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

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 18 May 2018 05:08 PM

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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Gov’t upholds ‘no negotiation policy’ as kin call for abducted soldiers’ release

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 02:12 PM

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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Authorities warn of disqualification, imprisonment for candidates funding NPA

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 02:40 PM

BGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in CARAGA region warn election hopefuls against giving in to extortion ploys of the New People’s Army (NPA) terror group.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently issued a memorandum which discouraged all candidates in the 2019 midterm polls from giving any amount to the rebels.

According to BGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the 402IB, PA, any monetary dues given to the terrorist rebels in exchange for alleged permit to campaign or permit to win is a clear violation of R.A. 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.

If proven guilty, the candidate will face life term in jail and a penalty of P500,000 to P1-million.

“Although mayroon silang mga propagandang sinasabi na may mga pulitiko na gustong pumunta, lumang tugtugin na iyan, “ General Gacal said.

“Ito ang mga tipong alam mo na nga na pwede kang madisgrasya. Ikaw ba naman na isang pulitiko ay aattend ka pa doon? Sinabi (na) ng presidente na ang NPA ay isang terrorist group,” he added.

The DILG has issued a stern warning to all provincial, city and municipal peace and order councils to report and accost local executives dealing with the rebel group.

Authorities warned that any candidate proven guilty of dealing with the NPA rebels will also face disqualification based on Omnibus Election Code. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Raymond Octubre)

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REPASO 2018: Dengvaxia scare, communist terrorism and the Martial Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 1 January 2019 01:31 AM

 

The trauma of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine has caused the government the public’s trust to its other vaccination programs.

Measles cases in the country soared by more than 300% last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This was because of the public’s fear of having the same fate as the alleged Dengvaxia vaccinees whose death remain uncertain to this day, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“There is a significant drop in the confidence of our people in the immunization program of the DOH from 92% to measly 33%. Ang laki ng bagsak talaga,” Duque said.

It was a “lesson learned the hard way”, the DOH said, referring to the impact of the Dengvaxia controversy.

That’s why the agency wants to change how the public views of the agency.

 

A hearing on the controversial dengue vaccine

“Kung mag-i-introduce ka ng new health program, mag-i-introduce ka ng bagong bakuna,  bagong intervenyion kailangan talaga pag- aralan mo. Kailangan kompleto talaga ang iyong ebidensya. Kailangan alam mo ang magiging resulta. You have to communicate it properly doon sa mga recipients, kailangan naitindinhan din ng recipients kung ano iyong tinatanggap nila,” explained Health Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

But aside from the health concerns, the government also faced challenges in security this year.

President Rodrigo Duterte once again requested Congress to extend the declaration of Martial Law in the province of Mindanao for another year or until December 31, 2019.

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_110117_Marawi City

FILE PHOTO: Marawi City ruins (UNTV News)

According to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the extension is needed as terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF), Daulah Islamiya and other terrorist groups sowing fear in the region.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that Mindanao is still in the midst of rebellion,” Medialdea said.

Several lawmakers opposed the proposal but later on, martial law was extended for the third time in Mindanao since it was declared on May 2017 when the Maute terror group conquered Marawi City.

The communist New People’s Army (NPA) also remains a challenge to the Philippine government.

 

FILE PHOTO: New People’s Army in formation

The military revealed an alleged ‘Red October’ plot, an oust-Duterte movement allegedly formed by the communist rebels backed by opposition groups.The two groups denied the allegations but according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), they have recovered documents in some encounters with NPA proving that they were plotting a destabilization against the government.

Meanwhile, the government did not declare a ceasefire this year even after the communist group announced their declaration of a unilateral ceasefire.

According to the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) they did not recommend to reciprocate the communists’ ceasefire declaration because leftists were not sincere of their intention and they would just use the ceasefire to strengthen their arms.

Meanwhile, a resolution was submitted to Congress calling the President to revive the peace negotiations with the Reds.

But the President remained cold towards the proposed resumption of peace talks.

Instead, he said he preferred to create a hit squad to match the NPA’s sparrow unit.

“So mag-create ako ng sparrow (unit), Duterte death squad against the sparrow,” the President said.

In December, the President issued Executive Order 70 which created a National Task Force tasked to eliminate the rebel group.

This, despite the continuous surrender of NPA members in different parts of the country through the efforts of military on localized peace talks. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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