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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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6 dead, 9 injured in Calbiga, Samar ambush

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Six members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were killed while nine were injured during an ambush by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Calbiga, Samar on Tuesday morning (April 23).

Members of the 46 Infantry Battalion (46-IB) were ambushed around 2:50 a.m. with the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) or a landmine which exploded in the area between Barangay Daligan and Barangay Baluan.

According to initial information of 46-IB, they were conducting a community support program when suspected NPA members waylaid their troops.

The 46-IB added that the encounter between the AFP and suspected rebel group continues. — Aileen Cerrudo

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

by Marje Pelayo   |   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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