(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 04 April, 2020) Easterlies affecting eastern section of Mindanao. Mindanao will have partly cloudy-cloudy skies w/ isolated rainshowers due to Easterlies on the eastern section of Mindanao & localized thunderstorms on other portions of Mindanao. Light-moderate winds from E-NE w/ slight-moderate seas.PAGASA Mind./cta/ayn

Thursday, December 26, 2019


Over 38 rebels surrender in AgSur town

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 26 -- Through the joint efforts of the La Paz Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) and the Community Support Program (CSP) of the Philippine Army, the voluntary surrender of 38 rebels from different left-leaning groups was induced on December 17 in La Paz, Agusan del Sur.

Among those who surrendered were two regular members of the Guerilla Front 88 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), two on lay low members, eight active members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB), eight former members currently in support, and 18 mass supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Upon surrender, firearms and ammunition were also yielded from the rebels such as four cal. 45 pistols, one KG-9 sub machine gun pistol, one ARMSCOR shotgun, two homemade rifles known as “surit”, over 65 ammunitions, and five magazines.

The mayor of the said municipality Michael D. Lim officiated the recitation of the Oath of Allegiance to the Philippine Constitution and assured the surrenderees that they will be assisted by the local government in establishing their new lives as law-abiding citizens of the Philippine law.

“Through the mandate of the Executive Order No. 70, we will implement all the necessary livelihood programs in your community that will help you improve your economic status and relieve you from poverty,” he said.

Lt. Col. Romeo C. Jimenea, Commanding Officer of the 26th Infantry Battalion, also lauded the task force for such an accomplishment, citing it as a marker of the effectiveness of the executive order in combating insurgency.

“We have already made great progress in our campaign against insurgency. With the cooperation of everyone and other agencies, creating conflict-resilient communities will be more than just a goal, it will indeed become a reality,” he added. (26IB/PIA-Caraga)

123 CNT members, supporters surrender to Army in SurSur

By Capt. Jonald Romorosa

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Dec 26 -- A total of 123 Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) members and their supporters voluntarily surrendered to the Community Support Program (CSP) teams of the Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion (36IB) from the third and fourth quarters of the year 2019 in the province of Surigao del Sur.                                       

Of the 123 surrenderees, 10 of them are NPA regulars on lie-low status, 32 were Milisya ng Bayan, five Sanga sa Partido sa Localidad (SPL) and 76 Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) members.

Accordingly, they were from Sitio Banahao of Barangay Maitom in Tandag City; Sitio Cadlum of Barangay Cabangahan in Tago town; and Sitio Baroboan of Barangay Carromata, Sitio Kiskis of Barangay Siagao, and Sitio Inadan of Barangay Magroyong, all in San Miguel town.

The said locations were identified as conflict-affected areas and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas where the communities are vulnerable to the recruitment of the CNTs through their lies and deceit to join their futile cause.

CSP teams deployed in Sitio Banahao, Barangay Maitom facilitated a total of 71 surrenderees; 11 surrenderees in Sitio Inadan, 24 in Sitio Kis-kis, eight in Sitio Cadlum, and nine surrenderees in Sitio Baroboan.

One of the regular NPA members expressed his resentment to the CNTs for the miserable life he suffered inside the organization. He realized that the NPA is fighting a lost cause, while their leaders are enjoying a better life through extortion and revolutionary taxes.

“Life there is so difficult, every day we roam in the mountains looking and seeking for an answer on our cause. I voluntarily surrendered because I was afraid that maybe one day my life will be in danger and a possibility that someday I cannot see my family anymore,” he said.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, 36IB Commanding Officer said, the mass surrender is the result of the military’s relentless combat operations against the CNTs and the deployment CSP teams in the identified conflict-affected areas with the help of the LGU and other stakeholders within the 36IB area of operation.

“The CNTs are weakening and have been losing mass base support which is their lifeblood in advancing their objectives. The growing numbers of surrenders and shifting of support of the masses to the government is a manifestation that they are already awakened on the deception strategy and the futile arm struggle of the CNT’s,” the army official added.

The 123 CNT members and supporters who surrendered will undergo the process of validation for them to qualify and avail for the enrollment of the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), a government intervention program intended for the formal rebels. (36IB-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Army initiates mass wedding for former rebels

By Cpt Edwin Leo Francisco

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Dec. 26 -- The 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion (75IB), Philippine Army initiated a wedding ceremony to the former New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels, as one of the highlights of the battalion's 29th founding anniversary held at the 75IB headquarters on December 18, 2019.

The seven couples, composed of three former NPA rebels and four former NPA rebels turned into soldiers, were from the dismantled Guerilla Front 14, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (GF14, NEMRC).
   
The couple tied the knot in a ceremony officiated by Major Dionesio Acaso, Division Chaplain, 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army with Bislig City Mayor Florencio Garay and wife Second District Board Member Margarita Garay, who served as principal sponsors of the newlywed couples.

Families, visitors, and friends were invited to witness the holy matrimony of the couples. Other visitors were Hinatuan Mayor Hon Shem Garay; representatives from the Presidential Management Staff-Caraga, Philsaga Mining Corporation, API Group of Company, SSS Bislig City, Rotary Club of Bislig, The Fraternal Order Club of Eagles, Filipinas Palm Oil Plantation Inc (FPPI), Southern Technology Institute of the Philippines (STIP), Conception Basic Builders Incorporated (CBBI), PCSO Bislig City and Radyo Bandera.

Meanwhile, alias Vladimir got teary-eyed during the entourage. He then expressed his gratitude to the 75IB and other stakeholders who facilitated the activity.

"Nagpasalamat mig utro uban akong asawa sa suporta na gihatag sa 75IB sa amo. Karon, bag-ong dalan na ang among agion, ang dalan kung asa mi magtukod ug pamilya nga malipayon ug hapsay. Salamat sa atong gobyerno ug sa 75IB sa ilang pinakamalipayong pinaskohan na among nadawat karon. Salamat sa inyong suporta ug paghigugma (Again, we express our thanks together with my wife for the support given to us by the 75IB. Now, we have a new path, the way we build a happy and orderly family. Thank you to our government and the 75IB for the happiest Christmas that we ever received. Thank you for your support and love)," AKA Vladimir said in a local dialect.

In his message, Mayor Florencio Garay of Bislig City congratulated the 75IB for keeping its Area of Responsibility(AOR) peaceful and likewise congratulated the newlyweds.

"I honor the 75IB in upholding the traditions of love, inspiring unity and cooperation through this Christmas season. May the celebration nurture solidarity, objectives, and goals for the benefit of the Filipino people, particularly the people of Bislig. If there's no peace, we will not achieve progress," Mayor Garay said.

Further, Lieutenant Col. Warren Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB, expressed his gratitude to the city government of Bislig, stakeholders, and the Marauder troopers for the untiring support displayed by everyone.

"We'll work together with unity in promoting our vision and mission for peace and development. The 75IB will always be proud to pursue the Philippine Army's vision towards professionalism to serve better and people whom we are mandated to serve. Thus, we always leave up to the Army Slogan of being at your service across the land," added Lt. Col. Munda. (75IB CMO/PIA Surigao del Sur)

Caraga PADACs receive award for outstanding anti-illegal drug drive

By Jason Ryan R. Lam

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Dec. 26 -- The provinces of Agusan del Sur and Dinagat Islands of Caraga region were among the top 155 local government units (LGUs) that received an award in the 2nd National Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) Performance Award held in Manila on December 16, 2019.

The National ADAC Performance Award was given to LGUs who achieved one hundred points or perfect score with an adjectival rating of ideal (high functionality) based on the 2018 ADAC Performance Audit.

The award recognizes the exemplary efforts of the LGUs, through their respective ADACs, in complementing the national government’s efforts in eradicating the country’s illegal drug problem per Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2019-208 dated December 10, 2019.


On the other hand, the 2018 ADAC Performance Audit contains the following major criteria: 1) Organized local ADAC; 2) Conduct of quarterly meetings; 3) Allocation of funds for the Implementation of anti-illegal drugs activities as indicated in the POPS Plan; 4) Implementation of ADAC plans and programs; 5) Support to ADACs in component LGUs; and 6) Innovations (DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-117 dated July 24, 2019).

The awarding ceremony was attended by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año as the guest of honor. In his message, he encouraged all local leaders to think outside the box and act against illegal drugs.

“One hundred fifty-five LGUs is just a small portion compared to the thousands of LGUs nationwide but it is a good start. The ADACs are one of the avenues for good governance in our society,” he said.

The awarding activity was successfully conducted with the participation and support of the local chief executives and representatives of the LGU awardees, DILG Central Office key officials, DILG regional/provincial/city directors, and ADAC regional focal persons and Project Management Office. (LGOO V, DM, DILG-Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)