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Group accuses police, military of massacre in Matalam

A Bangsamoro group has accused the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the “massacre” of nine Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters who have reportedly already surrendered before being mercilessly mowed down with automatic gunfire last May 25 in North Cotabato.

The Suara Bangsamoro said that in the guise of an anti-drug operation in Sitio Biao, Kilada Village, Matalam, North Cotabato, a combined PNP and military team swooped down on the victims who are members of the 105th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

The nine victims reportedly surrendered during the raid and were disarmed by state forces who then fired at them, killing all on the spot.

“This is not an isolated case of massacre and extra-judicial killings. On December 8, 2017, three members of the MILF were killed by joint anti-drug operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP in Brgy. Koronadal Proper, Polomolok, South Cotabato,” Suara Bangsamoro chairperson Jerome Succor Aba in a statement said.

On May 19, 2018, Mindatu Aminola, another MILF member from Brgy. Olonoling, Tupi, South Cotabato was also killed by state forces under the same pretext – anti-drug operation, Aba added.

Suara Bangsamoro said it believes the recent spate of killings and massacre were committed by state forces under the guise of ‘anti-drug’ operations.

Earlier, Police Superintendent Bernard Tayong, North Cotabato Police Office spokesperson said police and military operatives were serving a search warrant on suspected drug suspects Dadting Kasan and Intan Aban in Sitio Biao at about 11:15 p.m. on Friday when they were fired upon by the victims.

Kasan and Aban were among those killed in the incident.

The MILF, however, said the victims were their legitimate members.

MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) head Butch Malang said the nine fatalities were disarmed before they were shot at close range by policemen and soldiers on Friday and Saturday.

BIAF spokesperson, Von Al-Haq added the MILF aims to file a “strong protest” with the government section of the CCCH.

“Clearly, the Duterte administration, through its US-influenced military lapdogs, are using the ‘anti-drug’ campaign to pursue and cloak its counter-insurgency program – the ‘Oplan Kapayapaan,’” Aba said.

Peace spoilers

Aba added the Rodrigo Duterte administration is jeopardizing the hard-earned gains of the peace process between the government and various Bangsamoro groups such as the MILF.

“While the Congress is discussing the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the military and the police are also busy killing the primary stakeholders of its approval,” Aba said.

Aba said that like his predecessors, Duterte lacks sincerity in upholding peace agreements with its duplicity.

“While they talk about peace, they are also committing grave human rights violations, killings and massacres pursuant to its counter-insurgency programs,” Aba said.

Suara Bangsamoro urged the Moro people and the MILF to demand justice to their fallen comrades.# (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Duterte approves new ‘inclusive’ peace roadmap

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved the new “inclusive roadmap to peace,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said in a press conference, Tuesday.

“There will be inclusivity in Duterte’s roadmap to peace,” Dureza said.

He explained that the approved “inclusive roadmap” will go over the engagements with the Bangsamoro factions, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the closure of arguments with other rebel groups. Read more

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on Peace Talks – GPH and NDFP & GPH and MILF


Panayam ni Ms. Sonia Capio ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant hinggil sa kalagayan ng usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP at GPH at MILF.

April 9, 2015

Mga Tanong para sa peace talks sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP at GPH at MILF

1. Ano po ang update sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP? Matutuloy pa rin po ba ito bago pa matapos ang termino ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino?

JMS: Patuloy na handang makipag-usap ang NDFP. Pero ang GPH ang hindi handa. Kung gayon, nagiging malabo na ang resumption ng formal talks ng GPH  at NDFP.  Sabi ng Malakanyang na nakabuhos ang atensyon nila sa pagtutulak ng BBL at paghahabol ng peace with  MILF.

Hanggang ngayon walang maliwanag na negotiating panel at chairman ng GPH para makipag-usap sa NDFP.  Lumilitaw na sa buong panahon  ng rehimeng Aquino wala talagang interes sa peace talks kundi paggamit ng dahas laban sa kilusang rebolusyonaryo.

2. Ano po ang inyong masasabi sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan naman ng GPH at MILF? Tila nagkahati-hati po ang mga pananaw ng mga nasa pamahalaan at matindi ang mga banggaan sa usapin ng Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at ang kawastuhan kung dapat pa bang ituloy ang pakikipag-usap nila sa MILF o hindi na.

JMS: Sa loob at labas ng GPH, lumakas ang sumasalungat sa BBL dahil sa Mamasapano at constitutional issues. Tiyak na maraming susog ang gagawin sa Kongreso, laluna sa Senado, hanggang sa posibleng ayaw na ng MILF ang lalabas na final draft ng BBL.

Kahit tanggapin ng MILF ang anumang BBL na aprubahan ng Kongreso, may mga magdadala pa rin ng constitutional issues sa Korte Suprema. Baka mauuntol ang BBL hanggang maubos na ang termino o buhok ni Penoy Bugok.

3. Ano po ang inyong pagtingin sa Bangsamoro Basic Law o BBL?

JMS: May constitutional issues na nakasalang sa  Kongreso ng GPH. Hanggang ngayon, walang pinal na anyo ng BBL dahil susugan nang susugan pa yan sa Kongreso. Habang wala pang pinal na anyo ng BBL, mahirap mangahas ng opinion ng pagkatig o pagtuligsa sa kabuuan ng BBL.

Aquino’s “last word” on Mamasapano, the writing on the wall?

President Benigno S. Aquino III’s speech at the PNPA graduation was meant to write finis to the public uproar over the bloody, botched counterterrorist operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Instead it only managed to further rile a people sick and tired of the finger-pointing, the obfuscation and lies about what really happened, the stonewalling about key factors that caused the failed operation and, to top it all, the pathetic excuse that the president is, after all, only “human” and also makes “mistakes”.

But the only mistake Aquino admits to is the total trust he conferred on the sacked SAF Commander Napenas (who he says “fooled” him about the seemingly foolproof design of Oplan Exodus and his capability to lead it) and on suspended Chief PNP Purisima (who he says failed to follow his order to coordinate with the AFP and who failed to give him accurate updates on the progress of the operation). The question he refuses to answer: why didn’t he, as Commander-in-Chief/Chief Executive, ensure that AFP chief Catapang and the OIC PNP Chief Espina were in the loop from the very beginning? Why did he rely on a suspended general with no authority whatsoever, and a lower level PNP officer whose authority is not at par with either Catapang or Espina, to call the shots in this complex, high-level and high-risk operation?

What Aquino is still trying to obscure is the fact that he authorized Oplan Exodus including the so-called “time-on-target coordination” with the AFP, meaning the AFP would only be informed when the operation was already under way. He also agreed to set aside the ceasefire protocol with the MILF which meant the SAF commandoes would enter MILF territory without any prior coordination whatsoever with the joint AFP-MILF bodies overseeing the ceasefire. These two factors are what led to the Mamasapano fiasco: the lack of proper and timely coordination with both the AFP and the MILF.

Aquino stonewalls about his authorizing the setting aside of the ceasefire protocol with the MILF despite knowing about the dangers of fully armed contingents of MILF, BIFF and PAGs (private armed groups) in the area and the likelihood of the “pintakasi” phenomenon (where the armed community unites to resist any armed intruder) as clearly pointed out in the BOI report.

According to the BOI report, Aquino never gave any guidance as to how Oplan Exodus would take into consideration the ongoing GPH-MILF peace process. Aquino obviously agreed with the assessment that the MILF was coddling Marwan and was not to be trusted on that score. He apparently did not consider weighty the ensuing fall-out on the peace process should anything go wrong. Aquino does not admit to any of these and still pretends to be the leader who would do everything to achieve “peace” in Mindanao, even if it only means getting Congress to pass a watered down Bangsamoro Basic Law that he wagers the MILF will nonetheless accept.

These two fatal errors sealed the doom of the SAF troopers who in effect walked into a death trap: there was no escape and no rescue until it was already too late.

What stands out in Aquino’s speech is that he was most silent about US involvement in the Marwan operation. The Foreign Affairs department had all but exonerated the US by testifying in the Senate hearings that they accepted hook, line and sinker the US embassy’s declaration that US involvement was limited to the medical evacuation of the trapped SAF troopers.

That claim by the US embassy was proven to be a big lie when a video taken by a SAF commando of a drone flying just overhead and monitoring the battle surfaced. This validated reports from independent fact-finding missions of the presence of drones days before and on the night of the SAF operation.

Forced to amend its statements, the US and some Philippine government officials subsequently admitted that they helped in intelligence gathering (which is allowed under PH-US agreements such as the VFA) but continued to insist that US forces were not otherwise involved, especially in combat operations.

However, SAF commander Napenas testified under oath during executive sessions of the Senate hearings that there were six US officers, three of whom arrived with him, at the Tactical Command Post along with other SAF commanders. The presence of the six Americans, one of whom was even reported to have issued an order to an Army brigade commander to initiate artillery fire, speaks not only of the high interest the US had in the operation but the hand that they were allowed to have by the Philippine government — Aquino no less — in directing the operation.

Did the American “advisers” lead Aquino to believe that they had such reliable intelligence information, and they had trained and armed the SAF commandos so well, that arresting Marwan and Usman would be a walk in the park and that there would be no need to inform the AFP and MILF?

Was BSA so enthralled by the thought that personally turning over “international terrorists” Marwan and Usman to the FBI would be a publicity coup without equal? Coupled with the capping of the Bangsamoro peace process with the imminent passing of the BBL, would this not make him a shoo-in for the Nobel Peace Prize which had eluded his mother? The thought that he could even surpass his revered mom’s record and name must have been so titillating, the other side of the coin — the high probability of a firefight and costly casualties — was completely overlooked or shunted aside in his calculations.

As a bonus, a successful operation would redeem the name of his BFF (best friend forever) General Purisima, justifying his decision to allow the latter to direct the entire operation despite his suspension from office on corruption charges.

Some quarters continue to press the question of where funding for Oplan Exodus could have come from. If the US funded it, then Aquino, Purisima and the SAF could be considered as mercenaries doing the US bidding. But if not, then Aquino and Purisima could be criminally liable for misusing the SAF personnel and related resources outside of the authorized government budget and chain of command and thereafter for bringing about the unnecessary death of the SAF 44, MILF 17 and several civilians.

For the nth time, Aquino dissembles and stonewalls on the full extent of his and US complicity in engineering the Mamasapano disaster. The lid on this political can of worms is off and all attempts at a cover-up by Aquino and his apologists are failing.

The political demise of the Aquino regime is all but written on the wall. #

Published in Business World
30 March 2015

Aquino Resign: Establish the People’s Council for National Unity, Reform and Peace

Illustrated manifesto of the Noynoy Out Now (NOW) Movement, which was launched March 5, 2015 at the Quezon City Sport Club, laying down the context, basis, and goals of the people’s ultimate drive for the ouster of President Noynoy Aquino.

KA SATUR: Pananaw hinggil sa Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report (Part 5/6)

Sa panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Ka Satur Ocampo, presidente ng MAKABAYAN Coalition hiningi ang kanyang opinyon hinggil sa inilabas na Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report kaugnay sa insidente sa Mamasapano.

KA SATUR: Pananaw hinggil sa Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report (Part 3/6)

Sa panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Ka Satur Ocampo, presidente ng MAKABAYAN Coalition hiningi ang kanyang opinyon hinggil sa inilabas na Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report kaugnay sa insidente sa Mamasapano.

KA SATUR: Pananaw hinggil sa Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report (Part 2/6)

Sa panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Ka Satur Ocampo, presidente ng MAKABAYAN Coalition hiningi ang kanyang opinyon hinggil sa inilabas na Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report kaugnay sa insidente sa Mamasapano.

Open letter to nationalist, pro-people AFP and PNP troops

OPEN LETTER

By OMAR IBARRA
Spokesperson, NPA Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Subregional Command
26 February 2015

Warm greetings!

The recent turn of events challenges you to make a stand.

The near-annihilation of the 84th SAF-PNP troops in Maguindanao shows the division and dissension of your ranks in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and and Philippine National Police. This is how it
happened: under US orders for the capture of an alleged terrorist
under the framework of its “war on terror”, your commander-in-chief, Benigno Aquino III, violated your chain of command and all due processes, through a faction of generals led by General Purisima.

Despite the ongoing ceasefire and peace negotiations between the
government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front, Aquino ran over all agreements to implement the US
orders. Now, he and his officials exhaust all efforts to wash their
hands of culpability after wasting the lives of 44 SAF personnel.

This incident clearly indicates the ineptness of your commander-in-chief in mobilizing your forces. He only complies with the dictates of his imperialist master and his local instigators. Now it has resulted in endless bickering and finger-pointing among military and civilian officials, and has undermined the morale of the whole organization of AFP and PNP.

Even in areas of the New People’s Army, particularly here in Front
88, Aquino uses you under the design and in furtherance of the
interests of US imperialism and local ruling classes.

You are aware that the AFP and PNP brings, not genuine peace and
development, but terrorism to our area in order to pave the way for
the entry of the foreign company, Metro Luxury Mining.

Aside from combat operations, your psy-war and intelligence activities under COPD have intimidated the lumad and peasant masses here. They are further terrorized by the activities of your counterrevolutionary paramilitary groups such as Bagani Force in La Paz, Loreto and San Luis, and Wild Dogs or BULIF in Esperanza and Las Nieves. These have resulted in the forced evacuation of families in their hundreds in a score of communities in San Luis, for several weeks now. Can you then say that you are waging a war against terrorism when your government itself sows terror against the people in furtherance of foreign economic interests?

We are aware that most of you, like us, come from the poor classes,
and that you are only forced to become soldiers and policemen because of the lack of better employment opportunities so you can feed your families. It must be made clear, however, that your service only
benefits a few foreign and local exploiters, while you suppress the
just struggle of the poor.

While you are being used as pawns in this war, you are also used by
your senior officials in enriching themselves. Taking for instance the so-called modernization programs of AFP and PNP. Have you benefited from the billions of pesos of funds allocated for these? Are you aware of the modus operandi concerning the Balik-Baril program where higher military officials pocket most of the funds allocated for fake NPA surrenderees and recycled firearms?

Despite the massive defeat in Maguindanao, should you trust your lives to Aquino as commander-in-chief after he denied culpability in such failure and failed to express sympathy to the families and loved ones of those killed?

Aquino has a lot to answer for, not only to you soldiers and policemen but to the whole Filipino people who are victimized by US imperialism’s economic and political aggression. His puppetry to
foreign interests and dictates, as well as his state terrorism against his own people, gives a push to intensifying calls for his ouster from Malacañang.

While the movement for the ouster of Aquino rages, we appeal to your
nationalist and humanitarian stand. You have a significant role in the removal of an inept president from power as exemplified by your
withdrawal of support from Marcos and Estrada. Arroyo, on the other
hand, was almost ousted when soldiers and policemen mutinied against massive corruption, violence and fraudulence.

Thus we encourage you to take the side of the broad people, especially the poor, against the trampling of our integrity and dignity as Filipino people by US imperialism. While you are serving the reactionary government, we implore you to avoid abusing the human rights of the masses, respect the people’s call for the withdrawal of COPD troops and their struggle against CADC and big mining and other foreign corporations.

Most importantly, you should make a stand and make common cause with the people’s call for the ouster of your commander-in-chief, Benigno Aquino III.

People’s Hearing focuses on US intervention in Mamasapano debacle

Witnesses at the “People’s Hearing on Mamasapano” organized by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and held last February 20 at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila recall accounts by residents of Mamasapano, Maguindanao of the presence of United States personnel and war materiel in the botched operations.

In this video, an alternative journalist, a congresswoman, and a university professor establish foreign intervention at what is turning to be the biggest political crisis that hit the Benigno Aquino government. All three were members of the fact-finding mission that interviewed relatives of civilian victims in Mamasapano two weeks after the incident.