Philippines: Rebels warn MILF: “Don’t give up your weapons”

[see the news article, followed by the statement from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines — Mindanao. — Frontlines ed.]

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by Germelina Lacorte, Philippine Daily Inquirer Mindanao

 Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

[JORGE MADLOS, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao, in this photo taken December 2003 in his then hideout somewhere in Surigao del Sur AFP]

DAVAO CITY—Two weeks ago,  amid calls for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army to return to the negotiating table with the government, Left leader Satur Ocampo had urged President Aquino to “uphold his vow to resume peace talks”  with the insurgent group, just like he did with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

But over the weekend, the communist National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) warned the Moro group against the government’s  “devious scheming” with regard to the framework agreement it signed early this month.

In a statement e-mailed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jorge Madlos, NDFP spokesperson in Mindanao, warned the MILF against readily giving up its arms, and said that agreeing to decommission its Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) would render the group useless in protecting the rights of the Moro people.

“Learning lessons from the    past, the MILF should not easily relinquish its effective military strength on the whim of the reactionary government so that it can continue to defend the interests of the entire Moro people,” said Madlos, also known as Ka Oris. Continue reading

Philippines: “Zamboanga protest vs Balikatan troops shows mounting anti-US sentiment”

US TROOPS OUT NOW!  Participants of the People's Caravan in Zamboanga City oppose the US-PH war exercises and the continued US intervention.  Satur Ocampo (with eyeglasses), president of Bayan Muna and Makabayan Coalition, joined Mindanaons in defending national sovereignty.  (davaotoday.com photo by Kai A. Rosello)

US TROOPS OUT NOW! Participants of the People’s Caravan in Zamboanga City oppose the US-PH war exercises and the continued US intervention. Satur Ocampo (with eyeglasses), president of Bayan Muna and Makabayan Coalition, joined Mindanaons in defending national sovereignty. (davaotoday.com photo by Kai A. Rosello)

[While the US-PH war exercises ended in April 27, it will extend until June in Sarangani.   “We all know that US troops will not leave. The US is only using the feud between China and Philippines over the Spratlys to justify its continued presence here,” says Bai Indayla of Patriyotiko Mindanao].

By KAI A. ROSELLO & MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
Davao Today, April 30, 2012

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — They came.  They saw.  They conquered. Almost.

Only 100 meters away and protesters could have reached the vicinity of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) headquarters where the US Joint Special Operations Task Force also holds office. The militants could have reached the gates if they march for 600 meters farther, only if the military didn’t set up barricades of makeshift barbed-wire fence, three Armored Personnel Carrier, a fire truck and some 300 police riot dispersal personnel.

About 3,000 workers, peasants, youth and students, teachers, church people, Moro, Lumads (indigenous people) and urban poor settlers, among others, converged here to protest the Balikatan military war exercises between the US and Philippine troops.

Dubbed People’s Caravan and Lakbayan against US Militarism and Plunder, participants came from five Mindanao regions in a 77-vehicle caravan.

While the US-PH war exercises ended last  April 27, Patriyotiko Mindanao spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said they are still opposing it because it extends until June in Sarangani in the Soccsksargen region. Continue reading