caraga region

Granular lockdown imposed on selected areas in Agsur

September 13, 2021

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur - The local government of Prosperidad town, this province, has placed four areas under granular lockdown Saturday (September 11) following the recent recommendation of the mayor and the local IATF. The lockdown order was made by local officials due to the reported surge of covid-19 cases in these areas that already alarmed the residents. Under granular lockdowns were Purok 1,2,3,4 and 5 in Barangay Patin-ay in Prosperidad municipality, this province, starting September 11, 2021, it was learned. The lockdown was also implemented by virtue of Resolution #29 signed by Mayor Eric Mellana, who is also the current chief of the local Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force (MIATF) Based on official records, the municipality of Prosperidad has registered 315 active cases of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Of the total of 1,274 cases, 927 have fully recovered, with 32 fatalities. The municipal officials have already convened on Friday and finalized the implementing guidelines of the said granular lockdown. Based on the guidelines on focused containment, the local government with the support of national agencies, will take care of the food supply needs of the affected families inside the lockdown communities.

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Government forces seize high-powered firearms in encounter sites

September 10, 2021

AGUSAN DEL NORTE - Despite the pandemic, government forces and the communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels continue their encounters in the outskirts of this province, reports reaching MDNN News Team said Thursday. During the skirmishes, government forces recovered high-powered firearms and other subversive documents left by the rebels after fleeing from the encounter sites. Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, commander of 23IB, in a statement, told the media in a statement that the encounters happened in Sitio Palo Dos, Barangay Jaguimitan, Nasipit, and in Sitio Manawang, Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista town over the weekend. The military official said that during the first encounter, about 15 NPA rebels operating in North Central Mindanao engaged the patrolling soldiers, which later resulted in the recovery of food containers, backpacks, ammunitions, a radio antenna and other personal belongings Meanwhile in the second encounter, troops of the 23 Infantry Battalion also seized three AK47 rifles, two M203 grenade launchers, and one anti-personnel mine. “We conducted the series of focused military operations in the said areas after receiving reports that the remnants of DGF-4A led by Jelan Pinakilid, alias Baking were disturbing the communities and threatening the residents,” Paulo narrated. Prior to the encounters, it was learned from the military, the residents complained of reported extortion activities and confiscation of farm products by the said rebels. At the encounter sites, the elite military forces of the government discover heavy bloodstains, a clear indication the rebels suffered casualties, report said. “These remnants of DGF-4A have nowhere to go as the civilians themselves report to us their presence. These remaining insurgents continue to refuse the offer of the government to surrender peacefully and avail of the programs and services through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or ECLIP. With their persistent refusal to lay down their arms, the 23IB will unceasingly pursue them. The civilians are already supporting us,” Paulo warned. Quoting an intel report coming from the military side, the DGF-4A was already dismantled by the communist rebels after several of its top leaders were killed in a series of encounters last year. The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have listed the New People's Army as a terrorist organization. - (PNA)      

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Vaccinated oldies to receive P4000 in Surigao del Norte

July 27, 2021

CLAVER, Surigao del Norte -  Good news to all senior citizens in Claver town, this province! The municipality of Claver, Surigao del Norte announced yesterday that all fully vaccinated senior citizens are going to receive a windful of cash,  amounting to Four Thousand Pesos (P4K) The said financial aid to senior citizens  will come from the local government funds aimed at encouraging more people, especially the older  generations to avail of the government's free vaccination program. The Local Government of Claver has said in a statement that there are now 389 senior citizens in the list qualified to avail of the local government's form of financial aid. The said program of the mayor, supported by the local body, has already started on Tuesday, July 27. “The LGU is appropriating some PHP5 million budget for this program for our senior citizens for availing the free vaccination program of the government,” Claver Mayor Georgia Gokiangkee said. The mayor said being the most vulnerable people in this trying times of the pandemic, the senior citizens need financial assistance from the local government. Embodied under Municipal Ordinance No. 11, series of 2011, and approved by the town's legislative body, beneficiaries of the program must be inoculated senior citizens. Those with only 1 dose may still avail of the program, as long as they have secured a certification from their attending physician to attest to their ineligibility to get the second dose. (PNA)  

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LGU, Army Honor Unsung Heroes this Yuletide Season

December 28, 2020

Lianga, Surigao Del Sur – “We would like to honor the CAAs this yuletide season because we believe that they are the brave men and women and the unsung heroes in our fight against all forms of threat to national our security,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3rd Special Forces Arrowhead Battalion Commander (3SFBn), said during today’s yuletide tribute to the members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliaries (CAAs) organized by the Local Government Unit of Lianga and the 9th Special Forces Company at 3SFBn headquarters in St. Christine, Lianga.   The CAAs are instrumental in the campaign to end local communist armed conflict because they are the formidable force that strengthen and sustain the Integrated Territorial Defense System (ITDS) and Barangay Self Defense Units (BSDU) that prevent Communist NPA Terrorists in infiltrating the vulnerable IP communities in Surigao Del Sur.   “Just like the soldiers, our CAFGU brothers and sisters, who are mostly IPs, also risk their lives not solely because of the allowance they receive but for their sincerest dream to end Communist NPA Terrorism from exploiting and corrupting their tribal culture and tradition in Surigao Del Sur,” Lieutenant Colonel Baybayan, added.   “Above all, CAAs and their families must be our priority in gift-giving because we know for a fact that they too are less in life. But despite of it, they still serve the nation along with the regular forces of the military to fulfill our constitutional mandate to serve the people and secure the land,” LtC Baybayan ended.   The CAAs have always been at the forefront of many humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and security operations to include the latest calamities brought by Tropical Depression Vicky and the COVID-19 pandemic. Long before there were COVID frontliners, there were already CAAs as frontliners who are frontliners in all aspects of peace, order, and security.   The tribute includes recognition of CAAs and gift-giving to their families and was attended by Lianga Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen, Lianga Tribal Chieftain, Datu  Constancio Duhac, Lianga IP Mandatory Representative Datu Alexander Bucales, Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF GSC PA. Other SF units also conducted simultaneous gift-giving and tributes to CAAs within Agusan and Surigao Sur. 

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POINTY AgSur youth leaders say no to CPP-NPA-NDF

December 26, 2020

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – The Propelling Our Inherited Nation Through Youth Inc. (POINTY) youth leaders from different municipalities of Agusan del Sur expressed their condemnation on the atrocities and deceptions of the CPP-NPA-NDF during its 2nd Provincial Meeting held at Headquarters, 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion last December 22, 2020. The activity was aimed to increase the awareness of the youth sector about the deceptive recruitment of the said terrorist group. Also, to empower them abouttheir significant role in nation building. A total of seventeen (17) POINTY youth leaders attended the said activity. “My utmost gratitude to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for giving us the chance to nurture in our role on nation building, to my co-leaders, let's be an advocate of peace and development.  As members of the youth sector, we are here to correct the mistakes of the past. We will not allow this left-leaning organizations to deceive us.”, Ms. Aubrey Guttierez, POINTY leader, said. The youth is considered as a vulnerable sector for CTG recruitment for they are prone to radicalization and violent extremism. During the open forum, they had various agenda pertaining to the sustainment and improvement of the POINTY organization. Everyone got the chance to present updates on their upcoming programs, projects and activities to their respective municipalities for the calendar year 2021. "The youth plays a significant role in our society, some of them will be the future legislators and leaders. At their very young age, let us mold their character to become good and useful citizens of our country.", Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, 26IB Commanding Officer, said. " I challenge all the parents out there, it is our duty to protect our children against the communist terrorists groups. To the youth sector, be part of the change and help the government in peace-building. Also, encourage your fellows to be part of this campaign. To the NPAs, stop recruiting the youth, hands off!", Lt. Col. Goce ended. 

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NTF-ELCAC sets development footprints in Surigao Del Sur conflict-affected areas

December 22, 2020

Lianga, Surigao Del Sur--- The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Lianga led by Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen bagged the Retooled Community Support Program Best Practices (RCSP) Award in the CARAGA Regional Level while the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion’s 9th Special Forces and 8th Special Forces Companies were Regional Awardees for Best RCSP Implementing Partner for Non-Government Agency Category (NGA) for exemplifying the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict  in the conflict affected-areas of Lianga, Surigao Sur and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur respectively during the RCSP Awarding Ceremony held on Dec. 21, at the Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City by the Department of Interior and Local Government 13. “Even prior to the approval of the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) budget, local ELCAC task force in our Municipality already started and initiated to implement the Whole-of-Nation Approach to address the root causes of NPA terrorism in the conflict-affected IP communities of Andap Valley Range in Surigao del Sur,” Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga Tribal Chieftain, said on his statement today. “Sitio Simowao in barangay Diatagon, Lianga was a former NPA terrorist stronghold where NPAs can freely roam and use the tribe to do some supply and logistic errands to sustain their forces. But with the tangible effect of the NTF-ELCAC through the RCSP and CSP, our IP community became free from NPA Terrorist influence,” Duhac, added. The  establishment of the DepEd IP schools of living tradition (DepEd-SLT) through the aid of the Surigao del Sur Provincial government,  local chief executives who chaired their respective ELCAC Local Task Forces countered NPA recruitment of NPA –linked schools of Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur  (TRIFPSS) and Alternative Learning Center for Livelihood and Development (ALCADEV). The active involvement of the Poverty Reduction Livelihood Development Cluster (PRLEC) of ELCAC chaired by TESDA provided livelihood, leadership skills training to empower the IP peoples’ organizations. The Basic Services Cluster to include DSWD provided IPs various basic needs and numerous LGU Serbisyo Caravans have flooded the IP communities because of the rehabilitated farm-to-market roads which increased the IP communities’ accessibility and economic activities. Other development includes the electrification of selected sitios and the establishment of Patrol Bases to secure the IP communities from NPA attacks on IP leaders and the neutralization of most wanted CPP-NPA target personalities by the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support Cluster where AFP and PNP belong. Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen expressed her gratitude for the award and for the development brought by the NTF-ELCAC programs and initiatives particularly in the affected barangays. “NTF-ELCAC programs exemplified in RCSP are rays of hope for our continuing quest towards a genuinely peaceful and developed municipality of Lianga,” Mayor Sarmen, said. Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer also thanked the support of LGU partners who have fully recognized their roles in ending NPA terrorism in the region. “We thank the civilian bureaucracy, particularly the active members of the Local ELCC Task Forces in CARAGA region. They are actually the “main effort” in eradicating NPA terrorism because the delivery of basic and social services will address the issues in the conflict-affected areas often exploited by the NPA cadres to recruit,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3rd Special Forces Battalion Commander, said. Surigao Del Sur Government led by Governor Alexander T. Pimentel, who is also the CARAGA Peace and Order Council Chairman, with the local chief executives from various municipalities and barangays and the Regional Development Council Social Development Committee led by Bayugan City Mayor Kirk A. Asis have been very vocal and active in their support to NTF-ELCAC and have courageously declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona-non-grata in the whole Surigao Sur province. Meanwhile, NTF-ELCAC has 12 clusters line of efforts where all government peace and development programs are anchored to address the root causes of insurgency. DILGs’ RCSP and AFPs’ CSP are some of the mechanisms to implement NTF-ELCAC programs in the conflict-affected areas.

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