Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

122 NPA members surrender to authorities in Bicol region

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 02:10 PM

Rebel returnees surrender their arms for a new chance at a better life.

BICOL, Philippines (UPDATED) — A total of 122 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to authorities in Masbate.

They belonged to the rebel units operating in the areas of Sorsogon and Masbate.

They were presented to Secretary of National Defensse Delfin Lorenzana during the ceremonial granting of livelihood assistance to former rebels on Tuesday (October 9) under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the Duterte administration.

“Target namin kasi dito i-improve ang peace and order. Iyan talaga all over. Actually iyon naman ang kanyang utos not only in one province kundi all over the country,” Lorenzana said citing the directive from President Rodrigo Duterte.

Female returnees were given sewing machines while male returnees received welding machines for their start up business.

They will get training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on welding machine skills, small engine operations for males and rug-making for females.

The local government, meanwhile, announced that rebel returnees who are members of the E-CLIP will have their respective housing units by next year.

“If these things will materialize we can achieve peace not only in the province but in the entire country,” said Governor Antonio Kho Jr. of Masbate.

Among the rebel returnees was “Lyn” who had been a member of the NPA for two years.

She recalled how miserable her life was when she started serving the communist group at the young age of 14.

Because she is a natural achiever, she had once been entrusted with the group’s budget.

“Kalimitan po pinagbabawalan at saka pinagduduhan po ang bawa’t isa sa amin,”she said.

“Lyn” said she is now enjoying her new-found freedom though she regrets losing a part of her youth to communist service.

“Dito po nagagawa ko yung nagagawa ko pero po doon hindi po kasi… nagsisi rin ako don kasi hindi ako nakapag-aral,” she lamented.

Temporarily, all 122 rebel returnees are staying in halfway houses located within the compound of the Masbate Provincial Police Office.

Based on national statistics, the Bicol region holds the second largest number of rebel returnees in the country next to Davao province in Mindanao. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Allan Manansala)

Tags: , ,

Jolo twin blasts: Foreign intel points to Yemeni couple

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 05:03 PM

Photo courtesy of Ahmad Sajan

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana admitted that President Rodrigo Duterte has received information from intelligence authorities in Singapore about the possible perpetrators in the bombing of a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu on Sunday (January 27).

Lorenzana said that the President was informed about a Yemeni couple believed to be suicide bombers who planned to sow terror in Jolo.

Such report, Lorenzana said, was the President’s basis for concluding that suicide bombers were behind the tragedy at Mt. Carmel church.

“Marami kasing body parts na nakita kami eh. Meron mga paa doon, may mga part ng ulo, may nakasabit sa fence. It appears to be suicide bombing and I was also convinced immediately na baka suicide bombing iyon,” the president said.

However, Lorenzana said that no group has claimed membership of the two suicide bombers.

“Kapag kasi suicide bombing yan somebody will immediately claim na itong tao na ito ay naging martir. Wala pa namang tayong nakikita na ganoon,” Lorenzana explained.

“Although the ISIS on their website claims that 21 Filipino crusaders died (but) di naman nila sinasabi na itong tao na ito ay naging martir siya because he detonated the bomb,” he added.

To verify the identity and the nationality of the bombers, Lorenzana said they ordered a DNA test on unclaimed human fragments recovered in the blast site.

“Nasa SOCO. You cannot identify. Nobody claimed him ba kung sino siya so we have him/her DNA tested para malaman natin,” the Defense official said.

“I don’t know how we are going to find out who he is by DNA, but maybe we can find out what nationality kung Filipino o foreigner,” he said.

On the other hand, survivors of the blast said they noticed a Filipina who left a package on the fourth row of the churchgoers prior to the blast.

“Mayroon kasing survivor na babae na she was about four seats away from the blast. Napansin daw niya may babae sa unahan niya na medyo balisa at pag-alis daw ay may naiwan na package,” Lorenzana narrated.

“Hindi naman sinabi na yun ang nakita nyang sumabog pero yun ang nakita nya, and that definitely is not suicide bombing,” he added.

There were earlier reports that some 40 foreign terrorists have already entered the country.

Authorities want to find out if a Yemeni couple was among them, whom reports say were the ones behind the Jolo twin blasts. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Tags: , , ,

Gov’t upholds ‘no negotiation policy’ as kin call for abducted soldiers’ release

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 02:12 PM

Members of the New People’s Army | Photo courtesy of Kodao Phils.

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has intensified its pursuit operations against members of New People’s Army (NPA) in Agusan del Sur who abducted government troopers on December 19, 2018.

Two active soldiers and 13 members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were kidnapped by the communist rebels in the town of Remedios Y Romualdez in the municipality of Sibagat last year.

Relatives of the victims continue to call on the government to facilitate the immediate rescue of their loved ones.

Magdalena Lamion, the daughter of one of the captives, Bienvenido Lamion, is worried about her father’s health and so she asks for their immediate release.

“Marami nang balita na sinasabing pinatay na raw. Nananawagan kami na tumugon sana ang gobyerno na pahintulutan sila na pakawalan na talaga sila,” the distressed daughter appealed.

“Tulungan ninyo na maka uwi ang aking anak,” Elena Cariño, the mother of one of the two soldiers,  called on President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement issued by Major General Ronald Villanueva, the Philippine Army 4ID Commander maintained that the military will uphold its ‘no negotiation policy’ with the NPA.

Nevertheless, the authorities are doing everything for the safe release of the captives. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Raymond Octobre)

Tags: , ,

Authorities warn of disqualification, imprisonment for candidates funding NPA

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 02:40 PM

BGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in CARAGA region warn election hopefuls against giving in to extortion ploys of the New People’s Army (NPA) terror group.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently issued a memorandum which discouraged all candidates in the 2019 midterm polls from giving any amount to the rebels.

According to BGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the 402IB, PA, any monetary dues given to the terrorist rebels in exchange for alleged permit to campaign or permit to win is a clear violation of R.A. 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.

If proven guilty, the candidate will face life term in jail and a penalty of P500,000 to P1-million.

“Although mayroon silang mga propagandang sinasabi na may mga pulitiko na gustong pumunta, lumang tugtugin na iyan, “ General Gacal said.

“Ito ang mga tipong alam mo na nga na pwede kang madisgrasya. Ikaw ba naman na isang pulitiko ay aattend ka pa doon? Sinabi (na) ng presidente na ang NPA ay isang terrorist group,” he added.

The DILG has issued a stern warning to all provincial, city and municipal peace and order councils to report and accost local executives dealing with the rebel group.

Authorities warned that any candidate proven guilty of dealing with the NPA rebels will also face disqualification based on Omnibus Election Code. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Raymond Octubre)

Tags: , , ,