AFP and PNP troops suffered no less than eighteen (18) casualties in the course of their simultaneous combat operations against the New People’s Army-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NPA-NEMR) and the people in the four (4) provinces of Caraga within the month of January 2020. These stemmed from the strong resistance of NPA Red fighters in the region who launched not less than eight (8) military actions against the attacking fascist enemy troops.
Surigao del Norte
Gigaquit – In January 12 at around 10 o’clock in the morning, a group of the NPA-Surigao del Norte (SdN) harassed forces of the 30th IB and SAF operating in Brgy. Camam-onan. One (1) enemy was confirmed wounded.
In January 13, at 10:30 in the morning in the same barangay, Red fighters were able to fire first at the Special Action Forces (SAF) they encountered. According to information from the enemy themselves, one (1) was killed and two (2) were wounded from their troops.
On the same day at around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, NPA-SdN discharged a command detonated explosive(CDX) against the attacking 30th IB troops in Brgy. Lahi. This was followed by a 30 minute gunfight. According to witnesses, three (3) were killed and one (1) was wounded from the enemy. One of the casualties was Pfc. Dano. The enemy then indiscriminately fired three (3) cannons from Brgy. Siko-siko. The Red fighters safely withdrew.
Claver – January 17, at 9:45 in the evening, in Brgy. Ladgaron, a group of NPA-SdN discharged a CDX against the four (4) military vehicles transporting returning troops of the 30th IB, SAF and PPSC. According to information gathered, a minimum of two (2) were killed from the enemy and one (1) Pfc. Patrick Manlapas, was wounded.
Agusan del Norte
Kitcharao – In January 16 at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, a group of NPA-Agusan del Norte (AdN) engaged forces of the 29th IB in Brgy. San Isidro, for 30 minutes. According to the people who witnessed the incident, one (1) was killed and two (2) were wounded from the enemy whose bodies were brought to the barrio on the night of January 17. In desperation, the AFP indiscriminately fired five (5) cannons from Brgy. Bangonay, municipality of Jabonga.
Butuan City – In January 18 the NPA-AdN fired upon the operating troops of the AFP in Brgy. Anticala. Brig. General Licudine of the 402nd Infantry Brigade himself confirmed that the 29th IBPA suffered two (2) casualties.
Surigao del Sur
San Agustin – In January 20 a group of NPA-Surigao del Sur (SS) fired upon assembled forces of the 3rdSFB operating in Brgy. Buhisan. The number of enemy casualties was not known.
Marihatag – January 28, Brgy. San Isidro, NPA-SDS ambushed forces belonging to the 7thSFcoy of the 3rdSFB who were on a motorcycle travelling towards their camp. One (1) regular soldier and one (1) CAFGU member were killed. Confiscated were two (2).45 caliber pistols, one (1) Harris radio and other military equipment.
In all the firefights mentioned above, the Red fighters were all able to safely withdraw.
In addition, military operations of the 30th IBPA of the AFP and SAF and PPSB of the PNP started last January 4, 2020 in the municipalities of Claver, Gigaquit, Bacuag, Tubod and Alegria in Surigao del Norte. Before this, the enemy launched military operations in the last week of December 2019 in these areas to block the celebration of the 51st anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) during the bilateral declaration of ceasefire (December 23, 2019 – January 7, 2020) between the GRP and NDFP. This was followed by region-wide (SN, SS, AN, AS) operations during the month of January; it is still continuing in the municipalities of Surigao del Norte and Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.
The simultaneous attacks launched by the AFP and PNP against the people and the NPA in the region in the first month of 2020 and within the ceasefire period shows the militarist measures of the peace saboteurs, in the Duterte government, to solve the root-causes of the civil war in the Philippines. It attempts to force the revolutionary movement and the NPA to surrender and work within their deceitful peace framework.
It is clear that the US-Duterte regime is not interested in equitable peace negotiations especially on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) which is the key to solve armed struggle. The militaristic henchmen of Duterte continue to boast that they can annihilate the NPA within his term, despite their targets being frustrated in the past years.
The NPA can never be crushed because the national democratic revolution holds the interests of the Filipino people and the NPA continue to enjoy the popular support of the people. Armed struggle will continue to advance under the current and future years and will end the causes of the people’s suffering: imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
Ka Ariel Montero
Regional Operational Command