Sunday, December 10, 2017

NPA members surrender with M14, AK47 rifles

From Update Philippines (Dec 11): NPA members surrender with M14, AK47 rifles

Two NPA members surrendered themselves along with their M14 and AK47 rifles to the 53rd Infantry Battalion in Zamboanga Del Sur on December 6.

They presented themselves to 53IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Virgilio C. Hamos Jr at 53IB Headquarters in Camp Sabido, Guipos.


1ID photo

The 1st Infantry Division said based on the interview conducted, the two rebels relented due to physical hardships, dissatisfaction on their organization’s policy and realized the futility of fighting with the government forces.


After proper documentation they will be turned over to government agencies for the facilitation of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), a program for the former rebels which include social welfare, livelihood, and health.

“This is a manifestation that the NPA organization is losing their ground,” 1ID commander Brigadier General Roseller G. Murrill said. “Rest assured that the benefits will be facilitated by the CLIP committe for them to start and live a normal life they desire.”

https://www.update.ph/2017/12/npa-members-surrender-with-m14-ak47-rifles/23316 

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar opens for Zamboanguenos

From Update Philippines (Dec 11): BRP Gregorio Del Pilar opens for Zamboanguenos

Philippine Navy’s Gregorio Del Pilar-class frigate BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF15) is currently at Zamboanga City Pier for an open house today, December 11 until 5pm.

The open house which started yesterday aims to “showcase its capability as a Frigate as well as to give opportunity to the populace of Zamboanga City for a guided tour aboard ship,” Naval Forces Western Mindanao said.

“The arrival of BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is aimed to promote peace, develop friendly relations and bring the Philippine Navy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines closer to the hearts of the Zamboanguenos and of the Filipino people in general,” it added.

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF15) is the first Del Pilar Class ship of the Philippine Navy which was commissioned last December 14, 2011.

It was also the second ship named after the revolutionary general, Gregorio Del Pilar, during the Battle of Tirad Pass.

https://www.update.ph/2017/12/brp-gregorio-del-pilar-opens-for-zamboanguenos/23327

Army completes hanging bridge

From the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 11): Army completes hanging bridge

The 50-meter hanging foot bridge in Brgy. Mahalang, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, that was constructed by the 542nd Engineering Construction Battalion of the Philippine Army, is now being used by barangay residents and neighboring areas.

It was turned over on Dec. 7 by the 542ECB unit headed by Lt. Col. Meliton Reyes Jr. and Col. Eliezer Losañes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, to Himamaylan City Mayor Ernesto Agustin, after completion.

Its construction was financed by the city government of Himamaylan for P1.5 million.

The bridge will connect the seven sitios of Himamaylan City, and residents no longer have to wade in the river. It is the second hanging foot bridge in Himamaylan City constructed by the Army engineers.

Aside from the steel hanging bridge, the 542EB is also involved in the construction of several infrastructure projects in Negros and Panay, such as classrooms in hinterland areas.

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2017/December/11/topstory6.htm

Ka Frank: Duterte regime is the monstrous terrorist

From the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 11): Ka Frank: Duterte regime is the monstrous terrorist

The elusive Negrense rebel priest Frank Fernandez, who was reported by the military to be the secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, may have been among those who managed to escape during the seizure of two New People's Army training camps in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

The possibility was raised yesterday by Lt. Col. Darry Bañes, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, following the recovery of a cap believed to be owned by Fernandez and a rope used in tying a horse.

Bañes said Fernandez usually rides a horse while traveling because of health problems.

The seizure of two rebel camps after a series of encounters in Brgys. Buenavista and Carabalan in Himamaylan City, also led to the injuries of two Army soldiers, recovery of an M-16 assault rifle, three ICOM radios, among other personal belongings.

Bañes said he believes that the two NPA training camps could be the staging areas for rebel tactical offensives, in connection with the 49th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and the plenum site for their regional leadership.

He also said that Juanito Magbanua, regional commander of the NPA, may also have been in the company of Fernandez.

The entire Philippine Army and police units in Negros are now in full alert status, in response to a series of NPA attacks all over the country.

Bañes said more troops have been dispatched in the neighboring areas of encounter sites, as they pressed their military operations against the fleeing rebels, who have splintered into small groups.

He acknowledged the support of the residents, especially the family members and relatives of victims of NPA atrocities, in the two hinterland communities of Himamaylan City, who had informed them of the presence of armed rebels in their areas.

Four rifle grenades believed owned and hidden by suspected communist rebels were also surrendered to the police in Toboso, Negros Occidental.

The four rifle grenades were discovered hidden in a nipa plantation Sitio Plarendeng, Brgy. Salamanca,Toboso, by a certain Rolando Tumarse who reported it to barangay officials.

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2017/December/11/topstory5.htm

Cops file charges vs. 4 alleged NPA assassins

From the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 11): Cops file charges vs. 4 alleged NPA assassins

The four suspects intercepted at a checkpoint in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, and tagged by an Army official as alleged assassins of the New People's Army, are now facing charges in court, after their arrest and the recovery of firearms from two of them.

Supt. Rhea Santos, Kabankalan City police chief, yesterday said that two of the four suspects identified as Wendell Morales and Ronnie de la Cruz, were charged for violation of RA 10591, or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

The two others identified as Ariel Rivera and Joelito Medes are also facing charges for resistance and disobedience to an agent of a person of authority, for trying to flee and evade the checkpoints, Santos said.

The arrest of Morales, 21, of Brgy. Baclao, Sipalay City; and de la Cruz, 19, of Brgy. Patag, Silay City, yielded a .45 caliber pistol and a .38 caliber revolver with ammunition.

Lt. Col. Darry Banes, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, earlier disclosed that based on testimonies of former rebels, the four arrested suspects are NPA hitmen.

But Santos said they are still digging into their backgrounds as they come from different places, in one company, and travelling with guns at almost midnight on Thursday last week, on board a single motorcycle.

Santos said Morales and dela Cruz are now locked up at the custodial facility of the Kabankalan City Police Station, while Rivera and Medes were released from police custody in compliance with an order issued by the court.

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2017/December/11/topstory4.htm

Ka Frank manages escape?

From the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 11): Ka Frank manages escape?

The elusive Negrense rebel priest Frank Fernandez, who was reported by the military to be the secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, may have been among those who managed to escape during the seizure of two New People's Army training camps in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

The possibility was raised yesterday by Lt. Col. Darry Bañes, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, following the recovery of a cap believed to be owned by Fernandez and a rope used in tying a horse.

Bañes said Fernandez usually rides a horse while traveling because of health problems.

The seizure of two rebel camps after a series of encounters in Brgys. Buenavista and Carabalan in Himamaylan City, also led to the injuries of two Army soldiers, recovery of an M-16 assault rifle, three ICOM radios, among other personal belongings.

Bañes said he believes that the two NPA training camps could be the staging areas for rebel tactical offensives, in connection with the 49th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and the plenum site for their regional leadership.

He also said that Juanito Magbanua, regional commander of the NPA, may also have been in the company of Fernandez.

The entire Philippine Army and police units in Negros are now in full alert status, in response to a series of NPA attacks all over the country.

Bañes said more troops have been dispatched in the neighboring areas of encounter sites, as they pressed their military operations against the fleeing rebels, who have splintered into small groups.

He acknowledged the support of the residents, especially the family members and relatives of victims of NPA atrocities, in the two hinterland communities of Himamaylan City, who had informed them of the presence of armed rebels in their areas.

Four rifle grenades believed owned and hidden by suspected communist rebels were also surrendered to the police in Toboso, Negros Occidental.

The four rifle grenades were discovered hidden in a nipa plantation Sitio Plarendeng, Brgy. Salamanca,Toboso, by a certain Rolando Tumarse who reported it to barangay officials.

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2017/December/11/topstory3.htm

Lao to business firms: stop paying ‘revolutionary taxes’ or delay peace in Mindanao

From MindaNews (Dec 11): Lao to business firms: stop paying ‘revolutionary taxes’ or delay peace in Mindanao 

The chair of the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) has urged the business sector to stop paying “revolutionary taxes” to the New People’s Army (NPA) as they will only delay the solution to the insurgency problem in Mindanao.

In an interview at the sidelines of the MinBC 2017 Annual General Membership Meeting and Partners Forum Friday night, MinBC chair Vicente Lao urged companies to “put your foot down somewhere because the government feels if you support them, the short-term benefit is (your equipment) don’t get burned. But long-term effect of that is you are dragging the solution or you are making that worse.”

Lao said an “initial setback” may be expected as a result of not paying revolutionary taxes to NPA but refusing to pay will contribute to the overall solution to the insurgency problem.



SHOW OF FORCE. New Peoples Army rebels stand with their AK 47 rifles during a formation during the Communist Party of the Philippines 46th anniversary held in a small rural village in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur last Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. MindaNews file photo by Froilan Gallardo

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier warned he would shut down businesses, most especially mining firms, that are continuously paying “revolutionary taxes” to the NPA.

The NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) had been designated as terrorist organizations with Proclamation No. 374 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 5, pursuant to RA No. 10168, also known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2002.

Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre was subsequently directed to file a petition in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) under the provisions of the Human Security Act for its judicial affirmation.

The proclamation said the law “criminalizes the financing of terrorism and dealing with property or funds of designated persons/organizations, and prevents and suppresses the commission of said offenses through freezing and forfeiture of the property or funds of said designations persons/organizations, among others.

The law provides that it is the policy of the State to “protect life, liberty, and property from acts of terrorism, to condemn terrorism and those who support and finance it and to recognize it as inimical and dangerous to the national security of the country and the welfare of the people, and to make financing of terrorism a crime against the Filipino people, against humanity, and against the law of nations.”

Lao hopes government would immediately act on addressing the peace and security situation in Mindanao so that the business sector “can channel our finances and resources” to developing Mindanao.

He said some of the companies resorted to paying revolutionary taxes to the NPA to prevent trouble, as they were “left to fend for themselves” by the security sector in the past.

“No military was there to protect them before. The President is correct, if you give, you exacerbate the problem,” Lao said.

“We have to decide once and for all, if I go against the NPAs, the communists, well everybody has to reconfigure your relationship with the NPAs. Because if you continue to support financially, I will close you down,” Duterte said last November 21 in “Ang Huling Tikas Pahinga: Isang Pagpupugay sa mga Bayani ng Marawi” in Taguig.

Duterte issued Proclamation 360 on November 23, ordering the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Jesus Dureza and the government peace negotiators to stop all peace talks with the communist group for failing to show “sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peace negotiations as it engaged in acts of violence and hostilities, endangering the lives and properties of innocent people.”

The Proclamation was issued two days before the peace panels of the government and the National Democratic Front would resume a “discreet” fifth round of talks on November 25 to 27, 2017 in Oslo, Norway. 

http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2017/12/lao-to-business-firms-stop-paying-revolutionary-taxes-or-delay-peace-in-mindanao/