Saturday, January 16, 2016

Insurgency primary concern in 2016 polls in Surigao del Sur

From the Manila Bulletin (Jan 15): Insurgency primary concern in 2016 polls in Surigao del Sur

Tandag City – Communist insurgency in Surigao del Sur remains a primary concern for the government in its efforts to ensure honest, peaceful, and orderly national and local elections on May 9, 2016.

Declassified intelligence reports stated that highland communities of the five municipalities bordering the Andap Valley Complex are currently the focus by field units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) due to the presence of New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

These highland communities belong to the municipalities of Lianga, Marihatag, Cagwait, Tago, and San Miguel.

The CPP has five NPA front committees, out of six front committees operating in highland communities in Surigao del Sur and the border of Agusan del Sur, the intelligence reports noted.
However, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured that the AFP and PNP have been continuously coordinating with the election agency, and conducting command conferences so that all the 367,488 registered voters all over the province will be able to vote without any untoward incident in the upcoming elections.

Ernie F. Palanan, Surigao del Sur Comelec director, said he was optimistic that the insurgency situation could still be properly addressed with the deployment of four Army maneuvering battalions of the AFP and special forces of the PNP.

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