Tuesday, October 9, 2018

P50M allotted for chopper repair

Malaya Business Insight (Oct 10): P50M allotted for chopper repair

THE Philippine Air Force has allotted P50 million for the procurement of spare parts, including an engine, needed to repair one UH-1H “Huey” helicopter which figured in an accident last year.

The amount is nearly the cost of an almost similar refurbished helicopter, a UH-1D. 

The Air Force announced in its website a public bidding for the spares. The deadline for the submission of bids, at the Air Force headquarters in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, is today.

Air Force spokesman Maj. Aristides Galang justified the cost for the repair for the UH-1H helicopter, saying spare parts are costly at the current market price.

“An engine already costs P16 million. That’s only for engine. How about the other components of (UH-1H No.) 516 that were damaged, that are in the recovery stage? It’s really costly to recover (an aircraft),” he said.

The spare parts are for the old UH-1H helicopter with body number 516. The chopper figured in a mishap in Negros Occidental in December last year, which the Air Force said was caused by “complete electrical/power failure.”

UH-1H choppers were mass produced in the 60s and saw action in the Vietnam war. The Air Force acquired its UH-1H helicopters second hand from various sources, including the US.

The P50 million for spare parts is nearly the cost of an almost identical UH-1D helicopter bought from Rice Aircraft Service Inc. a few years ago.

In 2013, the Department of National Defense signed a P1.2-billion deal with Rice for the delivery of 21 units of refurbished UH-1Ds, or equivalent to P57 million each. Rice was not able to deliver the aircraft within the agreed period, prompting the DND to terminate the contract. Rice managed to deliver only seven units which are now being used by the PAF.

Galang said the UH-1H choppers have no lifespan and are good as long as parts are repaired “as scheduled.”

Galang said the helicopter’s engine needs to be replaced. “That’s already P16 million less of the P50 million. How about the components that are going to be linked with the engine, with the transmission? The recovery of a helicopter is really costly,” he said.

Told that a refurbished UH-1D helicopter costs only P57 million based on the contract signed with Rice, Galang said: “We got them in bulk, through bidding, that’s why we acquired them at a cheaper price.”

Galang said UH-1H and UH-1D helicopters are identical in terms of capability. “They are almost similar but it’s really costly to recover (an aircraft),” said Galang.

The Air Force has dozens of UH-1H and UH-1D helicopters in its inventory. These aircraft are used mainly for personnel and supply transport and for disaster response.

An Air Force official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the foreign exchange rate should also be considered if the repair cost for the UH-1D helicopter will be compared to the procurement of the 21 UH-1Ds.

“Take it in the context of the current FX (foreign exchange) rates. We must remember the peso depreciation so much. One more thing, you need to look into the scope of work which will indicate the kind of work to be done and spares needed,” the source said.

“The P50M is less than a million dollars,” the source also said, adding that the repair is not actually a big amount.” Not much really. It may just be worth an engine.”

“It (repair cost) depends on the scope of work. It may need engine requirements, thus the amount (of P50 million). Brand new utility helicopters will fetch eight times that price,” he added.


The new DSWD chief and the long list of soldiers in Duterte’s government

From InterAksyon (Oct 9): The new DSWD chief and the long list of soldiers in Duterte’s government

Rolando Bautista, a former military chief, was appointed as the new DSWD secretary. (Pilipino Star Ngayon/file)

Incoming Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, a retiring army chief, is the newest on the list of military men the president has appointed as top officials.

The position has been vacant since the appointment of Judy Taguiwalo was rejected by the Commission of Appointments last year.

This development met the ire of some groups, especially left-leaning ones, that observed President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged militarization of of his Cabinet by filling the seats with former military officials.
“Duterte’s rapidly turning his cabinet after the image of his idol Marcos’ dictatorial government,” Anakbayan Secretary General Einstein Recedes said.

The Kabataan party-list slammed it as a tactic to support allegations of ouster plots.
“This is what ‘Red October’ really is—a calibrated effort by Duterte and the army to sow fear, set the pretext for declaring martial law, and launch heightened attacks on the people,” the group said on Facebook.

Duterte, in a speech on Tuesday, repeated his reason for the appointment of former soldiers to senior civilian positions. They know how to follow orders, he said.

His defense secretary shares the belief. “This may make the job of the DSWD convergent or complementary to what the military and police are doing or vice versa,” Delfin Lorenzana said.

Club of generals

In April, Duterte appointed retired AFP Chief of Staff Rey Leonardo Guerrero to head the Maritime Industry Authority, an agency that oversees the country’s maritime industry.

READ: Duterte’s expanding club of generals who head government agencies

In May, former military chief Gen. Roy Cimatu became the head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Former AFP Brigadier General Danilo Lim was also appointed that time to lead the Metro Manila Development Authority.

Earlier this year, two more former AFP officers were appointed to top government positions:
  1. Gen. Glorioso Miranda as a board member of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority
  2. Gen. Eduardo Año  as the new secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government
A more comprehensive list of names indicates that Duterte has appointed at least 60 former military officials to ranking positions in his administration.

Who is Rolando Bautista?

Bautista graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1985.

He served as a commander of different infantry battalions of the army during the previous administrations.

In 2016, Duterte chose him to lead the Presidential Security Group. Barely a few months on the post, Bautista was suddenly sent to fight alongside other troops during the five-month long Marawi Battle.

In October, he was promoted to lead the Philippine Army. He is set to retire from it this month.

Bautista was supposed to be assigned to replace Jason Aquino, former administrator of the National Food Authority who resigned amid criticisms over rising rice prices.


Next in line? 3 generals with link to Davao contenders as PA commander

From the Mindanao Times (Oct 8): Next in line? 3 generals with link to Davao contenders as PA commander

Three generals, all with links to the Davao region, are contenders to be the next commanding general of the Philippine Army (PA).
They are Noel Clement, Macairog Alberto, and Filemon Santos Jr., all major generals.
Clement is currently the commander of the 10th Infantry Division, which has operational responsibility over the Davao Region (Region XI), parts of Region XII (Sarangani, South Cotabato, 2nd District of North Cotabato and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat), Trento in Agusan del Sur, and Lingig in Surigao del Sur.
Alberto, currently the chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was the former commander of the Task Force Davao and the 1001st Infantry Brigade based in Maco, Compostela Valley.
Santos is the commander of 7th Infantry Division based in Nueva Ecija. The 7ID has detailed two of its infantry battalions, the 56th IB and the 3rd IB, as support forces in Davao region.
Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, the outgoing commanding general, will be retiring on Oct. 15 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
Last Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he is appointing Bautista as the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Last month, Duterte said he wanted Bautista to head the National Food Authority (NFA).
A member of PMA Class of 1985, Bautista served as the overall commander of military operations in the Marawi City siege, directly leading the government troopers against the Maute-ISIS group.

Boycott propa

From the Mindanao Times (Oct 9): Boycott propa

· Campaign vs. 7 party-lists hits city
A boycott campaign against seven party-lists is now circulating in the city.
Tarpaulins posted on public places, including footbridges and the city’s market, urged the public not to vote for the party-lists that are supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“They are the enemy of the state,” the post said.
Party-lists mentioned include Bayan Muna, ACT, Anak Pawis, Akbayan, Kabataan, Gabriela, and Magdalo.  
Except for Magdalo, the party-lists belong to the Makabayan bloc, a coalition of 12 pro-people party-lists in the congress.
The tarpaulins do not state any responsible group behind the campaign. But the materials are placed in ubiquitous public places, alongside tarpaulins endorsing government projects and programs.
The campaign posters mushroomed in the city on the day Mayor Sara Duterte branded the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) as “terrorists.” (See separate story)
Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna said “this cowardly troll-like vilification campaign, while clearly baseless, only exposes the spurious and hollow convictions of those behind it.”
“Those behind these black propaganda are anti-democratic elements of our society who are hurting or affected by the advocacies being pushed by the Makabayan bloc, like genuine land reform, just wages, free education, free public health services, affordable housing, abolition of pork barrel, anti-corruption, defense of our sovereignty and national patrimony, defense and advancement of human rights, etc.” said Zarate who is from Davao City.
“Since 2001, the record of Bayan Muna and the other members of the Makabayan Bloc in fighting for the interests and rights of the marginalized sectors will speak for itself. No amount of vilification and McCarthyist propaganda ex cathedra and from elsewhere can erase it.”

Communist fighter slain in Bukidnon

From the Mindanao Times (Oct 9): Communist fighter slain in Bukidnon

A communist guerrilla was killed in a clash with the 1st Special Forces Battalion in a forested area near Barangay New Eden, Pangantucan, Bukidnon around 9 a.m. yesterday.

Meanwhile, two soldiers were also wounded during the encounter.

Capt. Norman Tagros, the spokesperson of 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers were conducting a security patrol in response to the complaints of local residents about the presence of armed individuals who threaten the community with extortion, intimidation, and forced recruitment.

However, they were attacked by more or less 10 New People's Army rebels. The soldiers retaliated and killed one of the fighters whose identity is still unknown. The group was believed to be members of Guerrilla Front 68 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

The soldiers seized one M16 rifle with M203 grenade launcher attached, one M16 rifle, one M14 rifle, one barrel of the M60 machine gun, eight anti-personnel mines, one hand grenade, and assorted live ammunition.

Meanwhile, the two soldiers are already in stable condition after they were brought to a military hospital in Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City.

Lt. Col. Sergio P Macarandan, commanding officer of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, assured that there would be no letup in their pressure on the NPA until all the communities will be cleared from the influence of the rebels.

“The encounter that that transpired was a result of the cooperation and collaboration of our state security forces, our local populace, and the local government unit of Pangantucan, Bukidnon,” Macarandan said.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, warned the remaining NPA rebels that they will suffer the same fate of their dead comrade until they lay down their arms.

“To the members of the CPP-NPA Terrorist organization, let me remind you that you only have two options. Surrender and embrace peace or die a senseless death,” Vinoya said.

“Nevertheless, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the CPP-NPA member who died. This could not have happened if he was not deceived, exploited, and brainwashed by the leaders of this terrorist organization,” the brigade commander further said.

Sack full of NPA propaganda confiscated by army: officer

From the Mindanao Times (Oct 9): Sack full of NPA propaganda confiscated by army: officer

Soldiers from the 36th Infantry Battalion seized a sack full of communist propaganda materials in Sitio Igis-igis, Barangay Cancavan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur around 9 a.m. on Monday.

Capt. Francisco Garello, Jr, the civil military operations officer of the 36th IB, said a total of 28 books espousing the Mao Ze Dong’s teachings, 392 news magazines of Ang Bayan, and 195 news magazines of Lingkawas were stuffed inside a sack.

Reportedly, the materials will be distributed to the communities as part of the effort to recruit the residents.

Garello said the soldiers were conducting a patrol in response to a tip from a concerned citizen that contraband from the New People's Army was dropped in the area and was ready for pick-up.

Some time last year, soldiers also found a number of NPA uniforms from a tip of the civilians in the area.

“They use these (propaganda materials) to shape the hearts and minds of the people so that they could entice them in joining their group,” he said.

“This only validates our statements that their organization is already falling apart due to massive surrenders and setbacks that they are in need of fresh recruits.”

In his statement, Lt. Col. Xerxes A. Trinidad, commanding officer of the 36th IB said the anonymous tip only proved that the residents area were already rejecting the NPA.

“Teachings in the books and feature stories in the magazines are among the tools and strategies of the NPA to entice supporters,” he said, adding that the seizure was a setback to the NPA.

Meanwhile, he said the 36th IB, upon the request of the schools and other stakeholders, is going around schools to conduct an information and education campaign to counter the propaganda of the NPA.

NPA rebels torch lemon farms, clash with militias in South

From the Mindanao Examiner (Oct 9): NPA rebels torch lemon farms, clash with militias in South

The communist insurgent group New People’s Army claimed to have wounded 8 government militias in a clash and destroyed lemon farms and farm equipment owned by wealthy family in southern Philippines, a rebel spokesman said Tuesday.

Omar Ibarra said rebel forces swooped down on the farms owned by Charity Ampong and torched her truck and destroyed an estimated 18 hectares of lemon fields in the village of Balit in Agusan del Sur’s San Luis town on October 4.

Ibarra accused the farm owner of not paying her workers correct wages in accordance with the law and branded Ampong as “despotic landlord.”

“Landlord Charity Ampong owns hundreds of hectares of lemon field in the barangay, yet she only pays impoverish wages to her farm-workers amounting to P250 per day,” he said.

There was no immediate statement from Ampong on the rebel group’s allegations, but Ibarra said fighting erupted the next day after government militias were deployed to hunt down the raiders.

Ibarra said fighting eventually broke out and one rebel, Joel Seguero, was killed by militias. “It was confirmed that 8 members of CAA (Civilian Active Auxiliary) were wounded-in-action. On the other hand, the NPA offered its highest salute to Ka Joel Seguero, who was martyred,” he said.

The military did not release any statement, but the NPA has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a separate state in the country.


7 pro-ISIS militants surrender in Lanao Sur

From the Mindanao Examiner (Oct 9): 7 pro-ISIS militants surrender in Lanao Sur

Seven pro-ISIS militants have surrendered to military and turned over their weapons in southern Philippines, an army spokesman said Wednesday.

Capt. Clint Antipala, of the 1st Infantry Division, said the militants were members of the Dawlah Islamiya and Maute Group, blamed by authorities for the deadly siege in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province last year.

He said the militants surrendered October 9 to the Joint Task Force Ranao in Lanao del Sur’s Pagayawan town. “The 55th Infantry Battalion, under the Joint Task Force Ranao, spearheaded the surrender of the group along with their firearms,” Antipala said.

The group handed over four rifles and five pistols, according to spokesman, but he did not identify those who surrendered, saying, they were being investigated. “Custodial debriefing of the group is still on-going,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Roseller Murillo, the division commander and task force chief, commended the soldiers for their efforts in the surrender of the militants.

Details of the surrender were not made available by the military.


PH Army dragon boat team wins 3 golds in SoKor

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): PH Army dragon boat team wins 3 golds in SoKor

(Photo courtesy: Philippine Army)

The Philippine Army (PA) team has netted three gold medals in the just-concluded 2018 ARA Waterways International Dragon Boat Festival held in Incheon, South Korea last Oct. 4-8.

In a statement late Monday, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said the event was organized by the Korean Dragon Boat Association.

Participating teams came from Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Villanueva said the Philippines' Army Dragon Boat Team dominated all three categories -- the 200-, 500- and 2,000-meter mixed event, including the tug-of-war, making them overall champion in the sporting meet.

The PA delegation consisted of six male and five female rowers.

It can be recalled that the same team was proclaimed as champion in the International Dragon Boat Federation, World Dragon Boat Championship held in Italy and Australia in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

PA Special Services Unit director and delegation head, Lt. Col. Raymond Dante P. Lachica, was impressed with the magnificent effort of the team.


PH will not join US military drills in WPS, Duterte tells China

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): PH will not join US military drills in WPS, Duterte tells China

President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines will not participate in the military exercises the United States will be conducting in the disputed West Philippines Sea (WPS).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte made this remark after Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua informed the Filipino leader about China’s concerns over US military movements in the WPS.

He said Zhao paid a courtesy call to Duterte on Monday to discuss the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Manila next month.

“China, of course, expressed concerns over a naval military exercise the US will be conducting in the area at about the same time that President Xi will be in the Philippines,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

“The President said we’ll not take part in the US military exercise,” he added.

He said the general consensus is to prepare for the fruitful and productive visit of the Chinese leader in November.

“We do not want to mar the visit of President Xi and we’re hoping the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) will make sure the visit would be fruitful and productive,” Roque said. “We want a seamless visit of President Xi.”

Roque said Zhao has also reiterated that China does not desire any military confrontation “as the results of the WPS either with other claimant states or with any other power because China is the biggest user of WPS”.

“Any military confrontation in WPS will have dark consequences as far as Chinese commerce is concern,” Roque said.

Roque said Duterte and Zhao agreed that Xi’s visit in Manila would further cement the already improving Philippines-China relations.

During his courtesy call, Zhao had also discussed with Duterte the joint exploration in the WPS, as both agreed that the proposal would be for the interest of the two countries.

Recently, Roque said the proposal to conduct exploration with China follows the Constitution, which provides that foreigners can participate in a 60-40 deal in favor of the Philippines.

The contested WPS is believed to have large deposits of oil and natural gas.


PH deploys C-130 loaded with aid supplies to Indonesia

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): PH deploys C-130 loaded with aid supplies to Indonesia

The Philippine government on Wednesday deployed a Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" cargo aircraft full of relief goods and other materials to earthquake and tsunami-ravaged Indonesia.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who was present during the send-off ceremonies at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, said the C-130 mission is in response to the request for aid by the Indonesian government.

"This is just a request by the Indonesian government if we could provide some humanitarian assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Palu, so this request has been given to us I think last week and it took us a a while to prepare for the goods as I said a while ago we could have reacted earlier but we had also disasters here in the Philippines (a reference to Typhoon 'Ompong' which ravaged several provinces in Northern Luzon last month), lately up to know, we are still retrieving some bodies at the landslides," he added.

The Philippine Air Force C-130 carries six water filtration units, six generators, 100 tents, 4,400 assorted sleeping kits.

"I think we are also donating some amount, I don't know the exact amount that the government will give to the Government of Indonesia to be used for the rehabilitation of (earthquake and tsunami-hit) Palu," the DND chief said.

Lorenzana said that a second C-130 sortie is scheduled on Oct. 15.

"The C-130 (and its crew) will be staying there (Indonesia) for quite some time to help in the ferrying of goods," he added.

When asked if the Philippines will be deploying any manpower for the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in Indonesia, Lorenzana said this will depend on the Indonesian government.

"(We) will wait for the request of the Indonesian government if they want people from us to help in the rehabilitation," the DND chief added.

The DND chief, however, clarified that the Philippines will not be involved in the ongoing retrieval operations.

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake which struck Sulawesi, Indonesia took place last Sept. 28 killed an estimated 2,000 people and destroyed 7,000 houses aside from triggering a six meter-tsunami.

Budi Dhewajani, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indonesian Embassy to the Philippines, expressed gratitude for the aid being provided by Manila.

"We thank, as I have mentioned earlier, we thank the government and the people of the Philippines for all the condolence and assistance when my government (requested) for international support, the Philippine government quickly responded (to) assist us in this difficult situation," she added.

10th ID commander eyed as next Army chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): 10th ID commander eyed as next Army chief

The incumbent commander of the Army's 10 Infantry Division is one of the contenders for the highest position in the Philippine Army when Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista bows out of the military service this month.

Maj. General Noel Clement, 10ID commander, said on Monday he is honored to be considered as commanding general of the Philippine Army.

Clement was quick to point out, however, that the other contenders are strong candidates as well. They are Maj. Gen. Macairog Alberto,  chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and Maj. Gen. Filemon Santos Jr., commander of the Army's 7th Infantry Division based in Nueva Ecija.

Like Clement, Alberto also served in Mindanao and was a former Task Force Davao commander, as well as commander of the Army's 1001st Infantry Brigade based in Barangay Mapaang, Maco, Compostela Valley.

Clement is in his second year as the commander of the 10ID based in Tuburan, Mawab, Compostela Valley province. He was installed in his current post in June 2017, replacing Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, who is currently the AFP Inspector General.

Clement was the former deputy chief of staff for operations of the AFP. The Agila division covers the area of Davao Region, Region 12, and the municipalities of Trento in Agusan del Sur, Lingig in Surigao del Sur and San Fernando in Bukidnon.

Bautista, the outgoing Army chief, is a member of PMA Class of 1985. He served as the overall commander of military operations in Marawi, directly leading armed forces troops against the Maute-ISIS group.


Army welcomes surrender of 36 communist terrorist group members

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): Army welcomes surrender of 36 communist terrorist group members

The Philippine Army welcomed the voluntary surrender of at least 36 underground members of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG) to the 81st Infantry (Spartan) Batallion in Ilocos Sur last Sept. 26.

The surrenderers were composed of nine members of the Kabataang Makabayan, a CTG solid mass organization in a remote Legazpi village in Galimuyod, Ilocos Sur, 10 other members of Kabataang Makabayan and 17 members of the Samahang Magsasaka in Bugnay village, Candon, Ilocos Sur.

They were presented to their respective municipal mayors.

In a press statement, Major General Felimon T. Santos, Jr. of the Philippine Army said, “it is never too late” for the surrenderers to change, and the earlier, the better so that they will have a plenty of time to live in peace with their families.

Santos assured the surrenderees will be welcomed and protected as he urged all others to quit from running and hiding and surrender now that there is still time for them to change.


134 Reds surrender in Masbate

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 10): 134 Reds surrender in Masbate

Some 134 communist members, including a National Democratic Front (NDF) officer from the Bicol Region have joined the government's Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

Capt. Joash Pramis, spokesperson of the Philippine military's 9th Infantry Division, said in a phone interview on Wednesday that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led national and local officials in accepting the hundreds of NPA rebels that decided to embrace peace.

Of the 134 rebel surrenderers, 109 were from Masbate while 25 came from Sorsogon.

"Among the rebel surrenderers was a political officer of the NDF operating in the island province of Masbate," Pramis said.

He said at least 15 assault firearms that were surrendered by the rebels were displayed for viewing at the ceremony held at the Magallanes Coliseum in Masbate City.

The CLIP integration program was followed by the opening of the newly built PHP5-million 4-storey concrete temporary shelter for rebel returnees at the Police Camp Boni Serrano compound in Masbate City.

The construction of the rebel shelter edifice can accommodate hundreds of people. This was the first structure built in the country, he said

The edifice called “Halfway House” serves as a temporary home, livelihood, processing and training center for former NPA rebels that undergoes integration process under the CLIP program.

The building can accommodate around 20 families, Pramis said.

Another additional PHP5-million is expected to be released as local government counterpart. The amount would be used to construct facilities.

Earlier, Lorenzana held a closed-door meeting with Masbate Gov. Antonio Kho and 21 city and town mayors.


Troops counter NPA harassment, extortion in Sarangani villages

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): Troops counter NPA harassment, extortion in Sarangani villages

Government troops have increased their presence in the upland communities of Malapatan town in Sarangani province to counter the reported harassment and extortion activities of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the area.

Lt Col. Marion Angcao, commanding officer of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion, said Tuesday that pursuit operations are ongoing against NPA rebels who reportedly preyed on civilians in remote villages of Malapatan.

Angcao said residents of Barangay Suyan reported last week the presence of
NPA rebels from its Front 71 under a certain alias “Bagyo.”

He said the rebels are behind the harassment and extortion activities against residents in Sitio Mahayag and other nearby sitios of Barangay Upper Suyan.

Responding 73IB  soldiers clashed with the rebels last Friday evening, resulting in the death of an alleged member of the NPA member identified as a certain Jimmy Ambat. The follow-up search and clearing0 of an M1 .30-caliber rifle, he said.
“(Our) troops are there in the area to secure peace and ensure the safety of residents as part of our mandate on protecting the people against terrorists,” Angcao said.

Angcao vowed to never "let our guards down” against any armed threat that can harm the peace in the community.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, commanding officer of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade, assured that the security operations will continue, noting that “the people of Sarangani deserve to have a peaceful environment.”

Ancan urged members of NPA units operating in the area to voluntarily surrender and avail of the government’s enhanced reintegration program.

“The continuous armed struggle will only bring death, misery, anger, and poverty. We are once again calling on the NPAs to go back to the folds of law. Various benefits are enhanced to support you and your families especially when you surrender and lay down your firearms,” Ancan said.


NPA member killed, 2 soldiers hurt in Bukidnon clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 9): NPA member killed, 2 soldiers hurt in Bukidnon clash

A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed while two soldiers were wounded in the encounter between communist rebels and the Army's First Special Forces Battalion in a forested area in Pangantucan, Bukidnon, on Monday.

Capt. Norman Tagros, spokesperson of the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade, on Tuesday said the soldiers were conducting a security patrol in the area in response to complaints of residents that armed men were extorting and intimidating them.

Tagros said a 30-minute firefight ensued after more or less 10 NPA members open fired on the patrolling troops, resulting in the death of one rebel believed to be a member of the
Guerilla Front 68 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

Two soldiers sustained minor injuries and are now undergoing treatment at the military hospital in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City.

Tagros said the troops also seized an M16 rifle with an attached M203 grenade launcher, an M16 rifle, M14 rifle, a barrel of an M60 machine gun, eight landmines, hand grenade, and assorted live ammunition.

Lt. Col. Sergio Macarandan, commanding officer of the First Special Forces Battalion, assured that the military, together with the police and local officials, will continue to secure the communities from armed groups such as the NPA.

“The encounter that transpired Monday was a result of the cooperation and collaboration of our state security forces, our local populace, and the local government unit of Pangantucan, Bukidnon,” Macarandan said in a statement on Tuesday.