Wednesday, May 1, 2024

CPP/NDF-IIO: US, Hands Off the Philippines!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (May 1, 2024): US, Hands Off the Philippines!

International Information Office
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

April 29, 2024

The US-led Balikatan war exercises present a clear and impending threat to the lives of the Filipino people as Marcos Jr. willingly surrenders the country to become a staging point for US military aggression against China. Under the guise of “routine military operations,” these war games form part of a broader strategy of US imperialist warmongering and reckless brinkmanship tactics.

The US government’s aggressive posturing in the region is guided by its first island chain strategy aimed at encircling China by establishing a US-controlled ‘defense’ perimeter stretching from the Kuril Islands, Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Northern Philippines, and to Borneo. In the current context of brewing inter-imperialist conflict, the island chain strategy seeks to constrain China’s maritime expansion and limit its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. By fortifying key islands and maritime chokepoints, the US aims to create a buffer zone that would not only impede China’s access to strategic waters, but also set the ground for the US to constantly “test the waters” and provoke China into firing the first shot.

Should China fire the first shot, the US plans to invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) it has with the Philippines to further justify escalated US military actions in the region.

The Balikatan exercises this year, the biggest in history with more than 11,000 US troops participating, serve as a visible display of military force intended to send a clear message to China – that the US is ready for war. These exercises seek to project the combined military strength of the US and its participating allies France and Australia.

The Balikatan exercises have also been expanded and intensified in response to perceived Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, serving as pretext for the US to continue pushing the boundaries by stationing warships closer and closer to China’s doorsteps. The so-called “supply missions” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the ‘stranded’ BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal represent a calculated move by the US to justify continued war provocations. On the other hand, Marcos Jr. effectively abdicates Philippine sovereignty in exchange of imperialist favor by allowing troops to be stationed closer to Chinese territory, further cementing its status as a puppet regime.

The repeated visits of US security officials, including the likes of US State Secretary Anthony Blinken to the Philippines last March serve to ensure continued subservience from the Marcos Jr. government and the AFP. In the same breath, the recently concluded trilateral summit between the US, Japan and the Philippines revealed Biden’s true militarist intention to rally its allies and puppet regimes in the region to march in lockstep with US war designs in Asia. Talks are already underway for another ‘visiting forces agreement’ between the Philippines and Japan. On top of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which creates legal pretext for US military bases in the Philippines, allowing Japanese forces to set foot on Philippine soil will add more US-allied troops to maintain their presence in service of US war preparations.

In addition, the introduction of the new Philippine Enhanced Resilience Act (PERA Act) in the US Senate seeks to smoothen politico-economic restructuring needed to allow continued US military presence in the Philippines. Through the proposed provision of $2.5 billion in foreign military funding to the Philippines, the bill ensures continued alignment of the AFP with US foreign policy objectives while allowing access to strategic resources in the Philippine archipelago.

Upon US imperialist prodding, the Marcos Jr. regime further stokes the flames of inter-imperialist war by capitalizing on the Filipino public’s anger towards China to justify continued provocations. By overemphasizing China’s “grey tactics” in the contested waters of the South China Sea, the US seeks to manufacture consent for its warmongering agenda, all at the expense of the lives of the Filipino masses which will be the first threatened should an all-out war break out between US and China.

It is abundantly clear that the US intends to use Marcos and the AFP as proxies to intensify confrontations and instigate Chinese armed reaction. The AFP’s new deadline to defeat the New People’s Army (which they now failed to meet yet again) serves the US agenda of pivoting the reactionary armed forces to ‘territorial defense’.

US military interventions in the Philippines is bound to intensify fueled by Biden’s failures in its NATO-assisted war against Russia and its continued support for Zionist Israel’s genocidal crusade in Palestine. Biden’s desperate bid for reelection on November this year provides further motivation for the US to spark a new warfront in Asia by way of instigating conflict with China and portraying Biden as the ‘defender of small nations.’ To this effect, the US propaganda machine is working doubly to portray Marcos Jr. as the ‘new Zelensky’ which seeks to obscure and distort the reality of US imperialist aggression and warmongering.

In the face of the growing threat of US military intervention in the Philippines and war provocations against China, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines International Office (NDFP IO) joins all national democratic organizations, anti-war groups and peace-loving peoples in resisting and condemning these actions unequivocally.

US Hands Off the Philippines!
Resist US military intervention in the Philippines!
Reject US war provocations against China!
Condemn Marcos Jr.’s attempts to drag the Philippines at the center of imperialist war!
Marcos/AFP, US imperialist puppets!
Not in our seas! Not in our name!
Junk EDCA! Junk VFA! Junk MDT!
Stop the bombings in the Philippines!
Advance the people’s war for national liberation and democracy!

CPP: Workers at the revolutionary forefront through 135 years of May One

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (May 1, 2024): Workers at the revolutionary forefront through 135 years of May One

This article is available in Pilipino

Communist Party of the Philippines
May 01, 2024

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the vanguard of the Filipino proletariat, extends its revolutionary solidarity to workers all over the world on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day. The May One declaration was done in Paris 135 years ago today, to commemorate the May 1, 1896 Haymart strike in Chicago, USA, demanding an eight-hour working day, that was violently suppressed by the police.

More than a century since, workers all over the world, along with other toiling classes and sectors, continue to fight for their rights and aspirations, amid intolerable conditions brought about by unprecedented crisis of the global capitalist system. They desire to wage revolution and bring history back to the course of socialism.

In the face of a chronic crisis of joblessness, workers’ wages continue to be pulled down below the daily costs of living. They are subjected to even worse forms of exploitation and oppression, as profit-hungry financial oligarchs and monopoly capitalists race against one another to accumulate even greater wealth.

More than four decades of neoliberal economic policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization have been directed mainly against the social, economic and political rights of workers to maximize the extraction of surplus value from their labor-power. The backward, semicolonial and semifeudal countries were subjected to trade and investment liberalization which allowed foreign monopoly companies to carry out unmitigated plunder of natural resources resulting in gross destruction of the environment, and exploitation of labor through repression of wages and suppression of union rights.

Filipino workers have been subjected to relentless neoliberal attacks since the late 1980s. The gap between wages and the cost of living of workers in the Philippines have constantly widened. Direct and indirect attacks against unions have impaired the ability of workers to collectively bargain and demand higher wages, further made worse by chronic mass unemployment.

Labor laws were amended to pave the way for neoliberal attacks, including the regionalization of wages, the “floorwage” and “two-tier” wage systems, and other schemes that sought to pull down wages. These laws also allowed capitalists to employ various forms of flexible labor, including labor contractualization, compressed work week, outsourcing, and other schemes. These subject workers to prolonged hours of work, unpaid overtime, and other worse working conditions.

As a result, the standards of living of workers have constantly gone down, especially with the sharp and relentless increase in the prices of food, fuel, and other basic necessities, especially over the past two years under the Marcos regime. Workers and their families are suffering from quantitatively and qualitatively lower levels in terms of their living conditions, education of their children, food and nutrition, health care, and access to public utilities and services. Filipino workers and their families have no money savings and are deep in debt.

The conditions of workers and the rest of the Filipino people are rapidly deteriorating under the Marcos puppet and fascist regime, which has been aggressively pursuing policies that favor foreign economic and military interests. Marcos has turned a deaf ear on the clamor of workers for wage increases. This is in line with his regime’s policy of cheap labor as a key measure in his anti-national thrust of attracting foreign investors. Heeding the demand of foreign capitalist chambers, the Marcos regime is seeking to amend the 1987 constitution to reinforce its neoliberal policies that will further subject Filipino workers to greater oppression and exploitation.

Marcos’ political repression drive against unions has intensified as labor organizers are subjected to surveillance, harassments, arrests, abductions and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by military and police agents. The Marcos regime is using the so-called Anti-Terrorism Law to carry out its state terrorist attacks against workers and other democratic sectors.

Serving the geopolitical ends of his US imperialist masters, Marcos has allowed US military forces to increase their presence and strengthen their foothold on the country. The US government is using the Philippines, through their EDCA military bases, as a springboard for saber-rattling and war provocations against its rising imperialist rival China. It has been deploying thousands of US troops, jet fighters, aircraft carriers, missile systems, and other weapons and war matériel in the Philippines, to the detriment of Philippine sovereignty and security.

In the face of worsening forms of exploitation and economic conditions, heightened political repression and outright subservience of the Marcos regime to US imperialism, the working class movement in the Philippines must stand more firmly at the forefront of the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.

Filipino workers must exert all efforts to get organized and build their unions and all other types of mass organizations (with patriotic and democratic political, cultural and other causes) in their factories and communities. They must be roused, organized and mobilized to fight for just wages corresponding to the cost of production of their labor-power. Amid the sharp economic downturn, workers stand on just ground in demanding a renegotiation of their collective bargaining agreements. They must demand a minimum daily wage of around ₱1,200 corresponding to the costs for decent living of a family of five.

They must resist all forms of attacks against their economic and political rights.

At the same time, they must link their economic struggles with the urgent social and political issues confronting the Filipino people. The Filipino people relies mainly on the strength of the working class in their fight against Marcos’ “chacha” scheme and the rising threat against the country’s sovereignty and security as a result of US imperialism’s war provocations. Workers must actively raise their voices and put forward the sharpest analysis and criticism of key issues from a national democratic perspective, and lead mass actions to manifest the workers collective stand on the outstanding issues confronting the Filipino workers and people, and peoples around the world.

On this occasion of May One, let us look back at the history of the workers’ struggles around the world, from the Paris Commune of 1871 through more than a century of fighting imperialism across the globe. Let us also look back at the rich history of the struggle of Filipino workers, from their active role in the anti-colonial revolution, waging to American colonialism, carrying out guerrilla warfare against Japanese occupation, fighting martial law and the Marcos dictatorship, mounting the strike movement during the early 1980s and in the resistance to neoliberal policies over the past four decades.

Through more than 150 years, the working class has achieved great victories, starting with the 1917 October Revolution in Russia which opened a new era of socialist revolution around the world. Through the next seven decades, workers and peasants led by the revolutionary proletariat guided by Marxism-Leninism, made big strides in anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, and socialist revolutionary victories in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, countries in Eastern Europe up to East Germany and other parts of the world.

Countries that were under a workers’ state, primarily the Soviet Union and China, made unprecedented democratic and liberative accomplishments, as society’s productive forces were placed under the control of the proletarian state and made to serve the interests of workers, peasants and other toiling people. Socialist revolution and construction swept one fourth of the entire world and opened a new era of economic progress, social equality, and peace–the first such period in the history of humankind.

These victories for the working class, however, were destroyed by modern revisionist betrayals of socialism in the Soviet Union starting 1956 and in China from 1977, leading to the restoration of capitalism. Since then, we have seen the return of backward economic conditions, exploitation and oppression, and the renewed suffering of hundreds of millions of people. Productive forces–from large industries to land–were reverted to private ownership, and employed to make profits for the bourgeoisie. The grave socioeconomic conditions and political repression suffered by millions of workers and peasants under restored capitalism, underscore the necessity of waging revolutionary class struggle, to direct the course of history back to that of socialist progress and freedom.

The stark conditions of capitalist exploitation and imperialist oppression around the world point to the necessity and continuing viability of waging new democratic and socialist revolutions. The revolutionary proletariat in all countries around the world must vigorously study and promote Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and apply this on their concrete conditions, with the aim of serving as guide for revolutionary action.

On this May One, the Communist Party of the Philippines reaffirms its determination to lead the Filipino working class and people in waging the national democratic revolution to put an end to the basic ills of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, by waging protracted people’s war along the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside.

The Party calls on all workers to rise and fight to defend their rights, and stand at the head of the struggle for national democracy and socialism.

Philippines, Australia, U.S. begin Jungle Operations Training Course during Balikatan 24

From US Army Website (Apr 26, 2024): Philippines, Australia, U.S. begin Jungle Operations Training Course during Balikatan 24 (By Staff Sgt. Tiffany Banks)

CAMP TECSON, San Miguel, Bulacan, Philippines – An opening ceremony for the Philippines’ First Scout Ranger Regiment Jungle Operations Training Course commenced at Camp Tecson, San Miguel, Bulacan, Philippines during Exercise Balikatan April 24, 2024. The ten-day Philippine-led training course will include Soldiers from the U.S., the Philippines, and Australia, facilitating realistic training and fostering camaraderie between participating forces.

The jungle operations training course will cover combat tracking, Pekiti Tirsia Kali -Philippine Armed Forces’ hand-to-hand combat-training, jungle survival, close-quarters battle and night fighting, and concluding with a culminating event.

Balikatan 24 is the largest annual bilateral exercise conducted between the Philippines and the U.S., designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences.

Leading the ceremony were military service members from both countries, including U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tyler J. Patterson, the battalion commander of 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Lt. Col. Mark Steve T. Cimini and Lt. Col. Ricarte A. Dayata, both assigned to First Scout Ranger Regiment.

“They’ve welcomed us to their force and they have an outstanding instructional period planned for us,” said Patterson. “We’re going to be learning some new methods that will improve our skills in the jungle.”

Dayata expressed the First Scout Ranger’s anticipation around the multinational training.

“We are excited to share our expertise on small unit operations and develop interoperability, teamwork and camaraderie,” Dayata said.

Over 200 Soldiers from 2/27 will be participating in the course during BK24.

”It’s an incredible opportunity to be here in the Philippines,” said Capt. Jake Matson, Comanche company commander. “We can really focus on training with our partners.”

This year’s Exercise Balikatan marks the 39th iteration of the annual event, showcasing the collective commitment and enduring alliance between the two nations. For some, the ties between nations signify more than a shared military mission; they are a recollection of home.

For U.S. Army Sgt. Alexar Bejierenek Araza, an infantryman assigned to Comanche Company and native of Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines, the pride of wearing the uniform and sharing experiences alongside his Filipino counterparts is one that is close to his heart.

“I’m very proud of the partnership we have with the Philippines; I’m most excited to learn about Philippine martial arts and the opportunity to train,” said Araza.

The FSRR JOTC incorporates a variety of training opportunities, not only for combat military occupational specialties, but also for various other occupational specialties.

“Everyone wants to learn, whether you’re an infantryman or a medic,” said 1st Lt. Amanda Love, a medical platoon leader and battalion medical officer for 2/27. “This type of training is important to build relationships and will grow our Army as well as theirs,” said Love.

Exercise Balikatan directly supports the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty by ensuring forces are tactically proficient, that capabilities and modernization efforts are mutually compatible, and by strengthening military-to-military coordination.

Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group sub-leader, 4 followers killed

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Apr 30, 2024): Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group sub-leader, 4 followers killed

ZAMBOANGA. A Mid-level leader and four followers of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group (DI-MG) were killed while five soldiers were wounded in a series of skirmishes in Munai, Lanao del Norte, on Monday, April 29, 2024. (Contributed)

A MID-LEVEL leader and four followers of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group (DI-MG) were killed while five soldiers were wounded in a series of skirmishes in the province of Lanao del Norte, the military said Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Lieutenant General William Gonzales, commander of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the troops of the 103rd Infantry Brigade were conducting combat operation when they clashed with some 12 DI-MG gunmen under
Nasser Daud alias Mahater in Cadayonan village, Munai, Lanao del Norte on Monday, April 29.

“The firefight lasted for about 45 minutes, after which the enemy withdrew toward the west direction,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said another 10-minute firefight ensued in Barangay Maganding in the same town as the operating troops pursued and caught up with the fleeing DI-MG gunmen.

He said the series of clashes resulted in the deaths of five DI-MG gunmen including the group’s sub or mid-level leader.

He identified the slain mid-level leader as
Najeb Laguindab alias Abu Jihad.

The slain followers were identified as the following: Johaiver Dumar alias Julaibib; Salman Dimapinto Nasrudin alias Shuay’b; Mohaimen Hadji Ali alias Ibn Sali, one of the look-outs during the December 3, 2023, Mindanao State University (MSU) Gymnasium Bombing; and, alias Muslima.

Gonzales said the troops scoured the clash site and recovered the enemy cadavers. The troops also recovered one M16 rifle, one M14 rifle, and other war materials.

Major General Gabriel Viray, III, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao), the encounter also resulted in the wounding of five soldiers who were immediately extricated from the area and given medical attention.

Viray did not identify the wounded soldiers except to say they belonged to the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

Gonzales commended the troops of JTF ZamPeLan for their significant accomplishment.

“I commend our soldiers for their untiring dedication to their duties as we expedite the neutralization of the remnants of the terror groups in our area of operation,” Gonzales said.

“Rest assured that with the support of the local government units and the communities, we will soon achieve our goal of putting the sickening problem of terrorism to an end,” he added.

He noted that of the eight key perpetrators in the December 3, 2023, MSU Gymnasium bombing, seven were already neutralized. Only Daud remains at large.

5 militants killed, 3 soldiers hurt in Lanao del Norte clashes

From Rappler (Apr 30, 2024): 5 militants killed, 3 soldiers hurt in Lanao del Norte clashes (By FROILAN GALLARDO)

New Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group leader emerges

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Army troops engaged a band of militants led by the new leader of the dreaded Dawlah Islamiyah in two encounters in Lanao del Norte on Monday, April 29, killing at least five of them.

Three soldiers were wounded in the clashes, the first of which took place in Barangay Cadayonan in Munai town, Lanao del Norte, the military said.

Major Mark James Mira, chief of the 6th Infantry Division’s public information office, said the troops are still on the hunt for
Nasser Daud, a religious leader or ustadz, who emerged as the new leader of the group in the Lanao provinces.

Mira said Daud replaced Khadafi Mimbesa, also Kadapi Mimbesa, known as “The Engineer” and the leader of the terrorist group.

Mimbesa, whose group was identified as behind the bombing of a Mindanao State University (MSU) gym in Marawi during a Catholic Mass last December, was killed by Army soldiers during an encounter on January.

Dawlah Islamiyah, also known as the Maute Group, is a militant organization based in the Philippines. The group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) and has been involved in various terrorist activities, including attacks, bombings, and clashes with government forces in Mindanao.

In an initial military report, authorities said units from the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade engaged about a dozen militants led by Daud at around 3:45 am in a 45-minute firefight in Cadayonan in Munai.

Soldiers subsequently found three militants dead at the first encounter site, while two soldiers were wounded and evacuated.

A second encounter took place as a team of Army Scout Rangers chased the fleeing militants in Barangay Maganding, also in Munai town.

Mira said two militants were killed, and another soldier was wounded in that gun battle, which lasted for about 10 minutes.

He said several firearms and ammunition bandoliers were found by the soldiers at the scene of the encounters.

5 Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute members killed in Lanao del Norte clashes —military

From GMA News Online (Apr 30, 2024): 5 Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute members killed in Lanao del Norte clashes —military (By GMA Integrated News)

Five Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) members were killed in two subsequent encounters with government troops in Lanao del Norte early Monday morning, the military said.

According to Major General Gabriel Viray III, commander of the Army's 1st Infantry Division (ID), the clashes also resulted in the wounding of five soldiers who are now in stable condition.

Viray said the government troops were conducting "decisive military operation" at 3:42 a.m. in Barangay Cadayonan in Munai, Lanao del Norte, when they encountered an estimated 12 DI-MG members under one Nasser Daud.

This led to a firefight that lasted 45 minutes, after which the enemies "scampered towards different direction[s]," Viray said.

"Subsequently, while on hot pursuit against the fleeing enemies, another encounter transpired at about 6:30 a.m. Firefight lasted for about 10 minutes," Viray added.

Soldiers hurt in clash with BIFF receive medals from Marcos

From the Philippine Star (Apr 30, 2024): Soldiers hurt in clash with BIFF receive medals from Marcos (By John Unson)

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. huddled briefly with the seven wounded soldiers he awarded with a citation medal each during his visit to Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte on April 29, 2024.  Photo courtesy of / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. personally awarded the seven soldiers hurt in a deadly clash with local terrorists in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur last week. They were given merit medals and cash assistance.

One of the 12 terrorists killed by soldiers under units of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in the hostilities then in Barangay Kitango in Datu Saudi Ampatuan was Kagui Karialan.

Karialan, whose real name is Mohiden Alimodin Animbang, was a top leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and was wanted for 47 high-profile criminal cases in different courts in Central Mindanao.

Marcos was assisted by 6th ID’s commander, Major Gen. Alex Rillera, in giving out citation medals to the wounded soldiers on Monday afternoon at one of the wards in Camp Siongco Hospital in Camp Siongco, Barangay Awang in Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao del Norte.

Marcos thanked each of them for their gallantry and for having neutralized for good the dreaded BIFF leader, who was tagged in all deadly bombings since 2014 in cities and provinces under 6th ID’s jurisdiction and was notorious for fomenting hatred for non-Muslims.

Monday’s medal pinning event at Camp Siongco, where 6th ID’s headquarters is located, was preceded by the official engagements of Marcos at the headquarters of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and at the command post of the Philippine Navy’s 1st Marine Brigade in Parang and Barira towns in Maguindanao del Norte, respectively, and in Pikit, Cotabato.

Marcos was accompanied in his sorties on Monday in Central Mindanao by officials under his office, among them Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Carlito Galvez Jr., Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. and Special Presidential Assistant Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo.

NPA kills 5 ‘informants’

From the Visayan Daily Star (Apr 29, 2024): NPA kills 5 ‘informants’ (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Remnants of the New People’s Army appear to be on a killing spree, having issued separate statements supposedly claiming responsibility for the death of five civilians they accused as “military informants” in Negros Occidental.

The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division strongly condemned the series of killings of innocent civilians in the past several days.

Lt Col. J Jay Javines, 3ID Civil Military Operations officer, described it as a desperate attempt of NPA remnants in Negros to make its appear that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

All the five existing NPA guerilla fronts in Negros Island have been declared dismantled by the 3ID, which is now preparing to declare the whole island in a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security, as approved by the Provincial Peace and Order Councils of the two provinces in the island.

A statement issued by the
Leonardo Panaligan Command of the NPA claimed responsibility for the summary execution of Albert Golez, alias Tongkai, on April 24 in Sitio Coyaoyao, Brgy. Inolingan, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.

The wife of the victim, Melanie Golez, in an interview with RMN DYHB, said that her nine-year-old daughter was hit by a stray bullet on the left hand when the armed suspects opened fire at her husband.

She identified one of the armed suspects as Renante Misyon, alias Karding, of Brgy. Riverside, Isabela. At the same, Melanie strongly denied accusations that her husband was a military informant of the Philippine Army.

Rebel spokesman Ka JB Regalado also said that the Leonardo Panaligan Command also successfully carried out the imposition of the death penalty on a certain Danny Boy Bartolome on April 11 at Sitio Paho in Brgy. Camandag, La Castellana

The Roselyn Jean Pelle Command of the NPA in northern Negros also claimed responsibility for the killing of barangay tanod Alexander Alquizar, alias Dondie,on April 20, in Brgy. Laga-an, Calatrava.

Ka Andrea Guerrero, spokesman of the NPA Armando Sumayang Command, also issued a separate statement claiming responsibility for the liquidation of Jun Habagat in Sitio Cagay, Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City, on April 24.

The Mt. Cansermon Command of the NPA
also claimed responsibility for the death of Myrna Belando, a resort caretaker of Mag-aso Mountain Resort in Brgy. Oringao, Kabankalan City, last week.

The NPA accused Belando also of being a military informant.*

DSWD DROMIC Report #4 on the Armed Conflict within the Boundaries of Pilar, Abra and Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur as of 29 April 2024

Posted to the Relief Web (Apr 30, 2024): DSWD DROMIC Report #4 on the Armed Conflict within the Boundaries of Pilar, Abra and Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur as of 29 April 2024

Format: Situation Report 

 Source: Govt. Philippines 

 Posted: 30 Apr 2024 

 Originally published: 29 Apr 2024 

 Origin: View original

Download Report(PDF | 417.29 KB)

I. Situation Overview

On 02 April 2024, an armed conflict transpired between the government troops of the Philippine Army and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) within the boundaries of Pilar, Abra and Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. According to the reports, the armed encounter had significant impact on the livelihood of the families and individuals in the affected areas.

Relative to the incident, the DSWD through its Field Offices in Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 1, together with the Local Government Unit (LGU) and other key players in Disaster Response, actively engaged in the response operation and promptly provided relief and financial assistance to support the immediate needs of the affected families and individuals.

Source: DSWD Field Office (FO) I and CAR

II. Status of Affected Areas and Population

A total of 593 families or 1,922 persons are affected in two (2) barangays in Pilar, Abra and two (2) barangays in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur (see Annex A).

10 NPAs surrender in Bukidnon, admit to ‘revolutionary tax’ collection

From the Business World (May 1, 2024): 10 NPAs surrender in Bukidnon, admit to ‘revolutionary tax’ collection

ARMY and civilian local executives inspect the military-type firearms turned in by 10 members of the New People’s Army before they pledged allegiance to the government in a simple rite in Maramag, Bukidnon on Tuesday. — PHILIPPINE STAR/JOHN FELIX M. UNSON

COTABATO CITY — Ten members of the New People’s Army (NPA) from a group that forcibly collected money from hapless farmers and merchants turned in 18 assorted firearms and explosives and pledged allegiance to the government in Maramag, Bukidnon on Tuesday.

Berno S. Sinunta, Muloy B. Donat, Manilyn D. Ampildon, Sabel F. Buyo, Pus-ok T. Salubo, Edo K. Madado, Leonilo B. Cañadilla, Sibya L. Gamot, Poto A. Bay-ao and Warlito T. Ebudan, all from local indigenous tribes, agreed to surrender through the backchannel intercession of officials of the Army’s 48th Infantry Battalion of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade and local executives in different towns of Bukidnon province.

The symbolic rite was held at the 48th IB’s battalion command post in Maramag, a highland municipality of the province in Mindanao.

“Obviously, it is via multi-sector cooperation that we can better nip this problem at the bud. I am calling on the few remaining members of this communist terrorist group to return to the fold of law now and thrive peacefully in their respective hometowns,” Major General Allan D. Hambala, commander of the 10th Infantry Battalion, told reporters on Wednesday.

The 10 NPA rebels who surrendered on Tuesday had confessed to their having forcibly collected monthly “revolutionary taxes” on the order of leaders of the terrorist group’s Sentro de Grabidad-North Central Mindanao Regional Command in Region 10. — John Felix M. Unson

NPA claims responsibility for killing Negros farmer

From the Daily Guardian (May 2, 2024): NPA claims responsibility for killing Negros farmer (By Glazyl Y. Masculino)

BACOLOD CITY—A 52-year-old farmer was found dead in a charcoal yard at Sitio Cabalanti-an, Barangay Amontay, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental last Monday.

Leonardo Panaligan Command-New People’s Army (NPA) Central Negros Guerrilla Front has claimed responsibility for the killing.

According to a statement released on April 30 by
Ka JB Regalado, LPC-NPA spokesperson, the attack targeted the victim for allegedly being a military asset.

Police Major Randy Babor, town police chief, reported that three gunshots were heard late Sunday night. The following day, the victim was found deceased with gunshot wounds in the chest and neck.

Major Babor emphasized that the victim was not affiliated with the military, as confirmed by the Army, and was not an asset of the police.

“It was merely the rebel group’s allegation,” he stated.

With the NPA acknowledging their involvement in the incident, Babor noted that this gives the police a new lead in their investigation.

This incident marks the fifth NPA-related killing in the province since April 20. Additional incidents attributed to the rebel group have occurred in the towns of Calatrava and Moises Padilla, and the cities of Sipalay and Kabankalan.

Philippine police kill militant implicated in 15 beheadings and other atrocities

Posted to ABC News (Apr 26, 2024): Philippine police kill militant implicated in 15 beheadings and other atrocities (By JIM GOMEZ Associated Press)

Philippine forces have killed an Abu Sayyaf militant who had been implicated in past beheadings including of 10 Filipino marines and two kidnapped Vietnamese

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine forces killed an Abu Sayyaf militant, who had been implicated in past beheadings, including of 10 Filipino marines and two kidnapped Vietnamese, in a clash in the south, police officials said Friday.

Philippine police, backed by military intelligence agents, killed
Nawapi Abdulsaid in a brief gunbattle Wednesday night in the remote coastal town of Hadji Mohammad Ajul on Basilan island after weeks of surveillance, security officials said.

Abu Sayyaf is a small but violent armed Muslim group, which has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization for ransom kidnappings, beheadings, bombings and other bloody attacks.

It has been considerably weakened by battle setbacks, surrenders and infighting, but remains a security threat particularly in the southern Philippines, home to minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

Abdulsaid, who used the nom de guerre Khatan, was one of several Abu Sayyaf militants who aligned themselves with the Islamic State group.

A confidential police report said that Abdulsaid had been implicated in at least 15 beheadings in Basilan, including of 10 Philippine marines in Al-Barka town in 2007 and two of six kidnapped Vietnamese sailors near Sumisip town in 2016. The Vietnamese were seized from a passing cargo ship.

He was also involved in attacks against government forces in 2022 and a bombing in November that killed two pro-government militiamen and wounded two others in Basilan, the report said.

Abdulsaid was placed under surveillance in February, but police forces couldn't immediately move to make a arrest because of the “hostile nature” of the area where he was eventually gunned down, according to the report.

On Monday, Philippine troops killed the leader of another Muslim rebel group and 11 of his men blamed for past bombings and extortion in a separate clash in a marshy hinterland in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town in southern Maguindanao del Sur province, the military said.

Seven soldiers were wounded in the clash with the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

The Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are among a few small armed groups still struggling to wage a separatist uprising in the southern Philippines.

The largest armed separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, signed a 2014 peace pact with the government that eased decades of sporadic fighting.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel commanders became parliamentarians and administrators of a five-province Muslim autonomous region in a transition arrangement after signing the peace deal. They are preparing for a regular election scheduled for next year.

War games primer: Assets PH, US troops are using in Balikatan 2024

From Rappler (May 1, 2024): War games primer: Assets PH, US troops are using in Balikatan 2024 (By BEA CUPIN, NICO VILLARETE, GUIA ABOGADO)

What sort of assets will the two treaty-allies be showcasing in the 'most complicated' Balikatan yet?

MANILA, Philippines – Balikatan 2024, the latest iteration of the yearly military drills between the Philippines and the United States, has been touted as the “most effective, most ambitious, and most complicated” yet.

Across several areas in Luzon, thousands of Filipino and American soldiers, as well as a hundred or so Australian soldiers, will participate in drills that focus on defending the Philippines.

What does it mean when a military exercise takes on its “most complicated” version?

Lieutenant General William Jurney, commander of the US Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and Balikatan US exercise director, explained it this way: activities this year are designed to both showcase and test how well the two militaries work together. Complex military operations, after all, can’t just be coordinated through something like a group chat.

Interoperability refers to the level of ease in which different units – in this case, the two militaries – can work together. It involves communication between people, equipment, and systems.

Here’s a peek into the assets from both the Philippines and the US that will be playing roles in various exercises during the weeks-long event. The list is not exhaustive, but includes most of the major assets the two militaries are deploying for Balikatan 2024.

(All illustrations by Nico Villarete and Guia Abogado)

ASCOD Sabrah

155mm Howitzer

105mm Howitzer

Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo-105 helicopter

BRP Davao del Sur

AugustaWestland helicopter

Amphibious Assault Vehicles

BRP Jose Rizal

Multipurpose Attack Craft-BA486

AW159 Wildcat helicopters



AugustaWestland-109 Attack Helicopter

Super Tucano

T129 “Atak” attack helicopters

S76-A Sikorsky helicopter

W-3A SOKOL A helicopter

Hermes 900

S-70i “Black Hawk” combat utility helicopters

Bell 412




United States

AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar

USS Somerset

USS Harpers Ferry

CH-53E Super Stallion

Amphibious Combat Vehicle

Landing Craft Air Cushion

P-8A Poseidon

C-130H Hercules

F-16 Fighting Falcon

B-52H Stratofortress

Mid-Range Capability (MRC) Launcher

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

Avenger Air Defense System

CH-47 Chinook

UH-60 Blackhawk

MC-130J Commando II

CV-22 Osprey