1 CAFGU killed, 5 PSG members injured in NPA ambush in North Cotabato
UNTV News • July 20, 2017 • 6764
Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) attacked the convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Barangay Gambudes, Katipunan, Arakan, North Cotabato, at 6:05 in the morning on Wednesday.
The PSG members were on board two vehicles from Camp Panacan in Davao and were supposed to head to Cagayan de Oro City (CDO).
Authorities said the PSG convoy was blocked at a checkpoint by armed men who introduced themselves as members of Task Force Davao.
But when the PSG verified that the armed men were not members of the Task Force Davao, the firefight began.
A member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU), identified as Benjamin Pandia, died in the encounter, while five members of the PSG were wounded; two of them rushed to the Panacan Station Hospital.
“They sustained minor wounds only. As of now, they are already stable. They are being properly accommodated here,” Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Commanding Officer Ltc. Erickson Gob said.
Authorities are now going after the armed men who are allegedly holding hostages.
“The 10th infantry brigade which is helping now the pursuit operation on the incident involving the group of Presidential Security Group personnel,” 10th ID spokesperson Capt. Ryan Batchar said.
Malacañang, meanwhile, condemned the attack.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said they are still waiting for a directive from President Duterte as to his decision on whether or not to proceed with the peace negotiations with the communist group. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue
Some P2.4-million worth of illegal drugs were seized by authorities at the Sirawan checkpoint in Toril, the Davao City government said.
In a news release, the city government said the dangerous drugs were confiscated by membes of the Task Force Davao on Monday from a vehicle traveling from Cotabato City.
Task Force Davao Commander Col. Consolito Yecla said one of the two suspects aboard the vehicle was also arrested. He was identified as Ronnie Martinez Jr., a resident of Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
“The suspect was checked at the light vehicle inspection area and requested to open his small sling bag. The duty inspector requested the driver to park at the side, but he drove away from the checkpoint leaving behind his small sling bag at the inspection area,” he said.
Martinez yielded three jumbo size heat-sealed, transparent plastic sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated weight of 150.43 grams valued at P2,406,880.
According to Yecla, the suspects drove away when asked to get off from the vehicle for inspection. The vehicle was later found abandoned in front of Gaisano Grand Mall in Toril.
One of the suspects reportedly rode a tricycle while the other ran towards Barangay Marapangi, he said.
One of them was later caught with the help of some residents who found him drenched after crossing a river. The other suspect appeared to have gotten away but left behind his wallet, which was turned over by the tricycle driver who gave him a ride.
Yecla expressed gratitude to those who helped in the apprehension of the suspect.
“We would like to give thanks and attribute this successful apprehension of the suspect to the tanods and residents of Brgy Marapangi. Indeed, they participated in our anti-terror campaign “May Nakita? Dapat Magsalita,” Yecla said, referring to the city’s public campaign against terrorism.
“We accomplished this without a fatality, and zero human rights violation,” he added.
The Davao City government has announced it will conduct a community exercise to test the residents’ cooperation with authorities and reaction to terrorism incidents in line with the city’s campaign on the “culture of security.”
In a statement issued on Monday, the city government said the Task Force Davao will hold next week the anti-terrorism simulation drill, which will evaluate the cooperation of city residents in reporting suspicious persons in line with its campaign dubbed as “may nakita, dapat magsalita.”
“The exercise also aims at eliminating the tendency of the public to panic, instead develop or increase their level of vigilance and aggressiveness in the fight against terrorism. This is also a test on impact of flashing or disseminating the identity of suspected terrorists to the public,” it added.
Task Force Davao Commander Col. Consolito Yecla said that this is the first time that the public will be involved in the city’s anti-terrorism simulation exercise.
“What we want to happen is to test how the individuals will react without causing panic in the City,” Yecla said.
In the scenario, the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) through the Central 911 will announce using radio stations and other means of communication the presence of 25 persons disguising as terrorists.
Each establishment, from churches, hotels and inns, restaurants, malls, and government establishments, will be targeted by five actors.
Once the “terrorist” is reported either to TFD, DCPO (Davao City Police Office), or the PSSCC, it will be counted as “neutralized” by the sector.
Yecla urged everyone, especially establishment owners and their clientele, to participate in the community exercise.
Eight Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel assigned to the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The said personnel to include two officers and six enlisted personnel, are on outside duty and did not have any close contact with the President,” according to PSG Commander Col. Jesus Durante in a statement.
Meanwhile, Medialdea tested negative for COVID-19.
Durante also assured that the PDG is implementing strict health protocols for the safety of its personnel, dependents, as well as the safety of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“PSG remains steadfast in being a 360-degree shield for the President and the seat of central power in the country,” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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