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Government seems bent in really putting an end to the four-decade long NPA rebellion, as troops captured a New People’s Army (NPA) camp in Agusan del Norte, the first after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) renewed its all-out war against the local communist group.
The NPA encampment in Kahanginan area of Barangay San Antonio, Agusan del Norte, was seized after combat maneuvering troops engaged NPA rebels in almost 10 minutes of gunfight that started at 9:50 a.m. yesterday.
No rebel was captured as the communist guerrillas, believed to be members of CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee, abandoned their camp and fled to the nearby Mount Ilong-Ilong area. Combat maneuvering troops of the 29th IB had conducted pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels. No further results were yet received.
The military said, this is a clear indication that the people in this side of the province support the anti-insurgency campaign as it was the nearby populace who reported the presence of the NPA armed group conducting extortion activities in the area.
On the other hand, NPA rebels also mounted their own offensives, targeting more on civilians and not the military, as 200 suspected NPA rebels kidnapped a policeman and two others in Bukidnon, and then fled with seven motorcycles, three heavy equipment they seized from Mindanao Rock Corporation.
The armed men later burned the heavy equipment at Km 28 in Barangay Tikalaan and fled  toward Lanao del Sur area by foot.
One of the kidnap victims was reportedly killed already.
In Benguet, suspected NPA rebels, including an amazon, burned two Volvo trucks owned by the Philex Mining Corporation at Sitio Tapak, Barangay Ampucao, Itogon, yesterday morning.
Sketchy reports bared, the trucks were delivering ore concentrates to Poro Point in La Union when the rebels flagged down the vehicles along a road
Benguet policemen launched a manhunt against the rebels.
In another development, last Wednesday, government troops seized four cellular phones, several live ammunition of AK47 and caliber .45, medical kit, and backpacks with personal belongings and communist documents after brief encounter with NPA fighters.
Army Captain Jo-Ann D. Petinglay, spokesman of the AFP Western Mindanao Command, said soldiers from Joint Task Force Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao (ZamPeLan), chanced upon the rebels at about1:15 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Mati, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur.
Petinglay said soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Battalion under the JTF ZamPeLan were on security patrol after locals reported the presence of armed men.
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The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) continues - as how Pres. Duterte put it - to play games with the government. Lifting first its unilateral ceasefire order, it now refuses to acknowledge the written notice sent by the government on the termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG,) a deal that keeps peace consultants from being arrested.
In a statement, NDFP negotiating peace panel chairman Fidel Agcaoili said that the government had “no fair and just reason” to terminate the peace negotiations two weeks after the conclusion of the third round of formal talks in Rome, Italy.
Funny! “… no fair and just reason” to terminate the peace negotiations? In saying, the NDF is playing games, Pres. Duterte is right. Just what its intent appears evident - make government go slow on them, and them untouched in committing atrocities. What else!
Agcaoili cited the advances made during the negotiations, including discussions on human rights and reforms and an agreement to meet in the Netherlands on February 22 to 27 to hammer out a bilateral ceasefire.
This truly is a puzzle - double-speaks as it is - citing even a technical error in the notice of termination, noting that the letter of termination of the JASIG sent by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza is improperly addressed.
“It should have been sent to the National Executive Committee of the NDF Panel… and not jointly in one letter to Prof. Sison as Chief Political Consultant and me as Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel,” he added.
Agcoili also said the original copy of the letter should have been sent by mail to the NDF Panel Information Office in The Netherlands and received by the rebel panel.
But that’s precisely it. He is Negotiating Panel Chair. Furnishing copy of it to Sison can be disregarded
For such petty reasons, however, the NDFP would not acknowledge receipt of the 7th February 2017 email letter of Dureza.
Puzzle, puzzle, puzzle. Buyung tayo (Chabacano for we are confused.) Read more of these games. 
In a separate statement, the Communist Party the Philippines (CPP) slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for “arbitrarily terminating” the formal peace negotiations, and that the New People’s Army is “ever ready to face” the “all-out war” government had threatened.
The CPP continued, Duterte had “gone berserk” and “wasted the achievements attained in peace talks over the past few months.” The group described the President as a “double-speaking thug who only recognizes his own rules” and “a charlatan who does not know the true meaning of just and lasting peace.”
Their sudden lifting of the unilateral ceasefire is what prompted Duterte to also lift the government’s version of its own ceasefire and ordered the talks scrapped. 
Exactly what to the NPA is just, reasonable and proper - the lifting of a ceasefire?
Silly.
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No lang (Hope not). Is this some kind of Korea’s vengeance for the kidnap-slay of one of its nationals here? Aw, just a thought.  Don’t take me serious.
A shipload of 25,000 metric tons of waste from South Korea was uncovered by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in the Port of Cebu, and its discovery is reminiscent of the shipment of waste products from Canada and Japan that were sent to the Philippines several years back.
The waste shipment was misdeclared as “solid granular particles of wood chips and synthetic resin, and was noticed because of the foul smell that emanated from the cargo vessel.
100 metric tons have already been unloaded from the vessel.
The BoC is to coordinate with other government agencies so that the waste materials will be returned to South Korea.
In 1999, 120 container vans of trash from Japan were also discovered by Customs authorities.
But unlike the Canadian government, Japan chartered a ship to take back the trash shipment.
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Pres. Duterte once more opened up on his display of crankiness.
Addressing employees of the Bureau of Customs on Wednesday, Mr. Duterte said reporters were “not really attuned to my character.”
“Of the five things I say, only two of those are true. The three others are just foolishness,” he said. “And so I’m just fond of doing it. I just want to laugh… at the expense also of myself sometimes.”
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, however,  seemed to doubt the President’s remarks, many of which had stirred up controversies and drawn condemnation from local and international groups.
Abella stressed, the President was “very consistent in his statements.”
But a review of Mr. Duterte’s speeches showed that he had  flip-flopped on several major policy statements.
For one, Mr. Duterte once said the Abu Sayyaf bandits were not criminals but just “driven to desperation” because of the government’s “failed promises.”
Later he took his statement back, even warning he would eat the bandits alive if they continued kidnapping people and setting off bombs in Mindanao.
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Secretary Gina Lopez is creating a lot of stir in the Environment department she leads.
And Malacañang has put on hold her closure and suspension orders on 28 mines, ostensibly to give way to due process.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said mining firms would be given the opportunity to respond to or dispute the results of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s mining audit, which has not yet been released by the agency.
Lopez, however, on Thursday refuted reports that her decision to ban mineral extraction in watersheds was suspended by members of the Cabinet following a meeting on Wednesday.
Lopez stood by her order to shut mines operating in watersheds, saying her decision was based on laws and the Constitution.
The matter yet unresolved, Lopez delved on still another contentious issue, strongly opposing the massive Tampakan mining project due to its alleged potential devastating impact on the environment.
Lopez recognized she would be “stepping on very business interests” but insisted that the project should have not been given any clearance for operation. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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