caraga region

Young NPA rebel surrenders; reveals CSP’s effect to IP communities

November 6, 2019

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan Del Sur – “They (NPAs) are afraid to lose their mass base and popular support”. This is the reason why NPA front militant organizations exert great effort to demand the withdrawal of Community Support teams (CSTs) in the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Communities said alias Reagan in an interview today in 7th Special Forces ”Spartans” Company headquarters, Mararag, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur (SDS). Alias Regan, 22 years old, resident of San Miguel, SDS, is a team leader of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP)-Lumad  of WGF19A, NEMRC surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion last October 15 bringing One M16A1 rifle with 40 mm M203 grenade launcher attached and assorted war materiel. “CSP’sinformation drives about NPA deceptive tactics enlightened me. I regretted my decision to join them because I realized I wasted my time,” Regan said.  “As a propagandist of SYP-Lumad for 4 years, I was in charge of convincing IPs to join the communist armed struggle by agitating them using the existing issues affecting the tribe. I tell them that the only way to resolve IP issues is through armed rebellion because that’s what they injected in my mind,” he added. Regan said that the militant group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) and Bayan Muna party list continuously discredit the Whole-of-Nation approach to  end local communist armed conflict and the CSTs in the IP community of Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon in Lianga because Andap Valley is a strategic ground for Communist NPA terrorists. “Without the support of the masses, their (CPP/NPA) political and armed struggle will not succeed. They pretend to help the poor but the truth is they do not want the issues to be resolved by. They hamper the development of IP communities so that they will have reasons to blame the government, agitate the masses to cause endless conflict,” he said. “The Community Support Program really hurts the NPAs because it slows down their recruitment process and cut of their supplies. That is the reason why they desperately accuse the military of abuses even when there is none,” he ended.

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Captured NPA rebel in Agusan Norte recruited as minor

November 6, 2019

Bancasi, Butuan City – “I was recruited as a Minor”, revealed by the wounded CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) who was treated and rescued by the Army soldiers after an encounter between the troops of the 29th Infantry Battalion under the 402nd Infantry Brigade and CNTs members of Sentro De Gravidad (SDG) 16, Guerilla Front (GF) 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) on November 2, 2019 around 10 o’clock in the morning at the hinterlands of Barangay San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.  The fifteen (15) minute firefight yielded two (2) firearms and various war materials and resulted to the killing of one (1) NPA and the capture of alias Kent, 19 years of age from Negros Oriental. He revealed that he was recruited as a minor by the CNT and deceived through false hope and bigger income by the CNTs. “17 pako atong marekrut ko isip myembro sa NPA. Apan bag-o pako nisampa, pipila na ka beses nga ila kong duaw-duawon aron makatambong sa mga pagtulun-an. Pobre lagi ta og nangandoy makasapi, misugot nalang ko nga moapil kay ilaha man kuno ko sweldohan og kana mag gikan sa mga minahan,” alias Kent said. Also, alias Kent disclosed that the CNTs are targeting the youth for recruitment because they are idealistic, adventurous and can be easily swayed and agitated by issues against the government. The CNTs recruitment of minors clearly is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Col Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Brigade said, “Kent is another addition to the proof that the CNTs recruit minors and have blatantly disregarded the International Humanitarian Law. While parents are working very hard to send their children to schools and raise them well, the CNTs take them away and make them as revolutionary fighters arming them with hatred against the government”.  “We deplore this unending IHL violations of the CNTs using children to advance their lost cause. CNTs must stop using the youth as they belong to schools and not in the company of armed terrorists. I call on to all Caraganons particularly the parents to monitor your children. Do not allow them to be recruited. Let’s join hands and together we can prevent our youth from wasting their lives”, Col Licudine added.  

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Army clash with NPA terrorists in Agusan del Sur

November 6, 2019

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur- Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr, Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – Operating troops of 75IB encountered undetermined number of CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) believed to be members of Platoon 1, Weakened Guerilla Front 14, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (WGF14, NEMRC) under Arnold Orlanes Y Conejar @ JORLAN at Barangay Sta Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur yesterday, November 3, 2019 at 3:14 in the afternoon. This is a proof that the people of Rosario are sincere to end the insurgency in their community wherein numerous tips were feed and received by the 75IB regarding the presence of the armed group roaming around conducting extortion activity to the poor farmers and other constituent at said locality and forcing them to join and support their worthless ideology. There are reports that the CNTs intent to recover the support of the masses and to disrupt the joint efforts of the Philippine Army and the local government units to end the decades insurgency problem.  With these reports, Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, the Commanding Officer of 75IB, immediately sent his men in the nearby community to secure the populace. While the troops are moving torwards Sitio Maputi of said barangay, the CNTs fired upon the troops forcing them to retaliate which scampered the enemies to different direction leaving some bloodstain on their way out. The firefight lasted more or less five minutes. Recovered at the encounter site after scouring were one (1) M16A1 rifle bushmaster with serial number TP6003373, one M14 rifle with serial number 14201011, one magazine loaded with 20 rounds of serviceable ammo, electrical wire, improvised power bank, jungle pack and other personal belongings. Through the Post Community Support Program (CSP) activities, intensified Intelligence and Focus Military Operations (FMO) and with the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 which is the Whole-Of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in attaining sustainable peace and development, the Philippine Army will keep the CNTs on the run and make the ground hostile for them. These will make them weary and would lead the rebels to surrender. Lt Col Munda expressed his gratitude to the “Rosarionon” for their preventive and courageous actions taken against these terrorist NPAs who hampered the peace and development of the community and it is a clear manifestation that they wanted a lasting peace, live without fear of the CNTs and free from insurgents.   "As we recall, these NPAs were declared Persona Non-grata in Brgy Sta Cruz and denounced their atrocities, thus, their presence and activities are violations to the Brgy Resolution number 022 dated July 17, 2019. Now the remnants of WGF 14, NEMRC has no place to hide in the area. I commend the populace for their serious efforts to end insurgency, and their support to the sustainable peace and development agenda to address root causes of insurgency." Munda ended.          

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Army, DOLE launch sustainable peace and development efforts

November 6, 2019

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – As part of the continuous empowerment of the intensified “whole of the nation approach” of the government in attaining sustainable peace and development, the Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) in Agusan del Sur, commenced its service implementation in Barangay Lydia, Lapaz, Agusan del Sur yesterday, November 05, 2019. With the coordination from the local government of Lapaz, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as the cluster’s chair agency in partnership with the Agusan del Sur School of Arts and Trades (ASSAT), facilitated the conduct of the said activity and further give a brief background about the activity delivered by Engr. Norberto B. Dorado, supervising specialist of TESDA. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as the lead agency, implemented its program for the Former Rebels (FR’s) and Indigenous People (IP) entitled “Tulong pang hanapbuhay para sa ating mga displaced workers”, which will initiate on giving a cash for work program in 30 days except Saturdays and Sundays for the target beneficiaries. A total of fifty one (51) beneficiaries have been registered to the said program, six (6) of this are FRs. Mr. Jake E. Abunda of DOLE, gave an orientation to all the beneficiaries on the program. He further explained that it is not a long term program and that it will only give a daily income for thirty (30) days in order to provide financial assistance for them to have a capital if in case they want to venture in a certain business.“Three hundred twenty (320) pesos ang inyong madawat nga sweldo sa sulod sa thirty (30) days. Ang inyo lamang buhaton ang magtrabaho para gihapon sa inyong kaugalingon. Pinaagi sa Department of Agriculture nga maghatag sa inyo ug mga semilya sa mga pananum, makatukod na mo ug inyong farm, swelduhan pa mo sa inyong pagkabuhaton”, Abunda said.  Other clustered agencies who attended the said activity, also gave their contribution of services. The Public Employment Services Office (PESO) offered free massage for the local populace of Lydia. The Department of Health (DOH) through its Rural Health Unit (RHU) organized pre-natal check-up, immunization, family planning orientation, and distribution of medicines. The Philippine Army through 401st Brigade, 26th Infantry Battalion and 544th Engineering Battalion were also present. Aside from providing security for the said activity, they also conducted free haircut and treat the attendees especially the children for a free ice cream.  Barangay Lydia is one of the identified areas under Peace and Development Zone (PDZ) at the same time one of the identified barangays with a high percentage of poverty in the province. According to Provincial Statistics Office, more than 85% of poverty rate was recorded on the year 2018 in the said barangay. On the other hand, Barangay Lydia was considered as cleared barangay from New People’s Army (NPA) infestation and as a proof, they already declared the NPAs as Persona Non Grata last July 20, 2019. Meanwhile, the Municipal Mayor Michael D. Lim gave his heartfelt gratitude to PRLEC members for choosing his constituent barangay as beneficiary. He also emphasized that since Barangay Lydia is now clear from armed conflict, it is very timely to pour all the necessary government programs and projects in the barangay for sustainable development among its populace. “I am commending the PRLEC members for a job well done. Among the twelve (12) clusters in the PTF- ELCAC, PRLEC was the first to implement their programs and we were very lucky that our barangay was the first beneficiary”, Mayor Lim said. Likewise the Commanding Officer of 26th IB, Lt Col Romeo C. Jimenea inspirationally said, “This is the start of the collaborative efforts of all government agencies. We are very lucky that all the members of PRLEC are dedicated in their commitment to contribute to further enhance the cluster’s mission”, Lt Col Jimenea said. Relatively, the Deputy Brigade Commander of 401st Brigade, Col Francisco F. Lorenzo Jr. also said, “On behalf of our Brigade Commander Col Allan D. Hambala, I am commending the PRLEC members for their dedication in bringing the government near in this community. For the local populace of Barangay Lydia, the most important contribution you can give is your heartfelt commitment to the government, to be resilient individuals for the attainment of lasting peace. With your participation, we can create a progressive and peaceful community and live in tranquility”, Col Lorenzo said.        

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Fallen heroes, NPA victims honored this All Souls’ Day

November 5, 2019

Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur--- “Fifty years of waging useless communist struggle is enough. Communist armed conflict must be put to an end.” This is the call of the Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) communities as they pray for the souls of fallen Army heroes and victims of the Communist NPA Terrorists’ (CNT’s) atrocities through series of prayer vigils held at various hinterlands of Agusan and Surigao Del Sur within the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion’s (3SFBn’s) area of operations yesterday in observance to All Souls’ Day. Surrenderees revealed that many CNT recruits have been killed and left for dead by their comrades and leaders. “There were times when NPA cadres tell us to leave our wounded comrades because they are already a liability. If they die, we just bury them somewhere in the mountains. The poor families were clueless to what happened because the cadres only tell them that their NPA child was just assigned in a far-flung area, “alias Regan said. Adding to the number of victims, based on statistics of Project Ploughshares from 1969 to 2017 alone, CNTs have caused over 40,000 deaths. This is due to their attacks on innocent civilians to include former Loreto, Agusan Del Sur Mayor, Dario Otaza and his son Daryl who were kidnapped and later killed on October 2015. Last October 27, an off-duty and unarmed Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxillary, Pablo Omblero was mercilessly executed by the CNTs in front of his wife in Valencia, Bukidnon. These are the reasons why the IP Community leaders and the Surigao del Sur government turned down the request of Bayan Muna Representatives Eufemia Campos Cullamat and Carlos Isagani Zarate and their affiliate militant group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) to pullout the military in Lianga citing that Whole of Nation approach requires the military to secure the government agencies and the people who are subjects to harassments by the CNTs. “As we pray for our loved ones’ souls, let us not forget the souls of our fallen heroes and most especially, of the victims of the Communist NPA Terrorists  who are not yet in peace because they still cry for JUSTICE,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer, said. “The JUSTICE we can give them is to end the bloody local communist armed conflict and the CPP/NPA terrorist members and leaders be punished according to the rule of law for their countless murders that brought horror and shame to the Filipino nation,” LTC Baybayan ended.

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Caraga tops index crime solution for 3rd quarter of 2019

November 5, 2019

Camp Col Rafael C Rodriguez, Butuan City - Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 topped among the 17 police regional offices nationwide in index crime solved during the 3rd quarter of 2019. PRO13 had the highest index crimes solved at 63.33% followed by the National Capital Region Police Office with 62.53% as second and PRO3 with 58.13% as third. Police Regional Office 13 Director Police Brigadier General Joselito T Esquivel Jr.,  said that based on the data gathered by the office of Regional Investigative Detective Management Division (RIDMD13), 418 cases of murder, homicide, physical injuries, rape, robbery, theft,  motorcycle theft and cattle rustling were reported and recorded from July to September 2019. Of the 418 reported crimes regionwide, 260 cases have been solved while 324 crimes have been cleared. Police Provincial Office (PPO) of Dinagat Islands topped among other PPOs and Butuan City Police Office of PRO13 on index crime solved with 16 cases cleared and 16 cases solved out of the 17 reported crimes for the same period. “This is a result of collaborative efforts of the PNP, other law enforcement agencies and all stakeholders with the active support of the community,” Esquivel, Jr said. “Rest assured that the fight against criminality and threats will be strengthened. We will continue our anti-criminality campaign as well as our crime-solving efforts to improve the peace and order and ensure the safety and security of all Caraganons,” he added.

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