‘Saludo sa patuloy na dedikasyon na paglingkuran at ipaglaban ang bayan’

Bong Go joins PRRD in PMA commencement exercise

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go hailed the new graduates of the Philippine Military Academy and reminded them to stay committed in serving the country and protecting their fellow Filipinos as they enter the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

On Sunday, May 15, Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte as the latter spearheaded the commencement exercises of ‘Bagong Sibol sa Kinabukasan Didigma Hanggang sa Wakas’ (BAGSIK DIWA) Class of 2022 at the Fort General Gregorio H. del Pilar in Baguio City.

PMA BAGSIK DIWA Class has 214 graduating cadets, composed of 165 males and 49 females. They shall be deployed in the three branches of the AFP, with 104 joining the Philippine Army, 57 in the Philippine Navy, and 53 in the Philippine Air Force.

“Today, the man in uniform must do many things at the same time, if he is to be relevant to these changing times. He must be both a warrior and a peacemaker, an arms bearer and a pencil pusher, skilled at the art of war and a depth of lifesaver, an offensive machine, an inferious defender, a tribune and a diplomat, a soldier and a civil servant,” Duterte stressed in his remarks.

“The Philippine Military Academy has efficiently prepared you for all possibilities and all eventualities. The eyes of the Filipino people are upon you. Always remain true to your oath,” he urged.

Echoing the President’s appeal, Senator Go urged the graduates to fulfill their pledge to the country and continue pursuing Duterte’s vision of securing the welfare, well-being and way of life of every Filipino while providing a comfortable life for all.

The senator also commended the educators and their loved ones who supported the graduates’ journey, saying, “Hindi lang po ang mga cadet ang nagtapos dito. Congratulations din po sa ating mga magulang at guro sa hanay ng PMA. Kung hindi po dahil sa inyo ay hindi po nila ito makakayanan mag-isa.”

“Sa 214 na nakapagtapos ng kanilang pag-aaral, maraming salamat po sa inyong hangarin na makapaglingkod at ipaglaban ang ating bayan. Asahan niyo po na kami po ni Pangulong Duterte ay aalalay sa inyo sa abot ng aming makakaya,” he reassured.

Even before becoming a senator, Go was instrumental in pushing for the salary increase of uniformed personnel, in fulfillment of President Duterte’s promise at the start of his term. In January 2018, President Duterte signed Joint Resolution No. 1 which increased the base pay of all military and uniformed personnel in the government.

As uniformed personnel plays a crucial role in maintaining national peace and order, the resolution doubled the base pay of a Private in the AFP, Police Officer I in the Philippine National Police, and their equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast Guard, and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

“Noong umupo siya noong 2016, naisakatuparan po noong 2018. Ako po ‘yung isa sa inutusan niya at tumulong po sa desisyon na ‘yon na idoble po ang sahod ng ating mga militar at pulis,” the lawmaker previously remarked.

“Alam po namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang hirap ng inyong trabaho, kaya noon pa ay inuna na naming isinulong ang pagtaas ng sweldo for all uniformed personnel,” he continued.

The senator has also filed Senate Bill No. 393 to provide free legal assistance to military and police officers, explaining that law enforcers sometimes hesitate to implement the full force of the law because of fear of harassment from powerful personalities who may file cases against them in connection with the performance of their official duties.

“Tulungan natin ang ating mga militar at pulis para magampanan ang kanilang tungkulin. Basta nasa tama kayo, ipaglalaban namin kayo ni Pangulong Duterte,” he ended.

EastMinCom troops neutralize ranking CTG leader, thwart plan to terrorize communities

EastMinCom troops neutralize ranking CTG leader, thwart plan to terrorize communities

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) through the directive of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol has successfully foiled the planned attacks of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) against civilian communities as the troops of 1001st Infantry Brigade killed a CTG high-ranking leader and two of his companions during an encounter in Brgy. Tupaz Maragusan, Davao de Oro on March 27.

They were identified as Ezequil Cortez Daguman, Central Committee member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Executive Committee member of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), and Deputy Secretary/Intelligence Officer of Regional Operations Command (ROC), SMRC; Ruel Baylon; and Quirino Remegio, all members of ROC, SMRC.

Troops also seized high-powered firearms and war materiel composed of three M4 rifles, an M16A1 rifle, an AK47, two M203 grenade launchers, an improvised explosive device (IED), several 40mm high-explosive ammunitions, 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunitions, medical paraphernalia, and personal belongings.

LtGen. Almerol said that the encounter occurred a day before the 53rd Founding Anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA) wherein it was purportedly directed by the CPP to conduct terroristic activities against vulnerable communities. However, these were preempted through the report of concerned citizens.

“Our troops who have been conducting focused military operations since last year to sustain our crackdown against the remaining CTG were alerted by concerned citizens on the presence of armed groups attempting to plant an IED along the road. This was immediately responded to by the 1001st Brigade’s troops, which led to a series of armed encounters and resulted in the death of Daguman and his comrades,” he said.

The EastMinCom Commander bared that Daguman was a notorious CTG personality who was wanted for various crimes including kidnapping, serious illegal detention, double murder, robbery with violence, and murder.

“He was involved in the attacks and burning of the Lapanday Corporation Plastic Plant and Lorenzo Farm in Davao City, and the Macondray Plastic Plant in Panabo City on April 29, 2017. This led to the death of a fish vendor identified as Larry Buenafe during an IED explosion, which was supposed to block EastMinCom’s responding troops,” he recalled.

Apart from this, Daguman was also pointed to the murder of Datu Ruben Labawan, a tribal leader in Paquibato, Davao City in 2015.

“With the death of Daguman, those who fell victim to his atrocities, particularly the Indigenous Peoples and innocent civilians in Mindanao will now be given justice,” LtGen. Almerol expressed.

Meanwhile, the EastMinCom Commander assessed that the CTG’s foiled attacks add more proof of their weakened capability due to the massive neutralization of their leaders and members, recovery of firearms, and withdrawal of support of mass organizations.

For the 1st Quarter of 2022, EastMinCom has recorded the neutralization of 357 CTG personalities composed of 126 surrendered, 20 killed, 14 captured/apprehended, and 197 withdrawing their support. Troops also seized a total of 176 firearms composed of 157 high-powered and 19 low-powered, as well as recovered 59 anti-personnel mines.

LtGen. Almerol further shared that the CTG is on the verge of collapse, especially in the area of Davao Region, following the successive neutralization of its ranking leaders in the previous days and the firm support of the communities and local leaders to put an end to the local communist armed conflict.

“The CPP-NPA’s threats are mere words to show force. These are already futile to their forces on the ground who are hungry, exhausted, and lack the resources to continue fighting due to the series of encounters with our troops,” he said.

“With our continued focused military operations and support of the local government units, local agencies, and other civilian sectors, we will ensure that the CTG’s reign of terror will end until we finally achieve total peace and development in this part of our country,” he added, emphasizing that “the CTG is now at the sunset of their 53 years of cruelty.”

The EastMinCom Commander also reiterated his appeal to the remaining members of the CTG to spare their lives by yielding to troops just as their former comrades who are now enjoying the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) – a government intervention to aid them as they reintegrate into mainstream society.

“Time and again, we are giving you the chance to live a new and peaceful life through the programs of government. May the recent death of your three comrades convince you that we are serious in our call. Those who will not heed will surely fall at the hands of government security forces,” he said.

NPA losing foothold in MisOr, 3 rebels killed in skirmish

NPA losing foothold in MisOr, 3 rebels killed in skirmish

DAVAO CITY – With the intensified focused military operations directed by LtGen. Greg T. Almerol to the maneuver forces of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) to put more pressure among the remnants of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG), troops of the 402nd Brigade’s 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) has neutralized three CTG members belonging to North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) during a series of encounters in the hinterlands of Barangay Plaridel, Claveria, Misamis Oriental on March 18.

The killed terrorists were identified as Agay Taquin, Andrew Odiongan, and Joan Pajardo.

Troops also seized high-powered firearms and war materiel composed of a M16 rifle with magazine and ammunitions, a Carbine rifle with magazine and ammunitions, a KG9 rifle, five makeshift tents, personal belongings, and subversive documents.

LtGen. Almerol said that the continuous growing number of neutralized CTG members is a clear manifestation of the strong cooperation of the populace to ending local communist armed conflict.

“With no letup in our intensified combat operations, coupled with the strong support from the Local Government Units and the populace, we are optimistic that we can achieve our goals to put an end to the communist armed conflict in Eastern Mindanao and finally make way for unhampered peace and development,” LtGen. Almerol expressed.

The EastMinCom Commander also lauded the troops for the recent accomplishment, saying that these are crucial to the attainment of EastMinCom’s campaign for peace and development in Eastern Mindanao.

He also commended the active participation of the populace of Misamis Oriental who gave timely and vital information on the presence of the armed group.

“Your unwavering passion and strong determination to pursue the remaining CTG make our vision of an insurgency-free country closer to its realization,” LtGen. Almerol said.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol expressed that he had continually encouraged the remaining members of CTG to yield and offered them a second chance but some have still chosen the hardest option, which led to their demise.

“Time and again, we have given them the opportunity to live a new and peaceful life through the programs of government. The death of the three terrorists is an example that to those who will not heed will surely fall at the hands of government security forces,” he said.

He also reiterated his call to the remaining members of CTG to peacefully surrender and and emulate their comrades who have already chosen the path of peace.

“For those who will choose to surrender, various government services through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) are waiting on your return. For those who will remain, we will relentlessly hunt you down until you will have no other option but to lay down your arms,” LtGen. Almerol added.

Three NPA arms caches were discovered, 11 High Powered Firearms retrieved

ASUNCION, DDN – 11 high-powered firearms (HPFA) of the New People’s Army (NPA) cached in different three (3) different locations were discovered through a simultaneous Joint Intelligence Operations by 60th Infantry “MEDIATOR” Battalion, 10th Infantry “AGILA” Division, Philippine Army on March 12 (Saturday).

Early that morning (4:00 a.m.), intelligence operatives of 60IB led by Lt. Col. Merrill C Sumalinog, Acting Commander of 60IB discovered an arms cache at Sitio Bagtok, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

The troops recovered four (4) M16 rifles, one (1) AK 47 rifle, and one (1) lower receiver of an M203 grenade launcher.
Another arms cache of two (2) M16 rifles and one (1) M653 rifle were discovered on the same day (5:00 a.m.) under the same unit at Sitio Tagbalili, Barangay San Vicente, Loreto, Agusan del Sur.

At about 6:00 a.m., another arms cache was discovered with two (2) M16 rifles at Sitio Bubujawon, Barangay Waloe, Loreto, Agusan del Sur by operating troops of this unit.

The location of the arms cache was revealed by the former members of the Weakened Guerilla Front 3 (WGF3), Sub-Regional Committee 4 (SRC 4), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) who recently surrendered to 60IB on February 26.

Said former rebels revealed that the majority of these cached firearms were owned by their former comrades who recently returned to the folds of the law who belong to the remnants of the dismantled fronts of SMRC earlier in 2020 (i.e., Guerilla Front 34, Pulang Bagani Command 4).

Due to the decreasing manpower of SMRC, the pressure caused by the relentless focused military operations and the significant loss of their mass bases, they were forced to hide their firearms in arms caches.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Sumalinog, recognized the efforts of his troops and the Local Government Units (LGUs) and other stakeholders in its area of responsibility (AOR) who painstakingly supported the ongoing operations in the areas of Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Davao de Oro provinces.

“This is again an achievement not just for our unit [60IB] but also for the 1001st Infantry “PAG-ASA” Brigade, 10th Infantry “AGILA” Division, Philippine Army as a well. Let me extend my heartfelt gratitude to our higher units who continuously supported us in accomplishing our unit’s mission of totally dismantling WGF 3. This is also a result of the efforts of various stakeholders and the LGU in our unit’s AOR in ensuring that all basic services are delivered to far-flung communities which prevent further insulation from communist-terrorist groups. Above all, this is an accomplishment of the people in the communities who visioned for a peaceful and developed society,” said Lt. Col. Sumalinog.

He further encouraged all the troops to continue supporting the different LGUs in their peace initiatives and the implementation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) to encourage other NPA members to return to the folds of the law.

The recovered firearms will be turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for proper disposition and will be later on enrolled to ECLIP for remuneration.

Top 5 most wanted arrested by CIDG

A suspected terrorist involved in several terroristic activities in the Davao Region was arrested by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police in Davao City on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

The arrested suspect is identified as one Quirwin Lanson, 36 years old, married, and former member of the Pulang Bagani Command 1, Special Operations Group Regional Operations Command of the Southern Mindanao Regional Command of the New People’s Army.

Lanson was arrested in Purok 2B, Upper Dampa in Brgy. Magtuod, Davao City Wednesday morning.

The arresting team was led by P/Lt. Col. Darwin Padla of the CIDG together with the 112th Special Action Force, the Regional Intelligence Unit 11, DCPO-CIU and Talomo Police, who served the warrant of arrest against the accused for FRUSTRATED MURDER.

Lanson was said to have been involved in gathering information in the attack/burning of LAPANDAY Corporation Plastic Plant and the death of fish vendor during IED explosion on April 29, 2017.

He was also said to be involved in the burning of heavy equipment owned by Ulticon Builders Incorporated in Brgy. Callawa, Buhangin Dist., Davao City and burning of one container van in Sitio Banarao, Brgy. Talandang, Tugbok District, Davao City.

The arrested person was properly documented and presently detained at Talomo Police Station.