The Philippine Army successfully destroyed a Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) hideout and successfully prevented terrorists from carrying out their atrocities in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged sitio of Putok Marine in the hinterland barangay of Saad, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur on the evening of Saturday, August 21.
Preventing possible CPP-NPA atrocities relies on a tip from a concerned civilian in the neighborhood, as well as the activation of the community’s Barangay Defense System (BDS).
Utilizing the artillery units (Howitzers) of the Army’s 1st Field Artillery Battalion (1FAB), the combined troops of the 97th Infantry “Kalasaglahi” Battalion (97IB), 42nd Infantry “Tagapagtanggol” Battalion (42IB), and 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) under operational control of the 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade (102Bde) continues to pursue the fleeing NPA terrorists to protect the people of Barangay Saad and adjacent areas.
Barangay Saad Captain Jeffrey Señara expressed his gratitude for the Army’s presence in the area and for ensuring the safety of the people of Saad.
“We are forever grateful for the Army for their unending commitment to keep us safe,” said Hon. Señara in local dialect.
“Dumingag LGU and MTF-ELCAC will continue to support the Army to entirely destroy NPA terrorists in the municipality,” declared Hon. Joan Abejuela, mayor of Dumingag and head of the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC).
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, 97IB Commanding Officer, stated that the Army will persistently pursue the NPA terrorists while rigorously following to human rights and international humanitarian law.
“The Army will continue its mandate to bring peace so the people can sleep at night safe and sound, without the fear of communist terrorism,” said Lt. Col. Boransing.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB Commanding Officer, further stated that this is an achievement for both the Army and the LGU, and that it is the result of the LGU’s close collaboration and community support.
“We also thank the LGU and the community for their support; this is a manifestation of the community’s strong rejection of communist-terrorist ideology,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, praised Dumingag town’s counterinsurgency action plan, dubbed “Oplan Amuma,” and urged NPAs still operating in the hinterlands to lay down their arms and return to the folds of law.
“This is a clear proof that Oplan Amuma is working at full throttle. We encourage the NPAs still in the hinterlands to surrender, avail the programs of the government, and start their lives anew,” said Brig. Gen. Nicolas.