By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY – In press releases sent to the media, two commands of the New Peoples Army (NPA) in two Cordillera provinces said they launched separate attacks against the troopers of the Philippine Army of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in two successive days.
In a statement, Diego Wadagan of the Agustin Begnalen Command of the NPA Abra said that a unit of the Saulo Lumadao Front foiled a precision attack by the 52nd Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC).
According to Wadagan, the said unit is an elite attack force of the 5th Infantry Division under the operational control of the 503rd Brigade of the Philippine Army.
According to the statement, the incident happened on February 3, 2012 at around 11:00 am in Sitio Nagasasan of Barangay Ududiao, Sallapadan, Abra. The firefight lasted until around 2 pm of the same day. Contradicting reports from by Col. Eliseo Posadas, Commanding Officer of the 503rd Brigade, no member of the NPA was hurt or killed in the incident.
In a report by the Civil Military Operations Officer and acting Public Information Officer Captain Eduard Sia-ed of the Philippine Army based in Brgy. Tagodtod, Lagangilang, Abra, three NPA fighters were killed in the encounter.
Sia-ed added the residents saw the NPA guerillas carrying their dead comrades.
The military named the three dead NPAs as Ka Tubomg, Ka Snipe and Ka Ronie.
Wadagan stated that the NPA unit was able to gather intelligence that led to the foiling of the precision attack through the support of the masses. He said that on January 30, 2012, a truck of army soldiers arrived at Barangay Subusob, Sallapadan. He also said that other troops began their operation from the 41st IB Head Quarters in Baay Licuan, Abra at the same time.
Wadagan claimed that reliable information also reached their unit that combat operations in the areas of Bucloc, Daguioman, Boliney and Sallapadan will resume in February.
Wadagan added that the names of the three alleged NPA casualties are not true. “Because their attack was foiled, the Commanding Officer lied to media and to the public.
Ricardo Reyes is the name used by the AFP in filing a case against an activist, and now, they claim that the same person is a certain Ka Tubong, the alleged leader of the NPA unit. There is no Ka Ronnie in the NPA unit, and Ka Spike was the earlier alias of an NPA surrenderee murdered in Baay-Licuan 2 years ago, and of Vice Mayor Leo Barona of Lacub when he was still with the NPA decades ago, prior to his being a rabid supporter of large scale mining in the province,” stated the NPA.
Meanwhile, on February 3, a team from the Lejo Cawilan Command of the NPA in Kalinga Province attacked a detachment of the 77th Infantry Battalion PA in Cagaluan Gate in Pasil, Kalinga. At around 4:00 pm, the team opened fire on the soldiers inside the detachment wounding 2 AFP regulars and a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
On November 2010, the AFP declared the province of Kalinga an insurgency-free area.
According to Tipon Gil-ayab of LCC-NPA-Kalinga, the continued militarization of Kalinga despite being declared free from insurgents by the AFP, is due to the imposition of mining, geothermal and dam projects in the province.
He said that detachment is key to the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan in the various municipalities of Kalinga, as it serves as drop and security zone for operating troops of the AFP. Gil-ayab said the LCC will do its utmost effort in frustrating the Oplan Bayanihan,hand help in the peoplefs struggles against anti-people monopoly capitalist projects, disguised as development projects,h Gil-ayab added.
In a separate statement of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF), spokesperson Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan commended the two NPA commands for their successful offensives.
“On the other hand, the CPDF castigates the spin masters of the AFP including Col. Eliseo Posadas of the 503rd Brigade, for fabricating blatant lies to cover their losses and failures.
Col. Posadas claimed in their first press release that the NPA sustained three killed and another one wounded but quickly contradicted himself later by reducing his claim to only one alleged casualty” said the statement.
According to Naogsan, the successful defense and repulsion by the NPA fighters in Sallapadan and in Pasil in Kalinga is attributable to the overwhelming support of the masses to the NPA in their defense of the ancestral land and cherishing their army.
“In contrast, no amount of face-saving falsehoods can reduce the ire and contempt of the people against the reactionary AFP. Col. Eliseo Posadas and his spokesperson, Capt. Ed Sia-ed, can continue to invent NPA casualties and supposed “over runned camps” but the dwindling willingness of his troops to fight cannot be concealed from the public for long. It is indeed repulsive to fight for a rotten system,” ended Naogsan. # nordis.net