Monday, December 11, 2017

PNP: Financiers of communist rebels may be tagged as ‘conspirators’

From the Manila Times (Dec 11): PNP: Financiers of communist rebels may be tagged as ‘conspirators’

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) warned that financiers of communist groups may be tagged as conspirators, accomplices, or accessories to terrorism, a spokesman said on Monday.

Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, however, was unsure if protest groups supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) could be considered conspirators.

“I’d check with the [Directorate for Investigative and Detection Management] DIDM regarding that,” Carlos said in a phone interview with The Manila Times on Monday.

Carlos said the PNP favored more offensive attacks than defensive ones against the NPA, which President Rodrigo Duterte has tagged as a terrorist group.

“Offense is always better than defense. Emphasize alertness, especially during administrative transport of personnel and others,” Carlos said in an order statement to the police.

Carlos said the police was strengthening its internal forces by improving its intelligence-gathering procedures and operations. He said police intelligence capabilities were now being “intensified”.

“Conduct social investigation not only for intelligence networking but to establish rapport. All personnel should know the community they are in,” Carlos said in the order.

Carlos reminded police to be on guard for possible attacks of the NPA, which reportedly threatened to be more aggressive now that Duterte had labeled them as terrorists.

“Expect possible ambushes and attacks to be launched by the NPA. Preventive and prophylactic combat patrols in coordination with the AFP should be launched in addition to target hardening of all camps and vital installations,” Carlos said.

Carlos cited the PNP’s tactical capabilities, which encompassed a national, regional, and provincial scope, made possible by police forces that handled the NPA and the CPP.

Carlos ensured that police was addressing the threats of the communist rebels against “communities, industries, private businesses, and government installations”.

Carlos informed that the police were continuously reminded about the order now that the NPA and CPP were on the list of terrorist groups.

On December 5, Duterte declared the NPA and CPP as terrorist groups through Presidential Proclamation 374.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the proclamation was due to the “continued violent acts of the CPP-NPA, which sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace.”

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea directed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to file a petition declaring CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said the military would fully execute and perform its mandate “without reservation and restrictions”.

http://www.manilatimes.net/pnp-financiers-communist-rebels-may-tagged-conspirators/368012/

Security forces hold 150 tribesmen in Zamboanga province

From the Mindanao Examiner (Dec 11): Security forces hold 150 tribesmen in Zamboanga province

Security forces held Monday nearly 150 tribal members on their way to a meeting in Sindangan town in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Norte, organizers said.

Nenita Condez, Secretary-General of the indigenous organization called Salabukan Nok G’Taw Subanen or “Nagkaisang Mamamayang Subanen”, said they were worried about the safety and welfare of their members. She said policemen and soldiers intercepted the group while heading to the venue of their meeting in the town.

“We are worried about them. They were being held against their will,” Condez told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner by phone.

She said security forces were suspecting or accusing the natives as either members or supporters of communist rebel group New People’s Army. She strongly denied the suspicion of the police and military, but claimed soldiers were allegedly harassing tribal members.

“We are organizing the meeting to seek support from President Rodrigo Duterte or the provincial and municipal governments to help us by providing aid to our poor members who are mostly farmers affected by recent calamities in the province. We are need of seeds and other agricultural assistance from the government,” Condez said.

She said local government have failed to assist farmers despite repeated pleas. “We are also asking the government to provide our people the needed medical assistance or even a medical or humanitarian mission,” she said, adding, a medicine donation from Bishop Antonio Ablon, of the Diocese of Pagadian City, was also confiscated by army soldiers in Sindangan town.

Condez said the medicines, mostly for cough and flu, and vitamins, were intended for children and elderly members of the Subanen tribe. She said their group, which was originally founded in the 1990s, is working for the welfare of the tribal communities in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Ricky Gandoy, one of the members of the group in Sindangan, has appealed to the government to investigate the continued harassment of tribesmen by soldiers.We are just ordinary and poor farmers, and yet the soldiers are always harassing us, accusing us of being rebels or sympathizers of the NPA which is not true. We need help,” he said in a separate interview.

There was no immediate statement from the police and military about the allegations of the Subanen leaders.

http://mindanaoexaminer.com/security-forces-hold-150-tribesmen-in-zamboanga-province/

Groups launch series of protests in Koronadal vs ‘lumad attacks’

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): Groups launch series of protests in Koronadal vs ‘lumad attacks’

Hundreds of militant activists gathered in this city for a series of protest actions against the alleged harassment activities and attacks by government forces on lumad or indigenous peoples communities in the province and the neighboring areas.

Around 200 members of various “cause-oriented” groups initially pitched camp late Sunday infront of the South Cotabato provincial capitol compound here as part of a planned three-day mobilization.

Organizers said the protesters are composed of lumads, farmers, teachers, students and other concerned residents.

Timothy Romero, spokesperson for the Center for Lumad Advocacy, Networking and Services Inc. (Clans)-Socksargen, said Monday the protests are mainly aimed at bringing the plight of the lumads to the attention of local government leaders and concerned agencies.

He said lumad communities, including schools, in the area are currently under attack from government troops after repeatedly being “falsely accused” as fronts for the New People’s Army (NPA).

The latest case, he noted, was the alleged massacre last Dec. 3 of eight members of the T’boli tribe in Sitio Datal Bonglangon, Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Among those killed was local tribal leader Datu Victor Danyan, two of his sons and a son-in-law.

The Army’s 27th and 33rd Infantry Battalions said the incident was a legitimate encounter and that the slain lumads were members of the NPA’s Daguma Front 73.

Romero urged South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes to seek an impartial investigation of the Dec. 3 incident.

“We’re also calling on the governor to look into the attacks by government troops targeting legitimate lumad schools,” he said.

He appealed to the governor to face them for a dialogue regarding these issues as well as some pressing concerns affecting the lumads in the area.

Romero specifically cited the planned coal mining project in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu and the large-scale copper-gold mining venture in Tampakan town.

Aside from the provincial capitol, he said they will stage mobilizations in the next two days at the offices of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12.

He noted that they want the NCIP to “wake up” as it reportedly remained silent about the Dec. 3 incident in Lake Sebu.

On the other hand, Romero said the DENR has kept approving mining permits in the area and these supposedly triggered the militarization of lumad communities.

Teachers and students of lumad schools will seek a meeting with DepEd Region 12 director Arturo Bayocot to address issues affecting them, he said.

Romero said they will reiterate the results of an earlier dialogue with DepEd officials that assured them of protection from attacks by government forces.

Gov. Daisy Fuentes told reporters that she is ready to face the leaders of the protesters and discuss their concerns.

She said the local government respects the rights of the protesters to air their grievances in a peaceful manner.

“It’s their right to launch protest actions. We will not oppose that as long as they will not resort to violence and obstruct the services at the provincial capitol and our roads,” she said.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018556

2 more rebels yield to Army in Sultan Kudarat

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): 2 more rebels yield to Army in Sultan Kudarat

Two more communist fighters have surrendered to the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion here Sunday, raising the number of communist rebels to have voluntarily yielded to the government in the 33rd IB area of jurisdiction to 80, an Army official said.

Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc, 33rd Infantry “Makabayan” Battalion commander, said the two New People’s Army (NPA) fighters who belonged to the Dulangan-Manobo tribe operating in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, turned over two rifles in simple ceremonies held at the Makabayan headquarters here.

He identified them as Ruben Balagay alias Ka Rustom, 19, and Marlon Dayao alias Ka MarMar, 20, both members of the NPA Platoon MyPhone led by Ka Ampog.

Cabunoc said Ka Marmar was with a certain Datu Victor when they engaged elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato last week.

Datu Victor and five of his followers died in the clash. The 33rd IB chief said the two surrenderees debunked allegations of the left that the soldiers massacred the tribal members.

“These are living witnesses of the clash and it was not a massacre but a legitimate encounter,” Cabunoc said.

A total of 80 former NPA rebels so far yielded to the 33rd IB and have availed of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

In exchange for their rifles, the former combatants have received P20,000 each as start-up livelihood funds.

“We continue to encourage our tribal brother to avail of the government’s reconciliation program and live normal lives,” Cabunoc said.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018553

Lawmen pursue BIFF for harassing police, Marine posts in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): Lawmen pursue BIFF for harassing police, Marine posts in Maguindanao

The Philippine Marines and Police Public Safety Company are pursuing a band of armed lawless elements believed to be behind the harassment of a police outpost in Poblacion Nuro, Upi, Maguindanao, and the staging of a roadside bombing against Marine soldiers in an adjacent village of the same town.

Members of the Marine Battalion anding Team-5 had a brief encounter with the lawless elements on Saturday who are believed to be members of the outlawed IS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The suspects were believed to have crossed the hinterlands of Talayan and Guindulungan towns, also in Maguindanao, and launched the diversionary attacks.

Philippine military and enemies-turned-ally Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been fighting the BIFF in Maguindanao’s second district; and that the harassment in North Upi town on Saturday was seen by the Army as a BIFF “diversionary tactic” to ward off intense military operations against them in Talayan and Guindulungan towns.

Capt. Arvin John Encinas, speaking for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division which has jurisdiction over the Marine forces in North Upi, said the encounter occurred in Barangay Mirab after the suspects set off an improvised roadside bomb that injured seven Marine troopers.

The Marine team was on their way back to MBLT-5 battalion headquarters after the conduct of investigation on the harassment against the 1st Manuever Platoon, Police Public Safety Company when a homemade bomb went off near the bridge.

Encinas said the encounter resulted to undetermined number of casualties on the enemy side while seven Marine personnel suffered injuries.

The Marines held their ground against the undetermined number of armed men until reinforcement arrived.

In the harassment of the 1st Maneuver Platoon PPSC detachment, investigation revealed that a rifle grenade was fired from a distance and hit the outpost that injured PO2 Esmael Alabat.

“A thorough investigation is underway to determine the link between the police outpost and roadside bombing on the Marines,” Major Gen. Arnel dela Vega, 6ID chief and commander of Task Force Central, said.

“As always, the soldiers of Task Force Central are putting their lives and limbs at risk to ensure the safety and security of the people and the community,” he added.

North Upi Mayor Ramon Piang today convened the Municipal Peace and Order Council to discuss the incident and appealed to the public to remain vigilant.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018565

ML extension to thwart ISIS, NPA threats in Mindanao: Duterte

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): ML extension to thwart ISIS, NPA threats in Mindanao: Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to further extend the declaration of martial law in the whole of Mindanao for another year, or for the entirety of 2018, in order to totally eradicate terror threats posed by remnants of Islamic State (IS)-linked terrorists and by communist rebels in the region.

In his letter to Congress dated December 8, Duterte said extending the martial law for another year will help state security forces to crush the rebellion in Mindanao and ensure public safety.

“A further extension of the implementation of Martial Law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao will help the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and all other law enforcement agencies to quell completely and put an end to the ongoing rebellion in Mindanao and prevent the same from escalating to other parts of the country,” Duterte said in his letter.

“Public safety indubitably requires such further extension, not only for the sake of security and public order, but more importantly to enable the government and the people of Mindanao to pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation and the promotion of a stable socio-economic growth and development,” he added.

In his letter, Duterte highlighted the different terror threats facing Mindanao, which were part of the security assessment submitted to Malacañang by the AFP and the PNP.

The President noted that despite the deaths of almost a thousand IS-inspired extremists, including their leaders, in the battle of Marawi, remnants of the group and their supporters have continued their recruitment and training of new members “to carry on the rebellion.”

“You will please note that at least 185 persons listed in the martial law arrest orders have remained at large and, in all probability, are presently regrouping and consolidating their forces,” he said.

He specifically pointed to the remnants of the IS-inspired Da’awatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masriq (DIWM) as being active in recruiting and consolidating their forces in Central Mindanao.

“These activities are geared towards the conduct of intensified atrocities and armed public uprisings in support of their objective of establishing the foundation of a global Islamic caliphate and of a Wilayat not only in the Philippines but also in the whole of Southeast Asia,” Duterte said.

The President also cited the terror threat from the Turaifie Group, which has been monitored to be planning to conduct bombings in the Cotabato area.

In the meantime, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has been continuously perpetrating violence in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, having initiated a total of 89 violent incidents since the start of this year.

He also cited threats posed by remnants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga Peninsula.

According to reports, the ASG was behind 43 acts of terrorism this year, which included bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

Lastly, Duterte accused the NPA of taking advantage of the Marawi siege to intensify their decades-long rebellion against the government and “stepped up terrorist acts against innocent civilians and private entities, as well as guerilla warfare against the security sector and public and government infrastructure.”

He said the NPA’s objective was to “purposely seize political power through violent means and supplant the country’s democratic form of government with Communist rule.”

The President said the NPA has perpetrated at least 385 atrocities in Mindanao since the year started that resulted in the deaths of 41 state forces and the wounding of 62 others.

He said these atrocities also resulted in the deaths of 23 civilians, including a four-month old infant, and the wounding of six others.

In the meantime, at least 59 arson incidents against private business and establishment have been carried out by the NPA in Mindanao this year that resulted in the destruction of an estimated PHP2.2 billion worth of properties.

The President said that he was constrained to terminate peace talks with the National Democratic front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NDF-CPP-NPA), and later on to tag the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization, as a direct result of the atrocities on the part of the NPA.

“These recent developments involving the NDF-CPP-NPA forebode another year of intensified armed hostilities which, together with other security concerns and described above, continue to make Mindanao the hotbed of rebellion,” he said.

“For all these reasons, I ask the Congress of the Philippines to further extend the proclamation of Martial Law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao for a period of one year, from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018, or for such period of time as the Congress may determine, in accordance with Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” Duterte said in his letter.

President Duterte first declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017 when fighting broke out between government forces and IS-linked terrorists erupted in Marawi City.

In July, Congress extended the declaration until December 31, upon Duterte's request.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018594

Pay hike for cops, soldiers gets final House nod

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): Pay hike for cops, soldiers gets final House nod

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a joint resolution aimed at raising the salaries of police and soldiers by next year.

Voting 167-4, members of the lower chamber passed Joint Resolution No. 18 authorizing the compensation adjustment for military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

The measure specifically raises the monthly Base Pay of a Police Officer (PO) I in the Philippine National Police (PNP) or a Private in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast Guard, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority from PHP14,834 to PHP29,668, representing a 100 percent increase in the Base Pay effective January 1, 2018.

For the other ranks, the increase in Base Pay will be calibrated resulting in an average increase of 58.70 percent for all ranks.

Based on estimates by the Department of Budget and Management, the increase in the base pay of soldiers, police, firefighters and jail guards will entail an additional cost of PHP63.4 billion.

The resolution employs two tranches of implementation of the modified base pay starting 2018 and 2019.

The indexation of the pension of retired MUP with base pay of those in the active service shall be suspended with respect to the base pay increase authorized in the joint resolution.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, appropriations committee chair, said the suspension indexation will last up to Jan. 1, 2019, "or until a new pension reform law is passed, whichever comes earlier."

"This temporary suspension, for a period of about one year, of the application of pension indexation of retired military and uniformed personnel, is only in view of its huge financial implication," Nograles explained.

The resolution also states that the hazard pay of all military and uniformed personnel shall be fixed at PHP540 per month.

The increase in base pay for 2018 shall be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and other available funds while the funding requirements for the succeeding years shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Nograles said the proposed modified base pay will benefit around 381,381 military and uniformed personnel nationwide.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018606

BIFF owns up to Maguindanao twin explosions

From the Manila Times (Dec 10): BIFF owns up to Maguindanao twin explosions

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has claimed responsibility for the twin explosions that wounded seven soldiers of the Philippine Marines and a policeman in Upi town of Maguindanao.

Abu Misry Mama, spokesman for the outlawed Islamic State-inspired BIFF, said their armed group was behind the attack on government combatants; he did not elaborate.

Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police provincial director, identified the wounded policeman as Police Officer 2 Esmael Alabat, a member of Upi municipal police office.

Tello said Alabat was seriously wounded when a rifle grenade fired from M-203 rifle landed at the roadside near the outpost of the1st Maneuver Platoon of the Provincial Public Safety Company in Barangay Nuro, Upi at about 12:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Capt. Arvin John Encinas told The Manila Times the Marines were with the police and bomb experts in the post-blast investigation and were heading back to base when unidentified suspects detonated another improvised bomb in Barangay Mirab at about 1 a.m. also of Saturday.

Wounded in the second explosion were Major Romulo Ducay, Corporals Ryan Cabual, Arnel Jiun, Oliver Albo, Alvin Sangadan and Privates 1st Class Johnny Panday and Gerwin Perez, all members of the 5th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-5). They are now confined at the Army’s Camp Siongco Hospital in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Mayor Ramon Piang of Upi town issued this appeal to the public: “Let us work with Task Force Upi and the local government. Be agents of peace and be vigilant in our surroundings.”

http://www.manilatimes.net/biff-owns-maguindanao-twin-explosions/367905/

NDF/Sison: Statement against Proclamation 360 & 374 of the US-directed Duterte facist regime

Propaganda statement by Jose Maria Sison posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Dec 10):  Statement against Proclamation 360 & 374 of the US-directed Duterte facist regime 

 By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
December 10, 2017


Photo by Tudla Productions
It is fine that GRP President Rodrigo R. Duterte is on record as having terminated the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by issuing Proclamation 360 for the purpose. He and the officials of his regime and armed forces have boasted that they are hell-bent on unleashing a single-minded war of suppression to destroy the revolutionary forces of the Filipino people.

The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are therefore fully justified to defend themselves and defeat the current Duterte regime of the US-dominated big comprador-landlord state and pursue the people´s democratic revolution. The terrorist regime of Duterte is merely a passing phase in the ever worsening chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.

Duterte, the No. 1 terrorist of the Philippines, has also issued Proclamation 374 labeling the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People´s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations. His purpose is to apply the Human Security Act of 2007 (RA 9373) and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (RA 10168) .

The vile purpose of the Duterte regime is to proscribe the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations and wage a campaign to slander them, arbitrarily list down suspected officers and members for general intimidation, abduction, torture and mass murder as in Oplan Tokhang and further list individuals who are suspected of financing and aiding the CPP and NPA , who are themselves deemed as terrorists and who are thus made vulnerable to the violations of human rights and extortions by the terrorist regime.

Within the Philippines and abroad, the Duterte regime is already notorious for the use of state terrorism and for human rights violations against suspected users and pushers of illegal drugs in impoverished communities, the toiling masses of workers and peasants, the Cordillera, Lumad and Bangsamoro national minorities and the brutal occupation of communities and destruction of the entire Marawi City by bombing.

The US-directed Duterte regime perpetrates gross and systematic acts of terrorism and human rights violations. It has no moral, political and legal basis for proscribing and further unleashing
fascist violence against the revolutionary forces, the democratic organizations and the broad masses of the people who have the sovereign to resist and overthrow a regime that is oppressive and tyrannical.

The Filipino people and revolutionary forces encompassed by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and by the People´s Democratic Government (PDG) have the inherent status of co-belligerency in their long running civil war with the US-propped big comprador-landlord state currently represented by Duterte. The CPP is the leading party of the new democratic revolution and the PDG. The NPA is the main armed force of the PDG.

The revolutionary political character of the CPP and NPA is solemnly manifested in the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution of December 26, 1968, the Guide for Building Organs of Political Power of April 1971, the Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government of October 1972, the Guidelines and Program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) I of 1973 and 1977, the Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1948, approved by the NDFP of July 5, 1996 and the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)..

The PDG has a constitution founded on the sovereign will of the Filipino people and on the basic alliance of the working class and peasantry. It aims to complete the people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy under the class leadership of the working class and its revolutionary party. From its modest beginnings in 1969, the PDG has grown and spread nationwide mainly in the form of local organs of political power to more than 110 guerrilla fronts covering large parts of 17 regions and 71 provinces of the Philippines.

The PDG has a comprehensive administrative structure from the village to higher levels: municipal or city, district, provincial and regional. At the basic level of the village, the local organs of political power develop from the stage of the appointive barrio organizing committees to the elective barrio revolutionary committees through various ways of consolidation, which involve the building of the revolutionary forces.

The revolutionary forces include the local branch of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the revolutionary mass organizations of various exploited classes and sectors, the people’s militia and self-defense units of mass organizations and the formation of the five basic subcommittees for public education, mass mobilization, economy, defense and health, subject to the formation of further subcommittees in order to better serve the people.

The US-directed Duterte regime is daydreaming that it can discredit and destroy the sovereign revolutionary will of the Filipino people by proscribing the revolutionary forces as terrorist organizations, requiring them to submit themselves to the sham processes of the reactionary state and unleashing gross and systematic crimes of terrorism and human rights of violations. The Filipino people and the revolutionary forces are determined to fight for national and social liberation, people´s democracy, economic development, cultural progress and just peace.

The Duterte fascist regime has terminated the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. But it cannot be too sure that it will last long because the Filipino people and even those in the GRP detest the monstrous crimes of the regime, especially mass murder, corruption and puppetry to the US. The crisis of the ruling system continues to worsen and the resources of the regime for violence and deception are limited. Thus, it is wise for the NDFP to remain open to peace negotiations with the GRP because the people and the broad united front of patriotic and progressive forces can get rid of the Duterte regime as it got rid of the Marcos and Estrada regimes.

https://www.ndfp.org/statement-proclamation-360-374-us-directed-duterte-fascist-regime/

Westmincom: 354 Abu Sayyaf 'neutralized' since January

From the Philippine Star (Dec 11): Westmincom: 354 Abu Sayyaf 'neutralized' since January



Former members of the Abu Sayyaf group surrender to the military in January. Philstar.com/Roel Pareňo, file

Anti-terror task forces under the Western Mindanao have neutralized — by death, arrest or surrender — 354 members of the Abu Sayyaf this year, five times more than in 2016.
 
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Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Westmincom chief, said that from that number, at least 127 Abu Sayyaf militants were killed and 90 were apprehended. Att least 136 have surrendered to government forces — 72 in Basilan, 43 in Sulu and 21 in Tawi-Tawi.
 
"This is almost five times higher than the number of neutralized Abu Sayyaf members in 2016, when only 75 members were neutralized," Galvez said in a press briefing.
 
Westmincom's figures account for 40 percent of bandits neutralized this year, he said.
 
The campaign against the Abu Sayyaf slowed down in May after the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf attacked and held parts of Marawi City until October 23.
 
Galvez said intensified operations in the Westmincom's area of responsibility decreased kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf to 12 incidents against 23 in 2016. Government forces have yet to recover at least 11 kidnap victims — seven foreigners and four Filipinos — still held in the mountains of Sulu.
 
The number of violent incidents — kidnapping, harassment, bombings and killings — in 2017 was also lower at 77 against 123 in 2016. 
 
Westmincom also recovered 230 firearms from the Abu Sayyaf group.
 
Galvez said credit for the achievements should go to Joint Task Force Sulu under Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Basilan led by Brig. Gen. Juvymax Uy and Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi led by Brig. Gen. Custodio Parcon.
 

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/

Troops hunt down South Cotabato rebels

From the Mindanao Examiner (Dec 10): Troops hunt down South Cotabato rebels

Government troops continue to hunt down communist insurgents in South Cotabato province where clashes erupted this week that left at least 10 people dead. Soldiers also seized a camp of the New People’s Army in Lake Sebu where clashes occurred between security and rebel forces.

At least 8 alleged rebels and two soldiers were killed in the battle, according to the military. But the NPA accused the military of killing civilians, mostly members if the indigenous T’boli tribe.

Efren Aksasato, a rebel spokesman, said soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion allegedly massacred villagers in Lake Sebu on December 3. “The 27th Infantry Battalion massacred civilian residents and not NPA members in a skirmish that took place in on December 3,” he said, adding, the victims were opposing mining operation in their ancestral domain.

The 6th Infantry Division said all those killed were NPA rebels who clashed with soldiers that left 2 infantrymen dead. Aksasato said those killed by soldiers were members of the T’boli-Manobo S’daf Claimants Organization, a group fighting for the tribe’s ancestral lands being claimed by the mining firm D.M. Consunji Holdings Inc. (DMCI) through the government’s Integrated Forest Management Agreement program (IFMA).

IFMA is a production sharing contract entered into by and between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the mining firm which grants DMCI the exclusive right to develop, manage, protect and utilize a specified area of forestland and forest resources therein for a period of 25 years and may be renewed for another 25-year period, consistent with the principle of sustainable development and in accordance with an approved Comprehensive Development and Management Plan.

“Reports said that at around 12:25 in the afternoon in December 3, forces of the 27th Infantry Battalion conducting military operations arrive in the community. The soldiers approached the house of the chieftain Datu Victor Danyan and opened fire. This prompted the residents, armed with 12-gauge shotguns and indigenous weapons, to fight back.”

“The firefight resulted to the death of eight individuals namely Datu Victor Danyan Sr., Victor Danyan Jr., Artemio Danyan, Pato Celardo, To Diamante, Bobot Lagase, and Mateng Bantal. A number were also wounded that includes Luben Laod and Teteng Laod, and a minor that was taken to a hospital,” Aksasato said.

He said rebel forces near the area responded to the military atrocities and rescued other civilians and brought them to safety away from government soldiers, but eventually NPA fighters engaged troops in a running gun battle. He said one rebel was killed in the clashes.

NPA Propaganda
But Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, strongly denied Aksasato’s accusations and branded them as propaganda.

“Ayon sa mga spin masters ng CPP-NPA-NDF, namatay daw sa shrapnel ng artillery sina Datu Victor Denyan. Dahil sigurado ako sa kakayahan ng aming forward observers at artillery team na pinamunuan ni 1Lt April Paduganan, isinama ko mismo si Datu Dandee Denian, ang pinsan ni Datu Victor para pasinungalingan ang fake news na kinalat para siraan ang 27th at 33rd Infantry Battalions. Nang nasupalpal ng ebidensya ang mga komunista, binago nila ang paratang at sabi ay minasaker ng tropa ang tribo. Sa muli, nasupalpal sila dahil nabaril at napatay ang dalawang sundalo sa naturang bakbakan. Nag-responde sina Datu Victor dahil inakala nyang namatay ang kanyang anak na miyembro ng Skwad Primera ng Platoon Arabo ni Ka Yoyo.”

“Dahil No Fire Area ang ipinag-uutos ko sa sentro ng komunidad, panay identified targets na okupado ng hukbo ng bandidong NPA ang aming pinatakan ng kanyon. Malayo ito sa bahayan nina Datu Victor. Wala ni isang crater ng 105mm (Howitzer) ang makikita sa paligid ayon sa fake news ng mga komunista. Ito pa, bumulagta sa naturang engkwentro ang isang kalbo na hukbo. Nang pinakuha ko kina Datu Dandee ang mga bangkay, nagtaka sila kung sino si Kalbo dahil hindi ito miyembro ng tribo. Pinakuhanan ko ito ng larawan para ipakita sa mga bagong suko na mga miyembro ng Platoon Arabo. Nang ipinakita ko ang picture ni Kalbo, ayon, tukoy agad nila: Si Ka George yan sir!,” Cabunoc narrated in his Facebook post.

Kalbo, he said, turned out to be the commander of the so-called Platoon My Phone of the rebel group operating in Sultan Kudarat. “Patay ang kilabot na kumander ng Platoon My Phone ng bandidong NPA sa Sultan Kudarat na si Ka George. Ang mga bandidong NPA ay ginawang sangkalan sa bakbakan ang kakaawang lumad na kanilang nalinlang para lumaban sa gobyerno. Mga komunista, di na uubra ang fake news ninyo. Buking na kayo sa mga lumad. Mag-alsa masa na sila kontra sa inyo!,” he said. Some of the wounded enemies who were captured by soldiers were also given emergency medical treatment and brought to hospital, according to Cabunoc.

President Rodrigo Duterte has tagged the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines as a terrorist organization following the collapse of the peace talks due to the rebels’ continued attacks on government and military and even civilian targets.

http://mindanaoexaminer.com/troops-hunt-down-south-cotabato-rebels/

Army’s 9th ID in Bicol gets new chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): Army’s 9th ID in Bicol gets new chief

Brig. Gen Danilo Chad Isleta is the newly installed commanding general of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division (ID) in Camp Elias Angeles, Barangay San Jose in Pili town in Camarines Sur.

Isleta took over the command on Friday in a turn-over ceremony at the Army headquarters in Pili town, said Army Capt. Joash Pramis, 9th ID spokesperson.

Pramis said Isleta replaced Army Maj. Gen Monolito Orense who has reached the mandatory retirement age.

The 9th Infantry Division oversees three Army brigades operating in the six provinces of Bicol.

Before his new designation, he was assistant division commander of the 9ID.

A 1985 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Isleta is also the former commander of the 10th Field Artillery Battalion, assistant chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations, chief of Army’s Strategic and Special Studies Office and senior military aid to the Secretary of National Defense.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018519

AFP receives P1-M aid for kin of slain troops in Marawi siege

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): AFP receives P1-M aid for kin of slain troops in Marawi siege

A local charity institution and a beverage company donated PHP1 million for the families of troops who were killed-in-action during the five-month Marawi siege, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Sunday.

AFP Vice Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Melchor Mison Jr., received the PHP1-million cheque in a simple ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last week.

“The foundation and beverage company, who requested to remain anonymous despite the large amount of donation, also pledged to support the AFP’s educational program that will benefit dependents of soldiers, especially those of combat casualties,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

This was the third time that they donated for the beneficiaries of soldiers who were killed-in-action in Marawi, Arevalo said.

The donation has been deposited in the AFP’s Marawi Casualty Landbank account which was opened in June in order to extend assistance to the families of troops who died in the line of duty.

“The Vice Chief of Staff AFP expressed gratitude on behalf of the soldiers and their families who will benefit from the donation,” Arevalo said.

“The AFP is immensely grateful for the gestures of generosity and kindness of these donors and many others who selflessly and silently give their material and monetary support to our soldiers,” he added.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018495

Martial law extension a must to curb terror sympathizers: DND

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): Martial law extension a must to curb terror sympathizers: DND

The extension of martial law in Mindanao is essential to completely curb threats from sympathizers of the Maute-ISIS, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Sunday.

“It will help us to continue our momentum in our campaign against the Daesh (Arabic word for ISIS) and their sympathizers and not to do so will allow them to regroup again. (And) as you know there have been reports that they are recruiting already in the Lanao area so I think this will help curb their activities on the ground,” DND public affairs chief Arsenio Andolong said in an interview.

“If we dont have martial law, it will be very difficult for the rehabilitation of Marawi and the other war torn areas in the area,” he added.

“We’re going to move logistics ano yung mga equipment, pagka sila’y nakakaikot ng malaya dun, they can hamper yung pagre-rebuild natin di ba, kasi paano natin matutuloy yun eh kung hindi natin ma-secure yung area, papunta pa yung mga engineers natin e baka ma-ambush na yung mga ganun ba,” Andolong said.

When asked whether terror threats remain in Mindanao, Andolong said “there is a threat. In terms of seriousness kasi relative yun sa iba-ibang areas eh, pero meron, it is there, it is credible.”

On July 23, the Congress, voting 261-18, extended martial law in Mindanao until yearend.

In October, Lorenzana announced the end of the five-month long conflict between government forces and Maute terrorists in Marawi City following the death of top terrorist leaders Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon.

Andolong, meanwhile, echoed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s stand saying there would be no holiday ceasefire with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

“Nagsalita na si Secretary Lorenzana dyan that he is not inclined to declare a suspension of military operations this Christmas because it will give them (NPA) a chance also to continue their attacks on our outpost, they are taking potshots at our troops and policemen and he does not relish that and we will be giving them a chance do all of that during the Christmas season,” he added.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018512

AFP vows to uphold transparency in line with HR commitments

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): AFP vows to uphold transparency in line with HR commitments

In line with its commitment to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it will continue to be transparent with its operations and expressed willingness to cooperate in verified complaints brought against its personnel.

The military issued this statement in line with the observance of the International Human Rights Day on Sunday.

"The AFP upholds today and everyday the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

This is the reason why the military has established human rights offices from the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to the small units in the frontline, he added.

"It is in pursuit of that advocacy that we have continuing lectures on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law," Arevalo disclosed.

For this reason, the AFP continues to be transparent in its operations and is willing to cooperate in investigations where verified complaints are brought before them, he added.

"To the end that in the conduct of our engagements, from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response to Civil-Military Operations to Combat Operations, We observe the Rules of Engagement which is anchored on Human Rights, Law of Armed Conflict, and the provisions of the 1987 Constitution," Arevalo noted.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018535

Military won't give in to holiday truce pleas

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 11): Military won't give in to holiday truce pleas

The military is not inclined to give in to a Christmas truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) despite calls by some groups, including the Church.

This, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo late Sunday.

"The AFP supports the wisdom and wise discretion of the CinC (Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte). He has already declared that there will be no unilateral ceasefire this December. The SND (Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana) has made a similar announcement of his position on the matter," he added.

In the wake of continued NPA attacks, Arevalo said they see no difference this Christmas season.

The DND chief earlier said he cannot recommend a "suspension of military operation" against as the CPP-NPA-NDF vowed to intensify attacks against military targets in wake of Proclamation 360 that terminated peace talks and negotiations with the latter.

President Duterte signed the proclamation last November 23.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php/articles/1018537

Karapatan kicks off protests for International Human Rights Day

From the Philippine Star (Dec 9): Karapatan kicks off protests for International Human Rights Day



Masbate farmers joined Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) members from around the country in calling for a stop to extrajudicial killings of farmers, in a protest action in Legazpi City, Albay last July 14. VERA Files, Ilang-Ilang Quijano, file 
 
Rights group Karapatan on Saturday held a rally in Mendiola, Manila to protest policies of the Duterte administraton that they described as “recipes” for a “full-blown dictatorship”. 
 
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay called President Rodrigo Duterte a "wannabe dictator" and said "his recipes, composed of fascist policies such as the drug war campaign, counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, and martial law in Mindanao, have choked the Filipino people."
 
The group staged a mock cooking showing to depict how the president is supposedly concocting a dictatorship.
 
“Blood is spewn by ordinary citizens as the Duterte regime and his State security forces prepares and forcefully shoves poison down people’s throats,” Palabay said.
 
Karapatan had earlier said that from July 2016 to October 2017, it has documented 104 victims of extrajudicial killings under Duterte’s counter-insurgency program. The group said this is on top of more than 7,000 EJK cases in connection with the administration's war on drugs.
 
The government only acknowledges a little more than 3,900 deaths in anti-drug operations. Other deaths have been blamed on vigilantes and on gang rivalries.
 
“There is widespread condemnation against the intensifying fascist attacks that the Duterte regime and his State forces have instigated. Recent pronouncements by Duterte, including threats to arrest progressive organizations and foisting the anti-terror law to charge activists, have further escalated the violations,” Palabay said.
 
Duterte has said in recent speeches that he has ordered the police and military to shoot armed members of the communist group New People's Army. The President has also signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA as terrorist groups.
 
A court decision is needed to make the declaration official under the Human Security Act.
 
Protests in Manila, provinces
Palabay said their protest rally on Saturday is just a prelude to bigger demonstrations on Sunday, December 10, in celebration of Human Rights Day.
 
Movement Against Tyranny, of which Karapatan is part, and other groups are set to stage protest rallies in various areas in Manila. The rallies will culminate in a torch march from Bonifacio Shrine to Mendiola at 6 p.m.
 
Karapatan said protests will also be held in the provinces especially in Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo and in the Bicol region.
 
The group said provinces in Ilocos Region and Central Luzon are also set to hold protest rallies while Cordillera-based organizations will hold a human chain at Session Road in Baguio City.
 
Karapatan said various organizations in at least 11 areas including Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Canada, Australia, US, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands are also set to hold activities to protest the human rights situation in the Philippines.
 
Meanwhile, international organization Human Rights Watch announced on its website that it has arranged for 24 landmarks across the globe including the Empire State Building in New York City to shine bright blue on December 10 in celebration of Human Rights Day.
 
“This is a crucial time to spotlight the universal principles and values of the human rights movement,” HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said.
 
“When basic freedoms are under threat, this global expression of solidarity is an act of defiance, a call to action to oppose those who want to turn back the clock on human rights,” he added.
 
Since 2013, the New York City’s Empire State Building – home to the HRW global headquarters – has lit its spire in blue lights to commemorate Human Rights Day.
 
Aside from the Empire State, the following buildings will shine blue on December 10:
  • The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida
  • San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California
  • 3D Toronto Sign at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Canada
  • CN Tower in Toronto
  • Jet d’Eau in Geneva, Switzerland
  • National Museum of Beirut in Lebanon
  • Sydney Opera House in Australia
  • Paulskirche in Frankfurt, Germany
  • BC Place in Vancouver, Canada
  • Taipei 101 and 12 surrounding buildings in Taipei, Taiwan.
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/12/09/1766795/karapatan-kicks-protests-international-human-rights-day

Reds, BIFF ‘alliance’ being monitored

From the Philippine Star (Dec 10): Reds, BIFF ‘alliance’ being monitored

The military is closely monitoring reports of a tactical alliance between communist rebels and the extremist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Military and defense sources disclosed the BIFF and the communist New People’s Army (NPA) have forged an alliance in their planned offensive against the government.
Sources, however, stressed the report of the tactical alliance needs further validation.

A security official, on the other hand, said Islamic militants and the NPA are known have maintained an unholy alliance despite their differing religious and political beliefs.

“We are still verifying this but there is logic to the report because it’s normal either for the BIFF terrorists and also the NPAs to look for an ally to avoid a repeat of what happened to the Mautes in Marawi. If true, then I think it’s going to be just a marriage of convenience for the moment,” one of the sources said.

Bolstering the intelligence report was the roadside bombing believed to have been carried out by the NPA where seven Marines, including an officer, were wounded in Barangay Mirab, North Upi, Maguindanao.

The soldiers were headed back to their headquarters after responding to an attack on a police outpost by unidentified gunmen.

Officials said the seven soldiers were hit by an IED that went off while their vehicle was about to cross a bridge in the area.

Extremist groups like the BIFF are known to operate in Maguindanao, but the NPA is now a creeping influence in several areas of the province, particularly in South Cotabato.

Also being looked into is the reported activation of the NPA Sparrow Unit, an already disbanded urban hit squad in line with communist leaderships’ plan to revive its assassination operations against key government and civilian targets.

“Lately, we received an intelligence report that the NPA has activated its Sparrow Units, with government officials as targets of liquidations,” the source said.

In reviving the Sparrow Units, the NPA’s main objective is to drag the country back to the Marcos years, the source said.

The Sparrow Units gained notoriety for assassinations of policemen and government officials, including personalities they perceived to be helping the government.

In August this year, government troops intercepted seven .45 caliber pistols from a passenger in a bus bound for Davao City.

The seized guns were reportedly intended for delivery to Sparrow Unit members already deployed in the city.

The person who was believed to be transporting the handguns managed to escape while the police were lining up each passenger for body search.

Another source said that as far as his unit is concerned, there are no monitored NPA armed activities in urban centers.

“What we are monitoring is an increase in NPA activities outside of these urban centers including Metro Manila,” the official said.

He said the NPA activities could be part of their strategy to establish partisan armed units in places close to their targets.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/12/10/1766945/reds-biff-alliance-being-monitored

NPA attacks military detachment in Davao City

From the Sun Star-Davao (Dec 9): NPA attacks military detachment in Davao City

THE New People’s Army (NPA) attacked a military detachment in Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City, on Thursday afternoon, days after President Rodrigo Duterte categorized them as a terrorist organization.

Lieutenant Colonel Raymund Lachica, Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said that Charlie Company Command Post of 3rd Infantry Battalion located in Baguio District was harassed by undetermined number of terrorists who caused fear among nearby residents.

The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. “The terrorist positioned themselves 50 meters from the Patrol Base and delivered sniping/single-shot fires for about three minutes,” Lachica said.

However, he added that the troops stayed alert and held down themselves to fire back and maneuvered the enemy position.

No casualties were recorded on the government side but they are certain that there are wounded on the NPA side due to the evidence of bloodstains left in the encounter site.

“Fortunately, there was no casualty inflicted by the perpetrators to the troops and bloodstains were seen in the enemy’s position and withdrawal route,” he said.

After the firefight, they recovered 21 empty shells of assorted calibers.

 Lachica slammed the recent attack of the terrorist groups, saying that it was a “desperate” move to cause nuisance in the communities amid their ongoing campaign to bring the basic services of the government in the area.

“The incident clearly shows that the terrorists are trying to demoralize the troops and very desperate to incur casualties and disrupt the continuous campaign and efforts of this unit in conducting Community Support Program (CSP) in the area,” Lachica said.

He, meanwhile, said that they expect more attacks from them. However, he assured that the troops are prepared to counter these attacks.

Lachica also instructed its units to focus on target hardening and counter measures to avoid the repeat of the incident.

“We anticipate attacks and we are prepared and ready for them. I already give instruction to my line units to enhance our defenses but it doesn't mean that we will just wait for them to attack us but we will conduct focus military operation and intensify our intelligence monitoring and combat patrols in our area of operation,” he said.
 

CPP/Ang Bayan: 8 Lumad na nagtatanggol sa lupa, pinatay

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Dec 7): 8 Lumad na nagtatanggol sa lupa, pinatay

WALONG LUMAD na nagtatanggol ng kanilang lupang ansestral laban sa pang-aagaw ng kumpanyang DMCI ang pinatay ng 27th IB at 33rd IB noong Disyembre 3 sa Sityo Datal Bonglangon, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Ang mga biktima ay pawang kasapi ng T’boli-Manobo S’daf Claimants Organization. Kamakailan lamang ay ibinasura ng gubyerno ang kanilang demanda at kinatigan ang DMCI sa pagkamkam ng kanilang lupain sa ngalan ng Integrated Forestry Management Agreement (IFMA).

Ayon sa NDF-Far South Mindanao Region, pinuntahan ng mga sundalo ang komunidad ng mga Lumad at walang habas na pinaputukan ang bahay ni Datu Victor Danyan Sr. Nagdepensa ang mga residente gamit ang kanilang mga shotgun at iba pang katutubong sandata.

Namatay sa pagtatanggol sina Datu Victor Danyan Sr., Victor Danyan Jr., Artemio Danyan, Pato Celardo, To Diamante, Bobot Lagase at Mateng Bantal. Maraming iba pa ang sugatan kabilang ang isang menor de edad. Tatlong sundalo ang napatay habang tatlo ang nasugatan.

Nagpadala ang BHB-Mt. Daguma Operations Command ng isang yunit upang sumaklolo sa mga residente. Nakalaban nila ang isang kolum ng kaaway may isang kilometro ang layo sa komunidad.

Dagdag pa ng NDF-FSMR, nang hapon ding iyon ay 15 ulit na kinanyon ng AFP ang lugar. Daan-daang pamilyang T’boli at Dulangan Manobo ang sapilitang lumikas.

Ang DMCI ay pagmamay-ari ng pamilyang Consunji, isa sa malapit na kroni ni Duterte at ng mga Marcos. Ang malawakang pagtotroso ng DMCI ang umagaw sa malalawak na lupaing ninuno ng mga Lumad at kumalbo sa mga kagubatan ng South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat at Sarangani.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

https://www.philippinerevolution.info/ang_bayan/201712-8-lumad-na-nagtatanggol-sa-lupa-pinatay/

CPP/Ang Bayan: Pulang saludo sa kabataang martir ng rebolusyon!

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Dec 7): Pulang saludo sa kabataang martir ng rebolusyon!

“Kapag pinili natin ang buhay kung saan lubos tayong makapaglilingkod sa sangkatauhan, walang bigat ang makagugupo sa atin, dahil ang mga ito’y sakripisyo para sa ikabubuti ng lahat; sa gayon, hindi tayo naghahanap ng maliliit, limitado at pansariling kaligayahan, sa halip ang kaligayahan natin ay nananahan sa milyun-milyon, ang ating mga gawa ay iiral nang tahimik ngunit habambuhay na gumagampan, at sa ibabaw ng ating mga abo papatak ang nag-aalab na luha ng mga pinakadakila.” -Karl Marx

Pinakamataas na parangal at pagpupugay ang iginagawad ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas sa magigiting na 15 Pulang kumander at mandirigma ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan-Batangas (Eduardo Dagli Command) na napaslang sa ambus ng Philippine Air Force noong Nobyembre 28 ng gabi sa bayan ng Nasugbu. Pinagpugayan din sila ng Kabataang Makabayan, laluna ang mga kasapi nitong nasawi, kasabay ng pagpupugay sa mga kabataang namartir sa nakaraang dalawang taon.
Kabilang sa 15 nasawi sina Glen Mark Aytona, Carl Espinosa Labajata, Julieto Pellazar Jr., Karla Bahasa, Henry delos Reyes, Joshua Hernandez, Evelyn Pagara Manalo, Roberto Dolendon, Alfred Cadag, Josephine Lapira, Anthony Felix at Graciella Pocaldo.

Pinagpugayan din ng National Democratic Front-Southern Tagalog (NDF-ST) ang kanilang paglilingkod at pagtatanggol sa mamamayan ng Batangas na ngayo’y sinasalanta ng matinding militarisasyon at pang-aabuso ng AFP. Ayon sa NDF-ST, pinatindi ng mga yunit ng AFP sa prubinsya ang mga operasyong militar nito sa mga nakaraang buwan.

Kabilang dito ang walang patumanggang istraping at pambobomba sa mga sibilyang komunidad. Laganap ang iligal na pagtugis at pang-aaresto sa mga aktibista at pinaghihinalaang sumusuporta sa BHB. Hinigpitan ang kilos ng mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng tsekpoynt sa kahabaan ng pangunahing mga haywey. Ang lahat ng ito ay bahagi ng desperadong pakana ng rehimen para durugin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan at pigilan ang lumalakas na paglaban ng mamamayan sa Batangas.

Samantala, nagbigay ng pulang saludo ang Kabataang Makabayan, sa okasyon ng ika-53 na anibersaryo nito, para sa mga kabataang martir na lumahok sa digmang bayan at nag-alay ng kanilang buhay sa sambayanang Pilipino.

Sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte, hindi bababa sa 21 ng kabataan ang nag-alay ng buhay sa paglilingkod sa bayan. Kabilang dito sina Miguel Himor ng BHB-Sorsogon, Jeramie Garcia at Paul Aringo mula sa BHB-Quezon, Alvin Soria, Carlo Laguito, John Paul Calica, Emmanuel Canlas, Vic Nagawang at Guiller Cadano ng BHB-Central Luzon.

Hindi malilimutan ng mamamayan at buong bayan ang inialay na panahon, lakas, talino, talento, at buhay ng mga kabataang martir.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

https://www.philippinerevolution.info/ang_bayan/201712-pulang-saludo-sa-kabataang-martir-ng-rebolusyon/

CPP/Ang Bayan: Mga drone, ginamit laban sa mamamayan

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Dec 7): Mga drone, ginamit laban sa mamamayan

MARIING BINATIKOS ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan-North Central Mindanao Region (BHB-NCMR) ang pagpapalipad ng mga drone at spy plane ng tropa ng AFP sa mga komunidad ng Cagayan de Oro, Iligan at kanlurang bahagi ng Misamis Oriental at Lanao del Sur noong Nobyembre 18-19. Ayon sa BHB-NCMR, ang mga drone na ito ay pareho sa tipo ng mga spy plane na ginamit ng AFP sa pagbomba sa Marawi City. Nagdulot ito ng ligalig sa mamamayan ng lugar lalo pa at inilulunsad ang pagpapalipad ng drone mula hatinggabi hanggang kinaumagahan.

Sa pahayag ni Ka Malem Mabini, tagapagsalita ng BHB-NCMR, ang pagpapalipad ng mga drone ay banta ng pambobomba para takutin sila at palayasin ang mamamayang Moro at Lumad sa kanilang mga komunidad. Isinasagawa ito para bigyan-daan ang pagtatayo ng plantasyon at minahan sa kanilang mga lupang ansestral.

Gamit ang dahas at pagbabanta, mabilis na nakakapasok ang proyekto at agribisnes ng malalaking imbestor sa Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao sa Cagayan at Iligan. Sa ARMM pa lamang, aabot sa 103,000 ektarya ng lupa ang planong gawing plantasyon ng oil palm at saging. May plano ring palawakin ang saklaw ng mga operasyong mina sa Cagayan de Oro, kapwa ng mga luma at bagong pasok na dayuhan at lokal na mamumuhunan.

Para pabilisin ang mga ito, walang tigil ang pandarahas ng AFP sa mamamayang Moro kahit pa tinapos na nito ang gera sa Marawi. Patuloy na pinapakalat ng tropa ng militar ang black scare at kasinungalingan na nagrerekrut ang grupong Maute at ISIS sa mga unibersidad ng Marawi, Iligan at Cagayan de Oro.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

https://www.philippinerevolution.info/ang_bayan/201712-mga-drone-ginamit-laban-sa-mamamayan/