The Philippine Army on the evening of August 21 successfully destroyed a Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) hideout and successfully preempted the terrorists’ atrocity in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged sitio of Putok Marine in the hinterland barangay of Saad, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur thanks to a tip-off from a concerned civilian in the community and the mobilization of its Barangay Defense System (BDS).
Utilizing the artillery units (Howitzers) of the Army’s 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), the combined troops of the 97th Infantry “Kalasaglahi” Battalion (97IB), 42nd Infantry “Tagapagtanggol” Battalion (42IB), and 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) under operational control of the 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade (102Bde) continues to pursue the fleeing NPA terrorists to protect the people of Barangay Saad and adjacent areas.
Saad Barangay Captain Jeffrey Señara expressed his utmost gratitude for the Army’s presence in the area and for keeping the people of Saad safe.”We are forever grateful for the Army for their unending commitment to keep us safe,” said Hon. Señara in local dialect.
Dumingag mayor and Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) chairperson Hon. Joan Abejuela said that “Dumingag LGU and MTF-ELCAC will continue supporting the Army to completely eradicate NPA terrorists in the municipality.
“Meanwhile, 97IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing said the Army will relentlessly pursue the NPA terrorists while strictly adhering to human rights and international humanitarian law.
“The Army will continue its mandate to bring peace so the people can sleep at night safe and sound, without the fear of communist terrorism,” said Lt. Col. Boransing.
53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera also said this is both the Army and LGU’s achievement and is a fruit of the close convergence between the LGU and support from the community.
“We also thank the LGU and the community for their support; this is a manifestation of the community’s strong rejection of communist-terrorist ideology,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
For his part, 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas lauded Dumingag town’s counterinsurgency action plan dubbed as “Oplan Amuma,” encouraging the NPAs still in the hinterlands to lay down their arms and return to the folds of law.
“This is a clear proof that Oplan Amuma is working at full throttle. We encourage the NPAs still in the hinterlands to surrender, avail the programs of the government, and start their lives anew,” said Brig. Gen. Nicolas.