From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 25): Northern Mindanao, Caraga Region peaceful since declaration of the unilateral ceasefire
The Army’s operation area covering Northern Mindanao and the Caraga Region had remained peaceful since the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire on Aug. 21, 2016, the military here said Friday.
Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, Army’s 4th Infantry Division spokesman, said that the military has strictly adhered to the provisions underlined in the unilateral declaration of a ceasefire.
“Since the declaration by our Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte, there were no incidents of armed encounters between the 4ID line units and the New People’s Army in our area of responsibility,” Martinez said.
He said that the troops were now focused on community development activities in tandem with the stakeholders and in supporting the Philippine National Police (PNP) in law enforcement operations.
Martinez said that with the unilateral ceasefire, the army division has now cooperated with the PNP in the anti-illegal drug campaign in the regions of Northern Mindanao and the Caraga.
He said that the anti-illegal drug operations led to the successful confiscation of marijuana and shabu worth PhP 29 - million in Northern Mindanao and the Caraga regions.
Aside from the seizure of illegal drugs, the joint military and police operations in the regions also collared a total of eight drug personalities and in facilitating the surrender of 562 drug users under the “Operation Tokhang” (Knock and Plead) program.
Martinez said that since the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire, a total of 46 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels had voluntarily surrendered.
He said that a total of 119 villages in the two regions was now “conflict manageable” and were ready for further development, while 23 others were currently undergoing evaluation and validation.