NPA atrocities complicate AFP’s Humanitarian Efforts

The Organized Crime Group New People’s Army attack the Peace and Development Team of 60th Infantry Battalion on humanitarian mission Thursday morning a day after it announced ceasefire to give way for the victims of typhoon Pablo.

The 10th Infantry Division disclosed that at 5:45 a.m., army troops augmented to assist and deliver relief goods to distressed and stricken residents in Sitio Banoog, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, however, they were waylaid by NPA fighters.

“Members of 60th IB were fired upon at the outreach station in said village”, 10th ID spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said. He then slams the notorious group adding that perpetrating atrocity “is contrary to their promise of a 29-day ceasefire” that started on December 5, 2012 to January 3, 2013.

“We all know that their promise of truce is nothing but a sugar coated lie to make them look like Good Samaritans. It is a mere façade to cloak their real identity as criminals”, Paniza said. He added that the rebel group is exploiting the distraught situation of the victims as propaganda and nothing else. “This incident only manifests their insincerity in helping the people especially those badly affected residents. If we are on relief mission mode, then they are on ‘business as usual’ mode without considering that the assault hampered our relief efforts”, he added.

To recall on Sunday, four days after the National Democratic Front started ceasefire and a day before the 64th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the NPAs also committed another crime by attempting to kill Pfc. Lito Mansalo-on and by abducting his two minor daughters, aged 14 and 12, in the remote village of Sitio Danao, Brgy Gupitan, San Isidro, Davao del Norte. Paniza cited the said attack adding that the criminal group did not spare the said soldier and his family who was also a victim of Pablo’s wrath after their house was washed out during the onslaught of the typhoon. 

Paniza assured though that the atrocities of the NPAs will not hamper their relief efforts nor stop them to access remote areas to aid assistance and help the victims to start anew.


NPAs Attempt to Kill Soldier, Took Children as Hostage

Camp Manuel T.Yan, Mawab Compostela Valley Province- Despite of the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo, seven (7) members of an Organized Crime Group believed to be affiliated to the New People’s Army flagged down Pfc Lito Masaluon while on his way back to detachment  in a motorcycle  together with his 12 year-old and 17 year-old children and another civilian. Failing to kill PFC Masaluon, the NPAs took the children instead as hostages in Sitio Danao, Brgy Mandalingan, Kapalong, Davao Del Norte, yesterday, Dec 09, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.
In an interview, Pfc Masaluon, assigned in Kimantaan detachment and  told that, he went to Brgy Datu Balong early morning to pick up a sack of rice and to fetch his two children then go back to the detachment. “ Naanod man ang among balay sa baha sa Kapalong,mao gi uban nako ang akong duha ka anak pabalik unta sa detachment,kay wala sila matulogan (Our house was washed out by the flashflood in Kapalong, that is why I brought my two children to the detachment supposedly, for shelter)”. Pfc Masaluon said.
Sitio Danao is more or less 5 kilometers away from Kimantaan Detachment. Pfc Masaluon added that the NPAs fired their rifle to him and his children.  Sensing that his children will be in danger if he is with them, Pfc Masaluon opted to divert the attention of the attackers in the opposite direction leaving his children. He ran to escape and to ask for help, but three NPAs followed him and continued firing at him. 
“This is the way they celebrate the International Human Rights Day, by kidnapping and attempting to murder soldiers whose lives were also affected by the typhoon. Instead of helping the people affected by Typhoon Pablo, they are there sowing violence.” LtCol Lyndon Paniza, 10th Infantry Division Spokesperson said. “This manifests their continuous defiance to Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) agreement.” He added.
The 10th Infantry Agila Division under the Eastern Mindanao Command will continue to exert effort in helping the victims of the typhoon Pablo thru humanitarian assistance together with the different sectors and stakeholders, but the AFP will not set aside this incident. A soldier, a father, is seeking help to rescue his two kidnapped children.


Death toll mounts 327 in ComVal and Davao Oriental

CAMP PANACAN, Davao City – Two days after Typhoon Pablo, said to be the strongest this year, hit Davao region, hundreds of dead bodies were retrieved and thousands of homeless people were left distressed on how to start anew.
In Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Province alone, the provinces affected the most, death toll mounts to 327 as torrential rains and flash floods coupled with mud and debris of fallen trees struck residents Tuesday evening. 
A report from 10th Infantry Division and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) revealed that New Bataan, Comval has the most number of reported dead with 90 bodies recovered of which only 58 were identified to include that of four army troopers from 66th Infantry Battalion. “There were 147 injured including 17 soldiers (from 66th IB) in this municipality”, 10th ID spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said. He added that 341 are still missing to include seven soldiers of said unit, who were on rescue mission, was not spared.    
In Comval, a total of 199 dead bodies were laid down to include other municipalities such as Laak with two dead, four injured and one missing; Mabini, four dead;  Maragusan three dead and four injured; Monkayo with 55 dead, 12 injured and eight missing; Montevista with 10 dead and 10 injured; Mawab with no casualties other than 29 injured; Nabunturan with nine dead and four injured; Maco with three dead and four injured; Pantukan with two dead and one missing; and in Compostela with 21 dead, 13 injured and four missing. The injured in said province rose to 227 while reported missing mounts to 355.
The province of Davao Oriental has 128 cadavers, most of which were drenched in mud, while injured totalled 151 and 21 were accounted missing. In its municipalities Cateel has the most number of casualties with 59 dead, 95 injured and 13 missing; followed by Baganga with 31 dead, 51 injured and 13 missing; Boston 27 dead; Caraga with  nine dead, five injured and one missing; while Manay and Tarragona was reported with one dead each. 
According to Paniza, as of 11:00 a.m. Thursday there were a total of 378 injured and 376 reported missing in both provinces.