caraga region

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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Another NPA rebel dies in battle; high-powered firearms seized

December 20, 2020

Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur – Another Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) dies and five (5) high-powered firearms were seized in an hour-long encounter between the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) troops under the 4th Infantry Diamond Division and more or less 30 Communist NPA Terrorists under Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad (SRSDG) Southland, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee led by Rizaldy Sumonod alias “Mansoy” in Sitio Paradise,barangay Magsaysay, Agusan del Sur on December 18 at about 12:18 noon. Five (5) Firearms were recovered consisting three (3) M16 5.56 caliber rifles, one (1) AK-47 rifle.   Other war materials recovered were; one (1) IHL-banned anti-personnel land mine, nine (9) rounds 40mm M203 grenade launcher ammos, fifty (50) rounds 7.62mm M60 ammos, two (2) sets of commercial radios, fifteen (15) backpacks and personal belongings, medical supplies and equipment, three (3) keypad cellular phones, one (1) touch screen android phone, and twenty (20) meters electrical wire.   The discovered CNT hideout is about 200 square meters (10mx20m) which can accommodate more or less 30 CNTs and had fifteen (15) makeshift tents and kitchen paraphernalia.   With the recent efforts of the National Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in exposing the deceptive scheme and the grand conspiracy of the CPP-NPA-NDF within various sectors of society, people in CARAGA, particularly the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), vowed to track down Communist NPA Terrorists and their front group leaders such as the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) to put an end to their countless atrocities and crimes against the people.   It can be recalled that CNT Jevilyn Cullamat, daughter of Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Campos Cullamat, and top CNT leader and spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) Mindanao and Komisyun Mindanao (KOMMID) Alvin Loque, suffered the same tragic fate last November 28 and December 10 sequentially in Surigao Del Sur as a result of the vigilance and information gathering of the IP communities.   Communist NPA Terrorists personalities and their front groups were already declared persona-non-grata in the whole Province of Surigao del Sur and in the municipality of Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur where the recent clash between government forces and CNTs ensued.   “The succeeding debacles of the NPA Terrorists in CARAGA only show that people had enough of them. They no longer have a safe haven in the IP communities because for sure they will be reported and tracked down,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF GSC PA, 3SFBn Commanding Officer, said.   “We are saddened with the fact that another victim of the CPP-NPA-NDF died in vain. We do not want this that is why we need to support the NTF-ELCAC to put an end to the CNTs’ useless struggle by peacefully addressing the root causes of NPA terrorism-that of peace and development program implementation for the conflict-affected and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas where CNTs recruit and conduct Ideological, Political and Organizing works (IPOW),” Brigadier General Allan D Hambala, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander, said.    “We call on the remaining CNTs to bring their firearms and go down to surrender and return to the folds of law. The door towards a peaceful life is always open for those who wish to peacefully surrender. Having that said, we will remain focused and enthusiastic on our mission to end local communist armed conflict in the soonest time possible in the CARAGA region,” Major General Andres C. Centino, Commander of 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, added.   Meanwhile, the identification of the killed NPA Terrorist is yet to be verified.

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Surigao Sur’s anti-illegal fishing ops net P496-K gears, products

May 18, 2020

BUTUAN CITY – Anti-illegal fishing operations in Surigao del Sur have already netted a total of PHP496,335 in marine products and illegal fishing gear in the last four months, a police official said Monday.     From January 1 to May 8 this year, 69 persons have been arrested in 30 operations in the province for violating the country’s fisheries laws, said Col. James T. Goforth, director of Surigao del Sur Provincial Police Office (SDSPPO).     “Part of our mandate is to support the implementation of local laws, to include fishing regulations by local government units (LGUs) and national decrees of fisheries in our fishing ground,” Goforth said.     Goforth said the protection of the marine resources and providing support to measures to preserve the fishing grounds in the province of Surigao del Sur is among the priorities of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the area.     “Some of these operations were conducted during the lockdowns. There were fishers that continue to engage in illegal fishing during the quarantine period but our police stations managed to monitor them,” the police official said.     The most number of operations were conducted in the town of Lingig with a total of seven that resulted in the arrest of 11 persons and the confiscation of PHP86,010 worth of fishing paraphernalia and marine products.     Five operations were also conducted in the town of Cortes that led to the arrest of 19 persons and the seizure of PHP176,870 worth of fishing gear and marine products. In Lianga town, three operations resulted in the arrest of nine persons and the impounding of PHP44,000 fishing devices and marine products.     In San Agustin municipality, police said a total of PHP95,400 worth of paraphernalia and marine products were confiscated during the conduct of one operation that nabbed three illegal fishers.     The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Caraga Region  (BFAR-13) has identified four fishing grounds as main sources of marine products in Surigao del Sur, namely the Hinatuan Passage, Lanuza Bay, Hinatuan Bay, and Bislig Bay.     BFAR said the identified fishing grounds are part of the study and evaluation conducted by the agency in its National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) early this year, which indicated an 80 percent sufficiency rate of marine resources in the Caraga Region.     Goforth underscored the importance of information from residents in the area, which helped the police monitor illegal fishing activities in the province.     “Last year, we were able to confiscate more than PHP2 million worth of illegal fishing gears and marine products in series of operations,” Goforth said.     Data provided by SDSPPO said a total of 129 police operations against illegal fishing were conducted in the province last year that resulted in the arrest of 371 persons.     A total of PHP2,553,150 worth of illegal fishing gears and marine products were confiscated in 2019. (PNA)

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Army conducts Loudspeaker Operations and Leaflets Distribution in Surigao Sur

April 13, 2020

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur-Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr., Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – The 75th Infantry "Marauder" Battalion conducted mobile loudspeaker operation and leaflets distribution in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur on April 09, 2020.             In line with the declaration of ceasefire, the government focused its efforts and resources in addressing the pandemic crisis caused by the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). The unit conducted loudspeaker operations to exploit the situation in favor of the government and advance the campaign against the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) within the unit Area of Responsibility (AOR). Likewise, the troops distributed fifty (50) pieces of leaflets on Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government and 50 pcs leaflets information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.             Army's loudspeaker operation is instrumental as it conveys factual information reminding the people and the community regarding the importance of taking precautionary measures such as social distancing, staying at home, eating healthy foods, and proper hygiene and sanitation to avoid the spread of COVID-19.             The loudspeaker operation was first employed during the Zamboanga siege and Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, and Marawi siege in 2017 aimed at providing correct information to the people, particularly during the time of crisis.             Further, the loudspeaker operations with the recorded voice message of the former rebel, expressed out that we should all unite and cooperate with the government to overcome the global health crisis that we are facing right now, and to condemn the brutal activities perpetrated by the CNT's despite of the ceasefire.             Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB, assured the security and safety of the populace in the AOR and strictly implement the mandate of the local Inter-Agency Task Force to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our AOR.             Informing the community of the correct information on how to avoid getting infected from COVID-19 will lessen their worries and fear. Thus, everyone can contribute in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by just staying at home with their families until such time the government will lift the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the country.  

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