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

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2018   •   6193

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

Romeo Brawner Jr. named as new PH Army chief

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Major General Romeo Brawner Jr. as the new commanding general of the Philippine Army, Malacañang announced.

“The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has approved the designation of MGen Romeo S. Brawner Jr. as Commanding General of the Philippine Army,” the Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We wish General Brawner all the best in his new assignment,” it added.

Brawner is the current commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

He will take over the post from Lieutenant General Andres Centino, who is now the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Malacañang expressed confidence that Brawner “will continue the reform initiatives his predecessors pursued in order to transform the largest branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines into a more dynamic and more professional organization true to its mandate to serve our people and secure our nation.”

Brawner is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Makatao Class of 1989.

He also served as acting commandant of cades at the PMA, spokesperson of the Joint Task Force Marawi at the height of the campaign against Islamic State-linked militants who laid siege in Marawi City in 2017.

He also served as the commander of the 103rd Brigade in Mindanao and served as Army spokesperson.

LGUs urge Senate to revert NTF-ELCAC budget to original amount

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Several governors and mayors expressed dismay over the Senate’s decision to slash the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that is supposed to be allotted to the government’s anti-insurgency program.

The Senate Committee on Finance cut the budget of the NTF-ELCAC from Php28-billion to only Php4-billion.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said he finds questionable the Senate panel’s statement that the NTF-ELCAC’s fund only duplicates that of programs being funded by local government units.

Yap insisted that the NTF-ELCAC programs in the remote areas, particularly the Barangay Development Program, are proven effective.

“Hindi po maintindihan ‘yong statement na duplication. Mayroon bang government agency na into infrastructure at development na bumababa sa barangay na together with mayors, provincial governor with Philippine Army and PNP together with local officials consulting with the people?” Yap said.

Yap added that the farm-to-market road projects of the NTF ELCAC made it possible for the government to reach those in the remote areas, halting the recruitment activities of the New Peoples Army (NPA).

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, meanwhile, said that if the task force’s budget on the development of barangays is cut, its anti-insurgency projects will be delayed.

This, he fears, will pave the way for the return of the NPA in their area.

Ako naman po ay nakikiusap na huwag naman ninyong ipagdamot ang kapayapaan para sa bansang Pilipinas. Huwag naman nating ipagdamot ang mga pangangailangan na matagal nang minimithi ng ating mga kababayan na maangkin nila,” Dayanghirang said.

Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, in the meantime, stated that lawmakers must not only focus their attention on COVID-19 response but also on insurgency which has long been the country’s major problem.

“Pero kung ‘yong pondo ay tatapyasin talaga at ilipat sa COVID para nga hindi sila maging masama sa tao […] Itong pandemic ng insurgency ay matagal na kasya COVID, sa totoo lang. More than 50 years we have been battling this major problem,” Evardone said. /mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

9 NPA members in Misamis Oriental surrender to the Philippine Army

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 23, 2021

A former NPA member leads the military to a stash or firearms.

Nine members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Misamis Oriental have surrendered to the Philippine Army.

The former rebels were members of the sub-regional committee of the NPA in North Central Mindanao Regional Command. They also surrendered 14 high-caliber firearms.

One of the rebel returnees, identified as alias Marga, said that lack of food pushed them to surrender to the government. She said there were times when 40 members had to share one can of sardines. They were also forbidden to visit their families.

Magpapaalam ka nang maayos, hindi ka papayagan. Kaya iyong iba naming kasama kadalasan talaga umuuwi nang hindi nagpapaalam dahil sa ganyang kalagayan, hindi ka papayagan. Wala kang kalayaan o demokrasya, (You will not be allowed to go home even if you asked properly. Because of it, some would just leave without permission. There is no freedom or democracy),” she said.

According to Lt.Col. Ricky Canatoy, commanding officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion, the combined efforts of the Philippine Army and the government contributed to the increasing number of returning rebels.

“Military action alone will not be enough to achieve or maintain long-term peace; engagement from line agencies, notably from local government units, is essential. Because of the close linkages among government agencies, hostile manpower and firearms have been steadily reduced,” he said.

The rebel surrenderers will receive financial and livelihood assistance under the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.

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