(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 06 December 2023) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Northeast Monsoon affecting Extreme Northern Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Caraga stakeholders tackle strategies, mechanisms for EO 70 implementation 

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 15 (PIA) -- Led by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the member-agencies of the Regional Task Force – Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict or (RTF-ELCAC) convened and discussed the strategies and mechanisms to intensify the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 or the whole of nation approach to end insurgency in Caraga region.

According to Director Manuel Orduña of NICA, government agencies should work together in identifying the issues and concerns in the communities, as well as the root causes of armed conflict, and address all these. Planning on specific ways and means should also be determined in order to achieve peaceful resolutions and sustainable development.

He also said that the task force would strengthen the areas covered under the peace and development zones, where government’s programs and services will continuously be provided to them. The needs of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) would also be given due attention as they are the ones directly affected by the conflict caused mainly by the new people's army.

Capt. Aldim Viernes, civil military operations officer of 401st Brigade, Philippine Army emphasized that they have constant engagement and development activities with the IPs.

Meanwhile, in the field of communication, Capt. Viernes highlighted that the army in Caraga would continue to enhance their skills on the responsible use of social media and other platforms in disseminating relevant information, including the accomplishments of the task force, so people would not be deceived by the false information and propaganda which the communist-terrorist groups circulate online. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

PopCom, partners to address RH, fertility concerns

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, July 15 (PIA) –- With the aim to address reproductive health and fertility concerns among the growing children – the adolescents of the region, the Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga has partnered with different government agencies, civil society organizations and church.

PopCom Caraga Regional Director Alexander Makinano is hopeful that with the partnership, the adolescents will help the adolescents become responsible especially in saying no to early sexual activity to prevent teenage pregnancy.

According to Makinano, the partnership has a started a year ago and they are looking forward for a result a year from now with the hope that there will be no unplanned pregnancy among our teenagers in future.

“As of now, teenage pregnancy is increasing in both rural and urban areas as per Philippine Statistics Authority Demographic Survey Result,” Makinano said. However, urban areas are higher in cases compared to the rural due to unregulated accessibility pornographic materials including social media access of young people, he said.

“The higher the exposure among our growing children to pornographic materials, the higher the probability they would engage in sex,” Makinano added.

Makinano also said that there is a resolution by the Caraga Regional Development Council requesting government offices concerned to closely supervise, monitor and even restricts the minors especially during school hours from using the internet, and not allow owners to maintain closed cubicles in their internet cafes.

Moreover, Makinano said that parents still hold the responsibility to monitor their children’s activities.

Meanwhile, Department of Health Caraga regional director Jose Llacuna, Jr. said that giving the right health information is very important. He urges partner media, the press to disseminate the correct information on health especially on family planning. The government is doing its part in providing good health but it is the responsibility of every individual to maintain it, he said. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

 2 NPA terrorists killed in Agusan del Sur

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, July 16 -- Two terrorists New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in clash with the government troops in Barangay Bunawan Brook, Agusan del Sur at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, 2019, after the 75th Infantry Marauder Battalion (75IB) conducted security operations in the area due to the reports of the concerned citizens on the presence of armed men in Sitio Sta Monica, Bunawan Brook, collecting money and foodstuffs to the residents.

The 15-minute clash erupted after the NPA fired upon the patrolling soldiers while clearing the vicinity of the Sitio Sta. Monica, which resulted to the death of two terrorists and the recovery of one Norinco AK 47 rifle, one M16A1 rifle, one Cal. 45 pistol, one hand grenade, empty magazines of AK47 and M16, backpacks and personal items, while there was no reported casualty on the government side.

According to Lt. Colonel Jaime Datuin, commanding officer of 75IB,the encounter was the result of the joint efforts of 75IB and the concerned residents of So. Sta Monica.

“Without the efforts of the residents themselves in giving us timely and accurate information, we cannot pinpoint the exact location of these terrorists. And because of that, we were able to decisively engage them, stopping them on their extortion activities to the residents, and preventing them to conduct more atrocities in my Area of Operations,” he said.

Based on the report, the two terrorists killed belonged to the NPA’s Weakened Guerrilla Front 14 under Arnold Orlanes Conejar, alias Jorlan, operating in the boundary municipalities of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur.    

“We will continue to intensify our security operations in the Brigade’s Area of Responsibility to neutralize the remaining members of this terrorist NPAs to boost the confidence of our local government units in facilitating the localized implementation of EO 70 in the province. We now have three neutralized NPAs and four high powered firearms recovered just this week, and I strongly believe, this will send a strong message to these terrorists,” Colonel Allan Hambala, commander of 401st Infantry Brigade, pointed out.

“Avail now of the government’s amnesty initiative or die later. You are free to choose,” Col. Hambala added.

The cadavers were brought to Dolete Funeral Homes in Trento for identification and proper disposition. (75IB, PA/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Farmers’ group disowns CNTs

By 1Lt Roel Maglalang

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, July 16 – Members of Unyon ng Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte or UMAN, a known New Peoples Army (NPA) allied organization, recently disowned the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) New Peoples Army (NPA) Terrorists or CNT group and took their pledge of loyalty and allegiance to the government during a Peace Consultation Dialogue held in Barangay Bitan-agan, Butuan City.

In a dialogue initiated by the Barangay Council of Barangay Bitan-agan, in partnership with the local government unit of Butuan City and the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion, more than 150 UMAN members, NPA supporters and residents of Barangay Bitan-agan, Butuan City have denounced their support to the CNTs.

The dialogue was aimed to address the issues raised by the residents and the former members of UMAN in the said area. Some of the issues discussed include he security of land tenure; livelihood and employment; youth recruitment; and peace and order, among others.

The UMAN is an organization used by the CPP-NPA Terrorists to recruit farmers as its source of manpower, finance and logistics. Members are being made to pay dues with a promise to give them the lands that they are tilling.

According to Joseph (not his real name), “Kung nakahibalo lang mi sa una na mao ang tomong sa UMAN, wala mi unta nag-apil. Nagpasalig sila na tagaan mig yuta. Kinsa bay dili ganahag yuta busa niapil mi nila. Pero, nabutang hinuon mi sa kasamok. Paningkamutan namo na mausab among kinabuhi pinaagi sa mga programa sa atong gobyerno (If we only knew the real intent of UMAN, we could not have joined them. They promised to give us land so we joined them, only to find ourselves lodged in turmoil. We’ll do our best to straighten up our lives through the programs of our government)."

After taking their pledge of loyalty and allegiance to the government, they took an oath to disown UMAN, end their support to the CPP-NPA-NDF, and not to succumb to any group who will organize and take advantage of them.

Meanwhile, Lola Agnes, a former rebel (FR) and the National President of People’s Advocacy for Collaborationand Empowerment (PEACE), which is an organization of FRs, explained the deception strategies and tactics of the CNTs in recruiting their members. 

“Hangga’t may armado sa lugar ninyo, hindi kayo uunlad. Hanggang kailan ba matatapos ang patayan na walang saysay? Kung talagang para sa bayan pinaglalaban ng mga NPA, bakit nila sinisira ang mga tulay at gusali na itinayo ng gobyerno? Bakit sa loob ng singkwentang taon wala silang naitayong paaralan, tulay, kalsada, health centers o kahit mamigay man lang ng mga gamot? Mamulat na tayo sa katotohanan. Huwag na tayong magpaloko at magpagamit sa komonistang NPA," she said.

Moreover, Lt. Colonel Francisco Molina Jr, Commanding Officer, 23IB encouraged the former members of UMAN and CNT supporters to stop supporting the CNTs.

He said “Akong giawhag ang tanan na dili na mag-apil-apil sa grupong UMAN og magsuporta sa Teroristang CPP-NPA. Kung inyo ning ipadayon mabutang lang sa piligro ang inyong kinabuhi. Walay maayong mahatag ang Teroristang CPP-NPA kung dili kadautan og kagubot (I encourage everyone not to join UMAN anymore and support the CNTs. It will not give you good but only destroys and makes your lives miserable)," Molina added.

In his statement, Col. Maurito Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander said "the trend of shift of support is the result of the convergence of effort being orchestrated and initiated by the local government leaders. The game changer in addressing the insurgency problem here in Caraga."

Lastly, Col. Licudine emphasized that with the Executive Order No. 70, the government shall prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development in the conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities facilitate social inclusivity and ensure participation of all sectors. (NCLM/CMO Officer, 23IB, 4ID, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)