caraga region

Notorius NPA leader killed in military opps in Comval

November 28, 2019

ASUNCION, DDN – Receiving tips from local officials on the whereabouts of a notorious NPA leader in Laak town, Compostela Valley Province, the combined troops of the 60th Infantry Battalion and the 25th Infantry Battalion of the 1001st Infantry Brigade together with the Laak Municipal Police successfully neutralized Marjun Taba aka “Hiker” in a joint law enforcement operation launched early morning onA Wednesday.   Per the military, certain local government officials from Tagum City and Laak have been in coordination with them and the police to bring Taba to the folds of the law for the last couple of months. The military says that Taba, however, adamantly refused and neglected negotiations for his surrender.  “We really wanted him to surrender. [And] I believe we have exhausted all means and options to get to that end because we know that there is more to gain if he surrenders as opposed to his dying like this in the field,” Lt. Col. Gilbert Ombos, Commander of the 60th Infantry Battalion, said. Ombos further says that they have even asked for the help of ComVal Guv Jayvee Tyron Uy, Loreto (Agusan Sur) Mayor Lorife Otaza, and Taba’s family to facilitate the latter’s surrender, but to no avail. Notwithstanding, the local government and his family’s pleas, Taba and his NPA cohorts continued to terrorize communities in the boundaries of Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, and Davao del Norte. Following several leads and eventually pinpointing his location, the joint law enforcement operation to capture Taba was launched early Wednesday morning in Brgy. Kapatagan, Laak leading to a five-minute firefight with at least five armed men and the eventual killing of Taba. The police says the four (4) others were able to run away, although blood stains were discovered in their escape route. Recovered from the encounter site is Taba’s cadaver along side his cal .45 pistol and two (2) anti-personnel improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Taba, or more known by his alias “Hiker”, is first Deputy Secretary of the CPP-NPA’s Sub-regional Committee 4, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) while also sitting as plenary member of the SMRC. He has six (6) standing warrants of arrest for the crimes of murder, attempted murder, rebellion, serious illegal detention, double murder, and double frustrated murder. In a statement, Colonel John Oberio, 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, reiterated the government’s call for leaders and members of the CPP-NPA to surrender “sooner rather than later.” “Everyone knows of the President’s marching orders to end the local communist armed conflict as soon and as quickly as possible. This is why the government has stepped up on its campaign to bring the CPP-NPA to its knees. On our end, we would like to reassure everybody that we are doing all that we can to draw this insurgency’s end to a peaceful, bloodless closure. But we cannot promise such peace to those who insist to terrorize our people. Thus, again, we would like to appeal to those still taking part in the CPP-NPA’s terrorism to surrender now and avert suffering such an undignified end,” Colonel Oberio added. Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government XI has just concluded its 3-day “Regional Campaign on Strengthening Reintegration Efforts for Former Rebels and their Immediate Family Members through Convergence and Unified Efforts” held at Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City on November 25 to 27, 2019. The activity was attended by various national government agencies, local government representatives, AFP and PNP counterparts, and selected civil-society partners. #

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402nd Brigade Supports Press Freedom Week; Donates Blood to Save Lives in Butuan City

November 27, 2019

Bancasi, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade in collaboration with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the City of Butuan participated in the Blood Letting Activity in support to the Press Freedom Week 2019 with a theme “Press Freedom in a City Ascending” held yesterday, November 23, 2019 at Robinsons Place, Butuan City. Personnel from 402nd Brigade and its operationally controlled units, the 23IB and 29IB, donated blood to save lives in furtherance and in support to the Press Freedom Week. A total of fourteen (14) personnel donated during the said blood letting activity.  Ms Nelsa Auron, City Information Officer and at the same time the KBP President of Butuan City reflected on how the activity will be celebrating press freedom as agencies and media practitioners have different platforms, processes and approaches. She added that the gathering defects their the role in the society pursuing truth and justice. Meanwhile, Mr Alger Boter, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Administrator of Butuan City expressed his gratefulness to the active partnership with the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas (KBP) in Butuan City and having a common goal of serving the public thru blood donation.  In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, “as our partner for peace and development, we always commit to support Press Freedom because we respect the freedom of speech and freedom of the press enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. Hence, this blood letting activity is our way of telling them that the Army has treated the media with utmost importance and a vital piece in our campaign to defeat the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) as the insurgency problem now is not only confined in armed confrontations but also in the battle of perception and narratives”. “We thank the KBP for always considering your Army as partner in seeking and promoting truth and justice for all the Caraganons. Rest assured that in line with the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law and the enshrined freedom under Article 3, Section 4 in the 1987 Constitution, press freedom shall not be abridged nor curtailed. We enjoin all the media in Caraga for restraint in accepting invitations and interviews from the CPP-NPA who was declared as a terrorist organization by the national government because it only gives them the impetus and venue to voice their propaganda narrative. Instead continue to unite and stand with us against them to make our country a peaceful and developed place to live in”, Brigadier General Licudine added.

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Soldiers recover firearms in a clash with communist NPA in AgSur

November 27, 2019

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – Troops of 26th Infantry “Ever Onward” Battalion and a number of Terrorist New People’s Army clashed in an unpopulated and forested area along So. Kapagangan, Brgy Weguam, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, Monday afternoon, November 25, 2019. According to Lieutenant Colonel Romeo C. Jimenea, Commanding Officer of 26IB, an armed group believed to be members of NPA was seen roaming near the forested area of So. Kapagangan as reported by a concerned citizen in the area. “Our troops immediately conducted a strike operation in the area to confirm the said information and subsequently an encounter occured”, Lt Col Jimenea said. The said encounter lasted for five (5) minutes which resulted to the recovery of one (1) AR18 assault rifle with serial number 9075757 loaded with a magazine containing fourteen (14) rounds of ammunitions, one (1) KG9 pistol with serial number 62834947 loaded with a magazine containing five (5) rounds of ammunitions, one (1) hand grenade and one (1) back pack with personal belongings and subversive documents after which the enemies withdrew to the direction of So. San Jose of Barangay Weguam. Meanwhile, no casualties inflicted on the government troops while undetermined number of enemies were wounded based on the bloodstains discovered in the encounter site. According to the intelligence report, the encountered Communist Terrorists are members of Sub Regional Committee (SRC) Southland of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) New People’s Army (NPA), conducting recruitment and atrocities in the area. “I am very glad that the local populace in the said community are very much active and cooperative in our fight against these terrorists NPA. This only manifest that our campaign thru EO 70 in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict are heartedly understood and accepted by the people”, Lt Col Jimenea added. "We will continue to pursue these terrorists NPA at any cost. With the help of the people in the countryside who are tired of their atrocities, we will hit those NPAs again. However, I plea to the remaining members of the NPA to lay down your arms, surrender to the government, return to your families alive and enjoy the benefits of ECLIP. Do not wait that you will be brought back to your families lifeless”. Lt Col Jimenea ended.

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595 PNP personnel in Caraga get promotion

November 26, 2019

Camp Col Rafael Rodriguez, Butuan City - Police Brigadier General Joselito T Esquivel Jr, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 13 Caraga spearheaded the Oath Taking Ceremony and Donning of ranks of 595 PNP held at PRO13 Grandstand Camp Col Rafael Rodriguez, Butuan City today, November 25. Of the 595 promoted personnel, 21 were Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and 574 were Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs) assigned to different police units of Caraga. PBGen Esquivel congratulated the promotees and emphasized that their promotion does not only imply more authority; but greater responsibility that needs more responsive career development to adequately meet the demands of higher positions appropriate to their new ranks. The promotion was a result of the merit system to give recognition to the PNP uniformed personnel and uplift the morale of the police force. “Our promotion comes from God and we are answerable to Him for the services we give to the public. I am looking forward also that you will become good role models of competence, discipline, excellence and professionalism in the police force,” RD Esquivel added.  

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30th Infantry Battalion join bloodletting to save lives in SurNor

November 25, 2019

PLACER, Surigao del Norte – Personnel of 30th Infantry (Python) Battalion participated in the Bloodletting activity with the theme "Dugong Alay, Dugtong Buhay" at San Pedro Calungsod Parish Hall, Sta Cruz, Placer, Surigao del Norte on November 23, 2019, Saturday.  The Bloodletting activity was conducted by Mr. Joaquin P Ormega, Parish Youth Ministry Coordinator in collaboration with the Placer Rural Health Unit headed by Ms. Mary Joy S Barcos, Midwife III, OIC and the Caraga Regional Hospital Blood Bank. Python troopers headed by Lt. Col Jeffrey A Villarosa, Commanding Officer 30IB donated 14 bags equivalent to 6,300cc of blood in the said activity.  Mr. Joaquin P Ormega expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the different agencies who voluntarily donated their blood to save lives. “This is a big help to our people who need it; it’s our second time to conduct this activity and we are hoping that this will be done yearly as to ensure the adequate supply of blood that will cater people in need”, he said.  In a statement, Lt. Col Villarosa said, “Through this activity, the unit showed its love and care not just to the people of Placer and the whole of Surigao del Norte, it most importantly shows that the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will always be a reliable force that will readily render its humble service to the Filipino people." “I commend the other donors. Let us continue to volunteer our precious bloods, let us continue to save lives”, Villarosa ended.

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Mamanwa Tribal Leaders Condemn NPA attacks on civilians in SurNor

November 25, 2019

Placer, Surigao del Norte - The tribal leaders of SurNor condemned the New People's Army for violating the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the assassination of Roy Olmo Biyog, 23 years old, a resident of Camp Edward, Alegria, Surigao del Norte at the hinterland of Kabanikagan, Barangay Hinimbangan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. Said incident happened at about 6:00pm of November 18, 2019.  Based on the interview, the senseless killing was perpetrated by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) known as the Sandataang Yunit Pampropaganda(SYP) C1 of Guerilla Front(GF) 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee(NEMRC) led by Roel Tremidal Neniel alyas Jacob.  During the press conference, Datu Mario Labao, tribal leader of Barangay Budlingin and Bae Arlinda Soriaco, tribal leader of Barangay Camp Edward of Alegria, condemned the attack perpetrated by the CNTs. Both tribal leaders were very emotional as they pleaded that as civilians, they should not be involved in the armed conflict. They further added that the victim was in the mountains, their ancestral domain, to hunt for food to feed his wife and two young kids.  In an Interview, Bae Suriaco said, "Unsay rason nganung yanuhon ra nila pagpatay ang mga inosenteng tawo sama kanamo?" (What is their reason for casually killing an innocent person such as us, tribes people?).  Under Common Art 3 of the 1949 Conventions of IHL, civilians who do not take part in combat operations shall be respected and protected. They are not to be attacked, killed, wounded, or detained. But the NPA disrespected the IHL. In a statement, Lt. Col. Jeffrey A Villarosa, commander of the 30th Infantry Battalion said, "We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Roy Biyog, especially to his wife who is two months pregnant and their 2 kids. We strongly condemn the CNTs for the barbaric act of murder on a helpless civilian. Roy suffered a fatal gun shot wound on his head. When his family recovered his body on Tuesday, they found his limp body in a shallow grave. His limbs and legs fractured or broken.  He also suffered beating marks and nine gunshot wound on his back. This is again is a clear violation of our Llaws, of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), a clear disrespect of Human Rights. Roy Biyog is a civilian and never had any participation in the armed conflict. Roy does not deserve this kind of death." "We must also remember that a month ago, the same NPA unit of GF-16C, torched and staffed civilian construction equipment at barangay Campo, Bacuag, SDN. Said equipment were never involved or used in armed conflict. Said equipment are not military targets. They were instead used for road widening, a project that will immensely contribute to the well-being of Surigaonons and commuters from all over the region. These barbaric acts of the CNTs are clear proof that they are indeed terrorists", Lt. Col. Villarosa ended. 

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