Body of high-ranking NPA rebel found in Agusan del Sur – AFP

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2018   •   5004

The body of “Ka Marjun,” vice commanding officer of a rebel platoon based in North Central Mindanao

 

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Philippines – The Philippine Army (PA) has identified the body recovered by members of the 402nd Infantry Brigade following an encounter in Sinacungan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on Monday, May 14.

402nd IB Spokesperson Captain Al Anthony Pueblas announced Friday, May 18, that a rebel returnee assisted authorities to identify the body of “Ka Marjun,” the vice commanding officer of Platoon 2, RSDQ Compaq based in North Central Mindanao. He was a resident of Barangay Balit, San Luis, Agusan Del Sur.

The Philippine Army believes the killing of “Ka Marjun” is a positive indication that the leadership of the NPA rebels is now dwindling in Caraga Region. The military expressed gratitude for the active support from communities in the region for such accomplishment.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa sting mga mahal na kababayan sa tulong at suporta na ipinakita nila sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng mga reports hinggil sa presensya nitong mga teroristang NPA,” Pueblas said.

(We thank members of the community for the help and support they have shown by reporting the presence of NPA terrorists.) – Raymond Octobre / Marje Pelayo

PH Army to donate part of November meal allowance to Mindanao quake victims

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Army personnel will donate part of their meal allowance for the month of November to aid victims of recent earthquakes in Mindanao, its spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Patricio Ruben Amata said the initiative is an addition to their ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in the province of Cotabato and other areas affected by the strong quakes.

Every donation, he said, will be deducted from each Army personnel’s subsistence allowance for the month of November, which is equivalent to two meals.

Other contributions will also be accepted either in cash or in kind.

“The donations will be allocated to aid the individuals and families affected by the disaster. This command initiative is just a part of our response to our mandate to serve the Filipino people and we eagerly encourage everyone to volunteer or extend support to help our fellow Filipinos in need,” Amata said.

The Army official said that after conducting rescue and evacuation operations, Army troopers also worked together with government units and other stakeholders to provide the residents with temporary shelters and relief goods.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council reports a total of 23 deaths, 618 individuals injured, and two missing cases after the three earthquakes struck regions 11 and 12.

The disaster also left around 30,000 people displaced from their homes.

Young NPA fighter thankful for being saved by the ‘enemy’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Rebel combatant alias ‘Kent’ was lost for words over his experience in the hands of his “enemies” – the soldiers of the 29th Infantry Battalion – after an encounter in San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

‘Kent’ sustained three gunshot wounds during the crossfire on November 2.

The soldiers captured him as he could no longer walk due to his injury.

He thought that was the end for him.

“Naka-set na sa isip ko na papatayin ako talaga kasi susuko (I set my mind that I would be killed if I surrender),” he said in his local dialect.

“Ang sabi nila kapag may giyera, papatayin ka kapag nahuli ka ng Army (They say in war, you will be killed if the Army captures you),” he added.

But to his surprise, the soldiers brought him to a nearby hospital and while gasping for air, he heard the soldiers telling him to hold on and try to survive.

The young NPA fighter is now recovering from his wound while the military is working on the possible assistance he may receive once he officially decommissions from the rebel group.

“Ang una nating ginagawa ngayon ay maka recover muna siya (What we are focusing on first is his recovery),” said Maj. Francisco Garelllo, the spokesperson of the 402 Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army who handles the case of alias Kent.

‘Kent’ was recruited to the New People’s Army (NPA) when he was only 16 years old.

He realized he spent his two years fighting for the wrong side.

He said he has decided to return to the government and start a new life with his family.

 “Sinasabi naman nila sa akin na, ‘Dapat mabuhay ka kasi sisikapin naming mabuhay ka,’” Kent said of the soldiers who rescued him.

“Kaya pinilit ko ring maka-survive,” he concluded. – MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)

Philippine Army to recruit more soldiers this year

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Army is eyeing to recruit more soldiers this year amid the intensified campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to end local armed conflict and terrorism.

The Philippine Army said it will recruit additional members to augment troops and help meet the government’s deadline to end terrorism and expand its nation-building efforts.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the military to eradicate terrorism and insurgency in the country before his term ends in 2022.

The recruitment also aims to further strengthen the Army force against internal and external threats while promoting nationalism among the Filipinos.

“Anyone who wants to serve our people is welcome to join as long as the Philippine Army’s qualifications are met. Qualified applicants will receive the same benefits during training and when they become part of the regular force,” Army Spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.

The minimum requirement for a candidate soldier is that he or she must be 18 to 30 years old, a natural-born Filipino citizen, single, without a child, and is 5 feet to 6 feet and 4 inches tall.

An aspiring applicant must also pass the Armed Forces of the Philippines Service Aptitude Test, Physical and Medical Examinations, and Physical Fitness Test.

Interested applicants may visit the Army recruitment centers in Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, and Taguig City.

Applicants may also visit the nearest Army base in their localities for inquiries.

Zagala said the newly opened slots are allotted for both aspiring officers and enlisted personnel. The number of additional personnel to be recruited is on top of the 5,300 quota announced this year.

“We call on the best and the brightest to take this opportunity to be part of our nation-building efforts by serving the people and securing the land,” added Zagala.

Visit this link for more information on Army Recruitment centers.

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