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

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   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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REPASO 2018: Dengvaxia scare, communist terrorism and the Martial Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

 

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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Manhunt intensified for abductors of 2 soldiers, 12 CAFGU members in Agusan Del Sur

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2018

A Communist Party of the Philippines Flag | Photo courtesy of PRWC_INFO

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Philippines – It has been more than a week and the New People’s Army (NPA) still holds captive of government troopers abducted on December 19.

Two Army soldiers and 12 members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were taken hostage by the communist rebels while they were on duty in a patrol base in Barangay New Tubigon in the municipality of Sibagat in Agusan Del Sur.

The soldiers, Corporal Erick Manangan and Private First Class Darlino Carino Jr., were part of the Philippine Army 3rd Special Forces manning the area.

Along with the hostages, the rebels took several military equipment as well as firearms from the base.

According to 401st IB Spokesperson Maj. Rudolfo Cordero, they are beefing up their manhunt operations to trace the hideout of the abductors after the deadline for the release of the hostages lapsed on December 25.

 “Hinintay natin ang sinasabi nila na ire-release daw nila bago mag-pasko pero hanggang ngayon hindi pa nila nire-release. So meron namang crises management committee ang Sibagat Municipal government na siya na ring tumutulong makipag-usap sakaling magkaroon ng negotiation,” Cordero said.

The Philippine Army believes that abduction of government troopers are part of the NPA’s plan to compel the AFP to stop its offensives against them and a way to celebrate the communist group’s 50th founding anniversary.

Meanwhile, the AFP has created a board of inquiry which now investigates the incident for possible breach of military protocol on the part of the soldiers.

 “Na-strengthen na natin ang patrol base na iyon. Actually malalakas naman ang patrol bases natin kaya nga kailangan naming maimbestigahang mabuti kung bakit nangyari (iyon),” Cordero noted.

Following the incident, the AFP appeals to the rebel abductors not to harm the captives and respect the human rights.

The military, meanwhile, assures the families of the victims that the government is doing the best it can for the safe releases of the hostages. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Raymond Octubre)

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Hot pursuit operation launched vs. abductors of gov’t troopers in Agusan Del Sur

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday (December 20) confirmed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) already launched a hot pursuit operation against the abductors of government troopers in Agusan Del Sur.

“Mayroong pursuit operations nang ginagawa ang ating tropa. I think OPPAP, si Gen. Galvez is on top of this also,” he said.

Two soldiers and 12 members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were held hostages by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan De Sur on Wednesday (December 19).

Lorenzana believes the NPA terrorists are planning to use their captives as shields against the ongoing military offensives in their area.

But the Defense secretary said the military will not stop until the rebels are neutralized and the captives are safely rescued.

“Gagamitin nilang leverage iyan to stop the operation from military sa area nila. But we will not stop. The soldiers and the CAFGU know that they are at war with these people,” Lorenzana said.

Meanwhile, Philippine Army 4ID Commander MGen. Ronald Villanueva earlier confirmed that a board of inquiry has been created and investigation is underway on the recent attack by the NPA rebels at the Army Detachment in Sibagat.

Aside from the 14 hostages, the rebels have taken 24 high-powered firearms from the military during the incident. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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