NPA propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Aug 6): AFP-SCAA suffers six casualties in encounter with NPA in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur
Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-Regional Command (Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-Regional Command)
AFP and SCAA troops suffered six casualties after encountering a unit of the New People’s Army under the Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-regional Command (NPA-WANAS) in Purok 7, Brgy. Zellovia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur in August 5, 2014, around 6:20 AM.
One regular soldier was killed while three others were wounded, while one member of SCAA was killed and another was wounded.
At around 6:20 AM, the Red fighters first encountered around 15 SCAA troops. They are serving as rabid guards of Provident Tree Farm Incorporated (PTFI) which was then harvesting mangium and falcata trees. After a few moments of firefighting, the NPA safely withdrew after the SCAA troops mixed in with civilians. A SCAA member, Carlito Perez, was killed here while another was wounded.
At around 6:40 AM, 26th IB troops quickly reinforced. Their battalion headquarter is only a kilometer away from the encounter site. But an NPA team employed a command detonated explosive against the reinforcement unit and a few minutes of firefight ensued afterward. One soldier was killed while another three were wounded.
On the other hand, the NPA unit safely withdrew after the two incidents.
The NPA has successfully punished these fascist troops which serve as protectors of the interests of PTFI, a landgrabber, environmentally-destructive and exploitative company in Agusan del Sur.
True or not, the Mayor is not the proper person or authority to say whether the mining activity is legal or illegal; rather, it should be the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Moreover, mining activity has nothing to do with the ceasefire between the government and MILF and does not deserved to be entertained directly in Manila.
This is not the first time that Climaco had excessively overacted to reports related to the MILF. In January this year, she protested to the alleged attempt of some MILF members to put up an MILF political office in Barangay Cawit, which turned out later as not really accurate. She capped her hysterical tendencies by “insulting” members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) who paid her a courtesy call on February 12. However, the visitors kept their cool and never hit back at the virtual tongue-lashing.
It is a pity that a public official like Mayor Climaco still pursues a confrontational platform or policy rather than dialogical approach. She is a far cry from the ways of the late Zamboanga City Mayor Cesar Climaco, who endeared himself to the Muslims for his fairness, understanding, and accommodation. (Of course, Beng Climaco does not directly belong to the blood line of the late mayor).
In the long run, confrontational approach would backfire, because history showed that in the end the way of peace will always prevail over the path of antagonism. A politician in Central Mindanao, pursuing the same antagonistic policy of dividing Moros and Christians, had lost in two successive elections when another candidate presented herself, with a clear platform of Moro-Christian dialogue or unity. The Moro votes made the routing possible and complete.
It is not farfetched that a similar situation would emerge in Zamboanga City. There are many Christians in the City who do not subscribe to the ways and styles of the Mayor. On the part of the Muslims, only few stooges and collaborators speak for the flawed policy of the Mayor while the overwhelming majority remains defiant in their hearts. Among other facts, they know the history of the city that it was once the capital of the Moro Province from 1903 to 1913. The Moros, therefore, are part and parcel of the City and shall remain so forever.
Regarding her stiff opposition to the inclusion of Zamboanga City to the proposed Bangsamoro political entity, we assure her that the MILF has no such intention. It is not clear in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) that waters can provide contiguity which can be used by the inhabitants therein to petition for inclusion once a plebiscite is called for the purpose. In the same vein, the FAB did not state either that waters cannot provide contiguity. It is totally a gray area that it is better part of judgment to treat it that way.
However, for whatever reason or reasons, ambitions, hatred, prejudices, or selfish or vested interests should and must not be used or allowed to suppress the basic right of people especially Moros to self-determination. What appears in this city now is that Mayor Beng Climaco seems to have arrogated to herself the right of the people to freely express their right to self-determination.