(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 30 September, 2020) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western section of the counrty. Caraga Region will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Southwest Monsoon/ Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms.Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest and west will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.5 meters.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Combat operations ensure safe delivery of government services in conflict-affected areas - LGU, IP council

By Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 6 -- “The purpose of the combat operations in the hinterlands is to ensure the local government unit's safe delivery of basic services intended for the conflict-affected communities in Surigao del Sur,” said Lianga tribal chieftain Datu Constancio Duhac during the recent Lianga Serbisyo Caravan in Sitio Simowao (Km 9), Diatagon, Lianga.

The said caravan was spearheaded by the local government unit (LGU) of Lianga led by Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen, 9th Special Forces “Hounds” Company, 544th Engineer Battalion, and member agencies of the Local Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF-ELCAC). The services provided include the distribution of food supplies, hygiene kits, medical and dental missions, free haircut, registration of tribal members to the Local Civil Registry, fun and games, and distribution of free clothes.

“Contrary to the rehashed false statements of the anti-government groups accusing the military of abuses, the military immerses in the communities to complement the implementation of government programs for our communities,” Datu Duhac said.

“Hindi military ang lumapit sa amin, kami ang humingi ng tulong sa military para lumayo sa komunidad ang mga teroristang New People's Army (NPA) at ang grupong MAPASU (Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod or Persevering Struggle for the Next Generation) na pumipigil sa pagpasok ng serbsiyo ng gobyerno para manatili kaming mahirap at galit sa gobyerno,” Duhac added.

Sitio Simowao, a gateway to Andap Valley Complex, was once the comfort zone of the Communist NPA terrorists where Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) school, an NPA terrorist recruitment facility was located and a staging point of NPA-instigated taktikang bakwit.

Currently, with the strong support of the indigenous people (IP) community, the IP leaders and the local government unit, the sitio was transformed as a developed IP community where there is a rehabilitated farm-to-market road, a DepEd IP school, a CAFGU detachment, organized IP civilian volunteers for peace and security, registered women’s and farmers’ people's organizations, youth leadership summit trained IP youth leaders.

"This sitio has gone through a lot, we will do our best to do our job to support the Lianga LGU and the tribal council to reach far more sitios of Diatagon and provide what the IP communities deserve from the government,“ said Lt. Col. Joey Baybayan, 3rd Special Forces Battalion commander.

Aside from the combat operations to drive them away from the sitios, Lt. Col. Baybayan vowed to uproot their system of recruiting the IP members through their Community Support Program and the IP tribal council’s traditional self-governance and self-determination. "We will be here to protect them to perform their customary laws and duties to save their tribe from CNTs’ corruption,” Baybayan said. (3SFBn-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

NPA cadaver exhumed in SurSur town

By Captain Edwin Leo Francsico

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 6 -- Government troopers retrieved the cadaver of a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Thursday last week who was allegedly killed in an encounter on May 18, 2020.

The members of the Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion (75IB) together with the local officials found the body of a certain Dondon Montenegro Suazo alias Hill, 19, a team leader of Platoon 1, Squad Dos, Guerrilla Front (GF) 30, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC).

The 75IB report also said the body was already on its advance state of decomposition that was exhumed in a remote area of Sitio Kiskis, barangay Siagao, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.

Investigation revealed that Suazo was with Joel Maca Mahinay, alias Niko/Ontong/Barok, commanding officer of Platoon 2, GF 30, NEMRC when they clashed against military forces on May 18, 2020.

The dead body was hastily buried by the communist terrorist group at a shallow grave to be forever forgotten, said 75IB civil-military officer Captain Edwin Leo Francisco in a statement.

Capt. Francisco also said the recovery of the cadaver was through the revelation of alias “Migs,” a former rebel, who was also a member of the platoon of Joel Maca Mahinay and was there during the encounter.

The former rebel said that Suazo is a Mamanwa and a resident of Sitio Libas, Brgy Sibahay, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur.

Alias Migs also disclosed that Dondon was with Mahinay and his platoon when the communist NPA rebels reportedly committed their murder of Datu Bernandino “Bandi” Astudillo,72, and Zaldy Ybanez, 52, at Sitio Inadan, barangay Magroyong on 19 March 2020. Both victims suffered 16 stab wounds.

The military brought Zuaso’s body to San Miguel police for proper documentation and then brought to a funeral parlor in Tandag City where Suazo was received with his grieving mother, Bernardita Suazo.

“Mag isa naman to ka tuig na nananghid ang akong anak nga manarbaho para makatabang sa amo ug labaw na sa iyang igsuon nga naay sakit nga cancer pero karon akong nabalitaan nga nadani ug giilad sa mga Terroristang NPA unya namatay ug gibyaan lang sa bukid,” Suazo’s mother said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Colonel Jeffrey A. Villarosa, 75IB commanding officer, extended his deepest sympathy to Bernardita and her family.

“Another innocent life was lost because he fell victim to the deception of the CNTs. What is more difficult to comprehend is the communist terrorist group wanting to keep the sad truth of Dondon’s death from his family,” said Villarosa, adding that if alias Migs did not reveal Zuaso’s remains, he will not be discovered and exhumed. (75IB-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)