caraga region

Military celebrates Human Rights Day with Children

December 10, 2019

Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur--- While militant groups conduct mass rallies and protests in the streets exploiting minority groups as propaganda fronts, the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) celebrates the Human Rights Day with the Agusanon children from all walks of life in a Christmas party celebration at the 3SFBn headquarters in barangay Noli, Bayugan City today. We stand to uphold Human Rights as we put premium to the welfare of our youth because they are the most vulnerable sector in any conflict. Last December 2, Litboy Talja Binongcasan, a grade 6 student from Gingoog City, was killed in an encounter in Agusan del Norte. A clear proof the Communist NPA Terrorists violates International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We cannot afford to let this happen again to any of our children,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer, said The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemns the use of NPA child warriors saying that it constitutes a war crime. "The boy (Litboy) was still in his development years and should be focusing on honing his potentials so he can pursue his goals and dreams but his life was snuffed out and can no longer be taken back,” Jacqueline de Guia, Spokesperson, CHR, said. “Putting children in the battlefield imperils and endangers them. Even if they survive armed encounters, the psychological and mental impact can be lifelong," De Guia added. “The NPA terrorists’ horrible and deceptive youth recruitment is one of the issues being addressed by the Local Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. We urge the nation, and even militant groups, to open their eyes and see the brutal effect of the 50 years existence of communist insurgency to our youth. If we love our country, let us support the Whole-of-Nation Approach to end the useless communist armed and political struggle of the NPA terrorists and their front groups,” Colonel Allan D Hambala INF (MNSA) PA, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander, said Meanwhile, militant and anti-government groups are again set to conduct their usual rallies to falsely accuse the government and the military of any HR violations only to find out the fact that the military is currently busy enjoying their time bringing smiles to a hundred children through fun games and gift giving to celebrate the Human Rights Day today and stand against to those who violates it.  

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Manobo Youths: We need DepEd schools for IPs

December 10, 2019

Lianga, Surigao del Sur--- “I strive hard to finish school and help my family because I know that Communist NPA Terrorist-influenced areas find it hard to prosper. We wish that a DepEd school will be constructed here in our sitio,” said Jackyboy Salinas, a young resident of Sitio Simowao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga Surigao Del Sur during his speech at the closing ceremony of the 3rd Lianga Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), Sunday (December 8) at the 9th Special Forces “Hounds’ Company, 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion headquarters in St. Christine, Lianga, SDS. Out of 95 YLS participants, 8 participants from the conflict-affected IP Community of Kilometer 9 joined for the first time. In their problem tree, root cause analysis workshop, they identified the issues that greatly affects the youth in their community--- Quality education, and Insurgency were the some of the issues identified. Salinas, a product of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Development (ALCADEV), and his fellow YLS graduates, who are currently secondary school students, said that it would be better if IP DepEd schools be established. Some of the ALCADEV and (Tibal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) graduates find it hard to transfer to other DepEd schools because their papers are not valid and are non-accredited.   The reason why Communist-influenced militant groups hamper the educational intervention of DepEd in conflict areas is because their schools, TRIFPSS and ALCADEV will become irrelevant and will die a natural death. Most of the IPs when asked, wanted to transfer to the DepEd-accredited IP government schools once these become readily available in their sitios,” Colonel Allan D Hambala, 401ST Infantry Brigade Commander, said.   Meanwhile,  the Department of Education (DepEd) said that they will include Kilometer 9 as a beneficiary of their Last Mile School Program to address gaps in isolated, disadvantaged areas and to offer a far better quality of education than the Alternative Learning Center and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) non-DepEd accredited and alleged NPA-linked schools.  

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Taskforce to end local communist prepares for all-out implementation of the new order

December 3, 2019

Marihatag, Agusan del Sur – The Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Surigao del Sur Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict led by the Provincial Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) conducted ,last November 28, a dialogue to prepare the residents and IP Community of Barangay Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur for the all-out implementation of Executive Order No. 70 by next year in Andap Valley Complex. Following dialogues to other identified Peace and Development Zones (PDZs) will be scheduled within this month. With this activity, the residents of conflict-affected communities would become aware of the government’s peace and development efforts towards ending insurgency. Barangay Mahaba is one of the gateways of the Andap Valley Complex, a traditional route of the CNTs along with the sitios of Barangay Diatagon. The dialogue includes the presentation of the community’s poverty, livelihood and employment-related issues raised by the community through the Community Support Program (CSP) conducted by the 7th Special Forces” Spartans” Company of the 3SFBn. CSP is a mechanism of the EO 70 to identify basic and social services delivery issues used by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) to agitate, organize and mobilize the tribes to advance their terroristic activities in the hinterlands. Present in the dialogue are support agencies from Department of Agriculture, Provincial Tourism Office, 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn), Surigao Provincial Police Office, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PHILFIDA), Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Education, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Food Authority, Marihatag LGU led by Mayor Justine Marc L. Pelenio and the Chief of Staff of the Office of Congressman Prospero “Butch” A. Pichay, Jr., Surigao’s 1st District representative. Initial livelihood support will provide the community abaca seedlings to help in increase their farm output production. Falcata and coffee farming will also be provided by the concerned agencies. Aside from farming, TESDA and PHILFIDA will provide livelihood skills training to further increase their productivity to make them more resilient. On other concerns, the community requested the DepEd to speed-up the process to begin the construction IP Government schools so that they can transfer and abandon the alleged CNT-affiliated schools of Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV). DepEd representative, Danilo Alcantara, said that the IP communities in Andap Valley Complex were included in their Last Mile School Program which will facilitate the construction of complete school facilities which will provide a better quality education for the IPs. According to a rebel surrenderee, MAPASU, a left-leaning organization and an alleged front organization of CNTs, with their underground contacts in some LGUs continuously hampers the implementation of EO 70 because the CNTs will lose their mass base making it difficult to sustain their food supplies and makes them more easily detected by the government forces. The Department of Interior and Local Government continuously reminds elected and appointed government officials on Republic Act 10168 known as “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 prohibiting any political, moral and financial support to the Communist rebels. If elected officials are found guilty, penalties and sanctions will be imposed as prescribed by law. Meanwhile, PRLEC is one of the most active clusters among the 12 clusters line of efforts of the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.    

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First ever Christmas tree in Andap Valley Complex lighted

November 30, 2019

Lianga, Surigao del Sur – With the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from the legitimate Indigenous Peoples (IP) leaders, the first ever Christmas tree was lighted at the tribal hall by the Conflict-Affected IP Community in Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur, on November 24. With the influence of the Christian religious sectors, particularly the Dominican sisters, Aglipayan and Catholic Churches and various religious missionaries, many of the IP communities were converted and have accepted the tradition of Christmas. The Community Support Team composed of the 9th Special Forces “Hounds” Company of the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion, 41st CMO Company and the Philippine National Police Community Relations with the Barangay Local Government of Diatagon, the Sangguniang Kabataan and the Diatagon Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR) worked together with the IP Community to make a Christmas Tree out of recycled materials and lighted it up with colorful Christmas lights. This Christmas tree symbolizes Peace, Hope, Love and Reconciliation which are the virtues obtained from the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The IP Community is hopeful that through the Community Support Program and the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the Communist NPA Terrorists’ and their front organizations would choose the path to peace and stop their exploitation on the IP Community in Andap Valley Complex. Felix Tayon, Vice Chairman sitio Kilometer 9 and a member of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa mga Sumusunod (MAPASU), an anti-EO 70 organization, said that gradually, he can now see the positive developmental changes in their community. “Hindi lang talaga mabigla sa una dahil dati takot talaga kami sa mga sundalo, pero ngayon, unti-unti na kaming nasasanay na kasama sila at nakikita naming ang kaibahan ngayon,” Tayon, said. Meanwhile, The Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and the military continues to humbly reach out to the religious sectors and MAPASU to reconcile and work together to attain lasting peace in Andap Valley Complex citing that we have one common goal which is to end conflict. The government also encourage the religious sector to help them facilitate peaceful surrenders for the rebels to avoid any unnecessary loss of lives.      

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Army conducts Medical Mission and Feeding Program in Surigao Sur

November 29, 2019

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur-Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr, Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – The 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion conducted Medical Mission and Feeding Program at Barangay Burboanan, Bisig City, Surigao del Sur on November 23, 2019.               The said activity was in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bislig City headed by Honorable Florencio C Garay, City Mayor of Bislig; Office of the President – Office of the Special Assistance to the President (OP-OSAP) represented by Ms. Reygela M Decalit; SweetEva Online Gaming and Amusement Corporation headed by Ms. Eva Tejada; Small Town Lottery of Bislig; Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PSCO) Bislig Branch; St. John Bosco De La Salle College Batch of 1991; Guardians International 11th Coalition and Madonna Sorority Incorporated; Alpha Phi Omega Bislig Alumni Association; Bislig City Police Station; Kiwanis International; Rotary Club of Bislig; Development Bank of the Philippines, Bislig Branch; BISMATA Massage Clinic; Land Bank of the Philippines, Bislig Branch; Tony’s Store Bislig; Manulife Philippines, Bislig Branch; City Health Office of Bislig; and the Brgy Council of Brgy Burboanan.               The activity was highlighted with a medical consultation and treatment, tooth extraction, circumcision, feeding program, haircut, whole body massage, and distribution of relief goods, seedlings, school supplies and used clothing. A total of 1,065 beneficiaries were recorded during the said event.               Honorable Amado Advincula, Brgy Captain of Burboanan welcomed the participants and he was grateful to the services delivered to the people of Brgy Burboanan.               The City Mayor Hon Florencio Garay also graced the activity and expressed his gratitude for the collaboration of every stakeholders and for the efforts they bestowed during the activity.               Moreover, Ms. Reygela M Decalit, Presidential Management Staff, with her ardent zeal to any activity that will benefit the people and community in her message stated. “Local leaders deserved no special treatment in the field of service; they are our public servant that must deliver essential services to the people in the community, as well as promote peace and development.”               Further, Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB who closely supervised the activity and acknowledged all the stakeholders by giving them a certificate of appreciation and simple token for sharing their time and effort to serve the people of Brgy Burboanan.               Part of Executive Order No. 70 states that the LGU should actively participate in extending social services to the people and community and sustain the peace and development effort in order to end the local communist armed conflict.  

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Intense hardcourt battle erupts between Army, Surigao Tribes

November 29, 2019

Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur--- A fierce battle on the basketball court commenced between the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Community and the Community Support Teams (CSTs) in Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.  This is the first inter-sitio basketball league in the conflict-affected area in Andap Valley Complex organized by the Sangguniang Kabataan of Diatagon, Diatagon Barangay Local Government Unit, the IP residents and the CSTs composed of the troops from the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn), 41st Civil Military Operations (CMO) Company and the Philippine National Police. The basketball court was constructed through the efforts of both Kilometer 9 IP residents and the composite Army and PNP personnel being falsely accused by the militant group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang a Sumusunod (MAPASU), a local affiliate of Bayan Muna Partylist represented by Eufemia Campos Cullamat, the sister of Pablito Sinzo Campos, alias Batik, a Communist NPA Terrorist nabbed by the 3SFBn and currently detained in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. “May labanan na nagaganap ngayon sa pagitan ng Army at mga tribo ditto sa KM 9, pero sa basketbolan. Ok Kaayo, “laughingly said by a resident of the sitio. This is the effect of Martial Law in the IP Communities and this is the fear of anti-government groups and coddler of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs). They fear that their lies and allegations against the military and the President’s Whole-of-Nation Approach would be revealed naturally and that their ideology will become irrelevant enough to make it die a natural death. “The IP Community is happy with the latest development in their area. Before, they were a bit skeptical about the military’s presence but the sincerity of the government to attain sustainable and genuine peace made this possible”, Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF (GSC) PA said. “Our main advantage and weapon in our quest to end local communist armed conflict is the truth. No matter how many lies and propaganda the CNTs and their allied groups throw at us, truth will always prevail”, COL Allan D Hambala INF (MNSA) PA, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander added. Meanwhile, 10 teams from neighboring sitios in Andap Valley participated in the league to include residents from Kilometer 16, (Sitio Han-Ayan) in Diatagon where Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), an alleged hub of the CNTs exists.    

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