(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 04 August 2021) Southwest Monsoon affecting the country. At 3:00 PM today, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 550 km Northeast of Itbayat, Batanes (24.5N, 125.4E). TROPICAL CYCLONES OUTSIDE PAR AT 3:00 AM TROPICAL DEPRESSION LOCATION: 735 KM WEST OF EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON (21.1°N, 114.8°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 55 KM/H NEAR THE CENTER GUSTINESS: UP TO 70 KM/H MOVEMENT; EAST SOUTHEASTWARD SLOWLY Caraga Region will have Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Thursday, June 17, 2021

3 NPA terrorists killed, 1 minor rescued in a series of clash in Caraga

BUTUAN CITY, June 17 -- Three communist terrorists were killed, while a minor was rescued during a series of encounters between the government troops and the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in the boundary of Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur and Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.


Lieutenant Colonel Benedict Harvey Gernale, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn), Philippine Army, said the first encounter happened on June 14 at around 2:00 P.M. while a Special Forces Team was conducting security operations to verify the presence of armed group foraging for food in Sitio Tibog, Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. About 20 communist terrorists fired upon the soldiers prompting them to fight back resulting in more than five minutes of armed encounter.


"Our operating troops pursued the withdrawing enemy and captured a New People's Army (NPA) combatant at the encounter site," said Lt. Col. Gernale.


The soldiers, later on, found out that the captured NPA is a minor (identity withheld for security) prompting them to bring her to the local police who later turned her over to the municipal social welfare and development office in Prosperidad for psychosocial intervention and appropriate assistance. 


The troops seized at the encounter site black powder, blasting caps, and assorted nails, which are integral components of an anti-personnel mine.


Lt. Col. Gernale added that the second encounter happened on June 15, around 2:00 P.M. when another Special Forces team tracked the fleeing communist terrorists at the vicinity of Sitio New Decoy, Diatagon, Lianga. The communist terrorists fired at the soldiers and detonated an anti-personnel mine. An intense firefight ensued for more than 10 minutes after which the terrorists scampered and tried to evade the operating troops.


"Despite the rugged terrain and the danger from the enemy's sniper fire, our soldiers pursued the withdrawing enemy," said Lt. Col. Gernale.


Three CTG members, a male and two females, died in the second encounter with no casualties on the government side. The fatalities were identified as Lenie Perez Rivas, 38 years old; Willy Salinas Rodriguez, 20 years old, and a 12-year-old minor (name withheld).


They were members of the Sub-Regional Sentro de Grabidad Southland, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).


Aside from the dead bodies, several war materials were seized, which included one (1) AK47 rifle, two (2) caliber 45 pistols, (2) two anti-personnel mines, one (1) claymore mine, magazines and ammunition, and two (2) blasting caps, 25 meter-long detonating cord, and 30 meter-long electrical wire attached to a firing switch.


Brigadier General Allan Hambala, Commander of 401st Brigade, lambasted the CTG for recruiting minors to join their ranks.


"This incident once again proved that the CTG has no regard for human rights and they are blatantly violating the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by recruiting minors to join their senseless armed struggle" stressed BGen. Hambala.


Meanwhile, Brigadier General Oliver Vesliño, Acting commander of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) and JTF Diamond, said that concerned AFP units under JTF Diamond are pursuing the fleeing communist terrorists so that justice will be served to the victims of their lies and deception.


"AFP units under JTF Diamond will continue its relentless security operations against the CTG in Caraga region to destroy the armed group, and stop its resource generation and recruitment of minors. We will also file cases of IHL violations against the leadership of NEMRC," said BGen. Vesliño.


BGen. Vesliño also extended his condolences to the bereaved families of the dead NPA rebels. He then urged the remaining CTG members to return to the folds of the law and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government.


The three cadavers were properly turned over by the 3SFBn to their families in Sitio Manluy-a, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. (Maj. Rodulfo S. Cordero Jr., 4ID/PIA-Surigao del Sur)