Friday, June 30, 2017

WESCOM takes control of NPA training camp in Southern Palawan

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 30): WESCOM takes control of NPA training camp in Southern Palawan

Military peacekeepers here scored big time against the New People’s Army (NPA) when they snatched control of a 12-hectare hinterland area the communist terrorists are using as refuge and drill camp, an Army official told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.

The Joint Task Group South (JTGS) of the AFP's Western Command (WESCOM) composed of the 18th Special Forces Company (SFC) of the Philippine Army (PA), and Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit or CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA), and the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT4) was responsible for the accomplishment.

Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Facundo, commander of the JTGS, said they were able to take control of the enemy's hideout and training campsite in the isolated precipitous expanse of Sitio Kulban, Barangay SamariƱana, Brooke’s Point before noontime on June 27.

The WESCOM considers the take over as its biggest feat in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “all-out war” against the leftist movement, and in Palawan’s exertion to keep its residents safe and secure from any threat.

"This enemy training camp of the Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC) served as breeding ground to sow terror in Palawan. We have unmasked their feeling of invincibility because the AFP has the capability to locate enemy camps and neutralize them anywhere, even in mountainous areas," Facundo told PNA on Friday morning.

In more or less two decades, Facundo said this is the first time again that an enemy camp was captured by government forces in the province.

He described the site as having six thatched-roof huts and a firing range that strongly suggests it is where the NPA is preparing and training its recruits to be future combatants.

One of the huts is being used as main shelter and is guarded by two teams called Squad Ulo (Head) and Squad Buntot (Tail).

Entrance to the whole area, on the other hand, is reportedly secured by forward outposts.

Voluminous subversive documents with high military value, as well as war training materials were collected from the site by government troops.

"We even recovered guns made out of thick tree stems that we think they are using to train their recruits," he said.

The JTGS commander further described the campsite as having a flat area in the middle that is being used in their formation; more border outposts; multipurpose hall for meetings; and a firing range with backstops that have bullet marks.

No NPA member was present in the area, he said, apparently because they got word of the sustained focused military operation (FMO) being carried out by WESCOM.

Facundo said the existence of the training camp in Brooke's Point "may be brought out to the peace panel as it may have a violation to the ongoing peace process."

The capture of the SamariƱana enemy training site, he said, was the result of the Community Support Program (CSP) of the military.

The CSP helps the local government in bringing basic medical and dental support to residents, as well as other government services.

In February this year, President Duterte declared an “all-out war” against the NPA after the peace talks with communist rebels were stalled.

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