From the Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (Jun 11): NPA claims soldiers killed, wounded in Bukidnon clash
THE New People’s Army (NPA) said on Wednesday its fighters killed and wounded a number of soldiers during a battle in a town in Bukidnon.
Isabel Santiago, spokesperson for NPA’s North Cotabato Bukidnon Operation Command said in a text message to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday reported that the 52nd Scout Ranger suffered heavy casualties during the clash with the NPA Front 53 SMR in Barangay Kalapaton, Kibawe.
Santiago said the NPA attack was in retaliation for the death of a villager in Kibawe who was beaten up by soldiers.
“Daghan ang casualties, dili pa ma-ihap ang wounded in action og killed in action,” she said.
She said two military helicopters picked up the dead and wounded troopers.
Captain Patrick Martinez, 4th Infantry Division spokesperson, denied to Sun.star Cagayan de Oro there were soldiers killed in the clash, but confirmed that there were many who were wounded.
Santiago said 12 soldiers from the 23rd Infantry Battalion beat to death Emilio Ruplo, 60, last May 3.
Edelisa Ruplo, 50, the wife of Emilio, said: “Kung wala to siya (Emilio) gikulata, dili to siya mamatay.” Edelisa is a barangay kagawad (village councilor) of Kalapaton.
Edelisa said the troopers claimed that Emilio was an NPA rebel.
“After the soldiers were done with Emilio, they took my husband to my mother’s house,” she said. They forced her mother to sign a paper to certify that Emilio was untouched.
Martinez said: “If it were true that the soldiers did it, the military doesn’t tolerate such kind of act. We are still verifying the cause of Emilio’s death.”
The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) turned-over on June 9, 2015 a Spring Development Project, a mobile corn sheller and 15m by 20m solar drier to the people’s organization of Barangay Lumasal, Maasim Sarangani Province, development projects under the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Programme (MTFRDP).
The development interventions are aimed to provide the basic need and improve the socio-economic condition of its beneficiaries.
Majority of the beneficiaries are members of T’boli tribe living in the hinterland area of the barangay. The community members experienced displacement during the 2008 conflict.
There are fifteen communal faucets provided by the water system project distributed in three puroks of the Barangay.
BDA staff from Southern Mindanao Regional Management Office and Central Management Office facilitated the turn-over ceremony which was graced by Maasim Vice mayor Uttoh Salem Cutan and local officials.
Cutan, also an active peace advocate, thanked the BDA and the MTFRDP for the development assistance that could help provide the needs of the constituents for their economic growth.
Mohalikin D. Piang, BDA SouthMin Regional Manager reminded the beneficiaries that the development interventions brought to their community must be reciprocated with commitment to sustain the said project so the upcoming generation will still enjoy the benefits.
Mrs. Pasignasigna, the head of Lumasal People’s Organization, vowed to do their best and urged her fellow PO members to devote their time and efforts for the project sustainability.
She underscored the importance of clean water for personal hygiene, cooking and cleanliness of the households especially that the classes have just begun.
Lumasal is a tri-people community with fishing and farming as their mains sources of income. The barangay has initially received fishing vessels under the MTFRDP in the first cycle of project implementation.
There is a total of nine barangays of Sarangani benefitting the MTFRDP projects on which three are dominated by Indigenous Peoples namely Barangays Tiulab in Maitum, Amsipit in Maasim and Libi in Malapatan.
MTFRDP project implementations are managed by the respective PO which has undergone various capability-building trainings conducted by the BDA staff in order to equip the grassroot organizations with skills in implementing and managing projects.