From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 4, 2019): CPP-NPA losing mass base in Surigao Sur town
LOSING GROUND. Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, commanding officer of 3rd Special Forces Battalion, commends the courage of officials of the 13 villages in San Agustin town in Surigao del Sur for declaring the NPAs persona non grata. With the declaration, Baybayan said the NPA rebels are now losing their grounds in San Agustin and warned residents to be more vigilant as the rebels might resort to desperate moves. (Photo courtesy of CMO, 3SFBn, PA)
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), are now losing more mass base in San Agustin town, Surigao del Sur, a top Army official in the area said.
In a statement on Sunday, the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) said all of the 13 villages in San Agustin have recently declared the NPA rebels as “persona non grata” through a series of resolutions issued by barangay councils, the latest of which were approved in October this year.
Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, 3SFBn commanding officer, said the declarations made by officials of the 13 barangays in San Agustin revealed their “courageous moves and concrete manifestations of their all-out support to the country’s whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict.”
The whole-of-nation approach is incorporated in Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with the aim of realizing lasting peace and genuine development in areas long been disturbed by conflicts brought about by the presence of the communist movement.
In the same statement, 3SFBn Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Officer, 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan said the resolutions of the villages cited the terror acts committed by the CPP-NPA in the area, to include the collection of revolutionary taxes, hostage-takings, harassments, and killings of innocent and defenseless civilians.
The 13 villages that recently declared the CPP-NPA persona non grata include Britania, Buatong, Buhisan, Gata, Hornasan, Janipaan, Kauswagan, Oteiza, Poblacion, Pong-on, Pongtod, Salvacion and Santo Niño.
Baybayan also commended the local government of San Agustin town headed by Mayor Libertad Alameda and the League of Barangays in the area for their courageous stand against the NPA rebels.
Baybayan also asked the people in the area to be “more vigilant because the remaining NPA rebels have no other means to gain support but to intimidate and terrorize the Indigenous People communities, local leaders, investors and residents from far-flung areas.”
He added that NPA rebels will also liquidate personnel and destroy government properties such as burning construction equipment to delay the government’s developmental projects and to show that they still exist in the area.
Meanwhile, elements of 7th Special Forces Company (7SFC) under the 3SFBn recovered in the hinterland of Purok Bombels, Awisan, Tandag City in Surigao del Sur one 5.56mm M4 Carbine Bushmaster rifle.
In a separate statement on Sunday, 1Lt. Punsalan said the recovery of the high-powered firearm was made possible through the information provided by alias Kakar, a squad leader of Platoon 1, of Guerrilla Front 30 (GF-30) of the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) of the CPP-NPA.
GF-30 is already considered by the Army as a weakened guerrilla front of the NPA in Surigao del Sur.
Alias “Kakar”, 34, previously surrendered to authorities after joining the NPA movement for more than three years.
Punsalan said “Kakar” got tired of roaming around the hinterlands and living a miserable life under the command of corrupt NPA commanders.
“I have no future in the NPA movement. All I want now is to go back to my family,” Alias Kakar was quoted in the statement as saying.
Punsalan said “Kakar” will be joining the other surrenderers for enrollment to the Enhanced Local Integration Program of the government.
“He will receive benefits for choosing the path to peace,” Punsalan said.