Monday, February 1, 2016

NPA Loses in Sarangani and Davao del Sur in 2015

MALITA, Davao Occidental – An Army unit that covers the eastern municipalities of Sarangani province, District 2 and municipality of Malalag in the province of Davao del Sur claims that the NPA rebels in its area of responsibility was significantly degraded. 

Lt. Col. Ronnie Babac, Commander of 73rd IB, said that in the year-end of 2015, there are significant accomplishments that the Battalion made that manifests that the CPP/NPA lost its influence in the hinterlands of the provinces of Sarangani and Davao del Sur. “It is undeniable that the rebel group is now weak and its membership has greatly diminish considering the number of those who surrendered and result of series of encounters last 2015 wherein numerous casualties were recorded. Those who surrendered complained of hardship, unfulfilled promises by their recruiters and realization of the futility of their struggle”. Lt. Col. Babac said

Remarkably for 2015, the following are the accomplishments of 73rd IB:

-Fifty Seven (57) former rebels who surrendered

-Thirteen (13) firearms were also recovered and surrendered

-Thirteen (13) IEDs recovered that save the lives the personnel of 73IB if were used against them

-Seven (7) killed during encounter

-Wounding seven NPAs who all went on lie low after their recovery

-In coordination with the PNP, filed fifteen cases against various personalities connected with the CNN

- Seven barangay in the AOR to declare persona non grata in the barangay

-In coordination with LGUs in the AOR, facilitated the construction of three school buildings that are located in the former guerilla bases of the rebels.

-All of these accomplishments led to the dissolution of GF75.

Moreover, for this month of 2016 alone, ten (10) members of the GF 71 have surrendered, two of them brought with them their firearms, one M16 and one AK47 rifles.

It can be recalled that series of encounters favored 73rd IB troopers against the NPA in 2015 wherein a number of high powered firearms were recovered and several casualties including the death and lie low of their high ranking commanders and members. Among those killed in various major encounters in 2015 were Tolentino Bariquit @Brigol, Secretary of the defunct GF75, a certain @Jasig, CO of platoon 2, GF71 and two were crippled because of major injury they suffered during encounters: @ Jerry, CO of platoon 2, GF 71 and @ Jay R, CO, SDG, GF 71. Moreover, @ Lucas the former Secretary of the defunct GF75 as revealed by those who surrendered went on AWOL after he was put into “DA” (disciplinary action) after he was caught to have slept with a female rebel who is not his party wife and incidentally the wife of his son that was killed last October 14, 2014. Accordingly, he escaped with a big amount of cash that is supposed to be used during the giving of birth of four pregnant female rebels. 

Col. Ronald Villanueva, Brigade commander of 1002nd Brigade who oversees the operations of 73rd IB says that the sustained social pressure from all stakeholders from provincial down to barangay level convince the rebels to surrender. Moreover, Lt. Col. Babac was designated as the Battalion Commander one year ago, and as far as the Army is concerned, his battalion did a great job. The 73rd IB contributed immensely to the accomplishment of the 1002ndBridage’s mission in 2015. The collaboration of Local Chief Executives, the IP leaders and the citizens of the barangays lead to the dismantling Guerilla Front 75 and the reduction of armed members of Guerilla Front 71.

Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, Commander of 10th Infantry Division for his part accorded the accomplishments of the 73IB. “With the performance of the soldiers of 73rd IB and its leadership, the enemy in the area is now losing its capabilities and beginning to disintegrate. I congratulate the 73rd IB in upholding peace and development in its area of operation. With these circumstances, I would like to stress out that if there is good governance and security, there will be peace; if there is development and security, there will be prosperity; and if there is good governance, security and development, the national well-being of the Filipino is secured.” MGen. Valencia said.

Source: 73rd Infantry Battalion, 10th ID, PA

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