On non-extension of Martial Law: We’re pleased that the Commander in Chief listened to us —AFP

Maris Federez   •   December 10, 2019   •   407

(FILE) Filipino government troop check villagers at a military checkpoint in the town of Pingcawayan, North Cotabato province, southern Philippines, 21 June 2017. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines— The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed that they are one of the security-related agencies that were consulted as to whether or not Martial Law will be extended or not.

In a statement released on Tuesday (Dec. 10), AFP spokesperson Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said they are pleased that their recommendation for the non-extension of ML was considered by the Commander-in-Chief.

“We have cited several reasons like improved security climate in Mindanao, the continues decline of the Daesh-inspired local terrorist groups, & to further promote an environment more conducive to economic activities as it did in terms of increase in trade and commerce in Mindanao,” the statement further reads.

Arevalo added that they will continue to collaborate with local chief executives and the people in the communities as they conduct current activities to sustain the gains brought about by Martial Law.

He further said that the AFP will pursue the “advocacy towards the amendment of the Human Security Act into an Anti-Terrorism Law that will not be too restrictive to security forces but has more teeth to prevent or counter-terrorism.” —/mbmf

AFP official says not fair to red tag Liza Soberano but warns vs. ties with Gabriela

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A military official has warned actress Liza Soberano against associating with Gabriela Women’s Party for its alleged links to the New People’s Army (NPA).

In a statement Wednesday night, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) chief Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. said it is not fair to red-tag Soberano as “she is merely supporting advocacy for women’s rights.”

Parlade said Soberano should be protected in the exercise of her rights and that she is “not yet” a member of the NPA.

However, Parlade pointed out that she and other celebrities should be educated on the “hidden violent agenda” of the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA).

MAKIBAKA is an underground mass organization hiding under Gabriela Women’s Party, according to the military official.

“Let us not red-tag Liza Soberano. It’s not fair to her. She is merely supporting advocacy for women’s rights. She has to be protected in the exercise of her rights,” he said in a statement posted on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) Facebook account.

“Is she an NPA? No, of course not. Not yet. So let’s help educate her and the other celebrity targets of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA), the Underground Mass Organization hiding under Gabriela Women’s Party,” he added.

Parlade also advised the actress to stop supporting Gabriela.

“Liza Soberano, there’ s still a chance to abdicate that group. If you don’t, you will suffer the same fate as Josephine Anne Lapira @ELLA, former Deputy Secretary General of Gabriela Youth of UP, Manila and defender of women’s rights, even against sexual predators amongst her comrades in the NPA unit she joined which is clearly stated in her handwritten letter addressed to a certain @EMIL,” he said.

The AFP official also issued the same warning to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and told them not the follow the path of a certain Ka Ella Colmenares.

“The choice is yours Liza. And so with you Catriona,” he said.

“I am sure Angel Locsin and Neri Colmenares will not tell you this,” he added.

In the same statement, Parlade also slammed the Gabriella party for not informing their recruits about their group’s agenda.

“So, Rep. Arlene Brosas and Gabriela, shame on you if you haven’t informed your recruits about your hidden violent agenda,” he said.

In response to the statement, Gabriela party-list Rep. Brosas criticized Parlade for red tagging and “mansplaining” Soberana.

“Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade’s appeal to stop red-tagging Liza Soberano is starkly ironic because he actually red tagged Soberano in his statement. By saying that Soberano is ‘not yet an NPA,’ he is maliciously associating the actress with the armed movement when what she did in the youth forum was to only speak up for all the victims of gender-based violence and abused,” she said in a statement.

“It is clear that Parlade, the NTF-ELCAC and the paid trolls are the ones who are rabidly red-tagging Liza Soberano and other female celebrities and influencers who are taking a stand and speaking out against the macho-facism under the Duterte regime. How come these macho-fascists have the audacity to mansplain strong women and lecture them on what to do? And why do they seem so afraid of women using their platform to defend other women?” she added.

The issue came after Soberano joined a Gabriela Youth online forum to discuss issues being faced by girls and women amid the pandemic.

“These rabid NTF-ELCAC executives are using their rehashed script to discredit Gabriela Women’s Party despite our long track record of advocating women’s rights. Our 20 years of advancing women and children’s rights inside and outside of Congress cannot be smeared by their repeated lies,” Brosas said.

11 Abu Sayyaf members surrender in Sulu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 19, 2020

Eleven members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Sulu on Saturday (October 17).

The 1101st Infantry Brigade of the AFP identified the surrenderers in their aliases as: Alji, Gaspar, Amz, Ardin, Bebs, Madz, Uyong, Bahad, Navin, Allon, and Asir.

According to Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Lt. Colonel Alaric delos Santos, the holistic approach of the Joint Task Force in Sulu paved the way for the former ASG members’ surrender.

The 11 members also surrendered five M16 rifle and one M1 grenade launcher. After surrendering, they will undergo rehabilitation program for them to be able to receive the benefits from the government under the Localized Social Integration Program.

Last October, over 100 ex-ASG members in Sulu were given P15,000 cash assistance. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

ATC approves IRR for Anti-Terrorism Law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 14, 2020

The Anti-Terrorism Council has approved the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Guevarra said they will provide Congress and law enforcement agencies copies of the IRR. They will also release a copy online and in other publications.

“We will disseminate copies to Congress and to law enforcement agencies as required under the law, and will publish the IRR online and in a newspaper of general circulation in the next few days,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law last July 3 which repeals the Human Security Act of 2007.

The DOJ started drafting the IRR of the law last August.

Meanwhile, there are currently 30 petitions filed before the Supreme Court requesting to halt the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law questioning its constitutionality.

The Office of the Solicitor General, however, has already asked the high tribunal to dismiss the petitions. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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