caraga region

Army, PNP and LGU provides decent burial to slain NPA in Agusan Sur

July 22, 2019

In coordination with the LGUs of Bunawan, ADS, the Army troops of 75IB headed by Lieutenant Colonel Jaime R Datuin, Commanding Officer and the PNP Regional Director PRO 13 headed by Police Brigadier General Gilberto DC Cruz together with the Municipal Vice Mayor of Trento, ADS, Honorable Felimon S Marte and Mr Rogelio Galendez, Executive Assistant of Bunawan, ADS gives attention to the burial of late Roy Zala @RED, Squad Leader, Squad 1, Platoon 1, Weakened Guerilla Front 14, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (WGF14, NEMRC). Moreover, the Army troops and PNP together with the LGUs express their sympathy and respect to the late Roy Zala @RED. The Late Roy Zala was a victim of the failed ideology the New People’s Army (NPA) is fighting for. On the other hand, Roy Zala @RED is still a fellow that needs a peaceful interment. In this regard, Lieutenant Colonel Jaime R Datuin, Commanding Officer 75IB and Police Brigadier General Gilberto DC Cruz gave respect to the slain NPA member who was identified as one of the two (2) members got killed during the encounter of the 75IB troops last July 13, 2019. “It’s in our hearts and the duty to serve despite of their acts opposing the government.” PBGen Cruz said. Thus, Lieutenant Colonel Jaime R Datuin, Commanding Officer 75IB said, “The respect is still there because it’s not their fault, they had been just deceived by the CPP-NPA. And the service we do to the people is the service we do even to our enemy. Yet, they must stop recruiting as they are destroying the lives of the people with their futile ideology and principles. ” Datuin ended.   With this matter, the government have done their part so as the Army and other LGUs in promoting the campaign through the Community Support Program, the basic services rendered to the community by the government by the Executive Order No. 70 otherwise known as the institutionalizing the Whole Of Nation Approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable Peace in creating the National Task Force to End The Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to stop the NPAs terroristic act. In addition, Colonel Allan D Hambala, Commander 401st Infantry Brigade said, “An NPA member ceased to become an enemy once he/she is dead and surrender his/herself to the authority. Even if that person is already dead, still, we take care of them because we care also for his/her family. We, the Philippine Army are doing what is right and humane for our people and the service we carry on to be able to protect and serve our country better.” Hambala ended.

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36IB: breaking the walls of impossibilities in SurSur

July 22, 2019

The area of operation of 36IB in Surigao del Sur for the past decades has been widely known as lairs of the Communist NPA Terrorist since the 1980s. Decades of waging fears and threats not only to the community but also to the businesses and livelihood of the residents. The NPAs has already formed a shadow government in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) wherein basic services of the government were denied. Through the deployment of Community Support Programs, various CMO activities, and the relentless military operations to thwart the armed groups threatening the community, the 36IB together with the collaborative efforts of the different government agencies was able to slowly realize the delivery of basic services to the locals. Notably, the national highway of Surigao del Sur particularly in the area of 36IB was cleared of CNT atrocities for the entire year of 2018 up to this date as compared to the previous years where tourism and economic activities were hampered by the frequent ambuscades, burning of private trucks and equipment, attacks on businesses, and the flagging down of travelers along the national highways. With the sincere gesture of the government to help uplift the lives of the locals, many have withdrawn their support from the local communist movement and voluntarily surrendered to the Army. From the year 2018 to this date, a total number of fifty nine (59) CNT regular members and MBs who surrendered to the unit have received financial assistance, livelihood, TESDA trainings, firearm remunerations, access to government services, medical assistance, psychological assistance, legal assistance and a lot more. Another one hundred seventy nine (179) of them are still on process to be validated and enrolled to the E-CLIP to receive the same assistance from the government. As more and more communities became aware of the deceptions made by the CPP-NPA- NDF, shifting of mass support to the government was felt. Last march of this year, Brgy Mampi of Lanuza, SDS has declared the CPP-NPA-NDF and its allied organization as persona non grata. Other inner barangays of the province directly affected by the CNT influence followed through to include the areas of ancestral domains of the IP communities. As of this date, a total of 12 barangays, 1 municipality, 2 CADTs, and the province of Surigao del Sur have declared them persona non grata with other areas soon to follow. Through the overwhelming support of the people, many attempted attacks of the CTGs against the government forces has been foiled due to the tipping off of the local populace who is already fed-up with the terrorists decades-long banditry. It can be recalled that a supply cache was seized by the 36IB troopers at Sitio Himat-e, Brgy Cayale, Tago, Surigao del Sur last 02 January 2019 which were left for safekeeping in their trusted contact/supporter in the barangays purposely to ease some loads carried by CNTs when conducting raids/harassments or to avoid pursuing army troops. Another supply cache was captured in a cave through the revelation of a concerned resident of Purok Salikot, Sitio Bato, Brgy Bitaugan, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur last 17 April 2019 which resulted to the capture of dozens of medical supplies and other war materials. Another incident of civilians giving timely information was the successful combat operation against CNTs at Brgy Cancavan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur last May 2019 which resulted to the death of four (4) CPP-NPA terrorist and capture of six (6) high powered firearms, one (1) low powered firearm and other documents with high intelligence value. The Local Government Unit of Carmen lauded the Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion for the successful operation of anti-insurgency campaign against the Communist NPA Terrorist thru passing of a resolution and awarding of certificate of commendation. The military alone was never a solution to end insurgency. Hence, collaboration amongst the different government agencies to include the private sector and the community itself must be realized applying the “whole-of-nation” approach. In line with the operationalization of PRRD’s Executive Order No. 70, the Army’s 36IB participated in the launching of skills, livelihood and enterprise development programs for the locals and former rebels of Sitio Ibuan, Brgy Mampi, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur last 18 July 2019 spearheaded by the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC), Surigao del Sur with TESDA as its lead agency. It aims for the adoption of a peace framework to address the root causes of the insurgency, internal disturbances and tensions and other armed conflict and threats. It also aims to prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development package of the government by facilitating societal inclusivity and ensuring active participation of all sectors of the society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda. In line with AFP’s mandate based on the Executive Order No. 23 making the anti-illegal logging operation as a military operation, the 36IB have enhanced its campaign against illegal logging in partnership with the PNP and DENR in support to the government’s program in the preservation and protection of the environment. As of this date since January 2018, troops of the 36IB have conducted sixteen (16) successful anti-illegal logging operations in the province of Surigao del Sur that resulted to the confiscation of a total 66, 220.48 board feet illegal logs with an estimated market value worth P1, 647,054.80. In his statement, Ltc Xerxes Trinidad PA, Commanding Officer of 36IB, “Now is the time to act and support our government in its peace initiatives towards our common goal of resolving the decades-long insurgency. Let us not be hindered by our individual differences and should work together as one. We are Filipinos known to the world as peace-loving people and resilient to all natural or man-made calamities.” "Nothing is impossible if everyone commits to their mandates and obligations. Your soldiers will remain true to its mandate to serve the people and secure the land. We will do everything in our capabilities, no matter what the cost, just to ensure the safety of our people and the protection of our democracy towards a progressive country," Army official added. "We are calling to the remaining CNTs to surrender now and avail the E-CLIP. Let us make Surigao del Sur a peaceful place that could foster the foundation of an economic growth for a better Philippines," Ltc Trinidad ended.

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PRLEC SDS Launches Skills, Livelihood and Enterprise Development Programs to FRs and Locals - Army

July 19, 2019

A total of one hundred fifty (150) former rebels and residents of Sitio Ibuan participated in the said activity. Various skills and livelihood projects were offered for the formers rebels like the Habal-habal mini-spare parts store and vulcanizing shop, Bigasan ng Bayan and Coco Twine Enterprise and for both FRs and Community were the Spiritual and values training, Abaca Production and Processing, Small Engine Repair and Maintenance, Tilapia Production, Vegetable Production, Duck Rising, HEO (Rigid On-Highway Dump Truck) NC II, Native Chicken Production, Animal Production (swine) NC II and Coco Twine Production. The event is line with the operationalization of President Rodrigo Duterte’s EO 70 that institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation” approach. It aims for the adoption of peace frame work to address the root causes of insurgency, internal disturbances and tensions and other armed conflict and threats. It also aims to prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development package of the government by facilitating societal inclusivity, and ensuring active participation of all sectors of the society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda. Said activity was highlighted with the presence of Hon. Alexander T Pimentel, Provincial Governor, Surigao del Sur, Ashary A Banto, Regional Director, TESDA-CARAGA, Col Cerilo C Balaoro JR INF (GSC) PA, Deputy Commander, 402 nd Bde, 4ID, PA, Rey M Cueva, Provincial Director, TESDA, Lt Col Xerxes A Trinidad INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer, 36IB, the Local Government Unit of Lanuza headed by Hon. Salvacion Azarcon, Municipal Vice Mayor, Various National Government Agencies from the Provincial Police Office (PPO) SDS, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Department of Agriculture (DA), Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAg), National Irrigation 4TH INF DIV 36 VALOR Authority (NIA), National Food Authority (NFA), DENR-PENRO, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Provincial Social Welfare Development (PSWD), Provincial Tourism Office (PTO), Presidential Management Staff (PMS), Phil. Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), Public Information Agency (PIA), and MDRRMO. Last June 26, 2019 a meeting was conducted to the member of Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) SdS at H36IB, Brgy Dayo-an, Tago, Surigao del Sur in preparation of the different line agencies as member of the cluster in connection with the implementation and execution of projects, livelihood trainings for the former rebels and the locals of Sitio Ibuan, Brgy Mampi, Lanuza, Surigao del sur. LT COL XERXES A TRINIDAD PA, Commanding Officer of 36IB in his rationale said “the implementation of EO 70 is now ongoing with the creation of the national task force, and more recently, the establishment of regional and provincial task forces to facilitate not only the delivery of the various government programs for our people, but more importantly, it involves a component that emphasizes the need to educate and empower them against the exploitation and deception of the CPP/ NPA/NDF. For us to be able to do that, a major paradigm shift must be made in the way we do governance. A government that truly cares and protects! That is what our people needs and longs for. Governance that is founded on social justice and guarantees the right of every filipino for equal opportunity and access to their basic needs - regardless of religion, creed or their status in life. A just and humane society that will be enjoyed by all! LTC Trinidad added. Col Cerilo C Balaoro JR INF (GSC) PA, Deputy Commander, 402 nd Bde, 4ID, PA, “I applaud the TESDA led by Rey M Cueva, the 36IB under the leadership of LTC Xerxes A Trinidad and the Province of Surigao del Sur for this is the very first to implement the National Task Force to end the Local Communist Armed Conflict among the 12 clusters it is the 1 st to conduct in the province of Surgao del Sur. The truth is, nothing will happen to the army if the support of the LGUs and its constituents is not present. With the EO 70s whole of Nation Approach we will surely win this war against insurgency through the collaborative efforts of all. The government is already here represented by our very own Governor; this is the start of change for us to continue for peace and development.” Dir. Ashary A Banto in his statement said, “It’s about time to help each other in order to end the local armed conflict in the country side. The whole of the nation approach thru the convergence of the different government agencies and the local government units is not new, it has been used many times in similar forms but why it did not succeed? Because of lack of commitment on both the LGUs, NGAs, and the local populace, and now it’s time to help each other and our presence today serves as a symbol for us to succeed, because if the EO 70 did not succeed the local insurgency problem and rebellion will not end.” Hon. Alexander T Pimentel in his statement said, “The Provincial Local Government Unit of Surigao del Sur has been always a partner of the Philippine Army in the fight against insurgency. Thru the years of existing the CNTs continue on their wrong doings of extorting from households to small businesses that prompted to the shutdown of the company which leaves the workers unemployed. If there are NPAs who wants to surrender, let them surrender and I will help them to start a new life. This is one way that the government is serious in its efforts in ending the insurgency.” Meanwhile, PRLEC member agencies took their oath of full support to the Launching of Skills, Livelihood and Enterprise Development Programs and extend their commitment of support to the needs of the FR’s in terms of putting up a business and availment of facilities and equipment in accordance with their project that suit to their interest and needs.

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"Army, PIA Caraga Opens 3-Day News Writing Training in Butuan City”

July 19, 2019

Twenty-one (21) Army personnel composed of four (4) officers and seventeen (17) enlisted personnel coming from different line units under the 402nd Brigade together with ten (10) PNP personnel from Butuan City Police Office attended the Opening Ceremony and will be participating the 3-day training that runs from July 17 – 19, 2019. The training aims to equip the participants from the Army and PNP units on the basics of news writing and other necessary skills in order to become effective information officers and communicators. Col Cerilo Balaoro Jr, the 402nd Deputy Brigade Commander and Keynote Speaker of the ceremony underscored the significance of the training as the soldiers now need the writing skills for them to become more effective in communicating with various sectors of the society. He embolden all the participants to take advantage of the training and actively participate in order for them to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. "With the advent of technology to influence perception, the TV, Radio, Print and the Social Media has become the most potent medium in the information environment. Hence, we should take the initiative to dominate and become the forerunner on the information superiority specially in our efforts in countering insurgency”, Col Balaoro Jr said. On his part, Col Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander said, "It is essential that we continue to equip and enhance our soldier’s skills not only in combat but in the aspect of news writing and the knowledge to convey the Army’s message effectively and appropriately to its intended audience. This will ensure that our soldiers have the ability to efficiently propagate and amplify the Army’s professionalism in performing their mandate to serve the people and secure the land in line with the Army’s Transformation Roadmap to become a world class Army that is a source of national pride”. Also present during the opening ceremony were Mr Fryan Abkilan, Assistant Regional Director of PIA Caraga and Lt Col Julius Cesar C Paulo, Brigade Executive Officer who highlighted the impact of information environment in today’s generation.

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20 FR's surrender anew, pledge allegiance to the gov't - Army

July 16, 2019

The mass surrender is composed of eight (8) regular members, one (1) couriers, two (2) organizers, one (1) medic, one (1) collector, and seven (7) contact members who withdrew their support from the Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) and voluntarily surrendered to the Community Support Program (CSP) team of Charlie Company under 1Lt Emmanuel Magsanoc of the Army's 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion (36IB) in close collaboration with the Local Government Unit of Carmen. The NPA members and supporters are all residents of Municipality of Carmen, Surigao del Sur. "For the longest time, we thought that the NPA will help us. But, we're just deceived, we were made to believe that supporting the terrorist NPA will improve our lives. Instead, they used us as accessories to their futile armed struggle. We thanked the Army CSP for opening our eyes on the deceptions and lies of the CPP-NPA-NDF organizations," one of the surrendered NPA said. Hon. Jane Plaza, town Mayor of Carmen administered the pledge of allegiance to the government with Ltc Xerxes Trinidad, Commanding Officer, 36IB together with Dir. Adshary Banto, Regional Director (RD), TESDA who after which assisted the distribution of assorted food packs to the twenty former rebels. In her statement, Hon Jane Plaza, stressed that the people of Carmen are already awakened on the deception of NPA. "The pledge of allegiance manifests the peace-loving Carmenanon’s withdrawal of support and rejection of the NPA terrorists from the communities," town chief said. "The growing numbers of surrenders and shift of support of the masses to the government is a manifestation that the government is sincere in its plight to preserve and protect the people against the NPA," Ltc Trinidad said. "We urge remaining CNT members to finally lay down their arms and live a peaceful and normal life together with their loved ones embrace the government and avail the E-CLIP," Ltc Trinidad ended. The 20 FRs will be processed and validated for their enrollment to E-CLIP, a government intervention package for Former Rebels.

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2 More NPA Terrorists Killed in Army's Pursuit Operations in Agusan Sur

July 16, 2019

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur - Two more dead bodies of New People's Army (NPA) terrorists were recovered by the operating troops of 75th Infantry Marauder Battalion (75IB) as pursuit operations continue in Barangay Bunawan Brook, Agusan del Sur, at 10 in the evening, July 14. Following the series of skirmishes between the government troops and the terrorist NPAs in the area which resulted to recoveries of two unidentified cadavers and two high powered firearms, another clash occurred last night at Sitio Katipunan, Barangay Bunawan Brook which resulted to the death of two more NPAs of the Guerilla Front 14 under Arnold Orlanes Conejar, alias Jorlan, and the recovery of one (1) AK 47 rifle, one (1) one M16 rifle, one (1) rifle grenade, one hand-held radio, magazines for AK47 and M16 rifles and personal items of the terrorists. Firefight lasted for about 20 minutes after the pursuing troops tracked down the fleeing terrorists at Sitio Katipunan following the encounters at Sitio Sta Monica on July 13, 2019. Lieutenant Colonel Jaime Datuin, Commanding Officer of 75IB, underscored that the successful pursuit operations conducted by the 75IB was a result of the intensified effort of his unit to dismantle the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 14 (GF14), combined with the night fighting capability and the tactical proficiency of his troops. "We will continue with our security operations in the area, night and day, to finally dismantle this front. We already have the momentum and I will not stop with these significant results. Again, to all the remaining members of GF14, surrender now when you still can, because we will find you," Datuin said. "With these number of casualties and firearms recovered from GF14 in just a week, I can say that we are on the right track in addressing the menace brought by these terrorists in the province. With the decreasing number of NPA terrorists in the brigade’s Area of Responsibility, we can now focus more on supporting the developmental activities of the local government units," according to Colonel Allan Hambala, Commander of 401st Infantry Brigade.   Based on the report, the two dead terrorists were identified as Albert Ramirez Doron, alias Lucas, and Mendiano Mique Lumano alias Bager, both members of GF14. The said cadavers were brought to Dolete Funeral Homes in Trento for proper disposition.

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