Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hundreds flee from MILF anti-drug ops in Lanao Sur

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 13): Hundreds flee from MILF anti-drug ops in Lanao Sur
MILF-0929 jeoffrey maitem inq min
Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
(Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem, INQUIRER MINDANAO

MARAWI CITY — An anti-drug operation conducted by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Lanao del Sur last week sparked a clash and displaced hundreds of residents in the barangays (villages) of Bualan and Debarosan in Balindong, Lanao del Sur, a rebel official said Sunday.

Usama Ali, core chair of the MILF’s Ad Hoc Joint Action Group told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone, the operations started when a relative of the village chair of Debarosan, demanded that the MILF release one of the seven persons it arrested.

He did not name the Debarosan village chair but identified his brother as an Abu Sayyaf member. One of those arrested for alleged involvement in drugs was the sister of the village chair.
The Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade said on Thursday that MILF members under Abdullah Macapaar – alias Commander Bravo arrested seven people in all.

When the news went around that one of those arrested was the sister of the Debarosan village chair, they immediately sought the MILF group holding her and demanded her release, the Army said.  They suceeded, the Army added.

Upon learning of the intervention, Commander Bravo of the MILF demanded the return of the unidentified sister of the Debarosan village chair but her relatives declined.

On Saturday, the clash started, Usama Ali said.

Local authorities are verifying reports indicating casualties on either side. Two houses and a school building were also torched.

Usama Ali said on Sunday that he had talked with Bravo to resolve the conflict.

He said there had been some agreements made but did not say what happened to the six other arrested persons and who they were.

Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. issued an appeal to both sides to stop armed confrontation for the sake of civilians.

Under the administration of President Duterte , the MILF and the government had agreed to wage a joint war against illegal drugs but the MILF’s role was supposed to be limited to advocacy and information gathering only. The rebels were not allowed to conduct anti-drug operations.

MILF: UBJP is sole principled political party: MILF Chair Al Haj Murad

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Nov 9): UBJP is sole principled political party: MILF Chair Al Haj Murad

“The United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) is a sole principled political party in the Philippines”, said party President Al Haj Murad Ebrahim during the 1st General Assembly of the UBJP Trained Party Workers at Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on November 5, 2016.

The assembly was attended by a huge number of participants from Central Mindanao, Western Mindanao, Eastern Mindanao, Northern Mindanao and even from Metro Manila. He said, practices in the country are that a politician is joining certain political party if the head of the country belongs to that political party and get out from it if he finds the subsequent president belonging to other political party is in his favor.

Atty. Benedicto Bacani, Executive Director of the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG) reiterated during the assembly the IAG’s continuing commitment to be partner of the UBJP in the latter’s trainings and development.

The Chief of the Committee on Documentation and Publication Dr. Parido R. Pigkaulan introduced the party workers including those trained in Turkey, Malaysia, Metro Manila, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Marawi City, Cotabato City and other places. They were led by the party’s key officials namely: Sammy Al Mansoor, Secretary General; Ghazali Jaafar, Vice President for Central Mindanao; Aleem Ali Solayman, Vice President for Northern Minndanao; Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, Deputy Secretary General; Dr. Taugan S. Tikay, Chief of the Training and Education Committee; and Ustadz Abdulkadir Abdullah, Assistant Executive Officer of Maguindanao.

Lectures and workshop dominated the activities during the assembly.

NDF: No basis yet for bilateral ceasefire — NDFP

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Nov 11): No basis yet for bilateral ceasefire — NDFP

NDFP Media Office
Press release
November 10, 2016

“The GRP has not provided us with real incentives to work for a more stable ceasefire agreement.” This was National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panel member Benito Tiamzon’s reaction to belie repeated claims by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) that both parties are in ongoing talks to forge a bilateral ceasefire agreement by the end of this month or early December.

Unilateral ceasefires have been in place since the first round of the peace talks ended in the last week of August, with both parties agreeing to sign a “single unified bilateral ceasefire agreement” in sixty days, or by October 26. The date passed, however, with no bilateral ceasefire agreement worked out. The unilateral ceasefires remain valid in the absence of a notice of termination by either side.

Tiamzon, however, charged that continuing military operations (and numerous violations committed by GRP forces, particularly its military, police and paramilitary forces) “are making the situation on the ground untenable and endangering even the fragile unilateral ceasefires currently in place.” He slammed the AFP and PNP for conducting offensive military and police operations in the guise of “peace and development” operations and even the anti-drug campaign.

Tiamzon cited figures from human rights watchdog Karapatan that there were 16 cases of political killings and 16 frustrated extrajudicial killings from July to September. There are also more than 13,000 victims of forced evacuations, mostly farmers and national minorities in areas targeted by AFP military operations. These include large-scale mining areas where AFP paramilitary
forces abound.

Political activists are still being slapped with trumped-up criminal cases, he said, citing the case of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines Southern Mindanao coordinator Amelia Pond who was
arrested on murder charges last August, and five farmers from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan fighting landgrabbing who were nabbed on drug charges last October.

Tiamzon also decried that aside from the 21 NDFP consultants and staff granted conditional bail last August, not a single political prisoner has been released through the peace process. “This is despite continuing pronouncements from the GRP that it would comply with its commitments in accordance with the Oslo Joint Statements of June 15, August 26 and October 9, 2016 to release the political prisoners,” said Tiamzon.

There are more than 400 political prisoners still languishing in various detention facilities nationwide, including three NDFP consultants incarcerated at the New Bilibid Prisons.

These are all serving as disincentives for us to work for a more stable ceasefire and accelerate the pace of the peace negotiations, he said.

Tiamzon issued his clarifications after the Philippine Information Agency released yesterday a news item quoting GRP panel chair Silvestre Bello III that both parties are “talking to have the
final bilateral ceasefire document (signed) either by end of November or first week of December.”

Such news reports have come out persistently this week despite a denial issued by NDFP peace panel chair Fidel Agcaoili in an interview by a regional online daily last Monday. In that interview, Agcaoili complained that the GRP had not even informed the NDFP of any bilateral ceasefire talks whether “through formal writing or even a phone call. The GRP seems to be negotiating with itself,” he said.

National Democratic Front of the Philippines Negotiating Panel
Tel. + 31 30 2310431

CPP: Advise Duterte against proceeding with Marcos hero’s burial

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 11): Advise Duterte against proceeding with Marcos hero’s burial

Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in denouncing the decision of the Supreme Court allowing the Duterte government to proceed with giving a hero’s burial for fallen fascist dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The GRP President Duterte must be advised against proceeding with such a plan. Such payment of political debt to the Marcoses will undoubtedly be regarded as an act of contempt against the Filipino people’s historic judgement against the Marcos dictatorship.

In giving Marcos a hero’s burial, he would virtually be spitting on the graves of the tens of thousands of martyrs who laid down their lives in the struggle to end the puppet, brutal and rotten Marcos dictatorship.

If he proceeds in doing so, Duterte will bring to question his own assertions of being a Leftist considering that the Marcos dictatorship is the epitome of the anti-Left, having served as a bulwark of US imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism during its 1965-1986 rule, with fourteen years (1972-1986) under martial law dictatorship.

The CPP advises GRP President Duterte against fulfilling such an election promise to the Marcoses made in exchange for financial and political support. For sure, the Marcoses would resent such an unfulfilled promise. But such will be incomparable to the deep indignation that will be stirred among the Filipino people.

For more than 30 years now, the Filipino people have sought justice for all the crimes perpetrated by Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda and their children, as well as their cronies, who all invariably played nefarious roles under the Marcos dictatorship.

Over the past three decades, the ruling classes have allowed two generations of Filipinos to forget about the crimes of the Marcos dictatorship. School books and official teaching in elementary and secondary schools have airbrushed the image of the Marcos dictatorship to hide the brutalities brought about by grave fascist abuses of civil and political rights and widespread social misery as a result of unprecedented bureaucrat capitalist corruption, servility to the US and to IMF-World Bank policy impositions which condemned the country to a perpetual state of economic backwardness.

As class affiliates of the Marcoses, every regime since 1986 have helped pave the way for the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses and all their cronies. The rehabilitation of the Marcoses serves as precedent for extending the same privilege to Estrada and Arroyo.

If Duterte allows Marcos’ body to be dug-up from Ilocos Norte and re-interred with hero’s burial, he would have provided the Marcoses with the ultimate act of rehabilitation.

CPP/NPA: AFP Sa Panay Hindi Makatotohanan Sa Kanilang Ceasefire

NPA propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 11): AFP Sa Panay Hindi Makatotohanan Sa Kanilang Ceasefire

Julian Paisano
Coronacion Chiva “Waling-Waling” Command
NPA-Panay Region
Mariing tinutuligsa ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB)-Panay ang nagpapatuloy na hayagang paglabag ng AFP, partikular ng 3rd ID-PA sa indefinite unilateral ceasefire na dineklara ni GRP Pres. Duterte simula noong Agosto 21, 2016. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan, may mga nakapakat na mga tropa ng 82nd at 61st IB-PA sa mga barangay ng Iloilo, Antique, at Capiz1 na nagsasagawa ng mga operasyong paniktik at saywar sa ilalim ng pakanang “Peace and Development Program” at combat patrols sa mga paligid nito. May mga barangay din na bago pa lang inalisan ng kanilang tropa at pana-panahon nilang binabalikan.
Nilalabag din ng mga nasabing tropa ang mga karapatang pantao at mga batas ng digma sa pamamagitan ng paghimpil ng kanilang armadong tropa sa gitna ng sibilyang populasyon, paniniktik at paglilimita sa kilos ng mga sibilyang naninirahan sa lugar, pananakot sa kanilang dinududahang mga indibidwal, pagpasimuno ng mga anti-sosyal na aktibidad tulad ng sugal, pagbebenta at paggamit ng ilegal na droga, pornograpiya, pananamantala sa kababaehan at iba pa. Ang mga ito ay tahasang paglabag sa Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) na unang napagkasunduan ng (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) GRP at National Democratic Front-Philippines (NDFP).
Maging ang papel ng mga sibilyang ahensya ng reaksyonaryong gobyerno tulad ng Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education and Culture (DepEd), at iba pa ay kinakamkam din ng AFP sa kanilang mga pakitang-tao na medical mission, gift-giving, “literacy patrols”. Nakikialam din ito sa mga barangay councils at assembly sa pamamagitan ng sapilitang pagdalo dito.
Ang nagpapatuloy na operasyon ng 3rd ID-PA ay nagpapakita ng kanilang totoong masamang intensyon: (a) pagsalungat at pananabotahe sa usapang pangkapayapaan na kasalukuyang pinaiiral ng NDFP at GRP; (b) hayagang di-pagtalima, lalo na ng kanilang mga nakatataas na opisyal, sa utos ng kanilang commander-in-chief na si Pres Duterte; at (k) pagsisinungaling sa kanilang mga pahayag sa publiko na diumano sila ay sumusuporta sa usapang pangkapayapaan.
Sa panig ng BHB-Panay, mahigpit na tumatalima ito sa Interim Unilateral Ceasefire na dineklara ng pambansang pamatnugutan simula noong Agosto 28, 2016. Sa katunayan, may mga pagkakataon na sinadyang iwasan ng BHB na makaengkwentro ang mga kalapit na nag-ooperasyong tropa ng AFP dahil sumusuporta ito sa pagpatuloy ng usapang pangkapayapaan ng NDFP at GRP. Samantalang nagsusulong ang BHB ng armadong pakikibaka para sa pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya, kinikilala ng BHB-Panay ang malaking papel ng kasalukuyang usapang pangkapayapaan para maipatupad ang iilang mga reporma para sa tunay na kapayapaan at panlipunang kagalingan ng mga Pilipino.
Hinahamon ng BHB-Panay ang pamatnugutan ng 3rd ID-PA na maging makatotohanan sa kanilang dineklarang ceasefire sa pamamagitan ng kagyat na pagpatigil ng kanilang mga combat at psychological operations at pagbalik ng kanilang mga tropa sa kani-kanilang mga kampo. Kung totoong sumasang-ayon sila sa usapang pangkapayapaan, dapat pairalin ang sitwasyon na paborable sa pagpapatuloy ng usapang pangkapayapaan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatigil ng implementasyon ng Oplan Bayanihan sa buong Panay at makatotohanang pagpapatupad ng tigil putukan pareho ng ginagawa ng BHB. Mas dapat na tuonan ng pansin ng AFP at PNP sa ngayon ang makatotohanang paglinis sa kanilang hanay na talamak sa korapsyon, durugista at anti-sosyal na mga opisyal at elemento.
Nananawagan kami sa lahat ng mga mamamayan sa Panay na naghahangad ng tunay na kapayapaan at kaunlaran na suportahan ang peace talks ng NDFP-GRP at maagap na ibunyag at salungatin ang anumang mga paglabag ng 3rd ID/PA sa kasalukuyang pinaiiral na tigil-putukan ng magkabilang panig. Mariin ding ibunyag at hadlangan ang mga ginagawang paglabag ng AFP sa karapatang pantao ng mga mamamayan.
1 Mga barangay sa Iloilo at Antique na may pakat ng 82nd IB bilang mga Peace and Development Teams (PDT)–mga barangay ng Tagpuan, Ingay, Mayang, Bundoc, Boloc, at San Jose, (Tubungan); mga barangay ng Tacuyong Norte at Nalbang (Leon); Cabladan, Sibalom at Osorio II, San Remigio, (lahat sa Antique). Maliban sa PDT, ang mga ditatsment ng 82nd IB ay ipinwesto pa sa nainteryor na mga barangay ng Passi at Igcabugao (Igbaras). May mga PDT din sa border ng Maasin-Janiuay at sa Brgy. Jayubo, Lambunao. May nakadeploy ding mga special forces ng PNP sa upper Calinog sa lugar na pinaplanong tatayuan ng megadam. Halos permanente na rin ang PDT ng 61st IB sa mga barangay Acuna at Katipunan, at ditatsment ng 61st IB at Civilian Army Auxilliary (CAA) sa Brgy, Daan Sur, Tapaz, Capiz.

CPP/NDF: AFP ceasefire violations slammed in Eastern Visayas

NDF propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 10): AFP ceasefire violations slammed in Eastern Visayas

Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas
NDFP Eastern Visayas
The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) criticizes the Armed Forces of the Philippines for violating the unilateral ceasefire declared by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), and reciprocated by the NDFP, by launching combat operations from Jipapad, Eastern Samar to Catubig, Northern Samar last November 5-7.
“We denounce the AFP for sabotaging the peace talks by continuing combat operations despite the ceasefire declared by its own government and as provocations against the NDFP ceasefire,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “The New People’s Army monitored enemy troop movements by the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippines Army, believed to be from the 14th IB, last November 5-7. On Nov. 6, the NPA reports there were around 16 enemy troops in Barangay Mabuhay, Jipapad, and 25 more enemy troops in Barangay Gook, Catubig, Northern Samar. Unspecified numbers of troops were also monitored in Barangays Agasaman and Cagmanaba in Jipapad.”
Fr. Salas called on GRP President Rodrigo Duterte to control his troops or else the reciprocal ceasefire would be useless and the peace talks in jeopardy. “Despite GRP President Duterte’s friendliness to the NDFP and openness for the peace talks, the AFP acts as if it is beyond his control and can throw its weight around. In Eastern Visayas, the AFP has been making all sorts of devious excuses to camouflage its combat operations variously as for “peace and development,” anti-drugs, humanitarian assistance and disaster response and others. In fact, the AFP troops are combat-ready during these non-military operations, which should be given to civilian agencies and the police but have been appropriated by the military under Oplan Bayanihan. They also remain forward-deployed in the countryside despite the obvious dangers of armed engagements.
The NDF-EV thus expresses its concerns to GRP President Duterte and the negotiating panels of the NDFP and GRP over these ceasefire violations and provocations by AFP troops. We call on Gen. Raul Farnacio of the 8th ID PA to respect the GRP ceasefire and stop provoking the NPA. The NDF-EV believes the peace advocates in the region should urge the AFP to respect the ceasefire and give chance for reconstruction to the people, who are both calamity-weary as well as victims of decades of militarization. But the people in the barrios have also been asking the NPA why it is not attacking these soldiers who do not care for ceasefires in the first place. If this situation continues, the NPA in Eastern Visayas will be obliged to heed the people’s demands and to call on the NDFP to lift the ceasefire so these abusers of the people can be punished.”

CPP/NPA: Operasyong Militar ng 31st IBPA, Pagsabotahe sa Tigil–Putukan

NPA propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 10): Operasyong Militar ng 31st IBPA, Pagsabotahe sa Tigil–Putukan

Ka Samuel Guerrero
Celso Minguez Command NPA Sorsogon
Patuloy ang pananabotahe ng 31st IBPA sa tigil-putukan. Mula nang magdeklara ng tigil-putukan, noong buwan ng Agosto hanggang sa kasalukuyan, nagmamantini ang mga operasyong militar nito sa probinsya ng Sorsogon.
Sa kasalukuyan, nakamantini ang mga PDT operations nito sa mga baranggay ng Fabrica, San Antonio, Sta. Lourdes at San Ramon sa bayan ng Barcelona at Brgy. Cabagahan, Matnog.
Upang pagtakpan ang kanilang paglabag sa tigil-putukan, tinatawag nilang “baranggay visitation” lamang ang mga combat operations nila. Ang mga civil-military operations naman tulad ng PDT (peace and development team) operations na ilang buwan nang nasa loob ng mga interyor na baranggay ng Barcelona, Gubat at Matnog ay pinapalabas naman na hindi diumano pang-kombat ang layunin kaya hindi daw sila lumalabag sa tigil-putukan.
Ang kasinungalingan nila ay pinatunayan ng mga kaso ng panghaharas, pananakot at pananakit sa Brgy. Balocawe, Matnog na isa sa sinaklaw ng PDT operations nila nitong buwan ng Agosto. Sa mga reklamo ng ilang residente sa nabanggit na baranggay, pinag-initan ng tropang 31st IBPA sa pangunguna ng isang 1st Lt. Meneses at Sgt. Asares ang mga dumalo sa rally sa Maynila noong unang SONA ni Pres. Duterte noong July 25. Paulit-ulit silang inimbistigahan kung bakit dumalo sa rally, pilit pinapaamin na kasapi o sumusuporta sa NPA, pilit kinunan ng litrato at pinapapirma sa isang blangkong papel. May isang barangay tanod naman na sinaktan habang iniimbistiga. Dagdag pang reklamo ng mga residente ang pangingikil sa kanila ng pera tuwing magbebenta sila ng uling sa bayan ng Matnog at natatakot sila dahil madalas ang paglalasing ng mga ito. Nangangamba ang mga residente ng mga baranggay na minamantinihan ng mga operasyong militar ng tropang 31st IBPA dahil walang pakundangan ang mga paglabag nito sa karapatang-pantao kahit habang nagpapanggap na tumatalima sa tigil-putukan.
Kinokondena ng Celso Minguez Command ang mga paglabag ng tropang 31st IBPA sa tigil-putukan at sa karapatang-pantao. Kinokondena din ng CMC ang mapang-upat na operasyong militar nila. Ang lahat ng yunit ng BHB sa probinsya ng Sorsogon ay tatalima sa sarili nitong tigil-putukan at magpapatupad ng aktibong pagdepensa sa kanilang hanay.

CPP: Paig­ti­ngin ang pag­la­ban sa pi­na­lu­pit pang Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 7): Paig­ti­ngin ang pag­la­ban sa pi­na­lu­pit pang Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han

La­lo pang pi­na­ti­tin­di ang mga ar­ma­dong ope­ra­syong coun­terin­sur­gency ng Armed Forces of the Phi­lip­pi­nes (AFP) sa ila­lim ng di­sen­yong-US na Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han. Ta­ha­sang wi­na­wa­lang­hi­ya ng AFP ang di­wa ng umii­ral na tum­ba­sang dek­la­ra­syon ng ti­gil-pu­tu­kan at ang u­sa­pang pang­ka­pa­ya­pa­an ng GRP at NDFP sa pa­tu­loy na pag­pa­pa­kat ng mga ar­ma­dong yu­nit nito sa daan-da­ang bar­yo sa ka­na­yu­nan.

Ang mga upi­syal ng AFP ay hi­bang sa doktri­na ng coun­terin­sur­gency na isi­nak­sak sa ka­ni­lang utak ng ka­ni­lang mga gu­ro sa militar ng US. Mis­tu­lang ibi­na­su­ra ni­la ang idi­nek­la­ra ni Pre­si­dent Du­ter­te ng GRP na pa­ta­ka­rang ma­ging mapagkaibigan sa mga re­bo­lu­syo­nar­yong pwer­sa.  Ni­tong nag­da­ang mga ling­go, la­lo pang na­ging ma­sin­sin ang mga ope­ra­syong say­war, pa­ni­nik­tik at pa­nu­nu­pil laban sa mga ak­ti­bis­ta at ka­sa­pi ng mga ha­yag at li­him na mga or­ga­ni­sa­syong ma­sa at mga lo­kal na sa­ngay ng Par­ti­do. Ka­pag ki­nuk­westyon ng taum­bar­yo ang ka­ni­lang mga ope­ra­syo­n, idi­ne­dek­la­ra ng mga sun­da­lo na “NPA lang ang may cea­sefi­re” at “hin­di ka­mi pwe­deng pi­gi­lan ni Du­ter­te.”

Nag­sa­sa­ga­wa ng open­si­bong in­doktri­na­syon kaa­ki­bat ng ar­ma­dong pa­na­na­kot ang AFP pa­ra si­ra­an ang BHB at buong re­bo­lu­syo­nar­yong ki­lu­san. Gi­na­ga­mit ang “ge­ra kontra-dro­ga” pa­ra isa­ga­wa ang pro­pa­gan­da la­ban sa BHB at re­bo­lu­syo­nar­yong ki­lu­san.  Ma­bi­lis na na­mu­muo ang ga­lit ng ma­mama­yan sa mga nag-oo­pe­ra­syong sun­da­lo da­hil sa ta­ha­sang pag­wa­wa­si­was ng ar­ma­dong ka­pang­ya­ri­han, pag­gam­ba­la sa kaa­yu­san at ka­pa­ya­pa­an, pag-a­ba­la sa bu­hay at ka­bu­ha­yan, pan­du­du­ro, pa­na­na­kot at pan­da­ra­has. Ta­kot at tro­ma ang ha­tid nila sa mga residente,  la­lu­na sa mga ba­ta.

Araw-a­raw, ku­mu­ku­lo ang ga­lit ng mga tao sa gi­na­ga­wang pag­yu­rak ng AFP sa mga ka­ra­pa­tang si­bil at ma­ka­ta­ong ba­tas sa mga lu­gar na pa­tu­loy ni­lang si­na­sa­kop. Sa des­pe­ra­syong pa­lu­hu­rin ang ma­sang mag­sa­sa­ka sa ka­ni­lang ka­pang­ya­ri­han, hin­di na ii­lan ang in­si­den­te ng ili­gal na pag­da­kip at pag­ku­long, pam­bu­bug­bog at iba pang pag­la­bag sa mga ka­ra­pa­tang si­bil.

Sa ha­rap ng nag­pa­pa­tu­loy na pang­ha­ha­li­haw ng mga ar­ma­dong sun­da­lo ng AFP sa mga bar­yo, lu­ma­la­kas ang si­gaw ng ma­ma­ma­yan na ba­wi­in na ng Par­ti­do ang dek­la­ra­syon ng ti­gil-pu­tu­kan upang hin­di na ma­ta­li ang ka­ni­lang ka­may at ang ka­may ng ka­ni­lang huk­bo na ipag­tang­gol ang ka­ni­lang ka­pa­ka­nan at mga ka­ra­pa­tan la­ban sa ar­ma­dong pa­nu­nu­pil ng AFP.

Da­pat mag­kai­sa ang buong sam­ba­ya­nang Pi­li­pi­no pa­ra maig­ting na la­ba­nan ang pa­tu­loy na pa­na­na­la­sa ng Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han, sa par­ti­ku­lar ang pre­sen­sya, oku­pa­syon at mga ope­ra­syon ng mga ar­ma­dong sun­da­lo sa mga sibilyang komu­nidad.

Da­pat paa­li­ngaw­nga­win sa buong ban­sa ang si­gaw pa­ra wa­ka­san ang Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han at pa­la­ya­sin ang la­hat ng ma­pa­nu­pil na ar­ma­dong tro­pa ng AFP mu­la sa git­na ng mga si­bil­yan na ko­mu­ni­dad.
Da­pat hi­ngin kay Du­ter­te na pa­nga­ta­wa­nan ni­ya ang kan­yang idi­nek­la­rang pa­ta­ka­rang pa­ki­ki­pag­kai­bi­gan sa PKP-BHB-NDFP at ipag-u­tos sa AFP na iti­gil ang mga ope­ra­syong coun­terin­sur­gency upang big­yang-da­an ang pagbwe­lo ng usa­pang pang­ka­pa­ya­pa­an ng GRP at NDFP sa pag­ha­ha­nap ng pa­ra­an na lu­ta­sin ang mga ugat ng ge­rang si­bil sa pa­ma­ma­gi­tan ng ne­go­sa­syo­n.

Ang ga­yong hak­ba­ngin ay a­lin­su­nod rin sa idi­nek­la­ra ni­yang nag­sa­sa­ri­ling pa­ta­ka­rang pan­la­bas da­hil ang Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han ay ba­ha­gi ng pa­ka­na ng US na su­pi­lin ang mga pwer­sang pat­ri­yo­ti­ko. Ang ga­yong hak­ba­ngin ay ma­gi­ging ba­ha­gi rin ng pag­si­si­kap ni Du­ter­te na tu­lu­yang pu­tu­lin ang kontrol ng US sa AFP at pa­su­nu­rin sa kan­yang mga utos.

Kung hin­di ta­ta­pu­sin o su­sus­pin­de­hin man la­mang ni Du­ter­te ang Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han, ma­wa­wa­lan ng da­hi­lan para hin­di ta­pu­sin ng PKP ang dek­la­ra­syon ng ti­gil-pu­tu­kan. Du­ma­rag­dag ito sa pa­tu­loy na pag­ka­bi­go ng re­hi­meng Du­ter­te na tu­pa­rin ang ka­sun­du­ang pag­papalaya sa 432 bi­lang­gong pu­li­ti­kal sa pa­ma­ma­gi­tan ng prok­la­ma­syon ng am­nes­ti­ya.

May su­mik­lab nang ma­la­la­king pro­tes­ta ng li­bu-li­bong ma­ma­ma­yan sa ilang mga ba­yan. Da­pat itong tu­la­ran sa buong ban­sa. Da­pat ma­bi­lis na kumilos ang ha­yag na mga or­ga­ni­sa­syon na su­ma­sa­kop sa buo-bu­ong mga ba­yan, distri­to at pru­bin­sya upang pag­kai­sa­hin ang ma­ma­ma­yan at or­ga­ni­sa­hin ang ka­ni­lang sa­ma-sa­mang pag­ki­los.

Ma­ka­ka­tu­wang sa mga ito ang mga sentro pa­ra sa ka­ra­pa­tang-tao, ang mga taong-sim­ba­han, mga prog­re­si­bong abu­ga­do at pa­ra­le­gal at iba pang sek­tor na pus­pu­sang nag­ta­ta­gu­yod sa usa­pang pang­ka­pa­ya­pa­an. Da­pat ma­buo ang mga sa­ma­han kontra sa Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han sa la­hat ng mga bar­yo na si­na­sa­kop ng mga ar­ma­dong tro­pa ng AFP.

Ipa­ba­tid sa buong ban­sa at buong daig­dig ang pro­tes­ta ng ma­ma­ma­yan la­ban sa Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han. Da­pat ma­bi­lis na ilan­tad ang pa­na­na­la­sa ng mga ar­ma­dong tro­pa ng AFP at mga tro­pang pang­kom­bat ng PNP sa mga bar­yo. Agad na ipa­ba­tid sa mas­mid­ya ang ka­ni­lang pre­sen­sya sa pa­ma­ma­gi­tan ng pag­ta­wag sa rad­yo, pag­ku­ha ng bid­yo o mga la­ra­wan at pag­pa­pa­ka­lat ng mga ito sa in­ter­net. Da­pat ma­bi­lis na ku­mi­los ang mga prog­re­si­bong mid­ya upang maa­gap na na­la­lan­tad ang pa­na­na­la­sa ng mga ope­ra­syong Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han.

Da­pat ku­ma­lat sa buong ban­sa ang pro­tes­ta la­ban sa Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han ng AFP. Da­pat itong isa­ga­wa kaa­ki­bat ng pag­pa­pa­ig­ting ng mga pa­ki­ki­ba­kang ma­sa upang ipag­tang­gol at isu­long ang de­mok­ra­ti­kong in­te­res ng ba­yan.

Da­pat pa­la­ka­sin ang su­por­ta ng mga es­tud­yan­te, taong-sim­ba­han, at mga kai­bi­gan sa mas­mid­ya at iba pang pwer­sa sa ka­lun­su­ran sa pa­ki­ki­ba­ka pa­ra pa­la­ya­sin ang mga ar­ma­dong sun­da­lo sa mga ko­mu­ni­dad sa ka­na­yu­nan.

Mag-or­ga­ni­sa ng mga ak­ti­bi­dad sa mga eskwe­la­han, sim­ba­han o mga tang­ga­pan sa ka­lun­su­ran upang big­yan ng pag­ka­ka­ta­on ang mga mag­sa­sa­ka na mag­sa­li­ta tung­kol sa di­na­ra­nas na pa­ni­ni­il sa ila­lim ng oku­pa­syong mi­li­tar. Mag-or­ga­ni­sa at mag­pa­ki­los ng mga bo­lun­tir na gus­tong tu­mu­long sa kam­pan­ya la­ban sa Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han. Mag-or­ga­ni­sa ng mga pag­ki­los o mi­syon mu­la sa mga sentrong syu­dad pa­tu­ngo sa mga bar­yo na si­na­sa­kop ng AFP upang tuwirang ma­kii­sa sa pag­la­ban ng ba­yan pa­ra pa­la­ya­sin ang mga ar­ma­dong sun­da­lo sa mga bar­yo.

Ka­hit pa hin­di ito nag­lu­lun­sad ng mga open­si­bong ope­ra­syon la­ban sa mga uni­por­ma­dong ar­ma­dong pwer­sa ng es­ta­do bi­lang pag­ta­li­ma sa dek­la­ra­syon sa ti­gil-pu­tu­kan ng PKP, pi­na­na­na­ti­li pa rin ng BHB ang pi­na­ka­ma­la­pit na ug­na­yan sa ma­sa upang tu­lu­ngan si­la sa pag­lu­tas ng mga su­li­ra­nin at pag­su­long ng mga pa­ki­ki­ba­ka.

Ka­tu­wang ang BHB, pa­tu­loy na bi­nu­buo ang mga sa­ngay ng Par­ti­do, ang mi­li­syang ba­yan, mga or­ga­ni­sa­syong ma­sa sa loob ng mga la­ra­ngang ge­ril­ya. Aba­la ang BHB sa pag­tu­long sa pag­su­su­long ng mga pa­ki­ki­ba­kang an­tip­yu­dal ng ma­sang mag­sa­sa­ka.  Ubos-ka­yang si­nu­su­por­ta­han ng BHB ang pa­ni­nin­di­gan at pag­ki­los ng ma­ma­ma­yan la­ban sa Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han. Ang mga ak­ti­bis­ta at li­der-ma­sa sa mga bar­yo na pi­nag-ii­ni­tan ng AFP ay bi­ni­big­yang-pro­tek­syon ng BHB.

Ang BHB ay na­na­na­ti­ling pi­na­ka­ma­ti­bay na moog ng de­mok­ra­ti­kong ka­pang­ya­ri­han ng ba­yan. Tu­luy-tu­loy itong nag­re­rek­rut at nag­sa­sa­nay ng ba­gong mga Pu­lang man­di­rig­ma at pi­na­ta­ta­tag ang pag­ka­kai­sa bi­lang pag­ha­han­da sa ma­la­la­king la­ban pa sa hi­na­ha­rap upang bi­gu­in hin­di la­mang ang Oplan Ba­ya­ni­han kun­di la­hat ng ibang pang kam­pan­ya ng pa­nu­nu­pil ng kaa­way.

LOOK: Second new Japan-made patrol vessel ready for voyage home

From Update.Ph (Nov 13): LOOK: Second new Japan-made patrol vessel ready for voyage home

Coast Guard photo

BRP Malabrigo (MRRV-4402) was inspected, November 12, by Philippine Coast Guard team led by Commodore Elson Hermigino, Fleet Commander, and Lieutenant Commander Geronimo Tuvilla, the incoming Commanding Officer of the ship, Coast Guard said November 13. The vessel is now ready to sail and will be arriving in the Philippines on December 8.

BRP Malabrigo is the second of ten ordered Parola-class patrol vessel. Parola-class patrol vessels are 44-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) being built by Japan Marine United under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard Phase 1 (MSCIP).

MSCIP I was awarded to Japan Marine United last year. BRP Tubbataha, the first Parola-class patrol vessel was delivered in August 2016, deliveries are expected every quarter until completion of 10 units in 2018.

The said project was funded through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan signed in 2013.

Meanwhile, MSCIP II was approved by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in September. MSCIP II funding will also be through Japan ODA loan. President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing and exchanging of notes for the said loan last October 26.

The project will provide the PCG with 2 heavy weather, high endurance 94-meter MRRVs.

Duterte picks West PH Sea commander as new Navy chief

From Rappler (Nov 12): Duterte picks West PH Sea commander as new Navy chief

AFP chief General Ricardo Visaya, standing in for President Rodrigo Duterte, leads the change of command ceremony in Cavite City

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado (left) is the new Philippine Navy chief. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Navy

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado (left) is the new Philippine Navy chief. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Navy

Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado assumed as the new chief of the Philippine Navy on Saturday, November 12.

President Rodrigo Duterte's appointee previously served as chief of the Palawan-based Western Command (Wescom), the military unit in charge of Palawan and the country's maritime claims in the Spratly Group of Islands in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

But Duterte skipped the change of command ceremony held at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City. Armed Forces chief of staff General Ricardo Visaya led the ceremonies.

Mercado is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983. He replaced Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad who reached the retirement age of 56.

Mercado's replacement as Wescom chief has not been named.

Mercado leads the Philippine Navy at a time when the political leadership seeks to highlight economic relations with China over the maritime disputes despite a historic international arbitration ruling that junked China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea.

Duterte also reduced training exercises with the country's defense treaty ally, the United States, particularly ending naval drills that he said China was opposed to.

China refused to honor the ruling that upheld the Philippines' 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), declaring flashpoint areas Mischief Reef, Second Thomas Shoal, and Reed Bank as parts of the country's maritime territory.

China has reclaimed Mischief Reef, which it wrested from the Philippines in 1994 under the administration of President Fidel Ramos.

China has been asking the Philippines to remove a grounded ship in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal that has served as its naval outpost, and has been harassing exploration activities on Reed Bank.

But the international court ruled that the territorial waters of Scarborough Shoal off the coast of Zambales is a traditional fishing ground for fishermen in the region, including Filipinos and Chinese.

Coast Guard eyes armed escorts for foreign ships plying Basilan Strait

From Rappler (Nov 12): Coast Guard eyes armed escorts for foreign ships plying Basilan Strait

The Philippine Coast Guard is also looking into the publication of a notice to mariners on critical areas, following the abduction of crewmembers of a Vietnamese-flagged vessel off Basilan

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is eyeing armed escorts for foreign ships plying waters off Basilan province after armed men attacked a Vietnamese-flagged vessel MV Royal 16 and kidnapped 6 crewmembers in the area on Friday, November 11.

Commander Jerome Cayabyab, officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Zamboanga, said on Saturday, November 12, that the PCG is looking into requiring vessels plying the Basilan Strait to have escorts or sea marshals from the PCG Special Operations Group and the Philippine Navy.

Cayabyab said it was the first recorded seajacking incident in the area. "We are still investigating why this happened," he said in Filipino.

He said the PCG is also eyeing the publication of a notice to mariners on the critical areas that they may pass through, but these areas would still have to be idenfied first.

Cayabyab also said that to prevent similar incidents, mariners should be on the lookout while on transit, and should coordinate with PCG or other law enforcement agencies in case they see something suspicious.

Another U.S. drone found off Zambales – report

From Rappler (Nov 13): Another U.S. drone found off Zambales – report

The yellow drone contains labels by the National Oceanographic Office of the United States

A sea drone from the United States (US) washed up on a beach at Masinloc, Zambales on Friday, November 11.

The drone was recovered by Filipino fishermen who were sailing back to Masinloc, according to a GMA-7 News TV Live report.
Photos sent by Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Masinloc chief Dario Diaz, showed that the yellow sea drone was labelled as an “oceanographic instrument” of the National Oceanographic Office of the US.
The drone also contained the email address
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Restituto Padilla said the fishermen should turn over the drone to the Philippine Coast Guard.
"Dapat ay masarin rin ng mga mangingisda ang exact location kung saan ito nakita (The fishermen should also determine the exact location where the drone was recovered)," said Padilla, adding a similar drone was recovered along the shores of Infanta, Quezon.
"Maaaring natangay lang ito ng alon mula sa ibang lugar. Hindi natin masasabi," he said. (It may have just been washed off from another place. We can't tell.)
Several other US drones have washed up on Philippine shores over the years, including a US Navy drone that was recovered on January 4, 2015 as well as another drone that washed up on a beach in Masbate two years before.
The Communist Party of the Philippines had condemned what it said was evidence of "continuing US surveillance and intervention in the country.”
The AFP, however, dismissed as "highly speculative" claims that the drones were used for surveillance.

Army to report CPP-NPA’s unlawful activities to GRP-NDF panel

From InterAksyon (Nov 13): Army to report CPP-NPA’s unlawful activities to GRP-NDF panel

Brig. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio (C) leads the change of command ceremony of the 78th Infantry Battalion from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Allan Jose Taguba (R) to Lt. Col. Danilo Dupiag (L) at Barangay Abuyogon, Burauen, Leyte. (Lottie Salarda,

The 8th Infantry Division Philippine Army, through commander Brigadier General Raul M. Farnacio, has documented various unlawful activities allegedly committed by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas months after the declaration of the ceasefire agreement on August 21.

According to Farnacio, they received information from the far-flung communities that the NPA have been forcing members of the community, who are supportive of the army’s programs, to leave the place.

“Meron silang destierro na tinatawag at palalayasin yung mga nag co-cooperate sa military before. Hindi tama na bigla nalang idi-dislocate ang mga cooperative na mga communities,” said Farnacio during the Change of Command of the 78th Infantry Battalion in Burauen, Leyte.

The army respects and observes the ceasefire agreement but they are more vigilant and aggressive in the monitoring of the violations of the NPA in Eastern Visayas.

Aside from destierro, the NPA’s sparrow unit, according to Farnacio, continue liquidating their personnel. They are all documenting these unlawful acts and will report these to the GRP-NDF panel.“Validated itong mga accounts na ito. Dinudokumento na namin ang lahat para ipaabot sa kanila na mali ito,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 78th Infantry Battalion located at Barangay Abuyogon, Burauen, Leyte has a new commander fresh from the Central Mindanao Command. He is Lt. Col. Danilo Dupiag who replaces Lt. Col. Allan Jose Taguba who served the battalion for two years and seven months.

Among his major accomplishments was manning the Yolanda rehabilitation; reducing the influence of the NPA in the province of Leyte and securing the conduct of the elections.

Taguba will be joining the G-2 of the 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan, City.

Duterte to honor defense pacts with US 'friends'

From InterAksyon (Nov 11): Duterte to honor defense pacts with US 'friends'

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he would respect defense treaties with "friends" and "ally" the United States, but still wanted foreign troops to leave his country by the end of his term.

Duterte spared the United States one of his trademark verbal lashings and took a more conciliatory tone than usual, although he hinted at revoking the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that gives US troops rotational access to Philippine bases.

"We are friends, with an ally, we have a military pact that would bind us," he told a pre-dawn news conference upon his return from a visit to Malaysia.

"We will maintain our cooperation ... and respect is there, and in all matters between the two countries, especially the treaties we signed with them, so many agreements, we will honor all of these things."

Duterte has been strongly against, at times furious about, dependence on the former colonial power and has called for the scrapping of dozens of joint exercises.

He said the Philippines did not need the exercises and by the end of his six-year term he wanted no foreign soldiers in his country.

"We do not need any foreigners to train Filipino troops. By themselves they are warriors," he added.

He also said he would be turning to other countries for defense procurements, like China, Israel, Japan and Russia, because US "gadgets" were expensive.

Duterte, who is often dubbed "Trump of the East" due to his fierce rhetoric and outrageous comments, was asked by a reporter if he thought the Donald Trump comparison was accurate.

"I am just a small molecule on this planet, he is now president of the most powerful country in the world. I am just a president struggling barely just above the water," he responded.

"No I don't think so, what we share in common maybe is the passion to serve."

A change at the White House would not affect his decision to build closer alliances with countries beyond the United States, like China and in Southeast Asia, he said.

"I will pursue what I started, I'm not into habit of reneging on my work," he said.

84th IB recalled to mother unit, now replaced by 3rd IB

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 11): 84th IB recalled to mother unit, now replaced by 3rd IB  

THE 3RD Infantry Battalion replaced the 84th IB yesterday during a command ceremony held in the battalion headquarters based in Barangay Malagos, Baguio District.
Lt. Col. Raymund Dante Lachica, the newly assumed commander of the 3rd IB, told TIMES that they will focus more on counter-terrorism efforts.
The 3rd IB under the 7th Infantry Division has already been assigned in the Davao Region in 1986 until 1993. The 84th IB has already returned to its mother unit in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija as part of their retraining and capability enhancement.
Both the 3rd IB and 84th IB are under the 7th Infantry Division based in Palayan City in Nueva Ecija.
“One of our missions now is from internal security operation to counter-terrorism being now a member of the Joint Task Force Haribon,” he said, referring to the composite team that was created on Oct. 22.
The command ceremony yesterday was led by Brig. General Ronnie Evangelista, the commander of Joint Task Force Haribon. Also present was Benito De Leon, chief of the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) and other stake holders.
The battalion also will be placed under operational control of the 10th Infantry Division which has strength of more or less 500 officers and personnel. It covers the outskirts of the areas Paquibato, Bunawan and Buhangin in the second district, as well as Tugbok, Toril, Baguio and Calinan in third district.
They will also cover the area of San Fernando in Bukidnon and the Island Garden City of Samal.

Moro rebels to benefit from banana production program

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 11): Moro rebels to benefit from banana production program

AT LEAST 14,000 former and current rebels will be enlisted in banana production project as part of the effort of the Department of Agriculture to contribute to the peace process.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol on Thursday said that during his state visit to Japan earlier this year, his department signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese commodity supplier Farmind, which supplies to Japanese retail supermarkets.
The DA agreed to supply 20 million boxes of Cavendish bananas to Farmind annually.
The Japanese supplier agreed to the idea that the farms where the bananas will come from will be operated in former or existing conflict areas to give livelihood to rebels.
The amount of bananas needed to be produced requires a production area of 7,000 hectares.
MILF Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar already agreed to the project.
The production areas will be in conflict areas in Mindanao including Maguindanao, Lanao, North Cotabato, and Sarangani.
Pinol said his department will help organize the rebels in coming up with their own corporations. The Land Bank of the Philippines, likewise, will also help finance the operations once the rebels are organized in the project.
The rebels will also be trained in management, auditing, and accounting.
“We want them to run their own corporations,” he said.  This project is expected to generate at least 14,000 jobs (production and ancillary) for formers and active rebels.

Defense chief says AFP to render 21-gun salute to FM

From MindaNews (Nov 12): Defense chief says AFP to render 21-gun salute to FM

Ousted strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos will be given a 21-gun salute should his family’s wish to have him buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani push through, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

Lorenzana said the burial will not be a state funeral but will follow the military tradition of burying “a soldier who had done a service to his country.”

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has already prepared a rifle party of seven Army soldiers who will deliver the succession of volley shots during the burial of the late president.

Marcos ruled the country for 20 years, 14 years under martial law which saw the arrests, torture and killings of thousands of Filipinos who opposed him.

“It will be a normal funeral. The rifle party is the only involvement of this administration although we will secure the Libingan premises from protesters,” Lorenzana told reporters during a gathering of veterans here on Friday.

The secretary said the Marcos family will shoulder all the expenses and attend to the burial arrangements.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the request of Marcos’ heirs that the late strongman be buried at the Libingan.

Victims of martial law and other groups filed a petition questioning Duterte’s order at the Supreme Court. The petitioners argued that Marcos does not deserve a hero’s burial due to the abuses during his rule.

The tribunal, however, upheld the president’s order by a vote of nine in favor, five against and one abstention.

 Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Marcos will be buried at the Libingan before the year ends.

CPP to Duterte: Don’t mind paying debt to Marcoses

From MindaNews (Nov 12): CPP to Duterte: Don’t mind paying debt to Marcoses

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has “advised” President Rodrigo Duterte against proceeding with giving a hero’s burial for ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos “in exchange for financial and political support” from his family during the election.

“The GRP President Duterte must be advised against proceeding with such a plan. Such payment of political debt to the Marcoses will undoubtedly be regarded as an act of contempt against the Filipino people’s historic judgment against the Marcos dictatorship,” the CPP said in a statement dated November 10.

“For sure, the Marcoses would resent such an unfulfilled promise. But such will be incomparable to the deep indignation that will be stirred among the Filipino people,” it said.

The CPP said in giving Marcos a hero’s burial, Duterte “would virtually be spitting on the graves of the tens of thousands of martyrs who laid down their lives in the struggle to end the puppet, brutal and rotten Marcos dictatorship.”

It said the decision has put in question Duterte’s assertion of being a Leftist, as the Marcos dictatorship was an “epitome” of the anti–Left.

“If Duterte allows Marcos’ body to be dug-up from Ilocos Norte and re-interred with hero’s burial, he would have provided the Marcoses with the ultimate act of rehabilitation,” it added.

The CPP said two generations of Filipinos have forgotten “the crimes of the Marcos dictatorship” because textbooks and official teaching in elementary and secondary schools have sanitized his image.

Marcos imposed martial on Sept. 21, 1972, a year before his second and last term as president would end.

He abolished Congress, enforced the 1971 Constitution without the benefit of a plebiscite, and ruled by decree.

Thousands of his opponents and suspected dissidents were either detained or killed. Several others “disappeared” after being arrested by security forces and their bodies have not been found.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the request of the Marcos family that the late strongman be buried at the Libingan. Many believed the decision is meant to repay the Marcoses for their supposed campaign support to then candidate Duterte.

Victims of martial law and other groups filed a petition questioning Duterte’s order at the Supreme Court. The petitioners argued that Marcos does not deserve a hero’s burial due to the abuses during his rule.

On Nov. 8, however, the tribunal voted 9-5-1 to dismiss the petitions.

EO activates enhanced BTC, seeks inclusivity in Bangsamoro peace process

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 11): EO activates enhanced BTC, seeks inclusivity in Bangsamoro peace process

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed an executive order on 7 November that will create a new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) that will strive to bring together all key peace actors and stakeholders in the implementation of all Bangsamoro accords.

“We are looking at a more inclusive approach in the Bangsamoro peace process and we are going to work with all factions and all groups in the Bangsamoro as we work towards the completion of that new enabling law,” Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus G. Dureza said during the signing ceremony held in MalacaƱang.

The BTC is one of the mechanisms established under the signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) tasked to draft an enabling law that will establish and operationalize the envisioned Bangsamoro political entity.

The original composition of the BTC was 15 members, 8 being appointed by the government and the remaining recommended by the MILF. The original BTC did come up with a draft law called the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The draft legislation underwent several revisions in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. However, the bill ultimately did not pass due to a confluence of factors chief of which are the Mamasapano incident and the apparent lack of consultation with key stakeholders.

“The signing of the new executive order is a very significant occasion because it will signal the restart of what had slowed down because of the failure of our previous Congress to enact the enabling law,” Dureza emphasized. The new EO has expanded the current BTC membership from 15 to 21 – 10 will be named by President Duterte and 11, including its chairperson, will be appointed by the MILF. Inclusive Bangsamoro assembly.

The BTC has also been given additional mandate to convene an inclusive Bangsamoro Assembly as a consultative body to discuss the enabling law with various stakeholders.

Dureza referred to this assembly as the “other peace tables that will be established hereon that can give inputs for the BTC and can help to address other concerns”. “There will be different tables to be consulted on the works of the BTC.

We will meet with these different groups because we cannot accommodate all of them and give them representations in the BTC,” Dureza explained.

For their part, the MILF leadership has “called all Moro groups to work together in coming up with an enabling law that will establish the real and genuine autonomy for the Bangsamoro people which is faithful to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and enhanced by the other agreements and other solomonic ideas and wisdom”.

MILF chairman Murad Ebrahim and implementing panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal offered a partnership for peace and mutual understanding in pursuing the path on peace and development in the Bangsamoro.

“The CAB and its translation into a law is not the franchise of the MILF. The benefit of the law will redound to the benefit of everyone and the country in general. It is the law that will translate the aspiration of everyone for lasting peace and development. It is not own by anyone but everyone owns it,” Murad highlighted.

“In our common struggle to pursue the Bangsamoro right on self-determination, let us set aside our selfish interests – parochial, tribal and other interests – and make it paramount the collective interests of the Bangsamoro who just demand correction of the historical injustices and identity,” Iqbal pointed out MNLF participation in the BTC.

Dureza disclosed that representatives of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will be part of the expanded BTC. “We will have MNLF headed by Muslimin Sema. They have three seats in the BTC on the side of the government.”

The faction of founding chairman Nur Misuari, according to the peace adviser, opted not to participate in the BTC due to their “principled position”. “Chairman Nur Misuari has principled position since the BTC is a mechanism of the CAB. Of course, you should understand that Chairman Nur Misuari make reference to government and MNLF’s 1996 Final Peace Agreement. He has not yet abandon that agreement,” Dureza explained.

Propose charter amendments Aside from drafting an enabling law, the EO also mandates the BTC to recommend amendments to the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The roadmap of the Duterte administration for the Bangsamoro encompasses two simultaneous tracks – the legislative track for the new enabling law and the federalism track through constitutional changes to shift the current unitary system to a federal set-up. “Federalism is the end game,” Dureza stressed.

“We would like to see an early entrenchment and organization of the Bangsamoro before the federalism,” Dureza continued, adding that the Bangsamoro “can be test bed or pilot case of the federal state”. “The federal state for the Bangsamoro will actually form part with other federal states of other areas to compose one federal republic later on,” Dureza concluded. (OPAPP)

Army to hold stakeholders coordinating conference in Butuan

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 11): Army to hold stakeholders coordinating conference in Butuan

The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB), Philippine Army will be holding a Stakeholders Coordinating Conference on November 15, 2016 at the Governor’s Conference Room, this city.

According to 23IB community relations officer Capt. Edwin Leo Francisco, the discussion during said conference will focus on the planned “Serbisyo Peace Caravan” which was scheduled on December 2, 2016 at the covered court of Barangay Sangay in the municipality of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

 “The activity is aimed at reaching out to far flung communities with the main focus on pupils, students and members of indigenous families by delivering basic services such as free medical/dental, distribution of medicines and vitamins, distribution of livelihood kits, free haircut services, information education and communication campaign on government programs, awarding of Certificate of Land Ownership Award, and other related services,” highlighted Francisco.

It can be recalled that a "Serbisyo Peace Caravan" was also held in Santiago, Agusan del Norte last October 21, 2016.

Army, police hunt down NPAs who torched bus in S. Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 13): Army, police hunt down NPAs who torched bus in S. Cotabato

Elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion and personnel of Tupi municipal police office are pursuing a band of New People's Army (NPA) guerillas who torched a Yellow Bus Company (YBL) unit in village in Tupi, South Cotabato.

"We are still pursuing the suspects who are heavily armed," Inspector Romel Hitalia, Tupi town police chief, said.

In his report to Supt. Franklin Alvero, South Cotabato police director, Hitalia said the burning of YBL (Body number 77 and temporary plate number 1301-51080) transpired at about 4:20 a.m. in Barangay Polonuling, Tupi. South Cotabato, about 50 kilometers east of this city.

“The suspects claimed they were NPAs,” Hitalia said in a phone interview, quoting the bus driver.

Hitalia said five men boarded the Gen. Santos City-bound bus along the national highway and declared they were NPA members.

They directed the driver to turn left toward an open field of pineapple plantation. After about 100 meters away from the national highway, more armed rebels were seen waiting.

Quoting passengers, Hitalia said the gunmen ordered the passengers, including the driver, to alight. Other rebels poured gasoline inside and around the air condition bus with body number 77.

Then they set on fire the unit and fled deep into the forest of Mt. Matutum. The passengers were not harmed.

Responding police and elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion failed to catch up with the suspects who fled toward Mt. Matutum. Pursuit operations continue.

Police are eyeing extortion as the motive of the burning of YBL unit, one of the many similar instances the past years.

Army commander: Abu Sayyaf threat is real and existing

From the Sun Star-Dumaguete (Nov 9): Army commander: Abu Sayyaf threat is real and existing

EVER since, the threat of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is existing and real, according to 79th Infantry Battalion Commander Officer Roderick Garcia, who spoke during the Negros Oriental provincial peace and order council (PPOC) regular meeting Tuesday, November 8, at the Provincial Capitol building.

The Philippine Army commander reported that documents gathered from the ASG showed the enemy is getting physical information about the resorts and their location in the province to include pictures of sea crafts utilized by the tourists, which is essential in their kidnapping operations.

In view of this development, there is a probability the group may hire or procure the same sea crafts to avoid detection, raising the possibility of kidnapping in the province as what happened to a resort in Samal Island.

It will be recalled that last October 21, while the Provincial Government was celebrating Buglasan Festival during the showdown of festivals, a member of the ASG identified as Alhabisi Misaya was monitored in Alcoy and Talisay in Cebu, crossing over to Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte via Liloan, Cebu and Dumaguete City.

On October 30, the encounter occurred at Barangay Bunot, Indana, Sulu where ASG sub-leader Muammar Askali alias Abu Rami was spotted. Recovered during that encounter was the cellphone owned by Munjing Ahadjari, who is the right hand of Askali.

Garcia said what happened in Samal Island where three foreigners were kidnapped including a local resident was not the primary purpose, however, their original target was in Davao but because of heavy security forces in the area, this prompted the ASG to divert to that island.

He said the group is mobile that they will strike when given the opportunity to do so.

That is why in Negros Oriental, the police and the army are implementing target hardening measures with deployment of troops in areas where foreigners are heavily concentrated to include resorts and other tourist destinations of the province.

The 79th IB has deployed one Army Scout platoon in Dumaguete, another squad in Dauin, and has added one team of Army troopers to Apo Island to strengthen their presence in the area.

Garcia assured that they are doing their best to secure the province from threat groups.

Phl Army initiates youth leadership training in Ilocos Sur

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 11): Phl Army initiates youth leadership training in Ilocos Sur

NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur - The Philippine Army, in partnership with the provincial government of Ilocos Sur, has initiated the first province-wide youth leadership summit in Narvacan North Central School here.

Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio C. Osias, commander of the army’s 81st Infantry Batallion based in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur, said Thursday that  a total of 68 young leaders from different towns and cities of the province participated the three-day summit happened on November 4 to 6.

“The summit was aimed  to enhance the inherent leadership qualities of our youth, promote patriotism and love of country, and to prepare the youth to become active responders to any calamities and disasters that may come ahead of them,” said Osias.

He also underscored the things that the youth acquired during the leadership summit.

“This summit gave our youth the experience that they could treasure for a lifetime and skills and knowledge that they could use as future leaders,” he added.

Meanwhile, Major General Angelito M. De Leon, the commander of the army’s 7th Infantry Division, said that it is also important to guide the youth as shapers and movers of the society in the future.

“Leaders are made not born; we must be part and do our best in molding our future leaders,” De Leon said.

Task force vs. terror threat reactivation in Neg. Or. set

From the Visayan Daily Star (Nov 11): Task force vs. terror threat reactivation in Neg. Or. set

The Provincial Peace and Order Council of Negros Oriental is set to reactivate next week its Joint Task Force in the wake of potential security threats in the province and nearby areas.

Lt. Col. Roderick Garcia, commander of the 79 th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, stressed yesterday the need to reactivate the task force for collaboration among its members and to test the inter-operability of government security forces.

The JTF, composed of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and some government line agencies, was created sometime last year following a reported threat from the notorious kidnap-for-ransom group, the Abu Sayyaf.

Richard Enojo, concurrent provincial administrator and provincial legal officer, had announced during Tuesday's PPOC regular meeting that the JTF meets next week for its reactivation to review its security contingency plan.

The body also agreed that the JTF be reactivated first before calling for a meeting with owners and managers of resorts, especially in potential threat areas like Apo Island and the towns of Bacong, Dauin and Zamboanguita, among others.

The PPOC stressed that while there is no cause for alarm despite recent intelligence reports of the Abu Sayyaf Group allegedly targeting some Visayas areas for their kidnapping activities, it is best to alert these resorts so they can increase their security measures.

Garcia has reiterated his assurance that Negros Oriental is safe with all possible safety nets in place.
Floating and air assets are deployed to support ground troops of the PNP and the Philippine Army, he said.

In fact, Air Force helicopters fly during nighttime to do reconnaissance over the province and nearby areas.

Patrol boats of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard also continue without let-up its maritime patrols, Garcia added.

He called on the public anew to remain calm but be vigilant in the monitoring of suspicious persons arriving in the city and in their communities.

He said Dumaguete City is a transit point for possible Abu Sayyaf militants, who are traveling to and from Mindanao.

Security has been beefed up elsewhere in the region, to include nearby Cebu and Siquijor provinces.

Army execs on the carpet

From The Standard (Nov 12): Army execs on the carpet

A RETIRED lieutenant general is facing one count of graft and seven counts of falsification of public documents before the Sandiganbayan over the allegedly anomalous procurement of P5.103 million worth of military supplies in 2003.

The Ombudsman indicted Lt. Gen. Gregorio Camiling Jr., former commanding general of the Philippine Army, and ordered the filing of raps over alleged involvement in the anomalous procurement
of P5.103 million worth of military supplies in 2003.

Those included were former brigadier general Severino Estrella; colonels Cesar Santos, Jessie Mario Dosado, Barmel Zumel and Cyrano Austria; captain George Cabreros; accounting unit head Editha Santos, and chief accountant Rolando Minel in the charge sheet.

Defense chief pledges continuous hospital aid to ex-servicemen

From the Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (Nov 12): Defense chief pledges continuous hospital aid to ex-servicemen

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana pins medals to the region’s oldest veterans. (Jigger J. Jerusalem)

DEFENSE chief Delfin Lorenzana on Friday, November 11, reminded thousands of retired and former servicemen in Northern Mindanao to make use of the hospitalization assistance from the government after the Department of National Defense and the Department of Health renewed their memorandum of agreement (MOA) in 2014.

The agreement, which aimed at partially shouldering the hospitalization of retired servicemen and women, was aimed to improve their and their qualified dependents’ access to quality health care.

Under the MOA, veterans can avail of hospitalization services in all public hospitals, especially those accredited with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

The PVAO will pay P1, 500 per day for up to 45 days per patient per year.

Lorenzana said he has also lobbied to the American government for additional cash aid to retired soldiers who fought side by side the US forces during World War (WW) II.

Lorenzana added the US Congress is still in its deliberation stage to give out “Congressional Gold Medal” to Filipino soldiers fighting the Imperial Japanese military in the war.

“If approved by the US Congress, our veterans will not receive cash but recognition from the American government,” Lorenzana said.

During the event, Lorenzana awarded plaques of recognition to five of the oldest veterans, four of whom were in their 90s.

Private Marcel Polonia was the only centenarian, at age 104, from Barangay La Fortuna, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.

The other awardees were Staff Sergeant Marciano Avila, 99, of Barangay Tablon, Cagayan de Oro, Private First Class Manuel Cunada, 94, Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City, Private Sulpicio Cabasan, 94, Barangay Bonbon, Opol, Misamis Oriental, and Private Aligondo Dagondon, 93, Barangay Malanang, Opol, Misamis Oriental.

Polonia, a native of Impasug-ong, joined the guerrilla movement upon enlisting in the 10th Military District.

According to PVAO, Polonia’s unit was assigned to defend the larger part of Mindanao against the strong Japanese forces.

“His (Polonia) contribution during the war had been made part of a glorious chapter in the history of the Philippines and will be etched forever in the rich history of the [country] and will serve as an inspiration to the youth of this generation, to love and serve the country and to fight for peace and freedom at all cost,” stated Polonia’s plaque of recognition.

Since Polonia can no longer hear clearly, his daughter Evita Polonia-Cabalida, 63, said her father did not want to join the resistance during the Japanese occupation as he had seven children at the time but was forced to enlist in the Philippine Army when the Imperial soldiers tried to kill him.

Cabalida said Polonia was a sharp shooter and claimed to have killed many Japanese soldiers.

After the war, Evita said Polonia went back to farming and managed to produce 13 kids, two of whom died during WWII due to starvation.

Cabalida is the one who’s taking care of Polonia, said her father does not smoke or drink and eats mostly vegetables.

“He is in good health. His monthly pension of P6,000 is used for his vitamins,” Cabalida said.

Although he is not suffering from any ailments brought by old age, Polonia has already shown signs of dementia as he tends to forget, among others, the names of his fellow soldiers.

Rape-slay suspect shot dead by alleged NPA rebels

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 7): Rape-slay suspect shot dead by alleged NPA rebels

Suspected communist rebels on Sunday shot dead an ex-convict tagged as one of the suspects in the rape and killing of a young woman in Mati City, Davao Oriental two years ago, police on Monday said.

Senior Supt. Harry Espela, Davao Oriental police chief, identified the victim as Fabian Gemarino Jr., 58, and resident of Mati City.

Gemarino was gunned down by unidentified assailants, believed to be New People’s Army rebels, in Purok (Community) Gemelina, Sitio (Sub-village) Sudlon, Barangay Central past 9:50 p.m., Espela told the Inquirer by text message.

The victim and another suspect had been implicated in the rape and shooting to death of a woman in Sitio Upper Madang, Barangay Central sometime in 2014.

“A settlement had been attempted between (the side of Gemarino) and the victim’s family but up to now, the former was not able to give an amount of money,” said Chief Insp. Decano Morales Jr., Davao Oriental police spokesperson.

Espela said the victim had been missing for almost a month until his bullet-riddled body was found late Sunday.

“His family claimed NPA rebels may have murdered him as reprisal for the rape he allegedly committed,” Espela added.

Gov't to raise 'revolutionary tax' with leftist rebels: finance chief

From ABS-CBN (Nov 8): Gov't to raise 'revolutionary tax' with leftist rebels: finance chief

The government will raise in peace negotiations the "revolutionary tax" that communist insurgents require from targeted businessmen, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Tuesday.

Dominguez said not all businesses had the resources to increase their security to avoid paying the New People's Army (NPA).

While he was in the private sector, the finance chief said: "I just simply refuse to pay it."
"This is really a serious concern and it has to be part of the peace negotiation with the NPA," Dominguez said.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza was tasked to raise the matter with the rebels, the finance chief said.

Duterte restarted peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines soon after assuming office in June. Formal negotiations are being hosted on Oslo, Norway.

NPA presence a hurdle to Malaysian investments in Mindanao, says Duterte

From GMA News (Nov 11): NPA presence a hurdle to Malaysian investments in Mindanao, says Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte said the presence of the New People's Army in Mindanao was a roadblock to Malaysian investment in palm oil projects in the island.

He made the pronouncement on Friday morning after arriving from his two-day visit to Kuala Lumpur.

"For as long as there's always a threat, they cannot do anything," said Duterte, whose administration is currently engaged in talks with the Communist rebels.

 Duterte said he was considering bring this to the table in the talks in Oslo, Norway.

He said there had been agronomists that conducted a feasibility study on palm oil projects in the country.

"And after positive findings and suitability sa soil, what happened, the NPA just simply said no to palm oil," he said. "Ang problema nito, maraming expert sa internet," he added.

The Malaysians will try to introduce palm oil projects again, said Duterte, adding that he would be consulting experts on the effects of these projects on the environment.

"While waiting for the final result, ano man yan, we have to improve the lives of people," he said.

Along with agri-business, Duterte said the focus of his discussion with Malaysian leaders centered on infrastructure.

Mass transportation He said they discussed potential deals in mass transportation development, construction of regional centers, development of halal certified products, and processing of high value crops.

"I asked DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) to follow through (on these projects) to ensure trade and investment with our 10th largest trade partner," said Duterte.

The implementation of several infrastructure projects could be expected next year.

"I could say, it could keep our country busy in the coming months. There will be a lot of projects in the streets, expect commotion," the President said.

He added that the Metro Rail TRansit, is among the infrastructure projects expected next year.

"'Yun ang mauna talaga because it involves mass transport," he said.