Military officials in Caraga appealed to the public to cooperate with the government security forces by providing timely and accurate information about the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) in their respective communities.
Col. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade based in Tago, Surigao del Sur, said residents and rural business communities must immediately report to them any rebel build-up and extortion activities to prevent the insurgents from staging major attacks.
“The timely information about the presence of the NPA can prevent terroristic activities against business establishments and communities,” Gacal said.
“We cannot let the NPA terrorists roam around and continue to sow fear and conduct economic sabotage in the province,” he said.
Gacal cited the July 18, 2017 incident where the NPA chopped down the ready-to-harvest banana plants owned by DOLE Philippines-Stanfilco and burned six contract vehicles (five Isuzu Elf vans and one Bonggo truck) in Barangay Anahao Daan, Tago town, Surigao del Sur.
After a week, two separate harassments also took place where the CAA Patrol Base in Matho, Cortes town (Surigao del Sur) and Pandanon Patrol Base in Barangay Pandanon in Tandag City, were fired upon by the NPA.
One unarmed and in civilian attire trooper was killed in action after the NPA harassed the Pandanon Patrol Base.
The trooper was there to conduct community support activities as part of the government’s development program.
Gacal and 36th IB commander Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas both condemned the incidents.
Rojas also asked residents to help the government security forces by providing accurate information from any movement or activities by lawless elements, in securing their respective communities. By CLC