(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 30 March 2023) Easterlies affecting the eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Friday, February 26, 2021

Army brigade in Surigao warns public on CTG’s recruitment

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 26 (PIA) -- Brigadier General George Banzon, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, forewarned that those who exhorted individuals to join the communist rebel movement are also the ones who will abandon their comrades when wounded in an encounter with the authorities.

“Tandaan niyo ‘yung mga mukha na magkukumbinsi sa inyo na umanib sa armadong pakikibaka dahil ‘yang mga mukha na ‘yan, kung kayo’y maiipit sa bakbakan, hindi na kayo aalagaan ng mga mukhang ‘ yan, kung sino mang nag recruit sa inyo,” emphasized BGen. Banzon as he guested in the Network Briefing News hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

On the other hand, BGen Banzon bared their efforts in urging the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to surrender through their “Lomon Ko, Salbaron Ko” program.

“We have been reaching out to relatives of the armed elements, kinakausap namin ‘yung nanay at kapatid. Through them, sana makumbinsi sila (armed elements/rebels) at maliwanagan ang isipan na we are not closing the doors for them to have a new life,” he said.

BGen. Banzon added that the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) had brought a degree of anxiety among the locals and to some of the business owners and those holding an elected seat in the local government in particular.          

“Nandiyan ‘yung takot. Iisa lang ang sanction na ibinibigay ng mga NPA to those who are showing resistance – kamatayan (death),” he said.                                                          

Talking on peace and order situation in Surigao del Norte and their other areas of responsibility from a Philippine Army perspective, BGen. Banzon, bared that one of their line of operations is how to address the resource generation activities of Guerilla Front 16 that is financially supporting the whole Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee Guerilla Fronts.

“The secretary of this guerilla front is a Surigaonon and from the municipality of Sison. He is Rolando Rubilla Leyson, Jr. popularly known as “Edroy,” “Pedyo” or “Jun-Jun” to his peers and acquaintances," said BGen. Banzon.

He also revealed that Rolando’s wife is also the finance officer of the same Guerilla Front. “So, kung titingnan natin, ‘yung gumagalaw na NPA dito sa probinsiya ng Surigao del Norte ay mag-asawa ang nagpapatakbo,” BGen. Banzon said.

The army troops are concentrating their efforts and military resources against the weaker insurgents.

“If we figure it out, the armed elements are dwindling in their tactical offensive against the government troops. The primary reason why they are still thriving is because of their extortion activities,” underscored BGen. Banzon.

Meanwhile, Mayor Karissa Fetalvero-Paronia of Sison town is very optimistic that the whole-of-nation approach to resolve decades of insurgency is ushering the nation to achieving lasting peace and development.

“We can defeat the CPP-NPA-NDF with the help of our uniformed personnel of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police. Especially, with Executive Order No. 70 of President Rodrigo together with Anti-terrorism Act,” said Mayor Paronia.

“Hiling namin ay sana mapondohan na ‘yung hinihingi ng PNP. Sigurado, maso-solve ang insurgency ng Sison, especially the security and the peace and order at mapanatag na rin ‘yung mga tao dito,” she said. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Passengers, buses stranded at Surigao port as PCG suspends sea travel

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 26 (PIA) -- More than 800 travelers and 300 cargo trucks, passenger bus, and private vehicles bound to Liloan and Benit, Southern Leyte were stranded in Surigao City after the Philippine Coast Guard – Surigao del Norte enforced a suspension of all sea trips due to tropical storm “Auring” on Friday.

This compelled them to halt and park outside the port of Lipata in this city. The stranded cargo trucks were loaded with several fruits, vegetables, hogs, and other goods from Davao, Cagayan, and other parts of Mindanao heading for Visayas and Luzon.

Raffy Caparida, driver of the 10-wheeler wing van, was stranded for four days.

“Dahil po sa sama ng panahon kaya na stranded kami,” said Caparida.

The stranded passengers were thankful for the ‘arrroz caldo’ and bread provided by the concerned barangay and Philippine Ports Authority.

Uncertain of how long they would get stuck from being stranded, some of them have decided to sell some of their goods with a slashed price.

Ariel Esquillo, an entrepreneur from Davao, also sold the bananas that he bought rather than be ripened and wasted prior his arrival to his destination in Legazpi, Albay.

“May karga kaming mga saging. Ibinenta na lang namin dahil baka masira na,” said Esquillo.

According to Port Management Office manager Froilan Caturla, as of 6:00 a.m. of Feb. 22, 2021, there were more or less 361 various rolling cargoes that were queueing along Nautical Highway in Lipata area.

“There were also more or less 856 stranded passengers most of them were accommodated and designated in various evacuation centers. Others were also staying at the hotel and some preferred to stay in their respective vehicles,” Caturla said.

The no sail policy of all types of watercrafts plying Siargao and Dinagat islands was then lifted as soon as the PAGASA cleared the region from the storm signals. (VLG/SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Surigao Norte IPs avail health services, receive school equipment

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 26 -- The Indigenous Peoples of the Mamanwa Tribe in Sitio Landing, Brgy. Camam-onan of this province received services from the different partner stakeholders and government agencies during a community outreach program conducted recently.

Amid the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the services have still reached even in the far-flung areas, particularly to the indigenous people (IP) communities. 

The activity was anchored on the theme, “Kalinga Alay sa Katutubo.”

It was highlighted by giving of food packs, basic commodities, school supplies and equipment, and basic services such as legal and medical services that benefited the four tribal clans of Mamanwa.

The IPs of Sitio Landing were chosen by the Community Support Program Team of 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB), which was previously identified as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), wherein most of the dwellers were susceptible to NPA terrorists’ deception, abuses, and intimidations. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Charles G. Callanta, the commanding officer of 30IB, said that the same efforts will be continued to other parts of their area of operations where IP communities are present.

“I am personally grateful that despite the overwhelming challenges posed by this COVID-19 pandemic there are still private stakeholders and government agencies who are willing to toe the line just to provide the basic needs of our IP brothers and sisters. A very significant effort in demonstrating the government’s simple and truthful peacebuilding initiatives within the IP ancestral domains,” said Callanta. (30IB, Phil. Army/PIA-Surigao del Norte)