Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Death toll rises

From the Mindanao Tines (Jun 20): Death toll rises

7 fatalities in unabated AFP vs NPA clashes

 AMID calls by the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the government to stop offensives against each other and focus attention to fight terror groups, clashes between government forces and the communist rebels continue with seven deaths – two soldiers and three rebels — reported since Saturday in the region.

With this, officials of both police and military units in the region warned their subordinates not to let their guard down against the New People’s Army (NPA).

The latest incident that left fatalities happened on Sunday.

Two soldiers were killed while four others were wounded when troopers of the Philippine Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) encountered 35 rebels under the Sub Regional Committe (SRC) in Barangay New Barili, Maco, Compostela Valley at 11:26 a.m.

The names of the fallen soldiers were withheld pending notification of their relatives.

The encounter resulted to the recovery of one improvised explosive device (IED), six backpacks, around 200 pieces of assorted live ammunitions, and subversive documents belonging to the rebels.
Another encounter happened at 3:33 p.m. in the same barangay as government soldiers were chasing the rebels.

Capt. Jayrald Ternio, the 71st IB civil-military operations officer, said said the rebels apparently suffered undetermined numbers of casualties after being hit by reinforcing artillery fires.

Ternio said soldiers were deployed to New Barili after they received reports from the residents that NPAs were planning to initiate atrocities and extortion activities in the area.


Earlier that day, at 8 a.m., in a security patrol in Barangay Kidawa, Laak, Compostela Valley, soldiers from 60th IB and 72nd IB arrested Randy Martin Magadan, alias Ka Andrew, who was bringing an IED intended to inflict damage to government troopers in Km. 26, Barangay Kidawa, Laak.
Magadan, 24, single, of Barangay Bollucan in Laak, is said to be the supply officer of Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 4, Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC).
The suspect was turned over to Laak Municipal police station.


Also on that hour, Alpha Company of 60IB soldiers were attacked by some 10 rebels, believed to be members of Guerilla Front 55, SMRC, in Barangay Sto. Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

The troopers, led by Corporal Mama Mama, were conducting checkpoint at the Talaingod-Bukidnon road in Sitio at Uraya when they were attacked.

The firefight lasted for 30 minutes.

Around 9 a.m. in Barangay, Marabatuan, Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental, 73rd IB troopers were fired upon by unidentified perpetrators while conducting patrol. A five-minute firefight ensued but no casualty was reported in the Sitio Mamacao encounter.

That day, encounters were also reported in Davao Oriental and in Davao City.

In Davao City, the NPA’s PBC2 – South Regional Command 3 (SRC3) ambushed the scout platoon of the 3rd IB while passing along the national highway in Pagan Pequino, Barangay Tamugan in Marilog District.
The Army platoon pursued the attackers leading to almost an hour firefight. No casualty was reported.

In Davao Oriental, two encounters between government soldiers and the NPA rebels occurred in the towns of Cateel and Banaybanay.

The first encountered happened on Saturday around 7 a.m. when 67th IB soldiers encountered around 10 rebels in Sitio 35, Barangay Taytayan in Cateel. Three alleged members of NPA belonging to Manobo and B’laan tribe were killed in the encounter.
The second incident was in Barangay Causwagan in Banaybanay at 6:30 a.m. as 28th IB troopers encountered about 20 rebels.

On Saturday, an alleged high-ranking leader and another guerilla were killed in a 10-minute clash with government troopers in Barangay Araibo, Pantukan, Compostela Valley. One of the fatalities was identified as Ka Lepi, the secretary of SMRC Guerilla Front 27.

Lt. Col. Davice Christopher Mercado, the 71st IB commander, recognized the heroism of the soldiers.

Mercado also thanked the residents who gave them information that led to the “disruption of enemy’s larger and more violent hostile plan.”

“While we mourn for the death of our troops who died fighting for the safety of the civilians away from NPA violent actions, we remain steadfast and committed in performing our mandate to protect the people”, Mercado said in his closing statement.


Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, the newly appointed commander of 10th Infantry “Agila” Division, told TIMES that he has directed his brigade and battalion commanders to be proactive in the operations to prevent the NPAs from conducting atrocities against government forces and civilian populace.

“The encounters are results of this directive to ensure that we protect our communities,” Clement said.

Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI, said he has a standing instruction to all provincial and city directors and other police heads to always be on lookout against communist rebels, especially those who are masquerading as human rights activists.

“All commanders are made aware that terrorists attack at the least expected, most opportune time favorable to them,” Gaerlan said. “Wala dapat patulog-tulog!”

On Friday, NDF consultant Fidel Agcaoili issued a statement confirming the order for its armed group to refrain from attacking government forces so they can “concentrate against Maute, Abu Sayyaf and Ansar Khalifa Philippines groups.” The order, however, came with the condition for the “AFP and PNP likewise to refrain from carrying out offensive operations against the NPA and people’s militia.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.