2019 YEAR-END MESSAGE OF SECRETARY DELFIN N. LORENZANA, SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

To my fellow workers in the Department of National Defense:

As the year 2019 comes to a close, let me express my thanks and gratitude to the men and women of the Department for the work we have done together to accomplish our mission. The dedication of the military and uniformed personnel of the Department is manifested in the excellent accomplishments for the year, significantly contributing to the peace and stability in the whole country.

With the National Defense Strategy as our guide, we have pursued the protection of our people and ensured our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We have established a permanent presence in our northernmost island, Mavulis, by hoisting our flag, constructing a Fishermen’s shelter and permanently stationing a Marine contingent on the island. We shall also station more marines in the outlying islands in the Babuyan channel.

We are also actively working with Malaysia and Indonesia under the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement on Immediate Measures to Address Security Issues in the Maritime Areas of Common Concern in the Sulu and Celebes Seas. This collaboration has decreased the kidnappings in those areas to almost nil in the past two years.

We have also continued to pursue defense cooperation with the other ASEAN members, other partner-countries, and non-traditional partner-countries to promote Philippine Defense interests, generate opportunities for capability and capacity building, and attain stability and progress as well as the protection of a rules-based international order. Our partner-countries are also assisting us to improve our defense capabilities by making available their defense materiel to the AFP Modernization Program.

We have heightened our internal security operations this year, aligned with the President’s agenda to end local communist armed conflict and other terrorist activities. In 2019, Task Force Balik-Loob, headed by Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs Reynaldo B. Mapagu, has extended the government’s support to former NPA rebels through various government programs provided by member- and partner-agencies of the Task Force. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, likewise, continues to serve the needs of affected communities through the Community Support Program.

The Department is on the forefront in the implementation of Executive Order No. 70, which became the framework of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The NTF-ELCAC institutionalizes the Whole-of-Nation Approach to end the local communist armed conflict and places the burden of security and development on the LGUs supported by all the national agencies of the government. The main objective of the TF is the promotion and establishment of good governance down to the barangay level.

As head of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and Amnesty Program and the Peace, Law Enforcement, and Development Support (PLEDS) Lines of Effort (LOEs), the Department was active not only in neutralizing the armed component of the CPP/NPA, but more importantly giving support to former rebels who returned to the fold of the law.

Moreover, the whole Department, through Department Circular No. 13, has been directed to support the efforts not only for our LOEs, but also those of other departments and agencies. We have also created a DND NTF-ELCAC Core Group, headed by Undersecretary of National Defense Cardozo M. Luna, to monitor how all LOEs are implementing their programs.

Further, as Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), I am delighted to report that the DND is instrumental in the ongoing establishment of the Regional Task Force (RTF) – ELCAC, designed to address the peculiarities of the BARMM region with the end-goal of eliminating terrorists that have plagued the region for decades, and establish a peaceful environment that is conducive to economic and social development.

As the implementor of Martial Law in Mindanao, I commend the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its excellent efforts to attain the objectives of martial law. The AFP was successful in decimating and weakening the terrorist and extremist groups in the BARMM. I have directed the AFP to continue to hunt down the remnants of the Maute, BIFFG and Abu Sayaff groups or to accept their surrendering members for rehabilitation.

The DND has been actively participating in the efforts to sustain the gains of peace-building, such as the Normalization Track of the peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), wherein the decommissioning of MILF combatants and their firearms were undertaken in September 2019.

Furthermore, the 2000 Peace Agreement with the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB TPG) has made significant progress when the latter signed the Clarificatory Implementing Document in July 2019 with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines represented by Undersecretary for Defense Operations Cesar B. Yano as the chairperson of the Joint Enforcement and Monitoring Committee (JEMC).

Through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the AFP, the Department has provided timely and continuous intervention in provinces ravaged by natural disasters, namely, typhoons, floods and earthquakes. The Regional OCD offices are the nuclei of government rehabilitation and rescue efforts in the provinces.

In addition, the Department has invested resources in ensuring the welfare of its active personnel as well as retired soldiers through its welfare programs provided by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), and the respective human resource offices of the DND-wide offices and bureaus. Among the milestones in 2019 are: the increase in benefits for active military personnel under the Joint Resolution No. 1, s. 2018; the release of Hazardous Duty Pay to soldiers in Sulu; the increase of benefits of the CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAFGU); and benefits to wounded soldiers and families of soldiers killed during active duty under the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP).

The AFP was deputized during the Elections in May 2019, and together with the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, ensured free, honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections.

The DND and its bureaus provided security and rescue forces during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was held in the Philippines. Additionally, 160 soldier-athletes and coaches participated in the games and earned 26 gold, 15 silver, and 13 bronze for a total of 54 medals.

With its continuing effort to improve management and systems, the DND Offices and Bureaus have strived to meet international standards. Under this program they have achieved certification under the ISO 9001-2015.

We have likewise collaborated with other agencies to improve our facilities through the Convergence Program on Strengthening and Expanding Military Readiness for National Security and Development, also known as Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad (TIKAS) program. For 2019, thirty (30) projects amounting to PhP530 million were approved for implementation. For 2020, PhP4.6 billion has been allocated for the DND-DPWH Convergence Program in the National Expenditure Program The projects include construction, repair, and/or development of a runways, roads, road networks, army detachments and PAF hangars.

As the year 2019 comes to a close and 2020 starts, I call upon all personnel of the Department to continue to pursue excellence in public service. The call to a more effective and efficient Defense Sector is imperative in light of the enormous and varied security challenges confronting the nation.

In 2020, let us strive to achieve the following:  Have our priority legislations passed; expand our relations with partners who share our vision of a strong and effective Defense Department; and pursue efforts that would lead to the attainment our objectives. Together, let us continue to deliver the service every Filipino deserves with utmost professionalism and dedication.

Mabuhay.

HOLIDAY 2019 MESSAGE OF PRESIDENTIAL PEACE ADVISER CARLITO G. GALVEZ JR.

As we celebrate the holiday season, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our peace partners in the government and private sector, as well as the international donor community who have been instrumental in helping us achieve major gains in the Philippine peace process.

This year has truly been a remarkable one in our nation’s quest for a just and lasting peace – from the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the ongoing transition of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants to peaceful and productive civilians; to the ongoing transformation of the Kapatiran and Cordillera Bodong Administration-Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA), former revolutionary groups, into potent forces of peace and development; to the effective implementation of the government’s whole-of-nation approach which has encouraged communist rebels to give up armed struggle and return to the folds of the law.

All of these milestones would not have been possible without the unwavering support and commitment of all peace stakeholders. Despite the many challenges we confronted, all of you remained steadfast and believed that anything was possible as long as we worked hand in hand and kept focused on our collective vision: enduring and genuine peace for all Filipinos.

As we look forward to another year, let us continue to keep the faith, forge ahead, and focus our energies in creating a brighter and peaceful future for the next generation. Let us break down the walls of fear, animosity, and discord, and build bridges of peace, understanding and solidarity among our people.

Let us be the change we want to see.

On behalf of the men and women of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, I wish all of you and your families the warmth of the holidays, and the bountiful blessings of the incoming year.

Go Negosyo give aid to families of slain Marawi troopers, cops

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The families of the 101 soldiers and policemen have received a P250,000 check each from the businessmen through the Go Negosyo Kapatid for Marawi network.
 
The Go Negosyo Kapatids who donated to the fund for the soldiers include Tessie Sy-Coson of the BDO and SM group, Jaime Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corp., Josephine Gotianum Yap of Filinvest, Manny Pangilinan of the PLDT Smart foundation, Alfred Ty of Metrobank Foundation, Michael Tan of Asia Brewery and Philippine Airlines, and Tony Tan Caktiong of Jollibee Food Corp.
Also among the donors are Jean Henri Lhuilier of Cebuana Lhullier, Mildren Vitangcol of St. Peter’s Chapel, Alice Eduardo of Sta. Elena Corp., Injap Sia of Double Dragon Properties, Jojo Concepcion of Concepcion Industries, William Belo of Wilcon Depot, Dennis Uy of Chelsea Logistics, Santi Araneta of LBC, Sabin Aboitiz of Aboitiz Corp., and the Duterte Cabinet Spouses Association.
 
“Through this occasion, we want to honor these courageous souls by showing that their fellow countrymen — from the government to the business sector — have not forgotten their ultimate sacrifice and their loved ones who miss them dearly,” -Joey Concepcion, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder
 

Awit sa Marawi

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“Awit sa Marawi” fundraising concert… sa lahat ng gustong bumili ng ticket sold out na po ang 1k – 4k.. 5k nalang po ang available… at sa lahat naman po na willing maging sponsor just pm us here or contact the no. Na naka indicate sa poster… thank you so much.
#SupportOurTroops
#JamsArtistProduction

Donations for Marawi

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Bilang tugon sa mga nagnanais magpaabot ng tulong sa mga kababayan nating lumikas dahil sa kaguluhan at sa mga pamilya ng mga sundalong namatay sa pakikipaglaban para sa kasarinlan ng Marawi, ang inyong donasyon ay maaaring ipadala sa sumusunod na accounts na binuksan sa Land Bank of the Philippines:

 

Para sa mga pamilyang naulila ng mga sundalong namatay sa pakikipaglaban sa Marawi:

Account Name: Marawi AFP Casualty

Account Number: 0000 0552 1071 28

 

Para sa mga lumikas nating kababayan mula sa Marawi:

Account Name: Marawi IDP

Account Number: 0000 0552 1071 36

Para sa ‘transparency’, ang AFP ay magpapahayag ng halaga ng nalikom na donasyon.
Maaari ninyong beripikahin ang inyong mga donasyon Kontakin lamang ang mga numerong ito: 0917-502-3012 (Globe) / 0928-264-3337 (Smart)

SALAMAT sa inyong habag at malasakit.

LINKS:

AFP starts accepting donations for kin of fallen heroes

“Die to be a hero”

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Marine Private Bernie John Lunas, 21, from Barangay Hindi, Bacacay town in Albay, one of the youngest of 13 Marines killed in action on June 9 in battle-scarred Marawi City has come home.

Bernie, who turned 21 last April 5, was the second son of Barangay Captain Juan and Jocelyn Lunas. The couple has three other children.

Cut down in his prime by a cruel war, Bernie was like any other young man from a family of modest means. An artist, he had dreamed of being an architect one day.

He took the entrance exams at Bicol University in Legazpi but did not make the cut because there was a quota for architecture. Instead, he enrolled in industrial design so he could shift to architecture later. Taking advantage of all opportunities available to him, Bernie also attended a Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) program in San Francisco, Malilipot town but was encouraged by a kababayan (townmate) to enlist in the military service.

Last Christmas Day, he went to Metro Manila to report to Fort Bonifacio and from there he was sent to Ternate, Cavite for military training.

His aunt, Evangeline Lunas-Baseloña, told The Manila Times that Bernie would have graduated in August from the rigid training at the Marine Corps.

She added that Bernie went home three times from the time he started military training. “His last visit to his family was last April during Holy Week break just before going through another schooling to be promoted.”

Private Bernie was first assigned to Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 in Sultan Kudarat but two weeks before completing his schooling he was pulled out on June 4 and sent to Marawi.

Six months before his death, Bernie posted a photo on his FB wall with signage 37th Marine Company, Marine Battalion Landing Team-7, Kalamansig Sultan Kudarat. Its caption – “die to be a hero.”

On Monday, Independence Day, Bernie’s father and his three younger siblings proceeded to Tactical Operations Group 5-Philippine Air Force headquarters along with other relatives and friends including Mayor Dinky Romano of Bacacay town to bring Bernie back home.

Like the other 12 Marines who fell in Marawi City, Bernie is home, a hero. But to his family and friends, it was not the homecoming they would have expected for this young man in uniform.

On Tuesday, Bernie’s father made the last journey home from Manila with his son as well as Bernie’s brother-in-arms Marine Cpl. Roland Sumagpang of Ocampo, Camarines Sur.

Their remains were flown home to Legazpi City on a C-295 flown by Philippine Air Force first woman pilot-in-command Maj. Geraldine Abigail Matienzo and co-pilot Maj. Floraine Reyes.

The fallen heroes were given arrival honors by members of the Southern Luzon Naval Forces led by Navforsol deputy commander Capt. Toribio Adaci Jr.

At home, Bernie’s mother Jocelyn and elder brother Aron John, 22, who recently passed the certified public accountancy board, silently waited for him.

Jocelyn could not come to terms with Bernie’s fate. She said the last time she talked to her son was on the night of June 8. “I was praying so hard for his safety and that the conflict in Mindanao will be resolved soon. That like the other young soldiers, he would be home soon,” she told The Manila Times.

On June 9, a Marine officer called her up saying that something happened to Bernie. Just like any mother, she held on, kept praying, hoping that her son was only wounded in the firefight. But the Marine officer gently broke the news – Bernie was one of 13 soldiers killed in action against the Maute group.

“My son was part of the clearing team in Marawi City when killed by the terrorists. I prayed hard that he will make it home to us,” she said in between sobs.

Source: manilatimes.net

SELFLESS AND DEDICATED MARINE

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Private First Class Gener Tinangag never said anything about the hardship of his work as one of the Marines who risked his life in war-torn Marawi City at the height of the fighting between the government troops and the Maute Group last week.

“It’s okay now. At least my younger sister finished college” were the last words of the young Marine, according to his comrades, who then relayed them to his eldest sister Novelyn.

Novelyn described her brother as a sturdy young man, well focused in his responsibilities to his family, but he would not be dissuaded from his wanting to join the Marines.

“It’s a job and I am going to take it. Don’t worry. If it’s God’s will for me to die as a Marine, so be it. Everybody has to face death in their lifetime,” Pfc Tinangag told Novelyn and their mother when he learned that he was going to be stationed in Cotabato after his finishing his Marine basic training in Taguig.

His mother Marcia said she pleaded with him to finish his studies as a fourth year criminology student at the University of Baguio. She said her son only needed to finish one semester, a few months of on-the-job training (OJT), and then he would graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology degree. But when he passed the exam at the Marine recruitment unit, he focused on joining the corps.

“He was so eager to work and help his siblings to finish their education, and he was also about to become a father to his now two-year-old son,” Marcia recalled.

“‘Ma, I do not like hunting for a job later after graduation,’ was his answer to me,” said his mother.

“I never thought he would be gone so soon, but now it is real,” she said. She added that she and her husband are still devastated over the death of their only son.

His father, Aram Tinangag, went ahead to their hometown in Kadaclan, Barlig, Mountain  Province, to arrange for the burial site for their son, Marcia said. Pfc. Tinangag, 24,  left his wife Jasmin Joy and two-year-old son Clark Mayner.

His comrades lauded him for his bravery in saving several wounded fellow Marines in the battlefield before he was shot by a sniper bullet during the Marine operation in Marawi. He was among the 13 Marines who lost their lives that day.

Sister Novelyn said his death pains their family so much. He was the only male in a brood of five “He was the third child. I never had any problems with him. He was always obedient, and focused on helping his family,” she added.

“We shared financial responsibilities in our younger siblings’ education; that is why maybe his last words were about our sister Jet, who recently graduated from college with a BS in Political Science,” Novelyn  said.

Novelyn added that before the Marawi incident, Pfc. Tinangag was eager to have his few days vacation to see his family and son, whom he missed so much.

“I do not know how little Mayner can handle this,” Novelyn said. “Before we learned of his death, his son was heard saying, ‘Papa Boom,’”

“His comrades who rescued him said that he was still breathing when they carried him to the ambulance, after which he said to his comrades his last words before expiring at the hospital,” Novelyn. Said.

Source: http://news.mb.com.ph

A different kind of Bayot

49 PFC DHAN RYAN A. BAYOT (INF) PA --

“Just bomb my location, Sir!”

These were the last words of 24-year old Private First Class Dhan Ryan Bayot when he called his commanding officer before he succumbed to death in the hands of the Maute-ISIS terrorists.

Bayot’s team–consisting of 9 soldiers from the 51st Infantry Batallion—was stationed in a detachment in Barangay Lilod, Marawi City on the 2nd day of the Marawi siege, May 24. They were dispatched to the said post upon the request of a town mayor for added security as his residence was just above the detachment.

Moments later, they were attacked. A survivor said that aside from the shots from both sides of the road, gunfire also came from above. Apparently, the official’s house was already overtaken by the terrorists. The soldiers were too surprised that the volley of fire came from all directions.

Not long enough, five of his companions were dead. For some reason, three soldiers managed to escape and abandoned the post. (It was only learned later that the three were shot just the same, killing one and wounding the two).

Now alone and with nary a scratch, he radioed his commanding officer for reinforcement but no one came. A few hours later, he called again. The commanding officer told him that reinforcements attempted twice, but they couldn’t get through as the only passage to him was heavily entrenched by the enemies.

This time, sensing that death was more imminent than being rescued, he then gave his coordinates, and requested his commander to bomb his location so the enemies surrounding him will get hit too. “Bombahin nalang ninyo ang location ko Sir!,”(Just bomb my location Sir!) he told his commanding officer.

His dead body and of six of his comrades were retrieved on May 28—four days after they were killed.

One of those who retrieved his dead body was his father, Sgt. Larry Bayot of the Division Reconnaissance Company of the 1st Infantry Division. His father said that it took four units from different battalions of the Philippine Army to retrieve their bodies given the difficult terrain. He understands now why it was really hard to rescue his son.

Surprisingly, the father saw no bullet wounds on his son’s body that might have caused his death. Instead, he saw his son’s heavily deformed face and a deep bolo cut around his neck. Presumably, when he ran out of bullets the terrorists might have taken turns of bashing his face before slashing his neck in an attempt to behead him.

Although pained so much for the dastardly manner of his son’s death, the father never showed it. To a soldier, it’s always a ‘do-or-die-but never-question-why’ attitude.

The next day, the father brought his son’s body to bury him in the family’s hometown in Barangay Upper Pangi, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. On June 2, a day after the burial, President Rodrigo Duterte went to his barangay to personally console him on his loss.

The president gave him the posthumous medal for his son, P250 thousand cash, and a pledge to fund for any young surviving family member’s education.

“Unsa pa man akong matabang nimo?” (What else do you need that I can be of help?) the President asked Sergeant Bayot. Bayot replied that his 18 year-old youngest son, who is the late PFC Ryan’s younger brother, wants to join the Army too. Maybe you can help him enlist in the army, Bayot told the president.

“No, not yet, he has to finish his college first, then after that maybe we can let him enter the army or even the police,” said Duterte.

The sergeant relented to his commander-in-chief.

Now, he is busy preparing the documents of his dead son while waiting to be called anytime for duty to the 1st Infantry Division whose jurisdiction includes Marawi City. His younger children will be off to college.

Ironically, the word bayot in Visayan means gay or coward. But for this particular family and for the neighbors who know them in Upper Pangi, Ipil, the word simply means ‘valor and patriotism’.

 

Story via: fb.com/SibEx

Salute to the Heroes of Marawi

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We mourn for the death of our soldiers who died fighting in the quest of peace. Their ultimate sacrifice will not bring us to pieces, instead, motivate us to continuously do our mandate of securing the people from all threats to the last drop of our blood.

We call on to the peace-loving Filipinos to continue praying and supporting our communities, our government and our troops as we continue to win peace in our midst.

We will be forever grateful to our soldiers who have offered their lives in the service of our nation. We grieve with all the families who have lost a loved one in [these] ongoing armed hostilities.

fb.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP

 

Army chief leads 1ID change of command ceremony

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LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, PIA (March 21) —LtGen. Glorioso V. Miranda, commanding general of the Philippine Army bid farewell to retiring Major General Gerardo F. Barrientos, Jr. and ushered in the new 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division commanding general during the change of command ceremony at Camp Major Cesar Sang-an, Pulacan, this municipality.

Barrientos relinquished his position to Brigadier General Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985 and former commander of the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

Barrientos retires this March after serving 2 years and 8 months as commanding general of Philippine Army’s premiere division.

A member of the PMA “Matikas” Class of 1983, Barrientos served as former deputy commander of the 4th Infantry Division based in Mindanao.

“I am forever grateful to the local chief executives and other stakeholders for actively supporting the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) ‘Bayanihan’ campaign of the Philippine Army,” Barrientos said adding that it is the blueprint of the Philippine Army in addressing insurgency problem by winning the hearts of the people.

Barrientos said with their support, he was able to efficiently and effectively accomplish the army’s mission in making Zamboanga Peninsula a peaceful place to live in.

The outgoing commander said he spent the best 40 years of his life as an army and it was satisfying, fulfilling and full of meaningful lifetime experience as he served the Filipino people.

LtGen. Miranda lauded Barrientos for having successfully painted the blueprint of the IPSP “Bayanihan” campaign. Meanwhile, the army chief is optimistic that BGen Bautista will successfully lead the troops to attain its mission.

“To be the new commander of Tabak Division is a very stressful job but I am confident that you can perform your job efficiently,” Miranda said adding that he knew him for a long time and worked together in the battlefield during their stint in the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment.

“Continue the success that your predecessor has laid down to achieve lasting peace and progress in our area,” Miranda urged. (ALT/GCC-PIA9/Zamboanga del Sur)

Source: Gideon C. Corgue / news.pia.gov.ph