caraga region

Army's Peace Advocacy Symposium illuminates change to brighten the people of conflict affected communities in SurNor

November 25, 2019

Placer, Surigao Del Norte - The 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) initiated Peace Advocacy Symposium that enlightened people held in the Municipality of Mainit and Alegria of Surigao del Norte, last November 3-5, 2019. More or less one thousand five hundred (1,500) individuals, mostly parents coming from six (6) conflict-affected barangays namely: San Francisco, Tolingon and Bobonaon of the municipality of Mainit and Camp Edward, Ombong and San Pedro of Alegria, all of Surigao Del Norte, participated in the Peace Symposium, information drive and film showing of the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNT) propaganda, deception and atrocities, and the exploitation by the CNT's legal front organizations, such as the NAMASUN or the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma as Surigao del Norte in their conduct of mass demonstrations and rallies. The activity was initiated by the Alpha "Alakdan" Company, 30IB under the leadership of 1Lt. Jonel G Castillo, Acting Commanding Officer of the said unit. During the activity, former rebels gave their testimonies regarding how they, themselves were deceived by the CNTs. Alyas Nas, a former Political Instructor/Organizer of the NPA discussed the modus operandi of the CNTs giving emphasis on the step-by-step process of communist radicalization on his townfolks in Alegria and neighboring towns. Former rebel alyas Prex also shared his experiences being an insurgent for three years, how he was recruited by the communist group until he decided to surrender. He warned everyone not to commit the mistakes that he did when he joined and got involved in not just the armed atrocities of the CNTs, but also in their conduct of mass actions. "Ayaw mo pag-apil-apil anang mga organisasyon sa NPA kay mangamatay ra mo diha. Daghan ng inyong nakita nga gipangrekrut sa mga barangay, pero kadaghanan nangamatay lamang sa engkwentro sa lasang. Wala moy kaugmaon sulod sa NPA, mao tong hinungdan nga nag surrender ko (Don't join the organization of the NPA, you will just die. You have seen those who were recruited from different barangays, but many of them perished in encounters in the forest. You will never have a good future being an NPA, this the very reason why I surrendered)", he said. 1Lt. Castillo in his message, emphasized the future of the children and appealed to their parents, relatives and guardians to guide and protect them, send their children to school and never allow them to be deceived and exploited by the CNTs. They should never allow their children to waste their time and talents attending CNT activities. "We are closely partnering with your local officials in Mainit and Alegria, with our provincial local government, and the national line agencies to ensure that government services will be rendered to everyone, especially those who are geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), conflict-affected areas (ConAAs), and Conflict-Vulnerable areas (CVA), " he added.

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Army’s CSP team observes National Children's Month celebration; distributes school supplies to kids 

November 25, 2019

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – The Community Support Program (CSP) team of the 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army took part in the celebration of National Children's Month as they distributed school and office supplies and conducted supplemental feeding to the day care learners of Barangay Mahayahay, San Luis Agusan del Sur, on November 22, 2019. A total of 40 preschoolers benefitted from the supplemental feeding and received school supplies donated by Provincial Social Welfare Development (PSWD), Agusan del Sur. Said activity was made possible thru the help of Rachel Montemor, PSWD officer in collaboration with 1Lt Percival J. Carido, the civil military operation (CMO) officer of 26th IB as part of the 27th National Children's Month, with the theme "Karapatan Pambata: Patuloy na Pahalagahan at Gampanan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan." “As we celebrate the special month for our young generation, this activity form part of our commitment to impart community service and other efforts to win the people’s trust and support. We have to instill in the minds of the children that our personnel is here to help”, 1Lt Carido said in a statement. The soldiers distributed 80 pad papers, 40 pcs notebooks, 30 boxes of crayons, 10 pcs scissors, 7 boxes of pencils, 5 boxes of play dough, 2 boxes sharpeners and other office and teaching materials. Touched by the said distribution, Mrs. Arcita T. Cervantes, one of the day care teachers, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the CSP team. She further said that she didn’t expect that her request to the troops regarding the school materials will be granted. “Thank you very much Philippine Army and other involved personalities for making this activity possible. This only proves that our soldiers are not only trained for war, but also for social and charity works”, Cervantes said. In a statement, the commanding officer of 26th IB, Lt Col Romeo C. Jimenea said, “This simple gift giving activity initiated by our CSP with the help of PSWD Agusan del Sur is a proof that EO 70 is very effective contrary to allegations of the leftist groups that EO 70 is a junk and that our troops are abusive and troublemakers,” Lt Col Jimenea said. “We are glad to see smiles painted on the faces of these young children. As part of the government, it is our joy that we bring a glimpse of hope and happiness to them”, he added. “We will continue to collaborate with other agencies and other stakeholders to support EO 70 most especially in providing these young individuals a safe and comfortable place for learning”, Lt Col Jimenea ended.  

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Army participates in the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill in Surigao Sur

November 25, 2019

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur – The 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion participated in the 4th Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) held in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur on November 14, 2019. The NSED initiated by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bislig headed by Engr Rumulo C Garay, City Administrator; Mr. Jessril A Oval, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer; team evaluator headed by Ms. Liza Maso, Chairperson, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) and Regional Director, Office of the Civil Defense and participated in by all concerned residents of Poblacion; LGU Officials and employees; Bislig City National High School Teachers and Students; BFP personnel; Bislig City 911 Rescue; 75IB Marauder troopers and other stakeholders.  The NSED intends to test the capabilities of institutions, and the public during and after quake. It is necessary that people, students, and children are knowledgeable and at the same time will be guided with the proper scheme on how to be safe during actual event.  Ms. Liza Maso, Chairperson, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) and Regional Director, Office of the Civil Defense, took her part in sharing what to do during and after quake. She also expressed her gratitude for the cooperation of everyone involved in the said activity. “Readiness and awareness are imperative in dealing with any disaster. We must all know how and what to do if it happens, for us to ensure our safety,” Ms. Maso said.  Furthermore, Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB has been in full support to every activity which the LGU Bislig is conducting. “We have learned through education and participation. In this kind of activity, applying it properly in real scenarios can help reduce casualties and even keep ourselves safe and can protect others during disaster,” Lt. Col. Munda said.  

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Rotary Club AgSur joins the nation's approach to end insurgency

November 22, 2019

Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur – The Rotary Club chapter in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur under its president, Jonathan A. Baňas, represented by Ms. Norma Salon, joined the nation’s quest towards ending insurgency by pledging the support for the upcoming gift-giving activities of the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) to the communist conflict-affected Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) communities in Agusan and Surigao Sur Thursday (November 21) at Barangay 5, San Francisco, ADS. “The Rotary’s purpose to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world fits our Whole-Of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to attain sustainable peace. It is the reason why we chose to seek their support. We know they will never say “NO” if we talk about goodwill and peace, “Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of 3SFBn, said. “We express our sincerest gratitude to the Rotarians for their commitment to Peace. Your purpose and deeds are worth emulating,” LTC Baybayan ended. The Rotary Club donated 2 boxes of ballpens, 10 dozens of notebooks, 1 box of crayons, and 6 dozens of pencils to aid the IP beneficiaries in their educational needs as they put premium to education as a way to equip them to become resilient enough to protect themselves against the deceptive propaganda and recruitment strategies of the Communist NPA Terrorists. Last October, the 3SFBn cited that public-private partnership can greatly impact the whole-of-nation approach to end local conflicts by addressing the basic issues through convergence in corporate social responsibility during their partnership with Solaire Resorts to aid CARAGA hospitals.        

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Higaonon Tribe in Mindanao denounce CPP-NPA and its allied organizations

November 20, 2019

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur- A total of 349 Indigenous People (IP) leaders and members of Higaonon Tribe from different provinces of Mindanao have expressed their support to Executive Order #70 and subsequently declared the CPP-NPA and its allied organizations as Persona non Grata during the conduct of Dumalungdong Festival held in Sitio Mahayonhayon, Barangay Guibonon, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur last November 15, 2019.  The declaration was empowered thru Resolution Nr. 1 initiated and unanimously approved by the tribal leaders during the conduct of the said activity. This was spearheaded by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and at the same time the Municipal Tribal Chieftain of Higaonon Tribe, Nilo Manpatilan a.k.a Datu Saulogan and witnessed by 1Lt Don Johnet Dominguez, the Company Commander of Charlie Company stationed in Poblacion Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.  Likewise, the said event was initiated by the barangay Tribal Chieftain Edu Casugudan a.k.a Datu Pukawan which was attended by the different Higaonon tribal groups coming from the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.  The resolution stated that the Higaonon Tribe has intensified its support and commitment to the current campaign of the government to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) for just and lasting peace. It further stated that due to the presence of CPP-NPA, the Higaonon populace abandoned their homes because of fear which affected their normal daily lives and earnings. “Gikan karong adlawa, kitang mga tribung Higaonon nga gilangkuban sa upat (4) ka probinsya, maningkamot nga mapatuman ang kalinaw ug kahusay aron ang atong tribu hingpit na nga makabalik sa tagsa-tagsa ka mga yutang kabilin aron atong matikad ug mapalig-on ang atong pagpuyo nga walay manghasi kanato”, Datu Pukawan said.  Meanwhile, 1Lt Don Johnet Dominguez applauded the action of the leaders of the Higaonon tribe in denouncing the CPP-NPA, “Bilang kinatawan ng Philippine Army at ng 26th IB, kami ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa inyong kooperasyon at aksyon bilang pagsuporta sa mandato ng ating mahal na Presidente, Rodrigo Roa Duterte sa pagtapos sa limang dekada na pang-aapi ng mga kumonistang NPA sa ating mga kababayang katutubo. Makakaasa kayo na kami sa Philippine Army ay patuloy na susuporta at poprotektahan kayo laban sa mga organisadong grupo ng CPPNPA na gumugulo sa inyong pang araw-araw na buhay”, 1Lt Dominguez said during his message. Relatively, in a statement, the Commanding Officer of 26th Infantry Battalion commended the said action of the Higaonon tribe and further stated, “This action only proves that our fellow IPs are already tired of all the atrocities of this leftist armed group. For this, I am calling the attention of the different tribal groups here in Mindanao that it is now the time for us to unite and end the insurgency”, Lt Col Jimenea stated. “As mandated to us by our duty, we will assure that we will truly stand and do whatever we can for the welfare and development of our fellow IPs.  With the support of the tribal leaders and all stakeholders, through the implementation of Executive Order No. 70, it is possible for all of us to attain just and lasting peace for sustainable development”, Lt Col Jimenea added.

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Young NPA bomb maker surrenders; reveals arms cache in AgSur

November 20, 2019

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – An NPA combatant who surrendered to the troops of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion has revealed the location of three (3 high-powered firearms cache in the hinter area of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur on November 08, 2019 at around 11:30 in the morning. A certain alias Marco (not his true name), a former member of Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda (SYP) 21C, Guerilla Front (GF) 21, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), under the leadership of @ MACOY (True Name: Anthony Sagdon Dagium) revealed that they have high powered firearms buried in the hinter area of Brgy Padiay, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. He also disclosed significant information which pointed to the exact location of the firearms to include several war materials and assorted personal belongings. Immediately, the troops of 23rd Infantry Battalion, under the operational control of 402nd Bde, led by LTC FRANCISCO L MOLINA JR, Commanding Officer, 23IB organized a team to validate the information where the firearms are purportedly hidden. Upon reaching the area, the troops recovered three (3) M14 rifles (serviceable), thirty-five (35) meters electrical wire, two (2) blasting caps with detonating cord, one (1) pair Handguard for M16, one (1) pair AR 18 Handguard and one (1) improvised anti-personal mine which was still planted inside CPP-NPA hideout. Alias Marco was used as a courier by the CPP-NPA as young as 14 years old. He became fulltime NPA combatant at the age of 16. He was also taught how to plant and disposed landmines.  Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco L Molina Jr, Commanding Officer, 23IB lauded the Former Rebels (FRs) for helping the unit in maintaining peace and order situation in the AO. “With the help of the FRs, we located the NPA arms cache and recovered war materiel which they can possibly be used in conducting atrocities anytime. Likewise, we save another young victim of the CPP-NPA whom they have indoctrinated with destructive ideology. We also encourage the parents and the elders to take care of their children so that they will not become prey to the hands of the CPPNPA terrorists.”-Molina ended.  

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