From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Jul 8): Troops, cops capture commie in Zamboanga Sur
A government patrol arrested a communist rebel after a brief chase in the town of Lakewood in Zamboanga del Sur province in southern Philippines, officials said Tuesday.
Officials said Rene Lucasan tried to flee from the village of Gasa after seeing the soldiers and policemen patrolling the area. Troops under the 53rd Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Alvin Luzon chased Lucasan until he was cornered.
Soldiers, who are members of the 14th Division Reconnaissance Company, seized a .45-caliber pistol and a loaded magazine from Lucasan, who admitted during interrogation that he is a member of the New People’s Army which has been fighting for a separate communist state in the country.
Col. Ignacio Obligacion, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, in a report to Brig. Gen. Gerardo Barrientos Jr, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, said Lucasan was eventually handed over to the town’s police force for further investigation.
“He readily admitted that he is a member of the local militia unit of the NPA called KARA and also served as a look out and informant of the NPA in the town, Obligacion said.
Barrientos commended the soldiers and policemen for the arrest of Lucasan. “The futility of the NPA ideology is evident. Only the hardcore NPA leaders continue to believe in this irrelevant ideology,” he said. “More and more of their members are surrendering or being captured after endless days of hardship and hunger in the mountains. We are calling on the rebels who wish to return to normal and peaceful lives that the Army, the community and your family will welcome you with open arms. Everyone is a winner if there is peace and development in the country.”
This was in response to the restive pronouncements of some sectors invoking transparency and thereby calling for the full disclosure and publication of both the BTC’s original draft and the OP’s “castrated” version of the BBL.
“Transparency is never an issue among us. We trust our leaders in the MILF. Hence, we can always wait for whatever they may advise us,” said Datu Habib Sharifuddin Maulana of the Caucus secretariat.
His statement even confirmed the Caucus’ tacit reservation and option to take exception from the bandwagon of “cynics” and instead appeals for sobriety in the midst of this hullabaloo over the alleged BBL “secrecy” by both parties.
It was conveyed timely with the visit of IID’s partners from Southeast Asia that same date for a “Solidarity Mission to Mindanao” as part of its “Friends of the Bangsamoro” Campaign, IID’s joint undertaking with the local advocacy groups and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict in Southeast Asia (GPPAC-SEA).
The Mission aims to help mobilize popular support for the successful conclusion of the GPH-MILF peace negotiation and the eventual passage of the BBL into law in congress. It consisted of delegations from East Timor, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and one from the Netherlands.
According to them, the delegates were very grateful as the Mission has accorded them opportunity to interact with different local advocacy groups here in Central Mindanao including UNYPAD, AFADMin, MAPAD, MHINRAC, BCJP, Kabalikat Civicom, Seed Foundation, MWDECC, KASAMA, Al-Ihsan and MAP.
They were happy to share their people’s respective experiences as they are also struggling for right to self-determination in their own countries and to know more about the struggle of the Moro people which have reached another milestone when CAB was signed between the GRP and the MILF last April 27, this year.
The delegates were amazed by the stable status of CSOs here, their strong linkages and convergence between and among them on the common advocacy for the Bangsamoro.
A delegate from Thailand particularly from the district of Pattani is stricken with awe upon knowing how the struggle of the Bangsamoro have reach this far. Thai Muslims in Pattani as well as in Yala and Narathiwat of the south of Thailand also experience related ethnic and religious discrimination.
The RTD was facilitated by UNYPAD and MAPAD, both are local partners for local and international advocacy works of IID, a regional solidarity and advocacy organization based in Davao City.
Bangsamoro Caucus is a consortium of seven local NGOs based in Central Mindanao engaged in advocacy convergence in the community and national legislature. Specifically, it aims to consolidate and integrate grass root advocacy works in the localities as well as gain legislative support to the BBL in congress.
UNYPAD, MAPAD, AFADMin and MWDECC are convenors of the Bangsamoro Caucus.