Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Philippines: Fresh troops arrive in Davao following series of attacks by New People's Army

Source: Government of the Philippines
by Cpt Emmanuel R Garcia (INF)

Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (8 June) -- Another batch of fresh troops from Luzon arrived in Davao region 6:00 AM Friday following the series of attacks by New People's Army against the people and vital infrastructures in different parts of the Davao region.

The 84th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Kurt Decapia arrived at Hijo beach in Madaum, Tagum City ferried by Navy ships direct from Manila to augment troops currently guarding vital infrastructure projects being attacked by the NPAs.

The new troops are also posed to conduct hot pursuit operation against NPA terrorists responsible in the Maragusan massarce where five individuals were killed and 12 others were wounded. Part of the troops will also be utilized on a mission to rescue four government troops being held hostage by the NPA in Compostela Valley (ComVal) province.

Local government officials led by Davao del Norte Vice Governor Voctorio Suaybaguio welcomed the arrival of the troops in a simple ceremony held 9:00 AM of the same day.

The past weeks have been glum for the people of Davao region as NPAs stepped-up their attacks against government infrastructures, civilians and unarmed government troops in what authorities call "a ploy to cover their big time loss in the recent elections".

It may be recalled that kidnappings have been committed largely by the NPA victimizing unarmed government troops, candidates and public officials. Many innocent civilians have also been victims of NPA authored killings and bombs were also being planted by this group on roads and bridges. Two days ago, a government trooper was killed in a bomb planted by NPAs along the road in Mawab town in ComVal.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division immediately outlined the mission of the new troops in light of the crimes perpetrated by the NPA.

"Our paramount concern is the protection of innocent people being killed and kidnapped by these criminals. We will safeguard ongoing vital infrastructures in the region which are being sabotaged by these anti-development and anti-progress bandits. Their crimes will not go on unpunished. As the true soldiers of the people, we will abide by the clamor of our citizens to bring these murderers, kidnappers and bandits to justice. It is our sworn duty to protect our people and bring stability in this region," Holganza said.

Barely a week ago, the 71st Infantry Battalion also arrived in Davao region to augment troops guarding infrastructure projects of the government. Units from Special Forces and Scout Ranger together with Engineer, Medical and Civil Military Operations units are also arriving one by one from different parts of Mindanao to help in peace and development efforts and community outreach programs in the region.

"We assure our people that the arrival of new troops will not mean war but enhanced security measures to protect them. We have to put these criminals behind bars. Our troops will work extra hard to ensure that peace and development efforts will be protected and that the rights of the people will be respected at all times," Holganza concluded.

Davao region is one of the national priority areas in the country due to the presence of NPA bandits actively terrorizing people and extorting money from businesses and ordinary citizens. (10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army)

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