Army: NPA violates ceasefire, attacks troops in peace mode, rescue mission

The New People’s Army in Caraga and Northern Mindanao launched deliberate and coordinated attacks and harassments against the government troops who are undergoing disaster response operations and community support activities with the local government units and agencies, Jan. 30, 2017.

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NPA elements lobbed two hand grenades to troops undertaking relief operations at barangay (village) Concepcion in Valencia city, Bukidnon. Fortunately, the grenades, which landed just a few meters from the evacuation center, did not explode. This could have caused casualties and further misery to the civilian flood victims.

Separate attacks were also made on soldiers undertaking community support activities in one outskirt barangay of Surigao City and three barangays in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte in the wee hours of Jan. 30.

Just about after midnight, at least 10 NPAs attacked the troops of 30th Infantry Battalion who are supporting the local government unit in sitio Brazil, barangay Mat-I, Surigao City in their Bayanihan efforts. The troops managed to push the rebels to withdraw out of the community while three soldiers were slightly wounded.

The incident happened the day after the NPA abducted a soldier of 30IB while he was with the civilians doing a civic-action and clean up activity at barangay Budlingan in Alegria, Surigao del Norte. The soldier is unarmed and in civilian attire when he was taken by the rebels.

Ltc Rico Amaro, 30IB commanding officer immediately coordinated with the provincial government about the incident.

Governor Sol F. Matugas convened the Local Crisis Management Committee to discuss their next action.

Another attacked was launched at around 1:30 a.m.by the NPAs against the troops of 29th Infantry Ballation who are deployed in barangays San Isidro and Mahayahay, Kitcharao town, Agusan del Norte. These troops were also deployed to help the LGUs deliver the programs and basic services for the constituents.

An hour later, another attack was launched at around 2:30 a.m. in brgy Hinimbangan, (another community of Kitcharao, AND). There were no casualties on the part of the government troop in these areas. However, there are reported damages on the civilian properties due to the indiscriminate strafing perpetrated by the NPAs to include the explosion of one hand grenade that was thrown by a rebel near the civilian houses.

Ltc Glenn Joy Aynera, 29thIB commanding officer alerted his troops who are also deployed as part of the Bayanihan Team in other communities within his area of responsibility. He immediately informed the local chief executives about the incident.

The military noted that the CPP-NPA-NDF has declared its unilateral ceasefire on August 2016 to reciprocate the declaration of the Government to pave way for the Peace Talks.

MGen Benjamin R Madrigal Jr, 4th Infantry Division commander, said, “The military has abide by its ceasefire declaration and continues to fully support the peace process. On the other hand, These tactical offensives by the NPA’s are inconsistent with their ceasefire declaration and could imperil the ongoing peace negotiations. These acts of violence also add further misery and suffering to the affected communities.”

Lt Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Eastern Mindanao Command commander, meanwhile, called on the CNN to show sincerity in their peace talks with the government by directing their armed members to immediately desist from committing further atrocities. (4ID)

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