caraga region

Two Female NPA Minors Surrender to Army

November 20, 2019

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Another two female members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who are minors, voluntarily surrendered to the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) in the months of September to October 2019.  The two surrenderees were identified as alias "Gethel" (Political Guide), 17 years old and alias "Christine" (Medic), 17 years old. They were recruited by alias "Ron-ron", a member of Sub-Regional Command (SRC) 3, SAGAY, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) thru black propaganda regarding the present situation of the country. They were deceived and promised to be given a brighter future including their families once they join in their group. Prior the recruitment, these two surrenderees were studying, but they were not able to finish their studies because of the exploitation, deception and manipulation of the NPAs. They were not clearly informed that they will be joining the armed movement. Contradictory to their promises, they only suffered from loneliness, exhaustion and starvation until they find an opportunity to escape from the said group. Meanwhile, alias "Gethel" expressed her resentment against the CNTs. “I was a student by the time I was recruited by the CNTs. Due to the hardship and hunger I experienced inside the movement, I decided to go back to the folds of the law. I am also afraid to lose my dreams, future and precious life because of the continuous military operation. At first, I was afraid because our leader told us that there’s a big possibility that the military will torture and kill me upon knowing that I am an NPA member, but I stand firm with my decision. I am so glad that the soldiers of 23IB never fail to help me and they assisted me to start a new life," she bared. Moreover, alias "Christine" also revealed the struggle she encountered inside the armed movement. “I didn’t know that I am going to be a member of CPP-NPA. My parents also do not know that I became a member of the NPA. We were not allowed to visit our parents, and even to contact them is strictly prohibited. Later, I knew that my family received death threat telling them that once they will report to the authorities regarding my situation, they will be killed. They were also forced to leave our home and stay away from our Barangay," she recalled. Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Molina Jr, commanding officer of 23IB continuously reminds the youth to be vigilant to the alarming NPA recruitment. "Some of the Leaders of the NPAs have already surrendered to the folds of the law, but it was so alarming that even the female youths are also fighting against the government troops just like what happened to "Gethel" and "Christine".  They were recruiting the young ones to be victims of their false ideology and these innocent youths will be suffering their entire life being enslaved by the CNT leaders. The recruitment of the youth is a big violation to the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children against Abuse Exploitation and Discrimination Act)," he said. LTC Molina further reminded the youths to become active peace advocates towards a brighter future. "Be vigilant! Do not fall victim to their trap," he said.

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Army, DepEd and GMA Foundation join forces for a benevolent cause

November 20, 2019

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur- The 26th Infantry “Ever Onward” Battalion together with the GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. conducted a two day gift-giving activity with the theme “Give a Gift, Alay sa Batang Pinoy”. It was spearheaded by Ms. Cristy Betonio, Agusan del Sur coordinator of GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) Agusan del Sur on November 12-13, 2019. The gift-giving activity of the foundation targeted students from nursery to grade 6 of Del Monte Elementary School and Talacogon Central School, both from the municipality of Talacogon. Also included were the Lapaz Central School and Doña Adela Elementary School, both from the municipality of Lapaz. Each gift bag consisted of food items such as canned goods, pansit bihon, biscuits and jelly aces. Toys were also included such as jumping ropes and inflatable balls. An estimated of 2,320 students benefited from the said activity. GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. is a socio-civic organization founded by GMA Network Inc. to facilitate social and outreach programs to the public. Since 1991, the foundation has been touching the lives of communities everywhere. Its projects help uplift and bring happiness to the countless beneficiaries. According to Ms. Betonio, the foundation’s gift giving activity is their way of creating an impact to the community in order for the people to support the government's programs in  enforcing and sustaining peace and development and at the same time to draw a smile in every faces especially the children. She also expressed her gratitude to the Philippine Army for the undying support on their charity programs. “Thank you very much to the Philippine Army especially 26th IB, for always giving their time in providing security assistance and support everytime we conduct initiated activities such as this. Rest assured that our foundation will continue to provide charity programs especially to far flung and conflict affected areas in order for the people to feel that they are not forgotten”, Ms. Betonio said. Likewise, the Commanding Officer of 26th IB, Lt Col Romeo C. Jimenea commended and expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the foundation in collaboration with the DepEd for the successful conduct of the gift giving activity. “I am very grateful that there is a foundation like this that is committed in uplifting and empowering the lives of every Filipinos especially the less fortunate. This will surely contribute to the sustainment of peace through the efforts of different stakeholders in the province of Agusan del Sur”, Lt Col Jimenea said.

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Surigao, Agusan Sur Youth, Red Cross, Army aid quake-hit Cotabato

November 18, 2019

Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur--- The Youth for Peace movement’s Propelling Our Inherited Nation through our Youth (POINTY) organization, Sangguniang Kabataan Federations in Agusan and Surigao del Sur, and the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) aid the Cotabato earthquake victims by donating relief goods delivered yesterday by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Agusan del Sur Chapter at Makilala and Kidapawapan City. “The greater role of the Youth in nation-building involves positive activism and peace-building and answering the call to help those in need through genuine and relevant social responsibility. This is a far better way than militancy, vandalism, street demonstrations and fault finding, “Roberto Laurente, Jr., Division-wide POINTY President, said. The youth volunteers were graduates of the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), a youth training program sanctioned by the government aimed at enhancing their leadership skills, good citizenship and patriotism, cooperation and participation to peace-building activities. YLS also provides the youth a balanced perspective towards approaching social issues affecting the society and equips them to think critically to get rid of radicalized youth groups which could poison their minds.  Involved were POINTY and SK Federation organizations from Carrascal, Tandag, Tago, Bayabas, Marihatag San Agustin, in Surigao and Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur along with other volunteers from the Local Government Units and residents from the said provinces. Lieutenant Colonel Joey B. Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer expressed his great admiration to the youth volunteers, sponsors and to PNRC Agusan Chapter administrator, Darwina Ligan. “This is the kind of youth we need today, those who are in towards peace and nation-building and those who can be part to the country’s solution towards the many issues we face, rather than those who cause rebellion, divisiveness and destruction,” LTC Baybayan, said. “We also thank the LGUs, the Philippine Red Cross, benefactors and other volunteers for providing the goods and taking care of the delivery to our affected brothers and sisters in Cotabato. May the Good Lord bless you all, “LTC Baybayan, ended.

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Farmers point location of anti-personnel mine in Agsur

November 17, 2019

Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur--- Concerned civilians, mostly farmers, reported to the 8th Special Forces “Dragoons” Company (8SFC), 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn), a Claymore-type improvised explosive device (IED) emplaced by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in their farmlands at Purok 7, barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur yesterday. The Mabuhay CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Force Geographical Unit) Patrol Base under the 8SFC immediately composed a team to disable, recover and dispose the IED to prevent any damages from both the civilians and government troops. The Municipality of Prosperidad, Mabuhay Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the farmers strongly condemned the terroristic act of the CNTs citing that they (NPAs) are the reason why there is a decrease of farm production in some of their areas.   “The NPAs are the reason why most of the farmers don’t attend to their farmlands anymore. We are worried because we might become victims if the IEDs explode anytime. The NPA terrorists severely disturb our farming activities because aside from planting IEDs they always ask for their share during harvests even if they did not work hard for it. The farmers get less than what they deserve, “said Jun (true name undisclosed).   The NPA terrorists and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are declared by the Philippine government as terrorist organizations in 2017 and declared by the U.S. State Department, European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy as a foreign terrorist group.   Meanwhile, the 3SFBn under the 401st Infantry “Unite and Fight” Brigade (401BDE) lauded the efforts of the citizens who acted promptly to prevent further damage to any potential targets of opportunities of the CNTs.   Colonel Allan D. Hambala INF (MNSA) PA, 401BDE Commander, said that this is the positive effect of the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. “The peoples’ support greatly hurts these terrorists because they have nowhere to run. This is the reason why they try so hard to discredit the EO 70, military’s presence and the construction of Patrol Bases in the conflict-affected communities. The masses, whom they can terrorize before, already found their genuine ally towards ending the NPAs’ atrocities through the Task Forces to end communist insurgency,” Colonel Hambala, ended.    

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Youth for Peace movement intensified in Agusan, Surigao Sur

November 15, 2019

Marihatag, Surigao del Sur –In a span of a month, an increasing number of youth participants joined the campaign to end local communist armed conflict to become advocates of positive activism through the Youth Leadership Summits (YLS) held at Bayugan City and Prosperidad Agusan del Sur and at Surigao del Sur municipalities of Marihatag, Bayabas. The most recent is the 3rd Tago YLS that culminated last Sunday in the Municipality of Tago. In October alone, around 500 youths graduated from YLS. YLS is  a three-day, live-in inter-agency activity organized by the LGUs, the Army  and the national line agencies aimed at providing an avenue for the youth to enhance their leadership skills, good citizenship and patriotism, cooperation and participation through various peace-building activities. It is a tool to providing the youth a balanced perspective towards approaching social issues affecting the society and equips them to think critically and get rid of radicalized youth groups which could poison their minds.  Joma Sison’s Philippine Society and Revolution emphasized that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) must recruit the youth to ensure the continuous flow of successors in the revolutionary movement and that communist revolution cannot be advanced without the participation of young revolutionary intellectuals. This is the rationale why militant youth groups invest so much on youth recruitment. Youth radicalization leading to rebellion is their mantra. YLS exemplifies a Whole-of-Nation approach to end the deceptive recruitment strategies of the CNTs. The nationwide outbursts of parents whose children became victims of the recruitment of Kabataan Partylist, Anakpawis and other alleged CPP affiliated militant youth groups exposed the alleged links to the NPAs. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino Nation calls on the CPP/NPA/NDF to have a bit of remorse and conscience to end the communist armed conflict and stop deceiving the youth. “Communist Insurgency must end. We cannot afford to pass it on the next generations,” the President said.  

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ROTC students visit Army camp

November 8, 2019

TAGO, Surigao del Sur, Oct 29 (36IB) – The Philippine Air Force ROTC students of Saint Theresa College, Tandag City, visited the army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion camp in Barangay Dayoan, Tago town, this province, as part of their educational tour.  The said activity formed part of the house training of Cadet Officer Qualifying Course (COQC) Class 2019 with thirty-nine (39) aspiring ROTC Cadets/Cadette, purposely to enhance the student’s basic knowledge and awareness about the AFP units and organization.  The unit provided a static display of squad organization, orientation/actual on how to assemble/dis-assemble the armaments and with astonishing scenario/drama which made them knowledgeable in responding to every situation.  The activity continued with a lecture regarding Security Awareness for the ROTC to be aware of the deceptive and propaganda tactics of the CPP-NPA-NDF particularly on youth and campus infiltration. The students were very interactive during the lecture as they were able to share their thoughts and express distinctive ideas as well. Hence, as young aspirants, they are encouraged to pursue and be of one of the catalysts towards welfare for the next generations.  One of the aspiring PAF ROTC Cadets/Cadette said “ It’s a great opportunity that we are blessed to experience this activity and we are fortunate that we are taught by 36IB on the deceptive recruitment of CNTs," TSg Lakibul PAF, MTI Personnel added “on behalf of School we are thankful to the 36IB for their sincere welcome to us that made this activity possible not only today but in the future, and that they are always willing to impart their knowledge.”  Ltc Jezreel Diagmel, Acting Commanding Officer of 36IB also delivered his inspirational piece to the Cadets/Cadette by encouraging them to develop their knowledge.  “We the 36IB, as your ARMY in this Province, we will continue the advocacy to protect, help and support the activity of every ROTC in School. The youth is one of the fundamental keys to stop insurgency”. Ltc Diagmel added.   The said activity ended with great motivations and inspirational messages to lead the aspiring PAF ROTC for their benefits, carrying the readiness and full of hope. (J. Romorosa, CMO, 36IB) ###  

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