AFP foils NPA extortion, seizes arms cache in Rizal

Marje Pelayo   •   May 20, 2019   •   1800

Courtesy: AFP-2DPAO

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)

PNP, AFP ready to wage all-out war vs Reds

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019

Interoperability Exercise between the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Army during AFP Joint Exercise (DAGIT-PA) on August 2018. | 📷Divino Lozano

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday vowed they will be relentless in their fight against communist terrorists in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to wage an all-out war against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“The AFP is compliant with the directive of the President and Commander-in-Chief. We are engaging the New People’s Army all out,” AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said.

Arevalo said the military has been employing and using all its resources in a “focused, surgical, and deliberate lethal and non-lethal operations towards the decisive defeat of the communist terrorists.”

On Tuesday, Duterte reiterated his call on the government troops to launch a full-scale attack and end the CPP-NPA before his term ends in 2022.

“I am ordering an all-out-war against the NPA. If I can, I will end the insurgency problem within my term,” the president said during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“Walang hintuan. Magpalit-palit ‘yung isang battalion diyan na walang gamit na wala masyadong kalaban ‘yang ano…. Pagka-bone-weary na ang mga sundalo, palit na naman. Tuloy-tuloy. At kung maaari, lumaban sila nang husto kasi hindi ako magtanggap ng surrender,” he added.

The PNP, for its part, vowed it will launch swift and relentless police operations against communist rebels.

“The final push to end local communist armed conflict will be firm and decisive under the guidance and direction of the national leadership,” the PNP said.

“Police operations against the armed components of the communist terrorist movement will be swift and relentless just as it will be lawful and judicious,” it added. RRD (with details from Correspondents April Cenedoza & Rosalie Coz)

Pig samples in Rizal tested positive for African Swine Fever – DA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Officials and staff of the Department of Agriculture (DA) led by Secretary William Dar and Department of Health (DOH) led by Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday (September 9) led a boodle fight of different pork dishes to show the public that pork meat bought in local markets in the country is safe amid the African Swine Fever (ASF) scare.

(L-R) Department of Agriculture (DA) led by Secretary William Dar and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on September 9, 2019, led a boodle fight featuring pork dishes to show the the public that pork meat in local markets are safe for consumption.

“Kung dalawang doctor ang nagsama, talagang safe na safe itong mga putahe na galling sa pork, (Two doctors joined us here to verify so we can be sure that these dishes made from pork meat are safe to eat,)” Sec. Dar said.

“Kinakailangan po ang wastong paghahanda, malinis na pamamaraan sa paghanda ng ating pong mga pagluto ng karneng baboy, (What’s needed is proper handling and cooking pork,)” Sec. Duque noted.

“Kinakailangan na ito ay hindi half cooked, (Make sure that the pork is not half cooked,)” he added.

During the event, however, Secretary Dar announced the result of the confirmatory tests on pig blood samples extracted from reported infested pigs in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan.

The result, Dar said, revealed that 14 out of 20 blood samples sent to the laboratory in the United Kingdom are positive of the deadly pig disease, African Swine Fever (ASF).

Secretary Dar named the seven areas where hog disease was reported which include: San Jose, Macabud, San Isidro, San Rafael, and Cupang, Antipolo in Rizal; and Guiguinto and another area in Bulacan.

Despite this, the official said pork meat in markets are still safe for consumption.

The DA is still awaiting the result of the UK test to determine what strain infested the pigs in country as there are a total of 35 strain of ASF.

Dar reported that they have culled a total of 7,416 pigs within and outside the one-kilometer radius from ground zero.

Thus, the official reiterated the Department’s strong campaign against swill (kaning baboy) feeding as they suspect the contamination comes from it.

Dar said protection measures are in place to make sure that pork meat being distributed in local markets are safe.

The DA advised consumers to look for the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) seal which proves that the slaughtered pig is free from pig diseases.

Secretary Dar vowed to provide piglets to affected hog raisers to compensate for their losses. The piglet is aside from the P3,000/head of the infected pigs.

The government has already spent P25-M to address the problem. The amount will be increased to P82-M to make sure that the country’s hog industry will remain protected. — MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

AFP holds talks on CPP-NPA recruitment in Bacolod school

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 27, 2019

The Armed Forces of The Philippines (AFP) in Bacolod conducted a two-part symposium at the University of St. La Salle last August 24 on CPP-NPA recruitment especially in schools.

303rd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. General Benedict Arevalo told students they should distinguish “activism from supporting terrorism.”

Arevalo also reiterated that the government respects academic freedom and allows citizens to express and even criticize the flaws they see in society.

“However,” he added, “When a person starts to take up arms or support terrorist organizations like the CPP-NPA, that is already against the law and the government will act upon it.”

Meanwhile, several students slammed Arevalo when he tagged leftist organizations as communists.

The school’s publication The Spectrum said the National Service Training Program (NSTP) that organized the symposium was not aware there will be a list of CPP-NPA-NDF red-tagged national democratic mass organizations and students from different universities.

“I think that’s part of their campaign, to let the students be aware that if they’re not conscious enough of various organizations, there’s a possibility that they will be joining these organizations,” Dexter Ian Tabujara, Head NSTP Cluster Coordinator said.—AAC

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