Publish in Manila Bulletin
Davao City—About 20 heavily armed New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked Peace and Development Team (PDT) belonging to the 68th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Paiton, Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod around 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, the Philippine Army (PA) reported.
The military said PDT troops were conducting a needs-assessment survey in the area as part of coordinated efforts with the local government when the rebels launched their lightning assault.
A member of the PA auxiliary, Angelito Togcos was wounded during the attack and was immediately airlifted to Panacan Station Hospital here.
Pursuit operations were immediately launched by the 68th IB when the rebels withdrew after the exchange of gun fire.
“The treacherous actions of the NPA clearly show that they don’t want peace and development in our communities. The Needs Assessment Survey conducted by the PDTs is very important, especially in collecting data in very remote areas, to effectively and efficiently facilitate the delivery of services by the local government of Talaingod and other agencies,” the military said in the a statement.
Meanwhile, Major General Eduardo M. Año, commander of the 10th Infantry Division remained optimistic that peace can still be achieved in the area despite the NPA attacks.
“There is still a lot of work to be done in the area, but if we continue to work with the local government and the people, achieving our dream of peace and development is only a matter of time.” General Año said.
…BUT 6 SURRENDER IN BUKIDNON
Davao City — Six members of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the province of Bukidnon yielded to the 23rd Infantry Battalion on Thursday, the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported.
Captain Alberto Caber, chief information officer of EastMinCom said the rebels turned over to the military one US cal. 30 Garand rifle; one shotgun; one .45 cal. pistol; one 9mm pistol; and two .38 revolvers in Barangay Sitio San Mateo, Barangay Indulang, Talakag town in Bukidnon.
Caber added that the six rebels are now in the custody of the 23rd IB for interview and documentation.
The rebels were identified as Ramil Tun-an, Yonifin Ped-ak, Rene Tun-an, Angelo Ped-ak, Reynaldo Ped-ak and Toto Guilay.
Lt. Col. Lymart Castisimo, commander of the 23rd IB said they welcomed the surrender of the NPAs which decided “is the result of our community organizing and peace and development which is complemented by our speakers’ bureau.”
“The comprehensive local integration program under the local government units will help ease them back to the mainstream of society because our units will be assisting them best way we can,” Castisimo added.
Meanwhile, EastMinCom commander Major General Aurelio Baladas commended the 23rd IB for winning the peace without firefight in the area.
“Our soldier’s job is all about peace and development through Bayanihan, and our most important role is to redeem our people especially the Indigenous Peoples or Lumad from the manipulations and exploitation by the CPP-NPA in their own ancestral domain areas,” Baladad pointed out.