by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019
Six members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were killed while nine were injured during an ambush by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Calbiga, Samar on Tuesday morning (April 23).
Members of the 46 Infantry Battalion (46-IB) were ambushed around 2:50 a.m. with the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) or a landmine which exploded in the area between Barangay Daligan and Barangay Baluan.
According to initial information of 46-IB, they were conducting a community support program when suspected NPA members waylaid their troops.
The 46-IB added that the encounter between the AFP and suspected rebel group continues. — Aileen Cerrudo
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019
RIZAL, Philippines — Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 80IB recovered assorted fire arms and ammunition during an intelligence operation against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the province last week.
According to the information from 202nd Brigade spokesperson and 2DPAO Chief Army Capt. Patrick Jay Retumban, soldiers were able to seize three firearms, five hand grenades and a rifle grenade in Sitio Batangasan, Barangay San Andres in the municipality of Tanay on Thursday (May 16).
80IB Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Diaz reported that “the war materiels belong to the terrorists’ extortion group who were targeting the farms in the area and, for the longest time, have been threatening the people of Tanay,”
“Your soldiers are, and will always be, ready to respond to any NPA terroristic actions,” Diaz assured the public while asking for the community’s continued support, cooperation and vigilance.
Meanwhile, Acting Commander (2ID) BGen. Elias Escarcha lauded the success of the troops’ operations against the NPA terrorists branded “enemies of the state”.
“The fact that the NPA terrorists left these war materiel as they tried to leave the area in a hurry is a manifestation of the NPA’s prevailing fear upon the government’s military might and their diminished will to fight,” Escarcha said.
202IB Commander BGen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, who has jurisdiction over CALABARZON, commended the operation saying “this accomplishment is a product of our former rebel engagements” wherein those who surrendered “actively participate in the government’s campaign against the NPA terrorists”. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Jennica Cruz / 2DPAO)
by Maris Federez | Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Senator Panfilo Lacson believes it is high time for the government to focus its peace talk efforts with those who do not listen to Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison.
Lacson stressed that the strength of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels differs depending on their localities and that a localized peace talks is a much better way to stop the problem with communist rebels.
The senator said, “such a move is long in coming. I have always believed that this is the better way to deal with the five-decade insurgency problem.”
Lacson made the statement following President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to create a new peace panel tasked to “oversee” localized peace talks.
Lacson added that he had dealt with the NPA when he was still with the Philippine National Police which he headed from 1999 to 2001 and had been battling for localized peace talks since then up until now as a member of the Senate.
“I have been batting for localized peace talks and in fact strongly suggested the same to former Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in one committee hearing of the Senate Committee on Peace and Unification chaired and presided by Senator Gregorio Honasan II,” he added.
Lacson also suggested that local government officials negotiate with guerilla leaders in areas where the NPA is not that influential, while the military focuses on areas where the NPAs are a threat.
“So it is better that governors and mayors and other LGU officials be the ones to talk to local communist guerrillas, under the guidance and direction of a government peace panel that will provide the parameters for such localized peace talks but with enough flexibility in handling such peace initiatives,” he said.
Lacson believes that it is useless to deal with Sison, as he does not have control over the NPA.
“Experience has shown that while Sison asks for a ceasefire and government accommodates his request, NPAs continue conducting ambushes and raids. This shows Sison no longer has control over the NPA’s armed regulars,” Lacson added.
The NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, had been declared by the Philippine government, as well as the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as a terrorist organization. – Maris Federez
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019
San Luis, Agusan del Sur Councilor Franklin Mandumotan was wounded while his wife, child and friends were killed in an ambush in Barangay San Pedro, Agusan del Sur on Saturday (April 6).
Philippine National Police (PNP) San Luis Chief Pcapt. Emerson Bajao said Mandumotan, his family and two of his friends were aboard an SUV and were on their way to a municipal activity when armed men rained bullets on said vehicle.
“Nagawa pa niyang mga around 150 meters pagpapatakbo para maiwas iyong mga nasa loob. More or less 36 basyo ng bala ng M16 ang nakuha sa area at mayroon pang bala ng mga carbine na na-iwan din sa area, (He was able to run the vehicle up to 150 meters to save the people inside. More or less 36 bullet shells of M16 were recovered from the area, there were also carbine ammunition left in the area),” Bajao said.
Mandumotan’s wife was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital while one of his friends, Maricel Quezon, died on the spot after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds.
Mandumotan sustained a gunshot wound on the arm. His son, Charles, and his other friend, Norie Coguit also sustained wounds and were taken to the hospital.
Bajao has confirmed they are investigating four persons of interest who may be responsible for the ambush.
Authorities are also investigating the motive for the assassination because the councilor has no record of any involvement in illegal drugs.
Bajao also insists it is not election-related.
“Hindi man siya tumatakbo, hindi election-related tapos wala ring mga armed group dito. Iyon nga tinitibay pa natin kung matumbok ba natin kung sila ba ang gumagawa, iyong mga NPA kasi hindi nila inaamin, (He is not running [in the election], it is not election-related. Also, there are no armed groups here. We are still investigating if the NPA is responsible because they are not claiming responsibility as of now)” Bajao said.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office 13 Director Brig. Gen. Gilberto DC Cruz gave his troops one week to apprehend those responsible for the ambush.—Aileen Cerrudo(with reports from Raymond Octobre)
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