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

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

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

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Army encountered election-related incidents in Mindanao in past 24 hours

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, May 13th, 2019

The Philippine Army has monitored a number of election-related incidents in several areas in Mindanao in the past 24 hours.

On Sunday night (May 12), the intelligence personnel of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion led by SSG Richard V. Gacias, discovered a container suspected to be of an improvised explosive device (IED) at Sitio Panang, Brgy Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

This, while the troop was conducting covert security and liaising operations in the area.

The discovered IED was placed in a plastic container with the following components:

1.            One (1) handheld radio (baofeng)

2.            Black powder (main charge).

3.            Assorted concrete nails.

4.            One (1) improvised blasting cap

The troop conducted area security and cordoned off the IED site and temporarily controlled and held the commuters while waiting for the arrival of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

The EOD team then immediately conducted recovery operations and paneling and safety procedures in successfully recovering and disrupting the IED.

 The team then brought the IED to the old capitol in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao for proper disposition.

Meanwhile, an explosion was heard near the Cotabato City Hall, on Matalam St., Malagapas in Cotabato City at 10 in the evening. 

Fragments of CTG 40mm, were recovered in the area. 

The identities of the perpetrators are yet to be determined, but authorities believe that the motive of the blast is to disrupt the sorting of voting paraphernalia that will be used on election day.

No casualty was reported in the incident.

Thirty minutes after, a shooting incident transpired near the Datu Unsay Public Market, Brgy Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao wherein a certain Jack Ebrahim, 27 years old, was shot on his left thigh.

The perpetrator of the shooting is still unknown.

On Monday (May 13), the right-hand man of Shariff Aguak mayoral candidate Zaharra Ampatuan was shot near a fruit stand at Shariff Aguak market by an unidentified gunman at past one in the morning.

Nasrudin Upam, who was hit at his right arm, was immediately brought by a concerned citizen to IPHO-Maguindanao Provincial Hospital.

And at 7:20 in the morning, an explosion, caused by a still undetermined type of explosive, took place in the vicinity of Poblacion Dalican in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

The Army immediately responded to the explosion site to cordon the area and to possibly apprehend the perpetrators.

This unit immediately coordinated with 3rd EOD unit to send a team to investigate the explosion site and determine the type of the IED used. /mbmf

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Councilor wounded, 2 others killed in Agusan del Sur ambush

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019

Scene of the Crime Operatives examine the site of the ambush against San Luis Councilor Franklin Mandumotan on April 6, 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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Gov’t upholds ‘no negotiation policy’ as kin call for abducted soldiers’ release

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

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)

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