BAGUIO CITY (May 22) — The New People’s Army’s (NPA) Agustin Begnalen Command (ABC), operating in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions, pointed out inconsistencies in the military reports that underscored victories in dismantling rebel fronts in northern and central Luzon.
In a statement, Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed victory in its operations to dismantle guerrilla fronts in Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac.
The Nolcom chief Lieutenant General Rodrigo F. Maclang said in a May 8 statement that in the first quarter of this year, the government successfully dismantled four guerrilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA in North and Central Luzon and downgraded five guerrilla fronts in some areas.
The Nolcom also reportedly neutralized a total of 34 rebels including five top NPA officials. It also recovered 17 assorted high-powered firearms during encounters and through voluntary surrender.
However, according to the ABC statement signed by Ka Diego Wadagan, there are inconsistencies with the military reports, pointing out similar deceiving tactics in the past.
The ABC statement said that the military operations failed in the tri-boundary of Abra, Mt. Province and Ilocos Sur, the 50th Infantry Battalion 503rd Infantry Brigade and the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, contrary to reports that indicated successful operations in the area.
“The prolonged large-scale military operations in the tri-boundary area where the 50th Infantry Battalion and 503rd Infantry Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division used high-powered military armaments such as mortar, howitzer and aerial support, is another failure,” said Wadagan.
According Wadagan, what the military reported to have dismantled was an abandoned NPA camp.
The military also reported soldiers killed many rebels during the said operations and denied any casualty.
“We only had two casualties on two different encounters while 10 soldiers were killed and three wounded,” said Wadagan adding that during the April 5 encounter, the soldiers reported that they only had one casualty but later admitted they actually had two 50th IB soldiers and another two from the 52nd Division Reconnaissance Company killed.
The ABC statement mentioned the NPA lost two fighters in two encounters. Sammy Rey Cayago, a.k.a. Ka Cholo was killed in an encounter on March 24 while Maximo Dumag, alias Ka Atong figured in the April 5 firefight, both in the Abra-Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur border.
According to Wadagan the military is skilled at weaving stories to hide the truth that the government troops failed in crashing the revolutionary movement.”
Nolcom was acknowledged as the top Unified Command during the First Quarter Internal Security Operations Assessment and Command Conference held in Camp Aguinaldo in April. # Northern Dispatch