Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1 dead as Army clash with NPA extortionists in ComVal

Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City, July 14, 2010– A New People’s Army (NPA) fighter was killed and several others were believed wounded as soldiers clashed with NPAs in the village of Tandawan in New Bataan town in Compostela Valley Province 4:00 PM Wednesday.

Troops of the 66th Infantry Battalion (66IB) were conducting security patrol due to persistent information from residents on NPAs extorting money from households when they encountered about 20 armed extortionists belonging to Local Terrorist Front-27 led by still unidentified terrorist leader. Government troops recovered an M653 Assault Rifle (Baby Armalite) in the possession of the still unidentified dead NPA who was left behind by his comrades following the 30-minute clash.

“Reports of NPAs extorting money from residents have been persisting for about a couple of days and today we received specific information from residents on their exact location. The dead NPA might be one of their leaders as M653 Assault Rifles are not commonly handled by ordinary combatants. The cadaver will be brought to New Bataan proper to be identified by relatives so that he may be given appropriate burial.” Said Col. Roberto Ancan, commander of 66IB. “

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division said “security operations will be continuously conducted by our soldiers for the people to have a secured community without the threat, intimidation and coercion by the NPAs under the absolute order of the CPP.”

“Similar operations are also being conducted region-wide to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of government services to the people and the implementation of much needed peace and development projects.” Holganza added.

Last Saturday, soldiers conducted a “Battle of the Bands” and concert for peace in downtown Davao City highlighting peace and development projects of the Armed Forces in different parts of southern Mindanao in the form of music. Security schemes being conducted to protect the people from terrorists and saboteurs were also given highlight in the four hour concert.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2 M16 recovered by troops as Reds flee in series of encounters in Davsur

Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City, July 7, 2010– Government troops engaged New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists in a series of gunbattles in Digos City and Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur province today.

The two separate firefights came following clash between NPAs and army troops from 39th Infantry Battalion (39IB) and 72nd Infantry Battalion (72IB) yesterday in Sitio (sub-village) Upper Bakoko in the village of Kapatagan in Digos City. It may be recalled that at least two NPAs were believed killed in Tuesday’s gunbattle where soldiers also recover an M16 assault rifle.

The first engagement occurred when pursuing troops of 39IB caught-up with about 15 terrorists at 9:00 AM still in Sitio Upper Bakoko in the village of Kapatagan. Soldiers engaged the terrorists but the NPAs refused to put-up a fight and instead fled leaving an M16 assault rifle which was recovered by government troops. A few hours later in the afternoon at 2:00 PM, another gunbattle erupted between troops from the Division Reconnaissance Company and about 10 fleeing NPAs in Sitio Mariras in the village of Sibulan in nearby Sta. Cruz town. Troops recovered another M16 assault rifle following the brief clash.

Authorities believe that some of the NPAs were wounded in Tuesday’s gunbattle thus refusing to put-up a fight.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division said the series of encounters is a “proof that the NPAs have nowhere to go but surrender in light of the growing support of the people to our campaign against terrorism.”

Holganza renewed his call for NPAs to “leave their wounded so that we can take care of them and be given appropriate medical attention rather than risking their lives.”

“The wounded NPAs are our fellow Filipinos and our misguided brothers need to realize that the government can best provide medical attention to them as what we have done to Zaldy Canete, the high ranking NPA leader who surrendered after being wounded last January.” Holganza added.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Army, reds clash anew in DavSur

Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City, July 6, 2010– Soldiers from the Army’s 10th Infantry Division and New People’s Army (NPA) clashed anew in Southern Mindanao in Sitio (sub-village) Upper Bakoko in the village of Kapatagan in Digos City in the province of Davao del Sur 3:45 PM today.

Troops from the 39th Infantry Battalion responded to information of residents and encountered about 15 NPAs led by a certain Roberto Castillote alias Enoy belonging to Local Terrorist Front-51. The ten-minute firefight resulted to the recovery of one M16 assault rifle.

Authorities believe atleast two terrorists were dead or wounded as troops witnessed the bodies being dragged away by their comrades. Troops said the fatalities were confirmed by residents who saw two bodies being carried by the NPAs as they fled.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division said the gunbattle is a “proof of the growing support of the people to our campaign against terrorism and the dwindling influence of the NPAs in the countryside.”

“We urge our misguided brothers to take the peaceful path and surrender so that they may have a new life with their families but we cannot let them abuse our peaceloving people who are often at the receiving end of their extortion and terroristic attacks.” Holganza concluded.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Reds car-nap trucks anew, fail again in attack against troops in Dvo Region

Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City, July 01, 2010 - Local terrorists failed in an evening attack against troops on peace efforts holding temporary patrol base in the village of Cambagang in Maragusan town in Compostela Valley province 9:15 PM Wednesday.

About 50 armed New People’s Army (NPA) belonging to Local Terrorist Front-27 of the Southern Mindanao Region onboard two car-napped Sadam trucks attacked the temporary Patrol base of one squad of the 66th Infantry Battalion (66IB) but failed and fled after a 30-minute firefight.

A civilian passerby identified as Nanetes Niengo, 23 years old, was wounded by NPA fires during the course of the gunbattle and was rushed to the regional hospital in Tagum City by soldiers and village officials.

Government troops suffered two slightly wounded during the exchange of fire indentified as Sgt Reglyn Locario and Pfc Jimmy Galiza who are now recuperating in the hospital. One of the trucks was recovered by the troops together with spent shells of ammunitions used by the terrorists several kilometers away.

“The terrorists surely suffered many casualties as they were forced to retreat despite their big number as compared to the squad in the temporary patrol base. One of their leaders might be one of the casualties as one Icom radio was left behind by them. Radios are normally used by their leaders.” said Col. Roberto Ancan, commander of 66IB.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of 10th Infantry Division deplored the repeated use of “treachery by the NPAs in carrying out their terroristic acts against the people by car-napping vehicles and coercing civilians to drive them during their attacks like the previous cases in this region which are violations of laws and put the lives of non-combatants in danger.” Holganza also said, “NPAs disregarded the safety of civilians as they conducted the attack even if civilians were clearly present during that time.”

Last month, NPAs belonging to Local Terrorist Front-20 attacked a police detachment in Cateel town in nearby Davao Oriental province but instead suffered five dead. Local Terrorist Front-18 also attacked a road project in Banay-banay town still in Davao Oriental. In both instances, the terrorists used two car-napped trucks and forced civilians to drive the vehicles during the attack.

Last February, 13 year old Memilyn Moreno was killed by the NPA in their attack against a road project in Boston town still in Davao oriental while December last year, 55 year old Rosalinda Clata was killed by NPAs in an attack against the same road project in Boston. The attacks were carried out after Sebastian Construction Company refused to give extortion money to the NPA.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another NPA big fish arrested in SouthMin

Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City – Another New People’s Army (NPA) commander fell into government hands in Southern Mindanao as authorities arrested a ranking terrorist leader in the village of Zone-1 in Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur province 2:00 PM of June 18 Friday bringing the total number of NPA leader to fall into government’s hand in this region to five.

Gerald Bate, vice commander of the Sentro de Gravidad of the NPAs Local Terrorist Front-27 was arrested by the joint elements of the 39th Infantry Battalion and the Criminal Investigation Group (CIDG) based on information from residents about an armed individual in their locality.

Authorities said Bate was arrested based on the principle of “plain view” as a pistol was seen on his waist as the combined police and soldiers approached. Recovered in his possession were a caliber .45 pistol with the Serial Number 839126, a fragmentation grenade and several ammunition.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division welcomed the capture of another NPA leader as he lauded police and soldiers who made the arrest. “This is a proof that the long arms of the law will eventually catch-up with criminals. Our soldiers and police will continue to work against criminal elements and bring them to justice for the sake of our people who have been victimized by their terroristic acts.” Holganza said.

“Once again, we offer the hand of reconciliation and unity to our lost brothers for them to surrender or face the full force of the law and answer for the crimes they have committed against our people.” Holganza concluded.

The arrest of Bate is the fifth time authorities netted high ranking NPA leaders in Southern Mindanao.

In January, Zaldy Canete alias Jingoy, a celebrated case of child combatant who was recruited at the age of 13 and who rose steadily and quickly in the ranks of the NPA surrendered after being wounded in a gunbattle with the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion in Talaingod town in Davao del Norte.

Last May 5, Serafin Embate alias Lotlot, commander of Platun Makar of the Local Terrorist Front-72 and medical officer of Far South Mindanao Region of the NPA was arrested by Davao del Sur Police and soldiers from the 39th Infantry Battalion.

On May 22, Renelo Creita alias Jaguar who is responsible in planning and executing the ambush in Maragusan town which claimed the lives of five individuals and wounded a dozen others which was tagged by people as the “Maragusan Massacre” fell in the hands of joint elements of the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion and CIDG 11

Last June 11, Mario Cabatlao alias Jomar, secretary of Local Terrorist Front-15 of the NPA was arrested by joint elements of 3rd Special Forces Battalion, Philippine National Police of Madaum and CIDG 11 in Tagum City.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reds abduct, murder village leader, another escapes

Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City – A village leader was abducted and later on murdered by New People’s Army (NPA) death squad while another escaped the slay try in Sitio (sub-village) Mauno in the village of Maligaya in Columbio town in Sultan Kudarat province 11:00 PM Tuesday.

Village leader Kito Melody was abducted by NPAs belonging to Southern Alip Regional Terrorist Unit led by Manuel Fernandez alias Bobo who barged in his house while another village leader and former Cafgu Eldie Banawag was able to escape after witnessing the arrival of the armed group before they were able to enter his home. The NPAs reportedly came from the “Peace Zone” in nearby Tulunan town in North Cotabato province.

Melody’s lifeless body was later found and recovered by elements of 27th Infantry Battalion (27IB) a few kilometers away in the boundary of Sitio Sinapulan and Sitio Mauno in the same village.

“The NPAs are targeting village and tribal leaders to terrorize the residents to make them withdraw their support from the peace and development efforts of the AFP and the Local Government Units.” Said Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago, commander of 27IB with operational jurisdiction over South Cotabato and parts of Sultan Kudarat.

Santiago also slammed the use of the Peace Zone by the terrorists. “The group led by Fernandez together Loida Magpatoc alias Gwen and Noel Legaspi alias Jefrrey came from the Peace Zone in Tulunan, North Cotabato. They have been using the peace zone as their haven to avoid arrest.” Santiago said.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division deplored the newest atrocity of the communists as he vowed to bring the criminals to justice. “Our community leaders know what is best for their villages and they want peace and development to come in but these criminals are coercing the people. Such terrorism will not go unpunished for our people’s sake. The true soldiers of the masses will bring these murderers to justice.” Holganza said.

In December of 2009, Lumad leader Sendo Awing was killed by NPA terrorists in Columbio and later admitted it was a mistake. Greggy Awing, Sendo’s son was also killed on the same day in the morning, several hours before his father was shot.

In 2009 alone, the NPA murdered 83 individuals in Southern Mindanao; 52 of those they killed were innocent civilians.

This year, six innocent civilians including 13 year-old girl Memilyn Moreno of Boston town in Davao Oriental Province were killed in NPA terroristic attacks against communities, infrastructure projects and business establishments. Five people were killed and a dozen others were also wounded when NPAs ambushed election officials and soldiers in Maragusan town in Compostela Valley province a day after the election.

Last year, residents of Tampakan town in South Cotabato and of Columbio in Sultan Kudarat separately staged a peace rally and urged the NPA to halt its liquidation of civilians particularly village and tribal leaders.

Last March, officials of the adjacent province of South Cotabato led by Governor Daisy Fuentes, Koronadal Mayor Fernando Miguel and other local leaders joined residents in calling for a stop to armed struggle being waged by the NPA under the dictation of the Communist Party of the Philippines and protection of their legal fronts.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Skeletal Remains of NPA exhumed by Army’s Katapatan troopers

47th Infantry (KATAPATAN) Battalion, Camp Gen Carreon, Brgy Libot, Calinog, Iloilo – Acting on a report from a civilian asset and verified through information disclosed by a former NPA rebel, elements of 47IB, 3ID, PA led by 1LT NAPOLEON P ALCARIOTO JR (INF) PA, the Battalion Operations Officer together with personnel from 12th Infantry (CAFGU) Battalion and PNP-Lambunao, Iloilo exhumed one (1) skeletal remains of an alleged NPA member at Sitio Badiangan, Brgy Jayubo, Lambunao, Iloilo yesterday, June 1, 2010 at around five o’clock in the afternoon in an isolated and mountainous area of the said barangay approximately 20 kilometers away from the town proper. Buried three (3) feet below the ground, the decomposed body was placed inside a laminated sack and was wrapped with a textile bandage full of dried blood. Discovered among the remains was a slug bullet of an M14 rifle which may have been the cause of death. The body was identified as the remains of an NPA member who was killed in an encounter with the troops of 47IB last March 26, 2007 at Brgy Sagcop, Lambunao, Iloilo wherein the NPA suffered many casualties and have lost several firearms.

In his statement during a radio interview, 1LT REY B BALIBAGOSO (INF) PA, the Acting Civil-Military Operations Officer of the 47th Infantry (Katapatan) Battalion urged the public to help the Government forces in identifying the body and appealed to the Communists Terrorists that pursuing armed struggle will not promote a peaceful means to solve the problems of our society.

The remains were brought to the PNP Station at Lambunao, Iloilo for possible identification and was given appropriate blessing and prayers by the Lambunao Parish Priest, Rev. Marvin Tabion.