SEVERAL high powered-firearms, ammunition, medical supplies, and personal belongings of communist guerrillas were seized in Sitio Panukmuan, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Monday.
The members of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion conducting community support program clashed with more or less ten 10 New People’s Army rebels in the area. The Army claimed that they are using the IP community as human shields.
The soldiers recovered one AK-47 rifle with magazine, an M16 rifle with magazine, one homemade shotgun, one cal. 22 rifle, seven shotgun shells, one smartphone, five keypad phones, one tablet, power bank, medical supplies, and assorted documents.
“There was a 10-minute encounter but the NPA terrorists immediately fled and mixed with the IP community to evade government forces that caused alarm and chaos among civilians,“ Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, the 3SF Battalion commanding officer, said.
“We call on the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Commission on Human Rights, International Committee on the Red Cross, and other rights groups to condemn in the highest terms and take action against communist NPA terrorists who use the IP community as human shields,“ Hawudon Jumar Bucales, Lianga Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative, said.
Bucales said that the NPA rebels have infiltrated the IP communities and forced the Lumads into joining the armed group, the underground mass organizations, and eventually party members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and National Democratic Front.
“The passage of the Anti-Terror Act of 2020 is a big boost to secure the IP communities from these terroristic conspiracies and shaping of the CPP, NDF and the NPA terrorists,” Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga tribal chieftain, added.
Last 2019, Bayan Muna Partylist failed in its attempt to remove the Army’s community support teams immersed in the barangay, according to the Surigao Sur IP leaders.
According to the Army, Bayan Muna, along with its local affiliate Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod, is part of the umbrella organization, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the biggest component of the NDF to complement the armed revolution.
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