By OMAR IBARRA
NPA Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Subregional Command
Two Philippine Army troops were killed while another six were wounded in two harassment operations launched by the New People’s Army under the Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-regional Command in 9 and 10 August 2014 in San Luis, Agusan del Sur and in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.
On 9 August around 12:00 NN, Red fighters harassed operating troops of the 29th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Afga, Barangay (village) Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. The 29th Infantry Battalion admitted that a certain PFC Cortejos was killed, exactly corresponding to the report of the NPA operating unit. But the 29th Infantry Battalion kept silent about their two wounded. It is not true that a Red fighter was killed in the incident. Not one among the NPA team was even wounded.
Meanwhile, in Km. 18, Barangay Don Alejandro, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, one was killed and four were wounded among the reactionary troops in another NPA harassment operation against operating troops of the 26th Infantry Battalion on 10 August, around 4:30 PM. In response, the soldiers strafed at the area, and even fired 26 M203 grenade rounds. But the Red fighters swiftly and safely withdrew after the incident.
Despite the fact that AFP operations in the Agusan provinces are being sustained and increased, the morale of its troops is clearly being undermined. Aside from their mounting casualties, the masses also increasingly abhor them because ordinary civilians are the usual victims of their militarization.
Residents of Sitio Mintakii, Barangay Leydia, La Paz, Agusan del Sur have evacuated because of military operations of the 26th Infantry Battalion and the Bagani Force. Their rank-and-file troops are also deeply dismayed by the corruption of their military officers and the plundering of their commander-in-chief, Aquino, vis-à-vis the miserable conditions of their troops in the field being used as shields and pawns of the US-Aquino government.