cagayan de oro

“70 NPA members, supporters pledge allegiance to government in Talakag, Bukidnon”

July 16, 2019

The mass surrender happened during a community dialogue held in brgy San Rafael, Talakag, Bukidnon last July 14, 2019. The NPA members and supporters are residents of Brgys San Rafael, Indulang, and Tikalaan, all of Talakag. They were presented by 1LT HEREDIA to Hon. Factura, Mayor of Talakag, Bukidnon during the activity who in turn led the Oath of Allegiance of the former rebels (FR). "Sakit kaayu sa ako dughan nga nalambigit sa pag supporta sa mao nga grupo kay nagatuo ko nga tinuod ang ilang pasalig nga tagaan me ug bugas, pero kana tanan walay kamatuoran" said nanay Helen, one of those who surrendered. "Dako among pasalamat sa Philippine Army nga nagpasabot sa amoa kung nganu nahimo kami nga supporter sa terroristang NPA, ug nagtudlo sa amo unzaon pag likay ug pag abog sa mga terrorista para maka pamuyo kami ug malinawon uban sa among pamilya" said Ka Luming, another former rebel. "Walay nidaog sa pakikipag away. Instead baril ug bala ang inyu gina atiman, lupa ang inyung tikadon kay kini klaro nga naa moy maayung maani para sa inyung tagsa tagsanga pamilya. Atong panggaon ang atong kaugalingon, magbaton ug respeto sa kaugalingon ug matag usa kanato ug manginabuhi nga naay kahadlok sa atong labaw na makagagahum. Kung kita magpadayun magpailad sa mga teroristang grupo, ang atung lugar magpabiling pobre hantud na sa inyung mga kaliwat" Hon. Vergito Factura added. LtCol Benjamin Pajarito, Commanding Officer of 65IB, orchestrated the CSP immersion in Talakag, Bukidnon as part of the efforts of the recently activated Region X Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.   The dismantling of rebel organization in those barangays will pave the way for the implementation of programs and projects under the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) programs by the LGU and the regional line agencies in Region X. 65IB will submit the results of the needs assessment it gathered throughout the CSP immersion period. Immediately after the oath taking, they conducted peace rally to show their plight to the people having been victims of the promises and false hopes of the NPA. This is indicative of their desires to live a peaceful life, and become productive members of society. The dismantling of the CPP-NDF-NPA local organizations in Talakag breaks the link of the terrorists NPA with the local residents. The peoples' withdrawal of support and rejection of violence effectively isolated the NPA terrorists from communities.

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4 NPAs killed in Agusan Sur skirmishes

July 16, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 16 July) – Government troops killed four members of the New People’s Army following a series of skirmishes in Agusan del Sur over the weekend. Col. Allan Hambala, commander of the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade, said their troops caught the rebels foraging for food in Barangay Brook, Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur.  Hambala said the first clash occurred last Saturday and followed by another skirmish last Sunday.  He said they recovered four assault rifles (AK47 and M16) and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the rebels.  Hambala said there were no casualties on their side.  He credited the success of their operations to the program dubbed Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) that was designed to isolate the rebels from tribal communities.  “Without the efforts of the residents themselves in giving us timely and accurate information, we would not have pinpointed the exact location of the rebels,” Hambala said. He said it was the villagers who tipped soldiers of the rebels’ location. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana introduced ECLIP, the new counter-insurgency program to replace the old campaign strategies in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  The new campaign aims to isolate the rebels from the communities by enticing their sympathizers or their mass base to surrender or go back to the fold of government.  ECLIP centralized all government agencies to provide benefits for “the reintegration of the tribal communities.”  It offers cash benefits ranging from P25,000 to P80,000 implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or agencies like PhilHealth.  Col. Eugene Osias, of the AFP Eastern Command, said a total of 2,699 NPA supporters have already availed the program and have disavowed the rebels since January this year.  Osias said because of this, the rebels lost several of their sanctuaries or villages who were sympathetic to them.  “Their guerilla forces have lost the initiative in the battlefield,” he said.  Maj. Gen. Nemesio Gacal, chief of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the target of the program are the mass bases of the NPA that have provided them support for a long time. “The NPA can replace their armed regulars anytime but their mass supporters are irreplaceable,” he pointed out. The New People’s Army in Mindanao has the military’s claims. Dereka Magtanggol, spokesperson of the NPA in North Central Mindanao, said Lorenzana’s and the military’s claims that 11,000 NPA rebels have surrendered are a farce. Magtanggol said those who surrendered are actually civilians forced by the AFP without evidence to present themselves as “rebels” and to “surrender” under pain of constant harassment and threat “We have documented cases of military forcing residents to surrender in Bukidnon and Davao Oriental, “ Magtanggol said. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews) 

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Army lauds locals for promptly reporting NPA presence

July 15, 2019

The locals sought the help of the Army based in the area and the Army quickly responded, LTC Roy Anthony Derilo, commanding officer of the 58 Infantry Battalion, said.   Elements of the Army’s 58 Infantry Battalion encountered around 20 terrorist NPA around 6:30 in the morning of July 12, on an uninhabited hinter area of Brgy Mat-I, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.   The encounter that lasted 10 minutes resulted in one Wounded in Action from the government side while bloodstains marked the withdrawal route of terrorists.   The wounded soldier was immediately evacuated and is now in stable condition.   Left by the terrorists in the encounter site were seven backpacks containing personal belongings and notebooks, two bandoleers with seven loaded magazines, a hand grenade and one anti-personnel mine.     “The encounter manifests the importance of community support in the attainment of lasting peace,” LTC Derilo said.   “ It clearly shows that they embrace the development brought forth by Convergence Areas for Peace and Development program and the improvement it brings to their life,” LTC Derilo added.    “We enjoin every Misamisnon to support our efforts to end local communist armed conflict, LTC Derilo concluded. 

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Communities play a crucial role in disaster preparedness

July 15, 2019

Director Rosauro Arnel Gonzalez Jr, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC-X) chairperson emphasized this during the Talakayan sa PIA held at SM City Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday, July 10.   He was backed by Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-X) saying that aside from institutional preparedness, the people should also be prepared.   “Even in our homes or offices, we should be prepared. We should be aware of the protocols for any calamity that may happen,” she said.   Knowing the hazards in a particular area can help in putting in place mitigation measures.   Cariño said everyone should heed the lesson from the Sendong experience which she described as a costly lesson for the region.   “We cannot always afford to recover and rehabilitate because it is very costly. When you rehabilitate an area, you always build back better’, she cited.   The NEDA-X director added that funds could be used for further development rather than for recovery and rehabilitation.   NEDA-X serves as the vice-chair for disaster recovery and rehabilitation of the RDRRMC-X.

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5.5 quake in Surigao Sur: 38 structures damaged; 58 persons sustain minor injuries

July 14, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 14 July) – Saturday morning’s magnitude 5.5. quake damaged at least 38 buildings in the five Surigao del Sur  towns while at least 58 residents sustained minor injuries. Authorities said 26 persons were “slightly injured” in the municipality of Cantilan; 17 in the neighboring town of Madrid; 14 in the town of Carmen and an eight-year-old boy who was pinned down by a cabinet in the town of Lanuza. A report by Surigao del Sur  police chief, Col. Francisco Dungo, Jr., said 14 structures were damaged in Madrid, 13 in Cantilan,  while 17 residents were slightly injured; 13 in Cantilan, four in Carmen, Carrascal, and three in Lanuza. “Slightly injured,” he said, were 17 in Madrid, 26 in Cantilan, 14 in Carmen, and one in Lanuza. “Damage to the highway and houses especially those poorly constructed were substantial,” Police Captain Edgar Fernandez, chief of the Lanuza  police station told MindaNews. Fernandez said the highway in Carmen town sustained some damage and residents placed old tires to warn motorists of the danger. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the 5.8-magnitude struck the eastern seaboard of Mindanao at around 4:42 a.m. Saturday. It said the quake was tectonic and recorded at a depth of five kilometers. Liza Mazo, chief of the Office of Civil Defense in Caraga said  the tremor led to the collapse of the entire ceiling of the parish church in the town of Carmen. Besides the church, Mazo said the quake damaged buildings and houses forcing residents to flee to the streets.. Mazo said two fire trucks in Madrid town were damaged when the fire station also collapsed. “I held on the door because the quake was strong and I could barely stand,” Fernandez narrated. Fernandez said electricity in the towns near the epicenter went out immediately after the quake struck. Mazo said many of the patients were rushed to hospitals in Tandag City. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews) 

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DPWH assures more flood control projects under Build Build Build

July 13, 2019

Villar, during the inauguration of P788 million Tagoloan River Basin flood protection dike in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental reiterated tragedies like typhoon Sendong eight years ago cannot happen again.   Typhoon Sendong brought heavy rains causing massive flooding in Cagayan de Oro, leading to painful deaths to thousands of people and destroying millions worth of infrastructure.   “These tragedies inspire us to build the P778M flood mitigation project,” he said.   The flood mitigation committee of DPWH through the Japan aid program initiated the construction of flood control projects since the Ormoc tragedy (flooding) in 1991 which resulted to deaths of more than 8,000 residents.    Villar said, because of this, Ormoc City is one of the pioneers in conducting operation and maintenance for the flood mitigation committee with the leadership of the LGU and assistance of DPWH.   Now, funded through a loan agreement from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the flood control structure in Tagoloan Misamis Oriental involves construction of a 692 meter upstream and 1.9 kilometer downstream revetment structures as well as excavation works and drainage improvement.    Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, Koji Haneda said disaster risk management is a concern with high priority.   “The natural calamities that disrupt lives and economic activities call to fortify our communities is now louder than ever,” he said.   The Tagoloan River Basin is one of the largest of its kind in the Philippines, priority area for flood risk mitigation in the country.    The construction of river dikes and improvement of drainage channels is expected to secure economic gains and the lives of the locals in general from the destructive impact caused by flooding.    In our effort to further facilitate our bilateral cooperation in this field, Haneda said, we have also convened the Japan and Philippine policy dialogue on disaster risk reduction and management two years ago.   The DPWH as one of our dialogue partners, he explained, has been working double time with us in building structural defenses and paving the way for development to flow into the local communities.   Here in Mindanao, we expect to work closer with DPWH to concretize Japan’s support for $202 million road network development project in conflict affected areas, he said.    Aside from flood control projects, Secretary Villar assures more project will be coming to Mindanao to solve traffic decongestion and road widening.

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