AFP shows evidence linking rights groups to CPP-NPA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 18, 2019   •   4512

File photo: Members of the New People’s Army

After Karapatan said there is no evidence that supports the accusations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the AFP presented documents linking Karapatan and other rights group to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP- NPA).

Boxes of evidence were presented by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations J7 Bgen. Antonio Parlade.

Several of these documents, which is about the 5th International Assembly in Hong Kong, were signed by CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison. It was also reported that the group Karapatan attended the said assembly.

“Ang ating gobyerno ay hindi nagpa-fabricate ng report, sila ang nagpa-fabricate. By the way hindi si AFP, hindi ako, hindi ang gobyerno ang nag-red tag sa kanila, tingnan niyo ang websites ng Philippine Revolution web central, ILPS, website ng NDF International, makikita niyo doon ang Karapatan, IBON. Andiyan ang ACT, Gabriela, Makabayan bloc andiyan lahat …pirmado ni Joma,(Our government does not fabricate reports, they [rights groups] fabricate reports. By the way, it is not the AFP, me or the government that red-tagged them. Check the websites of the Philippine Revolution web central, ILPS, website of NDF International, you can see that Karapatan, IBON are there. ACT, Gabriela, and Makabayan bloc are also there. It’s signed by Joma)” Parlade said.

Meanwhile, Karapatan is urging Parlade to stop linking their group with the NPA because there is no sufficient evidence to prove it.

IBON Foundation also released a statement denying the said claims and calling it baseless.

“The Duterte administration’s accusations are malicious, baseless, and absurd. It is so insistent on a self-serving fake narrative about the country that is attacking IBON just for speaking the truth” they said.

The AFP has also released several videos and photos of armed students from Salugpongan Schools which is run by non-government organizations.

Parlade also presented books printed by IBON Foundation for Salugpongan Community Learning Centers. He said that one of the members of the editorial board is the wife of the secretary of NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

The books, according to Parlade contained radical information that teaches the youth to oppose the government.

“Pambansang bayani ay si Father Paps. Si Father Te Torio iyong Italyano yung napatay. Bakit nga ba napatay iyon? Kasi kasama niya NPA, mga komunistang bayolente. So ito ang national hero nila, ito itinuturo sa grade 1, ang nakalagay dito ang puppet na Republika ng Pilipinas, [Their national hero is father Paps. Father Te Torio, the Italian who was killed. Why was he killed? Because he was with the NPA, the violent communists. So this is their national hero and it is taught in grade 1. It also says the puppet Republic of the Philippines]” according to Parlade.

He also challenged Karapatan to a debate on national TV to show who is telling the truth. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Suspected NPA fighter killed in Puerto Princesa gunfight with AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A suspected member of the Communist Party of the Philippines was killed during a firefight in Puerto Princesa City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesCom) said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP-WesCom said operating elements of Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 encountered fully armed communist terrorists in the vicinity of Sitio Karangyan, Brgy. Concepcion, Puerto Princesa City at around 6 a.m. Friday.

WesCom said the government troops were conducting focused military operations in line with the community support programs in the barangay when the clash ensued.

During the brief firefight, the WesCom said the rebels withdrew from the encounter site.

Citing official reports, WesCom said that the armed encounter resulted in the death of a communist rebel and the recovery of one KG 9 sub-machinegun.

“There was no casualty on the government side. Pursuit operations and clearing within the encounter site are ongoing,” WesCom said.

Commander Western Command, Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez lauded the efforts of the state troops in maintaining peace in the community. He also urged rebels to surrender to the government and avail of the reintegration program.

PH Military to probe alleged China harassment of TV crew in West Philippine Sea

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been ordered to conduct an investigation into the alleged harassment of Chinese vessels on a Filipino television crew in the West Philippine Sea, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Friday.

In a statement, DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the AFP will gather and validate all information relating to the incident.

“The Defense Department has directed the AFP through its Western Command to investigate, gather, and validate all the relevant facts on the incident,” he said.

Andolong said the outcome of the investigation will be used to coordinate any appropriate action through the National Task Force-West Philippine Sea, as well as engagement among the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Transportation, and other concerned agencies.

“We are concerned for the safety of anyone — unarmed civilians — at sea. As such, we view the report with concern,” he said.

In a separate statement, the AFP has expressed concern over the reported harassment of Chinese PLA Navy Vessels and a Chinese Coast Guard on another vessel carrying a television crew.

The media team was reportedly chased by Chinese boats while on its way to Ayungin Shoal, about 105 nautical miles from Palawan. The area is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

AFP Spokesperson Marine Major General Edgard Arevalo said the Western Mindanao Command is looking into the incident to establish what really transpired.

“We have made representations with the news reporter to provide us raw footage or photographs they have of the incident to help us establish the circumstances and document the incident,” Arevalo said.

He, likewise, appealed to journalists to “exercise prudence in the course of their job.”

“We have accommodated members of media in our ships and aircraft to do their coverage so they can be protected while in the practice of their profession,” Arevalo said.

He added, “The AFP is concerned with the safety and well-being of our Kababayans that we have been forthright and transparent in our reporting about the situation in our EEZ.”

“Amidst the situation, the AFP reiterates its commitment to follow the dictates of the Constitution to protect the people and secure our sovereignty and sovereign rights,” he said.

Day of Valor: AFP urges Filipinos to draw strength from WWII heroes’ gallantry

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called on Filipinos to draw strength from the gallantry of World War II veterans amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the country marks the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan).

“In this difficult time when our hope is being challenged by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we as a nation shall draw strength from our veterans who fought valiantly to defend our country,” AFP chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement.

Sobejana said the heroism of soldiers who fought in World War II “showed the exceptional determination of Filipinos to stand against overwhelming odds.”

The sacrifices and bravery of these soldiers bestowed “our generation the freedom, peace, and the democracy we now enjoy,” he added.

“These deeds of heroism and ideals continue to live in the hearts and minds of all our brave Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines who perform their sworn duty to uphold our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Sobejana said.

The AFP chief also paid tribute to all frontliners who continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we remember the bravery and sacrifices of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, we also recognize our modern-day heroes who are working tirelessly to protect our nation from and mitigate the effects of the global pandemic,” he said.

“We salute all the frontline personnel who continue to fight the fatal virus in the hopes of bringing back normalcy in the country,” he added.

“We will continue to work hand in hand, determined to overcome any kind of crisis, triumphantly, in the name of our undying love for our country,” he further stated.

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