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by ALLIANCE FOR A JUST AND LASTING PEACE IN THE
Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2006 at 11:40 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Two more battalions of Army soldiers have been deployed by the AFP to the Caraga region as reinforcements to troops battling communist guerrillas in an apparent bid to crush the NPA insurgency. Meanwhile, NDF's George Madlos, NDF Mindanao spokeperson warned that a bloody end awaits the soldiers responsible for the spate of militant killings in the region. Caraga region is in the Northeastern part of Mindanao which covers Surigao and Agusan provinces.
AFP DEPLOYS TWO MORE BATALLIONS TO CARAGA REGION IN MINDANAO
BUTUAN CITY—Two more battalions of Army soldiers have been deployed by the AFP to the Caraga region as reinforcements to troops battling communist guerrillas in an apparent bid to crush the NPA insurgency.
But Col. Louie Mirar, brigade commander of the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade, was quick to dismiss the militants’ claim that the deployment was part of the state’s policy to purge the region of Leftist activists.
“It’s not our (goal) to kill militants. In fact, we have to protect them. The Army is the protector of the people,” Mirar told the media.
Col. Mirar of the 401 PA Bde of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command also said the deployment was in line with the strategic and tactical plan to crush the Maoist rebellion, particularly in Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte, where the rebels’ presence is strong. A total of four battalions now operate in the region.
Analyn Lumawag, spokesperson of the human rights group Karapatan, said the troops’ arrival would intensify the political killings in the region.
At least 10 left-wing activists were killed in the region this year, Karapatan said.
The latest victim was Jovito Pinakilid, leader of the militant tribal group Pigbawangan Higaonon Pangibasok (PHP), who was shot dead last week by three motorcycle-riding gunmen in Barangay Simbalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.
Meanwhile.Jorge Madlos,( Ka. Oris) spokesperson of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao, said the revolutionary movement would not be cowed by the presence of troops hunting them. “We are used to that,” he said.
NDF's Madlos also warned that a bloody end awaits the soldiers responsible for the spate of militant killings in the region. Caraga region is in the Northeastern part of Mindanao which covers Surigao and Agusan provinces.
Caraga is the old name of the northeastern provinces during the Spanish times and was a newly formed region.
The US-Arroyo regime broke up the big SOUTHCOM area command that oversee AFP operations in Mindanao into ttwo commands: the Eastern and Western Commands. One will focus on the MILF-MNLF in the west and the NPA in the East. Actually, this is just a recyled concept from the earlier years of the AFP Counter-insurgency efforts in Mindanao during martial law.
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