoy failed to allege the existence of any qualified privilege that applied when she published her posts on Facebook.

It said that while "mere criticism or comment on the correctness or wrongness, soundness or unsoundness of the decision of the court in a pending case made in good faith may be tolerated", declarations such as those made by Badoy, ascribing improper motives to and rounding up public support to exert pressure on the judge, cannot be seen as criticism done in good faith.

"It is nothing but an act of intimidation to influence the resolution of a pending case,” the Court said.

The Court added that malicious imputations made even after the finality of a decision still fall under contemptuous speech if they tend to disrespect the court or create clear and present danger in the administration of justice.

It also found that Badoy’s “explosive statements” threatening to kill Judge Magdoza-Malagar and other judges were clearly made to incite Badoy’s followers and produce imminent lawless action, as evidenced by the multiple comments subsequently posted openly supporting the statements and even offering assistance.

The Court said Badoy’s statements jeopardized the judiciary by “sowing distrust and impairing the public’s confidence in the honesty, integrity, and impartiality of those donning judicial robes."

On Sept. 23, 2022, Badoy uploaded a public post on her Facebook page where she insulted the judge.

She also claimed that the judge was friends with the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF) and that the judge “weaponiz[ed] a court of law to further inflict harm on a people that have long suffered the excesses and inhumanities of the CPP-NPA-NDF.”

Badoy also threatened to kill Magdoza-Malagar and further threatened to bomb the offices of whom she deemed as “friends of terrorists.”

The next day, Badoy uploaded another post, describing Magdoza-Malagar as “unprincipled and rotten” and claiming that the judge’s husband was a member of the CPP.

The Court warned online personalities and influencers, saying unregulated speech online and the spread of fake news pose real consequences in the real world.

“In a bid to ensure that their posts would become viral, they would make statements that produce heightened negative emotions, chasing after the dopamine rush brought about by the substantial increase in their followers and likes. The result is a proliferation of posts made to further their personal gain and popularity, without regard for the public good," it added.

It said freedom of expression " must never transgress the equally important aspects of democracy, not least of all the Judiciary’s dignity and authority".

PH sees potential in trilateral cooperation with India, Japan

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): PH sees potential in trilateral cooperation with India, Japan (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)

DFA Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Philippine government sees “numerous opportunities” in a possible trilateral partnership with Japan and India, one that is focused on both maritime security and economic development.

In a Stratbase ADRI forum in Makati on Friday, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro expressed optimism this possible arrangement would thrive as the countries share a similar geographic make-up and location in the Indo-Pacific.

“In concrete terms, the confluence of the two seas can be construed as a natural connection that paves the way for the intersection of interests and goal congruence among the varied actors in the Indo-Pacific,” she said referring to the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.

“The prospect for triangular cooperation between the Philippines, India and Japan falls neatly into this narrative. This partnership can help drive the economic engines of these countries towards shared economic prosperity in the region,” she added.

Apart from maritime security, the diplomat said this would also strengthen cooperation on green transformation and infrastructure connectivity, which would result in increased intra-regional trade and travel mobility.

Manila only has two active trilateral partnership —one with the United States and Japan, and the anti-piracy and counterterrorism-focused tie-up with Malaysia and Indonesia.

In a separate interview, Lazaro said forging a similar kind with India and Japan would still have to go through a series of discussions and process before it can be formalized.

Meanwhile, she said Manila wants to initiate a bilateral maritime dialogue with India at a Track 1 or government-to-government level “in due course”.

As Manila and Tokyo already have an existing mechanism for maritime talks, the official believes a Track 1 with India would make it easier to forge a Philippine-India-Japan trilateral cooperation in the future.

The Stratbase forum explores the prospects of a triangular partnership between the three states, especially on ways it can ensure maritime security in the Indo-Pacific.

Japan Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Kenichi Matsuda, for his part, believes the proposal would further support Japan’s vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).

“Guided by the spirit of co-creation, a triangular partnership between the Philippines, India and Japan can bring about a nexus of sustainable and collaborative efforts that may shape the future of the Indo-Pacific region in the coming years,” he said.

Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran, meanwhile, said stakeholders must assess what this kind of cooperation can really bring into the table and start first on “workable ideas”.

“Our three Indo-Pacific democracies, the logic of our engagement is clear, but the test for us, as we walk the talk would be to develop small, workable projects that each of us can build and create the public opinion and political support to build this into a larger idea,” he said.

15 BIFF rebels lay down guns, denounce violent extremism

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): 15 BIFF rebels lay down guns, denounce violent extremism (By Edwin Fernandez)

NEW LIFE. The 15 former violent extremists pose with local officials, police, and Army officials after their surrender at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center in Cotabato City on Thursday (Feb. 29, 2024). They received initial cash assistance and other non-monetary benefits from the city government and Maguindanao del Norte provincial government for the firearms (inset) they surrendered. (Photo courtesy of Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao)

COTABATO CITY – Fifteen members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao del Norte have surrendered to authorities in their bid to reform and live normal lives.

“They belonged to the
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Kagui Karialan faction,” Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao said in a statement Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, Matabalao led the surrender rites of the BIFF batch upon orders of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim in welcoming the returnees at the regional government center here.

“We hope more BIFF will be embracing peace in the coming days,” the mayor said.

A BIFF fighter, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were convinced to lay down their firearms and embrace peace when they were told of the government’s economic package if they surrender.

“Our struggle has no known direction, we were blinded by promises, and we realized we are fighting a lost cause,” said “Bata”, the BIFF sub-leader, adding his group has denounced violent extremism where the victims of war are those in the province's remote communities.

Matabalao also credited the Army and the police who helped facilitate the formal surrender of the BIFF combatants.

As initial aid, the surrenderers received a sack of rice each, financial assistance in exchange for their surrendered war materiel, and non-monetary benefits under the Balik Baril program of the government.

They turned in two 60-mm mortar launch tubes, two .50-caliber sniper rifles, an M-14 rifle, and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

War materiel seized, NPA lair dismantled in Northern Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): War materiel seized, NPA lair dismantled in Northern Samar (By Sarwell Meniano)

FIGHTING INSURGENTS. The aerial view of upland Roxas village in Catubig, Northern Samar. Soldiers recovered on Thursday (Feb. 29, 2024) war materiel and anti-personnel mine components and dismantled a rebel’s lair following a clash with New People’s Army rebels. (Photo courtesy of Barangay Roxas, Catubig Facebook)

TACLOBAN CITY – Government troops recovered on Thursday war materiel and anti-personnel mine (APM) components and ran over a rebel’s lair following a clash with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on the outskirts of Catubig, Northern Samar.

The Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion said 30 armed rebels from the NPA’s Front Committee 15 left the war materiel and bomb components after a brief gunbattle in upland Barangay Roxas in Catubig town.

Lt. Col. Richard Villaflor, acting commander of the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion, said the clash occurred late Thursday while troops were responding to reports of armed men extorting essential supplies from villagers.

The rebels left behind an M16 rifle, five kilograms of APM components, a 30-round magazine, 14 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, two rounds of 5.57 mm ball ammunition, 50-meter wire, three backpacks, a blasting cap, and subversive documents.

The troops also dismantled a temporary lair with 20 makeshift sleeping cots, allegedly occupied by NPA combatants for about a week.

"We remain committed to eradicating this threat and ensuring the safety and prosperity of Northern Samar," Villaflor said in a statement.

Roxas village is situated 15 kilometers away from the Catubig town center and can be reached through a five-minute motorboat ride and another one-hour single motorcycle ride.

The village is hardly accessible during rainy days.

The community is one of the conflict-affected villages in the province, infiltrated by the NPA through intimidation and extortion.

Agusan Norte town school kids affected by conflict get interventions

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): Agusan Norte town school kids affected by conflict get interventions (By Alexander Lopez)

PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION. At least 332 schoolchildren from Barangay Doña Telesfora, Tubay, Agusan del Norte benefited from a Psychological First Aid intervention from DSWD-13 personnel through a daylong session on Thursday (Feb. 29, 2024). The activity was aimed to ease the stress symptoms of the children resulting from their traumatic experience following an armed encounter between the government forces and lawless elements last month. (Photo courtesy of DSWD-13)

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Caraga Region (DSWD-13) provided Psychological First Aid (PFA) to 332 schoolchildren affected by a recent armed encounter between government forces and communist rebels in Tubay town, Agusan del Norte.

“The PFA was provided through a request from the Tubay social welfare office in assisting the elementary students of Doña Telesfora Elementary School (DOTES) to overcome the aftermath of the distressing encounter between government forces and the lawless elements last Feb. 23, 2024,” the DSWD-13 said in a statement Friday.

On Thursday, at least 17 social workers from the agency with the support of 13 interns joined hands in the conduct of the PFA to the schoolchildren.

The PFA, through different activities, is aimed to alleviate stress symptoms and support the positive recovery of the children after their stressful and traumatic experiences.

“Following a series of engaging activities, the PFA team observed the resilience of the children, noting their cooperative participation and openness in expressing their emotions regarding the incident,” the DSWD-13 said.

During the exit conference, professional assessments showed no significant signs of extreme stress among the schoolchildren as they were ready to resume their studies without impediment.

DOTES head Liezel Santos expressed appreciation for the response of the DSWD-13 to the situation of the children.

“Your presence made us feel that we are not alone with the prompt response you made,” she said.

Naval Reserve Command eyes mobilization center in north Negros

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): Naval Reserve Command eyes mobilization center in north Negros (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

COLLABORATION. San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo (left) and Lt. Col. Hilario De Vera Jr., commander of Naval Reserve Center-Western Visayas, exchange tokens during their meeting at the San Carlos City Hall in Negros Occidental on Thursday (Feb. 29, 2024). The NRCen-WV of the Philippine Navy is seeking a partnership with San Carlos City for the establishment of a mobilization center in northern Negros. (Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental-San Carlos City Government)

BACOLOD CITY – The Naval Reserve Command-Naval Reserve Center Western Visayas (NRCen-WV) of the Philippine Navy is seeking a partnership with San Carlos City in Negros Occidental for the establishment of a mobilization center in northern Negros.

Mayor Renato Gustilo said he met with Lt. Col. Hilario De Vera Jr., commander of NRCen-WV, on Thursday to discuss the signing of a memorandum of understanding to reflect their shared commitment to enhancing regional security and preparedness.

“As agreements are being finalized, I assure our unwavering support and cooperation in the center’s establishment and operation. We express our readiness to collaborate with the Philippine Navy in this endeavor,” Gustilo said in a statement on Thursday night.

He was joined by Vice Mayor Christopher Paul Carmona and San Carlos Development Board executive director Jose Miguel Valmayor during the meeting.

Gustilo said San Carlos City is “honored to be considered as the site for the mobilization center”, which is a recognition of the northern Negros city’s pivotal role in the regional defense landscape.

“I extend my sincerest appreciation to Lt. Col. Hilario De Vera Jr. and the NRCen-WV team for their proactive engagement and vision for strengthening our defense capabilities,” he added.

De Vera said they chose San Carlos City for its strategic defense location in Western Visayas.

It is also near Cebu province, where the headquarters of the Philippine Navy Naval Forces Central is located, he said.

De Vera said they are also planning to hold a recruitment for the Naval Reserve Force in San Carlos City.

Communist groups in Cordillera weaker, more rebels yielding to gov’t

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 1, 2024): Communist groups in Cordillera weaker, more rebels yielding to gov’t (By Liza Agoot)

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE. ”Michael" and “Gian”, a couple who established a family while on the mountains fighting against the government, recite their oath of allegiance administered by former PNP chief Camilo Cascolan in 2020 at Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet. The two surrendered to be able to give their eight-month-old son a better future. (PNA file photo)

BAGUIO CITY – Continued engagement by the police with relatives of former rebels helped neutralize communist groups in the Cordillera region, authorities said.

Data from the Police Regional Office (Cordillera) show that about 103 members of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were neutralized in 2023, up from 91 a year ago.

It shows that a rebel was captured in 2023, while six were arrested, five were killed, and 91 voluntarily surrendered to avail of the enhanced comprehensive local integration program (E-CLIP).

“(The) arrest of three top-ranking leaders somehow caused a vacuum in the leadership of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee, making it hard for them to sustain its force in the Cordillera region, particularly in their former mass bases.” Brig. Gen. David Peredo said in a report furnished to the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

Police data show that some of the arrested and captured NPA members last year were identified through tactical interrogations, custodial debriefing reports, and the exploitation of recovered documents while others are supporters of the CPP-NPA.

In a phone interview on Friday, Peredo traced the large number of surrenderers to the continuous engagement of police intelligence personnel with relatives of former rebels who have availed of the E-CLIP and the whole-of-nation approach in ending local armed conflict under Executive Order (EO) 70.

“This implies that the government’s program has effectively enticed some (rebels) and supporters to denounce the CPP-NPA in exchange for a normal and peaceful life with their families,” he said.

Under E-CLIP, a surrenderer gets livelihood assistance, monetary aid, housing (if necessary), education and training (if needed and asked).

A surrendered firearm is also compensated based on the caliber and the condition.

“They do not just see the benefit but they feel the government’s assistance through the collaboration of several agencies that extend their services to those who opt to renew their allegiance to the government,” Peredo said.

He said the Police Community Relations service of all Philippine National Police (PNP) units have also proven to contribute to the effort, with the continuing community engagements that relay the government’s services, as well as the commitment and interventions that are provided to the public.

“With our people, especially those in the far-flung areas, seeing government reaching them they think otherwise about joining the terrorist groups,” he added.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis: Former NTF-Elcac spokesperson, “guilty” of “indirect contempt” for Red-tagging

Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 29, 2024): Former NTF-Elcac spokesperson, “guilty” of “indirect contempt” for Red-tagging

This article is available in Pilipino

February 29, 2024

Yesterday, February 28, the Supreme Court publicly released its verdict citing former NTF-Elcac spokesperson Lorraine Badoy-Partosa “guilty” of “indirect contempt” for Red-tagging a court in 2022 was made public.

The verdict relates to Badoy’s threat against Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court, who dismissed the case filed by the Department of Justice to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as terrorists.

According to the decision, Partosa’s social media posts against Malagar were “improper conduct” that directly or indirectly hindered, obstructed and undermined the delivery of justice.” The court’s decision written by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen was dated August 15, 2023.

“Her clear threats against Judge Magdoza-Malagar and other members of the Judiciary leave no doubt that she was imbued with bad faith in making her post,” according to the decision. “In so doing, respondent jeopardized the Judiciary by sowing distrust and impairing the public’s confidence in the honesty, integrity, and impartiality of those donning judicial robes.”

Partosa was fined ₱30,000. She was also warned of a heavier punishment if she repeats the action.

Partosa is facing at least 14 other cases of Red-tagging. The latest to file a case against her and her accomplice Red-tagger Jeffrey Celis is journalist Atom Araullo. The Ibon Foundation was the first to file an administrative complaint against her, Celiz, General Parlade, and Hermogenes Esperon in February 2020.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis: Police claims abducted brother of Sorsogon peasant leader “surrendered”

Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 28, 2024): Police claims abducted brother of Sorsogon peasant leader “surrendered”

This article is available in Pilipino

February 28, 2024

The police and military abducted Jose Marie Estiller, brother of a Sorsogon peasant leader, and falsely claimed he “surrendered” on February 23 at the 903rd IBde in Barangay San Rafael, Castilla, Sorsogon. Estiller’s relatives and Karapatan-Sorsogon previously reported he was abducted by armed men in civilian clothes of the combined forces of the 22nd IB, 59th IB and the police of Sto. Tomas, Batangas on February 20.

In the statement of Maj. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) head, Estiller was considered the “2nd Most Wanted” in Bicol. The state accused him of being a New People’s Army (NPA)-Sorsogon fighter and charged him with several cases including murder, and three counts of illegal possession of firearms in Sorsogon.

Contrary to this lie, a CCTV clearly show how Estiller was abducted without presenting any legal documents. In the video, Estiller was walking back to his rented house when five men suddenly surrounded him around 5 p.m. and dragged him away.

The CCTV footage also clearly shows two of the five men who abducted the victim were armed. Karapatan-Sorsogon also identified one of the abductors of the victim as Jimmy Dela Torre, a military agent who was a former Red fighter of the New People’s Army-Sorsogon. The group says Dela Torre is notorious in Sorsogon for endangering activists and the masses he accuses of being linked to the revolutionary movement.

State forces repeatedly denied having custody of the victim until Estiller’s “surrender” was announced yesterday, February 27. According to relatives, they are still unable to trace the exact whereabouts of the victim.

Jose Marie is the brother of Amihan-Sorsogon peasant leader and former political prisoner Jean Estiller. She said they were together in Batangas at that time because her brother was scheduled to undergo treatment for hypertension, diabetes, high uric acid and kidney stones on that day. She, their relatives and Karapatan-Sorsogon, demand the safe release of the victim. “The law must be respected and due process must be enforced if he has a case to face,” Defend Bicol said.

Jose Marie’s case is similar to the military abduction and nearly two weeks of detention, torture and harassment of environmental activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro in September 2023.

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis: Sorsoganons condemn the 22nd IB’s crimes and violence

Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 28, 2024): Sorsoganons condemn the 22nd IB’s crimes and violence

This article is available in Pilipino

February 28, 2024

Residents of San Juan Daan, Bulan, Sorsogon and relatives of Eddie Berania, mourn the death of the 58-year old farmer and barangay councilor. He was found hanging in his hut around 7 pm on February 25.

Berania’s family said some soldiers went to his hut that morning. The soldiers were accompanied by “surrenderee” and now military asset Ronnie Albao. Since 2022, the military has relentlessly harassed to force the surrender of Berania, whom they accuse of being a supporter of the revolutionary movement.

The family are uncertain if Berania committed suicide due to pressure from the fascists or if he was hanged by the 22nd IB soldiers who intimidated him. The family wants the incident to be investigated to determine the truth and attain justice for the victim.

Defend Bicol, Stop the Attacks Network and Karapatan Sorsogon, meanwhile, condemned the 22nd IBPA, 59th IB and PNP Sto. Tomas, Batangas for the abduction of Jose Marie Estiller, 27, brother of activist and former political prisoner Jean Estiller on February 20. The abduction took place on around 5 pm outside his apartment in a subdivision in Barangay San Pedro, Santo Tomas, Batangas.

Footage from the apartment’s security camera show how Estiller was abducted by five men armed with pistols. One of the suspects was identified as Jimmy dela Torre alias Nick, a “surrenderee”, resident of Barangay Gabao, Irosin and currently working as asset of the 22nd IB. According to the statement of P/Col Ariel Red of CIDG Region 5, Estiller allegedly surrendered to the 903rd Brigade on February 23. Estiller has not been surfaced since.

The combat and zoning operations carried out by the 22nd IB in barangays Macabari, Santa Lourdes in the town of Barcelona, and Sta. Barbara, San Francisco, San Jose, Tinampo, San Bernardo in the town of Bulusan bring terror and disrupt people’s lives. According to civilians, the soldiers ask for their ID whenever they enter said barangays.

The soldiers are currently camped at the barangay hall and covered court of barangays San Antonio, Alegria and Bugtong in the town of Barcelona; Cadandanan, Beguin, San Juan Daan and Calpi in the town of Bulan; and Lajong in the town of Juban.

The Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid (PKM)-Sorsogon condemned the AFP and PNP “for wreaking havoc in the province, under the leadership of the tyrannical fascist and terrorist US-Marcos regime. The people of Sorsogon must unite to expose, condemn and resist all forms of human rights violations by the fascists and their minions against the people.”

“We also call on media personnel to side with the oppressed and serve as the true voice of the people of Sorsogon,” added PKM-Sorsogon. (Radio Bulusan report)

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis: Various groups commemorate 2nd year anniversary of the New Bataan 5 killings

Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 28, 2024): Various groups commemorate 2nd year anniversary of the New Bataan 5 killings

This article is available in Pilipino

February 28, 2024

Groups of youth, national minorities and human rights defenders commemorated the second anniversary of the military killing of two Lumad teachers Chad Booc and Jurain Ngujo, development worker Elegyn Balonga, and their two drivers Tirso Añar and Robert Aragon. Known as the New Bataan 5, they were captured, mercilessly killed and misrepresented as Red fighters killed in an encounter in New Bataan, Compostela Valley (now Davao de Oro) on February 24, 2022.

In Davao City, youth groups and their supporters launched a protest and lit candles at Freedom Park to call for justice for the victims of the New Bataan massacre.

“For two years, the military butchers have been playing deaf and blind over their crime in the New Bataan 5 massacre,” said Beverly Gofredo, Anakbayan Southern Mindanao Region spokesperson. They honored the New Bataan 5 for their struggle for the rights of the Lumads for land and environment.

The youths said evidence gathered prove that the five were not killed in an encounter. Instead, they were brutally tortured before being hacked and shot by fascist soldiers.

According to Gofredo, what the New Bataan 5 suffered is not an “isolated case”, especially since Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70 forming the NTF-Elcac fascist machinery. This agency continues to exist and under the current Marcos regime, attacks against activists, unionists, journalists, human rights defenders and others have worsened.

“The New Bataan 5 massacre is no different from the thousands of victims of human rights violations,” Gofredo said. The youth demanded the immediate dissolution of the NTF-Elcac and accountability of the Duterte and Marcos regimes for their grave human rights violations.

The Katribu group of national minorities also called for justice. They condemned the reactionary state and its agencies. They say the New Bataan 5 are not the only ones who have been denied justice but also other national minorities who are victims of state killings, such as the Lianga Massacre (2015), the Tumandok massacre in Panay (2020) and the Bloody Sunday and second massacre in Lianga that occurred in 2021.

“While the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) allows development projects on ancestral lands, as in the case of the Gened Dam in Apayao, Kaliwa Dam in Rizal and Quezon, and Jalaur Dam in Iloilo, it indiscriminately violates indigenous people’s rights …,” the group says.

The situation will be worsened further by the Marcos regime’s charter change, which will allow 100% ownership of land, including ancestral lands. This is the exact opposite of what Chad and Jurain fought for, and what the indigenous people continue to fight for, according to the group.

CPP/Ang Bayan News and Analysis: Activist writer in Zamboanga, abducted and disappeared by the military and police

Ang Bayan News and Analysis propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 28, 2024): Activist writer in Zamboanga, abducted and disappeared by the military and police

This article is available in Pilipino

February 28, 2024

In a statement on February 27, Anakbayan-Southern Mindanao Region condemned the military and police for the abduction and enforced disappearance of an activist writer and his companion. The soldiers and police of Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay abducted and have not yet released Nelson Bautista Jr, a former journalist from the Notre Dame College campus in Kidapawan City.

On 25 January, police and soldiers raided the house where Bautista and his companion Ademar Anciero Etol, 64, were staying in Barangay Balingasan in the same town. Etol was arrested and charged with murder. He is currently being held at the Siay City Police Station. Meanwhile, Bautista’s family and friends have not heard from him since.

“Bautista and Etol have long been targets of the state,” according to the Anakbayan-SMR statement. Etol, a native of San Isidro, Davao del Norte, was accused by the military of being a Red fighter. According to the group, he was falsely charged with planted evidence of gun and ammunition.

Bautista was president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines in North Cotabato in 2004. He was also the convener of KALAMPAG, an alliance against the abuses by the Piñol family in North Cotabato. He has spent almost two decades of his life in remote villages where he was active in campaigns against destructive mining and for the rights of Lumads and peasants in different parts of the Davao region. Bautista is also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and a staunch defender of the sector’s rights.

Because of his activities, the military considered and hunted him as a “terrorist.”

“The enforced disappearance of Bautista follows the pattern of abductions under the Marcos regime carried out by agents of the military and NTF-Elcac to present the victims as fake surenderees,” the group said. The same was done to activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro in Bataan, and to Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha in Cebu, and most recently, to Jose Marie Estillier in Batangas.

“Surface Bautista!” the group calls. It demanded the state to respect his legal and political rights and present him in court. It also called for the release of Etol.

The group urged all Baustita’s colleagues and friends, defenders of human rights and peace, to strengthen the call for Bautista’s immediate and safe release.

CPP/NPA-Negros Island ROC: Nagsala si Gen. Brawner, indi mawasak ang NPA sa Visayas

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Mar 1, 2024): Nagsala si Gen. Brawner, indi mawasak ang NPA sa Visayas (Gen. Brawner lied, the NPA cannot be destroyed in the Visayas)

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

March 01, 2024

Ginatikal ni Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr nga malaumon siya nga malab-ot ang ila bug-os nga kadalag-an batok sa mga “nagkalabilin (remnants) nga NPA” sa Visayas sa katapusan sang 2024. Apang ang brutal kag tinalawan nga pagmasaker sang 47th IB kag PNP sa lima ka hors de combat sa Bohol kag ang pagpangbomba sa Trangkal Range sa Escalante City, lakip na ang pagpatay kay Jose Caramihan, isa ka ordinaryong mangunguma, nagapakita lang sa mahigko kag mapintas nga hinimoan sang AFP kag kapulisan agud ipadayag sa publiko ang peke nga kadalag-an sa ila kampanya kontra-insurhensya.

Sa tunga sang pasulit-sulit nga pag-isdog sang AFP sa dedlayn sang pagtapos sa NPA, maathag nga indi gusto ni Brawner kag sa iya Commander in Chief nga si Marcos Jr nga mag-ako sa kapaslawan sang ila tuyo nga wasakon ang rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan.

Indi mawasak ang NPA bisan san-o. Ginpamatud-an sa masobra 55 ka tuig nga paglungtad sang NPA idalom sa pagpamuno sang Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ang pagkamakatarunganon sang inaway banwa nga ginalunsar sini upod ang wala paghubas nga suporta sang masa. Samtang magpabilin ang garuk nga sistema nga malakolonyal kag malapuydal, magadamo pa ang magbato kag handa nga maghalad sang ila kabuhi dira sa armado nga paghimakas.

Sa ini nga diwa, ginahatag sang Apolinario Gatmaitan Command-New People’s Army Negros Island Regional Operations Command (AGC-NPA), upod sa tanan nga mga larangan gerilya sa bilog isla, ang pinakamataas nga pagpasidungog kay Domingo Compoc (Ka Silong ukon mas kilala nga Ka Laser sang mga masa sa Negros) kag Alberto Sancho (Ka Juaning) nga lakip sa lima ka Pulang hangaway nga brutal nga ginmasaker sang mga elemento sang 47th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army kag tropa sang Philippine National Police (PNP) sa Sityo Matin-ao 2, Barangay Campagao, Bilar, probinsya sa Bohol sadtong Pebrero 23.

Suno sa mga nakasaksi, wala sang engkwentro nga natabo sa nasambit nga lugar. Buhi pa sila Ka Laser kag Ka Juaning kag ang tatlo pa nga mga kaupod sang gindakop sang mga mersenaryong militar kag kapulisan. Nagbatayg sang sakit nga arthritis si Ka Laser kag wala na kapasidad nga magbato.

Imbes nga irespeto ang kinamatarung sang lima ka Pulang hangaway bilang prisoners of war, nakaagum sila sang tortyur sa kamot sang berdugong 47th IB kag PNP. Ginpaligid sila sa lunang kag gintiro, luwas kay Ka Laser. Ginbuno sa liog kag ginriri ang iya tiyan nga kabangdanan sa iya kamatayon. Ini athag nga bayolasyon sang 1949 Geneva Convention kag Additional Protocol 1 of 1977.

Daku ang pagpalangga sang masang Negrosanon kay Ka Laser kag Ka Juaning. Nangin kabahin sila sa pagpauswag sang rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan sa isla sang Negros.

Si Ka Laser naghalin sa probinsya sa Bohol kag malawig na nga naghulag sa ila lugar sumugod 1980s. Tuig 2007, nadeploy siya sa Southeast Negros kag pagkatapos sini, gin-asayn man sa southwest nga bahin sang Negros sadtong 2015. Pagkatapos sini, liwat siya nga gindeploy sa Bohol sadtong 2017 bilang Platun CO kag Deputy Secretary sang Bohol Provincial Committee.

Antes gindeploy sa Negros si Ka Laser, daku ang iya kontribusyon sa pag-uswag sa isa ka sonang gerilya sa Bohol. Nakabulig siya sa pagbreyktru sa rebolusyon agraryo kaangay sa pagpataas sa bahinay sang ani pabor sa mga saop sa panahon sang Ikaduha nga Dungganon nga Kahublagan Panadlong (IDKP). Daku man ang iya amot sa pagpapagsik sa mga likom nga organisasyon masa sa Bohol.

Bantog man ang papel ni Ka Laser sa mga taktikal nga opensiba sa Bohol. Pinakatingkad nga ginpakigbahinan niya ang reyd nga wala lupok sadtong 1999 sa hedkwarters sang 7th PNP-Regional Mobile Group Combat Support Coy (RMG-CSC) sa Barangay Rizal, Batuan, Bohol kung sa diin nakakuha ang NPA sang 80 ka M16, isa ka M60 machine gun kag isa ka 60mm mortar.

Samtang, si Ka Juaning nagbulig sa dayag nga kahublagan masa sa sayong bahin sa 2010 sa Negros Oriental kag nagpultaym sa NPA sa ulihing bahin sa sina nga tuig.

Naghulag si Ka Juaning sa paghimakas masa sa imol nga taga-syudad halin pa sa 1980s. Sadtong 1987, gindakop siya sa mga pwersa sang reaksyonaryong estado bangud sa iya pagsuporta sa armadong partisano. Nakombikto siya sadtong 1994 kag gindala sa National Bilibid Prison (NBP). Isa siya sa nanindugan sa IDKP kag nagbulig sa pagpabakud sa panindugan sang mga bilanggong pulitikal sa NBP. Matapos nga nakaguwa sa prisohan sa ulihi nga bahin sang 1990s, nagbalik si Ka Juaning sa paghulag sa paghimakas masa sa Cebu.

Dapat nga pasabton ang AFP kag PNP sa ila makasiligni nga krimen sa pagmasaker sa lima ka Pulang hangaway. Nagsala ang mga berdugong militar kag kapulisan sa ila pagpati nga paagi sa ila modus nga pagmasaker kag pasabwag sang kakugmat sa kaumhan maghuyang ang NPA, sa Visayas man ukon sa bilog pungsod.

Mangin inspirasyon sa mga Pulang hangaway kag sa bilog rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan ang paghalad sa kabuhi sang mga rebolusyonaryo nga martir kaangay kay Ka Laser kag Ka Juaning. Magpabilin nga buhi ang ila rebolusyonaryong diwa dira sa aton padayon nga pagsulong sa demokratiko nga rebolusyon sang banwa agud maangkon sa pumuluyo ang bwasdamlag nga may ara matuod nga kalinong kag kahilwayan.###

CPP/NDF-Negros Island-KM: Follow Hannah Cesista’s revolutionary spirit!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 29, 2024): Follow Hannah Cesista’s revolutionary spirit!

Kabataang Makabayan-South Central Negros
NDF-Negros Island
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

February 29, 2024

Kabataang Makabayan-South Central Negros vehemently condemns the merciless killing of Domingo Compoc, Hannah Jay Cesista, Parlito Historia, Marlon Omosura, and Alberto Sancho or collectively known as Bilar 5. Contrary to the narrative fabricated by the 47th IB and PNP Bohol, the Bilar 5 was not killed in an encounter between the New People’s Army (NPA) and AFP and PNP forces in Sitio Matin-ao 2, Barangay Campagao, Bilar, Bohol last February 23, 2024.

The repressive state machinery was sunk in humiliation by repeatedly exposing itself as “fake news peddler.” With clear evidence, it was revealed that the Bilar 5 was captured by the 47th IB and its accomplice, PNP Bohol. Accordingly, the Bilar 5 should have been considered as prisoners of war (POW). To make things worse, instead of granting them the rights accorded in the Geneva Convention, they had experienced physical and psychological torture at the hands of the merciless enemy.

Tracing the history of the AFP’s deeds, this is not the first time that the institution resorted to massacre and other brutal forms of attempting to cripple the revolutionary movement and silencing the masses who speak and stand for the truth. This has been their modus operandi since time immemorial. In South Central Negros, similar bloody incidents have occurred such as killing of the Quillano couple, the Binalbagan 4 massacre, the salvaging of farmer Jose Gonzalez, the torture and murder of AGC-NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua (Romeo Nanta), and the massacre of the Fausto family (including two minors).

In their desperation, the AFP as an institution has worsened its tainted integrity and maintained its reputation as “protector” and “lapdog” of the ruling class of big landlords, big comprador bourgeoise, and their imperialist master.

More so, the KM – South Central Negros raises its fist to pay the highest tribute to the Bilar 5. Among the martyrs is Hannah Jay “Ka Maya” Cesista, a lawyer who eventually embraced armed struggle as a means of forwarding the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective. Due to her comprehensive grasp of the objective conditions of the country and empathy toward the exploited masses, Ka Maya, as a revolutionary youth, took a resolute step of leaving her comfortable life to fully immerse with the masses.

Hannah Cesista left a fiery path full of revolutionary spirit for the next generation of youth to follow. With this, we highly urge the Filipino youth to study the social ills of the country, take a critical stand on it, be organized, and eventually join the highest form of struggle. Join the NPA!

CPP/NDF-Negros Island-MAKIBAKA: Ka Jandy, an epitome of a woman revolutionary fighting for justice and social liberation

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 28, 2024): Ka Jandy, an epitome of a woman revolutionary fighting for justice and social liberation

Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan-Negros Island
NDF-Negros Island
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

February 28, 2024

The Makabayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA)-Negros pays tribute to Emarie “Ka Jandy” Pastidio who gave her life for the struggle for justice and social liberation. Her life as a woman revolutionary gives inspiration to us all and nurtures our determination to carry forward the people’s democratic revolution. Ka Jandy was martyred, together with Joshua ‘Ka Jorge’ Sultan, while facing enemy troops in Sitio Mansulao, Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City, Negros Occidental on February 21, 2024.

MAKIBAKA-Negros grieves with the families and friends of Ka Jandy and Ka Jorge, most of all, Ka Peeta, Ka Jandy’s husband and comrade-in-arms, and Baby Marx Cairo, her son, and the revolutionary forces and masses of Northern Negros.

We demand justice, as well, for Tatay Jose Caramihan, an ordinary farmer who was planting rice during the armed encounter. He suffered the brutality of the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (79IBPA) when he was butchered and presented afterwards by the military as a casualty of the New People’s Army (NPA), along with Ka Jandy and Ka Jorge.

Revolutionary women in Negros would like to highlight Ka Jandy’s life that was full of struggles for a young woman. She did not just suffer under a fascist patriarchal system, but up to her death, she is being exploited by the Philippine Army for monetary rewards, promotion and empty accolades.

Ka Jandy was captured twice and experienced all sorts of torture at the hands of the fascist military.

In 2018, Ka Jandy was organizing a cultural group in the hinterlands of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental when 79th IB soldiers raided the house where she was resting in with her fellow organizer. Both of them were dragged out and made to drop face down on an anthill before bringing them to the 79th IBPA Headquarters, where they experienced more mental torture during interrogation. Both Ka Jandy and her companion were eventually freed after public pressure.

Her experience under illegal detention and torture by the reactionary state was the turning point for Ka Jandy. From a cultural youth group organizer, she became a young woman fighter of the NPA. As a Red fighter, she contributed much and more to the armed struggle to the best of her abilities. Her comrades in the NPA unit she belonged to acknowledged her great contribution in guerrilla zone expansion work.

On January 13, 2021, in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, while Ka Jandy was on maternity leave, she again suffered at the hands of the 79th IB for a second time. She evaded a raid by armed soldiers of the 79th IB on the house where she was recovering and taking care of 2-month old Baby Marx Cairo Salino, but she was eventually captured. She experienced torture, specifically cigarette burns all over her body, and was repeatedly raped by 79th IB soldiers. For days, she was fighting for her life, determined to see her baby again.

On the 10th day of her incarceration, Ka Jandy was able to escape the enemy camp and was rescued by her comrades. However, Baby Marx, whom she left with a family for his welfare, was reported as a ‘recovery’ by the raiding enemy troops and remains a hostage of the Philippine government to lure his parents into capitulation.

Until now, after three years, despite numerous efforts, Baby Marx’ grandparents strive to bring him home but they are facing bureaucratic hindrances put in place by the reactionary government’s NTF-Elcac. They are also being targeted by fascist reactionary state forces to pressure their son, Baby Marx’s father, to surrender. Ultimately, Ka Jandy died without seeing her baby boy again.

Even after her death, the fascist Philippine Army is maligning Ka Jandy’s life and legacy in their black propaganda. They spread lies and intrigues to tarnish the memory of Ka Jandy and the revolution she stood for. Yet, they will of course fail.

On International Women’s Day this March 8, let Ka Jandy’s story of a revolutionary woman and mother advancing the liberation of women in this macho society and struggling to end of all forms of abuse generated by the ruling system, spur a new wave of women to participate in the revolutionary armed movement.
The MAKIBAKA-Negros also continues to demand the immediate and safe return of Baby Marx to his family. We vehemently condemn the reactionary state for violating international humanitarian law, specifically the special protection for infants, children, and pregnant women.

We call on peace and human rights advocates all over the world, as well as women’s organizations, to support the campaign for Baby Marx Cairo Salino’s release to his family. The Marcos Jr regime must be made accountable for the war crime of keeping Baby Marx and, other infants and children in similar circumstances, hostage.

Long live Ka Jandy!
Long live women Red fighters!
Long live the people’s democratic revolution!