Tag Archives: NPA

Rebels say they will attack gov’t forces despite truce

Communist rebels say they will attack government forces conducting peace and development operations despite the unilateral order of President Benigno Aquino III for the suspension of military and police operations (SOMO) against the New People’s Army.

In press statement, Jorge Madlos a.k.a. Ka Oris said, “We wish to point out and clarify that the NDFP-Mindanao considers the COPD and other similar military operations as part of the offensive military operations of Philippine Army units, and are, therefore, legitimate military targets of the New People’s Army (NPA).”

Rebel spokesman Jorge Madlos, alias Ka Oris, in a 2009 file photo.Pic by Edwin Espejo

Ka Oris is the Mindanao spokesman of the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political umbrella of the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which is marking its 46th anniversary on December 26.

Madlos was reacting to the statement of the spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division who allegedly said community organizing for peace and development (COPD) operations of military units will; continue in the countryside during the month-long SOMO.

The rebel spokesman did not identify the military spokesperson.

Aquino on Wednesday ordered a unilateral ceasefire that will begin midnight Thursday (December 18) and will end midnight of January 19, shortly after Pope Francis leaves the country following a 4-day official visit.

Limited rebel ceasefire

The CPP on the other hand also announced a limited ceasefire which will cover from12:01 am of December 24, 2014 to 11:59 pm of December 26, 2014; 12:01 am of December 31, 2014 to 11:59 pm of January 1, 2015; and 12:01 am of January 15, 2015 to 11:59 pm of January 19, 2015.

Madlos earlier said Mindanao is now bearing the brunt of wide-scale military operations in the countryside.

“In Mindanao, 60 battalions of the Philippine Army and Marines have been deployed, including the Light Reaction Battalion,” Madlos said.

He also claimed that 60 percent of the armed strength of the AFP is now deployed in the island, majority of it in known NPA strongholds.

NPA stronghold

Heavily affected by the military operations is the Davao region where an average of daily armed encounters between the military and the NPAs are occurring over the last 2 months, according to Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Aurelio Balabad.

Lt. Gen Baladad said 53 percent of the 4,600 NPAs throughout the country are in Mindanao with the eastern part of the island – particularly in Caraga and Davao regions – hosting the most number of NPA guerrilla fronts and armed regulars.

The Eastmincom chief said eastern Mindanao alone has 1,996 fully armed rebels “as of the third quarter of this year.”

Baladad also disclosed that there are 33 NPA guerrilla fronts under his area of responsibility, or more than 63 percent of the rebel fronts in Mindanao.

Army admits spike in gov’t-NPA clashes

A daily average of one encounter between government forces and communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in eastern Mindanao has been noted over the last 2 months, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Aurelio Balabad.

Balabad also added that 2 daily armed encounters have also been reported during the last ten days in eastern Mindanao which covers the Caraga Region, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Davao Region and the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani in Region 12.

The latest was the fierce gun battle involving elements of the Philippine Army’ 27th Infantry Battalion who clashed with some 40 NPA rebels in Barangay Nomoh in Maasim, Sarangani Wednesday morning.

Three NPA rebels were killed while 11 high power firearms were recovered by government forces.

Philippine Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri inspecting the firearms recovered from the Wednesday clash between the NPAs and government forces. Three NPA rebels were killed in the fierce encounter.Photo by Edwin Espejo
Philippine Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri inspecting the firearms recovered from the Wednesday clash between the NPAs and government forces. Three NPA rebels were killed in the fierce encounter.Photo by Edwin Espejo

It was the second clash between the same platoon of the Philippine Army led by Lt. Bryan Bacaling who also engaged the NPA rebels in a running gunbattle Tuesday.

The slain NPA rebels were identified as Rendel Ryan Cagula, reportedly a resident of Bago Gallera in Davao City; Johnny Camag of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur; and Fredi Ayog of Islome in Maasim.

Rebel stronghold

Lt. Gen Baladad said 53 percent of the 4,600 NPAs throughout the country are in Mindanao with the eastern part of the island – particularly in Caraga and Davao regions – hosting the most number of NPA guerrilla fronts and armed regulars.

Lt6. Gen. Aurelio Balabad of the AFP's Eastern Mindanao Command.Photo by Edwin Espejo
Lt. Gen. Aurelio Balabad of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command.Photo by Edwin Espejo

The Eastmincom chief said eastern Mindanao alone has 1,996 fully armed rebels “as of the third quarter of this year.”

Baladad also disclosed that there are 33 NPA guerrilla fronts under his area of responsibility.

He however said the AFP has emerged victorious in most of the armed clashes between government forces and the NPA rebels.

Jorge Madlos, spokesman of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao, claimed they have established 49 guerrilla fronts in Mindanao.

Balabad said the respite of fighting between the military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has enabled the AFP to reposition their forces and focus on dismantling the guerilla fronts of the NPA.

The Philippine government and the MILF signed a peace agreement in October last year.

Balabad has two Army divisions under his command the 10th Infantry Division (ID) stationed in Mawab, Compostela and the 4th ID in Cagayan de Oro City.

Military citation

Meanwhile, Philippine Army commanding officer Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri conferred the military merit medal to the members of the platoon under Lt. Bacaling for neutralizing the NPAs.

Iriberri, who hails from Surigao City where the NPAs in Mindanao area their strongest, said proper training, community support and superior intelligence were keys to the recent success of the AFP against the communist rebels.

Cash rewards were also given to the 1002nd Brigade and the 27th and 73rd infantry battalions for recovering a total of 21 high powered firearms in less than a month of operations against the rebels.

Iriberri said they are aiming to reduce the NPAs into irrelevance by 2016.

NPA suffers heavy losses

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Successive losses in the battlefield have put the New People’s Army (NPA) on the defensive as 3 more communist rebels were slain in Maasim, Sarangani Wednesday, November 5.

NPA rebels belonging to the Far South Mindanao Regional Command of the rebel group.Photo by Edwin Espejo
NPA rebels belonging to the Far South Mindanao Regional Command of the rebel group.Photo by Edwin Espejo

The latest NPA casualties came a day after another rebel was also killed in Barangay Lumasal as government forces launched pursuit operations against the retreating communist rebel band.

Police said 9 high-powered firearms were recovered during the encounter that resulted into the death of the NPA rebels.

Military sources said the slain rebels belonged to the same NPA unit which they encountered Tuesday.

The dead rebels are still to be identified.

This came as police authorities in Maasim identified the NPA rebel slain in the Tuesday encounter in Lumasal as one Freddie Ayog.

Ayog is reportedly a resident of nearby Barangay Nomoh.

An M-16 rifle was likewise recovered from Ayog.

Military operations are still ongoing to flush out the remaining rebels belonging to the Front 73 of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Command.

Only last month, 3 NPA rebels were also killed in Malita, Davao del Sur including Mark Bryle Garduque, said to be the platoon leader of the rebel group, in a series of running gun battles with government forces.

Garduque headed one of the NPA platoons under the Front 75 guerrilla unit of the Far South Mindanao Regional Command.

A rebel source confirmed the death of one of their top ranking commanders, including the loss of several firearms.

Capt. Ernest Carolina, spokesman of the Army’s 10th division, said 11 high-powered rifles were seized from the rebels during the October encounters in Malita.

This brought the total firearms recovered from the rebels under the Far South Mindanao command of the NPA to 21 rifles in a span of less than one month.

The spokesman of 1002nd Brigade declined to give further details of the encounter in Maasim.

He said Army Chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri is arriving tomorrow, November 6 and will hold a press a conference.