Friday, March 25, 2011

NPA Armed Contacts, First Quarter of 2011,Part I

As the NPA's 42nd Anniversary draws near, the time leading up to March 29, 2011 is bound to be filled with more misery and bloodshed, the top product sold by those ideological dinasours. The 18 day Ceasefire ended on January 03 and the NPA was off and running. Without further ado...

January 06, 2011, in Purok #4, Barangay Magdum, Tagum City, Davao del Norte Province, 3 soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (Airborne) were riding on a single motorcycle en route to
The NPA captured 2 M16s and 1 M203 grenade launcher.

On January 08, 2011 in Sitio Darot, Barangay Libudon, Mabini, ComVal (Compstela Valley Province) a platoon from the 71st IB (Infantry Battalion) was ambushed by Front 2 of the Crucifino Uballas Command, killing 1 AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) soldier.

Also on January 08, 2011 in Barangay Datu Danwata, Malita, Davao del Sur Province, 30 guerillas from Front 71 (Alex Ababa Command) abducted Susan Danwata and forced her to act as a decoy in luring her husband, Barangay Captain Ramon Danwata out of their house. Arriving at the couple's home the guerillas had Ms.Danwata loudly summon her husbans, telling him to quickly come outside. As Ramon stepped out of the house he was riddled with bullets and killed. A CVO (Civilian Auxiliary Organization, a CAA, or Civilian Active Auxiliary programme along the lines of the CAFGU except that the CVO is sublimated to the municipal PNP station and not the AFP. Getting almost no military training the garrisons are issued automatic weaponry. CVOs are almost always relegated to Muslim areas) soldier managed to quickly slip out of site.

Simultaneously the CVO garrison was stormed and its armoury captured. Taken were 3 M16s, 3 M14s, 1 M1, 3 12 gaguge rifles, 1 22 caliber rifle and 1 M79 grenade. Withdrawing with that haul the NPA Blocking Force situated in Barangay Bolila set an ambush for the large detachment from the 39IB that was en route in response to the attack (having ascertained the number of reinforcements, route of travel and an outline of intended response actions by an AFP ICOM transceiver that had been captured in a previous NPA attack.

Before long the reinforcements came barreling down the dirt road and rolled right into an ambush, causing a 1LT, 2 Sgts. And 2 PFCs to suffer serious shrapnel and bullet wounds. Barangay Captain Danwata was wanted by the NPA because of his crucial role in providing the AFP-IS (Military Intelligence Service) the necessary intelligence needed to capture high ranking guerilla Eliseo"Ka Bimbo"Tadam

January 18, 2011 in Sitio Guinobatan, Barangay Paquibato Proper, Paquibato District, Davao City in Davao del Sur Province, 30 guerillas from PBC1 (Pulang Bagani Company #1) under Leonicio"Ka Parago"Pitao ambushed a composite force of 69IB, Bagani Long Range Platoon CAA and PNP SAF (Special Action Force) under AFP 1LT Bryan Malinao. After initial IED (Improvised Explosive Device, aka "bomb") detonation and subsequent 30 minute firefight 2 AFP killed,8 wounded (2 AFP, 1 CAA, 5 PNP). 2 of those 8 died during treatment:

1) PFC.Estancio

2) CAA (Bagani LRP) Paguilan

January 22, 2011, in Sitio Old Bantangan, BarangayLasak, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat Province, PDTs (Peace and Development Teams) from the 27IB were harried (snipers shooting) by Front 76 resulting in an engagement in which 1 guerilla, "Ka Etoy" aka "Ka Bebe" was shot to death. The next day, January 23, aPDT from the 27IB took sniper fire without casualties.

On that same day, January 22, 2011, in Barangay Old Macopa, Manay, Davao Oriental, a composite force of the 67IB and 4th Scout Rangers Company engaged NPA with 1 AFP officer moderately wounded.

January 23, 2011 in Barangay Lebanon, Montevista, Com0val, PDT took sniper fire, without casualties.

January 26, 2011, in Malita, Davao del Sur Province, F71, with 2 guerillas killed and 1 captured. The 2 dead:

1) Jimboy"Ka Jemar"Liwantang Dayagan

2) Perjelio"Ka Sadam"Bautista

Bautista was CO (Commanding Officer) of Team #1, Platun (Platoon) #1. The captured guerilla is 18 year old Delie"Ka Emma" D. Lumayas of Barangay Pangaleon, Malita. Delie has a 3rd grade education and after dropping out of school at age 8 she became a maid to a wealthy family in Davao City in that same province, Davao del Sur. She dreamed of earning enough to return to school because her dream was to become a teacher. Instead, at age 13 and back in her village having lost her job she was recruited by a sectoral front organisation that trained Delie in the organisation of peasants like herself. By 16 she was recruited as a Regulae in the NPA, going into the bush on May 05, 2008. In August she finished her military training and has been taking part in the insurgency since that timezm

January 29, 2011 saw a fire fight on the border between Malapatan, Sarangani Province and Davao del Sur Province ib which Front 71's "Ka Kotray," shot to death by the 72IB.

On January 30, 2010, in Paquibato District, Davao City, Davao del Sur District, as the AFP began scouring the sector in anticipation of Mayor Sara"Inday"Duterte Carpio's visit to the Paquibato District Anniversary Fiesta in Barangay Paquibato Proper, an IED detonated in Purok #5 in Barangay Mapula,an ambush of a Supply Team from the 69IB. The AFP's 10ID (Infantry Division) tried to spin it as an assasination attempt on the mayor's life which is an even stupider claim than the usual AFPspin shlock. Mayor Carpio's father is her Vice Mayor, Rodrigo"Roddy"Duterte who is an NPA sympathiser and who has beein in a working relationship with the Pulang Bagani Company #1aks Commanding Officer Leonicio"Ka Parago"Pitao for well over a decade now. Mayor Carpio doesn't even need a. Security escort in NPA territory (the NPA holds full control of Paquibato, Toril and Baguio Districts in Davao City by agreement with Vice Mayor Duterte, in exchange for the NPA agreeing not to encroach on any other city districts).

February 01, 2011 in Barangay Asbangliok, Tagaytay, Davao del Sur Province the 6th Scout Rangers Company under 1LT.Cuenco encountered 7 guerillas from Front 72. After a short FF the NPA withdrew with the AFP in close pursuit. The next day, February 02, in Sitio Mauno, Barangay Maligaya, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat Province, they were engaged a second time resulting in the capture of 1 hand grenade and a flash drive.

That same day, February 02, 2011 in Barangay Mambing, New Corella, Davao del Norte, Front 33 attacked 3rd Special Forces Battalion (Airborne), wounding 1 PFC.

On February 11 Ka Parago issued an official media release in which he pointed out that Mayor Carpio isn't even travelling outside of Barangay Paquibato Proper, let alone to Barangay Mapula which is in the mountains. He also pointed out that while the 10ID is telling anyone wjo will listen all about its new "humanistic approach" that involves an 80% effort on CMO (Civil Military Operations, a "community policing" type approach), it launched a wide scale tactical offencive in Paquibato and Toril Districts on January 10.

February 01, 2011 in Barangay Pulang Lupa, Trento, Agusan del Sur Province was the site of an ambush against a DENR (Department of Energy and Natural Resources) Checkpoint. The site is part of OPLAN Bantay Kalikasan (Operational Plan Guarding Nature) to cut down on illegal logging. Manned by 2 police officers from the PPO (Provincial Police Officer who were backing 2 DENR officers. On the day in question 1 of the DENR officers, George Dimzon, was being visited by his 19 year old son, Fritz Dimzon, who was there to pick up his weekly allowance so as to pay the necessary fees for an AFP Entrance Exam. Fritz was shot to death as was another civilian, 39 year old Carlito Tumandang. The 2 PNP (Philippine Natiomal Police) officers were wounded, 1 critically. The more moderately wounded of the 2, PO3 Jorge Sabating, was taken prisoner by the NPA.

Vice Governor Santiago Cana of Agusan del Sur Province and Josefina Bajade, the SWD (Social Welfare and Development) Officer for the province entered the camp of Front 20, Conrado Heredia Command, for a "Peace Dialogue" with the NPA in light of the ongoing GRP (Ph.Govt.) -NDF (National Democratic Front, negotiating entity for the NPA and its political wing, CPP, aka Communist Party of the Philippines). The ACTUAL reason though was to seek the release of PO3 Jorge Sabating.Ms.Bajade is busy making a mess of things as she pushes a new scheme to "improve" the Livlihood Package given to NPA Surrenderees. All Surrenderees, even without a weapon, get an immediate cash grant of 20,000 Pesos (475 US) and then receive a Livlihood Package worth 50,000 Pesos. Thus far it has worked as a very, very strong incentive in the bid to seduce insurgents to return to the fold as it were. Ms.Bajade is apparently one of those people who can'teave well enough alone and so now she's trying to implement a protocol that would have the Livlihood Package of each Surrenderee pooled so as to force Surrenderees into co-operative ventures. In her view pooling those funds would provide greater opportunities. What she fails to realise though is that you cannot tie disparate people together, especially with a facet of their lives that is absolutely crucial. Business partnerships are fine IF individuals choose to enter into them. Sadly she recently got to tell her her cockamamie idea to representatives from OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Advisor to the Peace Process), PNP, AFP and other stakeholders. No word on how many laughed at her.

To Ms.Bajade's credit though, Front 20 chose to release PO3 Sabating to her and Vice Gov.Cane in Sitio Cogonon, Barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur Province on February.

Speaking of "Surrenderees," on February 23, 2011 the PPOC (Provincial Peace and Order Committee) of Surigao del Norte Province is considering building a "Peace Village" for ex-NPA guerillas to be located in Barangay Ipil in Surigao City, the provincial capitol. The idea is actually not new. In the mid-1950s then Secretary of National Defense Ramon Magsaysay did the exact same thing in trying to neutralise the Huk Insurgency, the nation's FIRST Communist Insurgency. Choosing plots in Westcentral Mindanao, built from scratch and giving each homesteader a small plot to farm it was probably the single nest idea in a Counterinsurgency full of good ideas. The problem today though is very different. The Huk were almost rotally confined to Luzon, 90Km to the north of Mindanao. In the 1950s there was no 1 hour plane ride between the 2 islands, Mindanao was truly a geographical cure. In addition the villages also contained homesteads for decommissioned and retired PNP and AFP which served as a stabilising force within thise comunities.

February 02, 2011 in Barangay Mambing, New Corella, Davao del Norte Province, 3rd Special Forces Battalion (Airborne) encountered the NPA. After an intence 10 minute fire fight before they withdrew into Montevista, ComVal. 1 PFC was wounded with a bullet in the left knee.

On February 06, 2011 on the Bukidnon to Davao National Hiway, retired Master Sgt.Mario Veluz, age 56, was abducted by Front 53 (Herminio Alfonso Command) at an NPA checkpoint. Divested of his 45 caliber pistol, he was released on February 18 to North Cotabato Provincial Goverbor Emmy Lou T.Mendoza in Barangay Kagawa'an, Kibawe, North Cotabato Province. Sgt.Veluz had served as the Governor's bodyguard when she was serving as the Congresswoman representing North Cotabato's First District.

On February 07, 2011 in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur Province PNP officer PO1 Edwin Antipuesto stopped at an NPA checkpoint and was divested of his 45 caliber pistol. He was en route to his job at Magsaysay Municipal PNP.

That same day, February 07, 2011 yet another hapless PNP officer was divested of HIS sidearm at yet ANOTHER NPA checkpoint. PO1 Ace Villapaz was at an NPA checkpoint implemented by Front 51 in Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Peovince as a Weena Bus and a passenger van he was on were searched. His 45 caliber pistol was captured. Serving with PMG (Police Mobile Group) #1186 he had been heading into work.

Also February 07, 2011 in Barangay Maparat, Compostela, ComVal PFC El Bryan Canedo of 5th Scout Rangers Company was on a motorcycle when he was stopped at yet ANOTHER NPA checkpoint. He was then abducted, taken from the scene in an Elf Truck (very small utility truck).

February 07, 2011 was DEFINITELY NOT the day to be up and about. At yet ANOTHER NPA checkpoint in Barangay Pintatagan, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental Province, PNP PO2 Jerwel Montecillo Tugade of the PMG #1106 was abducted by Front 18 (Wilfredo Zapanta Command).

February 14, 2011, the municipality of Maco in ComVal Province held a "Community Peace Rally" at the town's municipal basketball courts in Barangay Poblacion. Over 1,000 townspeople gathered to hear the provincial governor, Arturo Uy, speak about how much he has done for the town and how much the PDTs (Peace and Development Teams) from 10ID have bettered the town and so on. At 445PM the fun fest broke up and people went their separate ways. As 1 small group began making their way down a thoroughfare in Purok #6 in Barangay Libay-libay a powerful IED detonated and killed 1 civilian, 56 year old Nicholas Paquin, a resident of Barangay Dumlan was in a group of 5 men. The other 4 were critically wounded, with 2 of those 4 dying at the hospital during treatment:

1) Juanito Cabarobias, 52 years old

2) Angelito Comayas Jr., 42 years old

On February 22, 2011 in Purok #4, Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City, Davao del Sur Province, as Barangay Captain Alfredo B.Austral attended a Barangat meeting NPA uder "Ka Bobby' entered his home and captured the city issued 12 gauge issued to all Barangay Captains.

On February 25, 2011 in Barangay Sinuron, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Province, a SPARU (Special Armed Partisan Unit, the assasination arm of the NPA) killed Roldan Quintoa. Quintoa, a former NPA guerilla had surrendered to the government in 2008. Since leaving the NPA Quintoa busied himself by working on his father's upland farm. Indeed, it was that farm that he was walking to when killed. The NPA doesn't target Surrenderees as a rule, relegating such decisive treatment to those ex-guerillas who serve as AFP-IS (Military Intelligence) assets.

February 26, 2011 in Barangay Colon Sabac, Matanoa, Davao del Sur, a SPARU team from Mt.Alip Command killed AFP-IS asset Jun Sal and captured a 45 caliber pistol before escaping. Sal wasn't an NPA Surrenderee, merely an informer.

March 06, 2011, on the borders of Barangays Mapayag and Bendolan in Malaybalay City near the border of the municipality of Lantapan in Bukidnon Province, at 8AM Front 89 killed an ex-barangay captain, Antonio Pechora of Barangay Mapayag, in his home, and then withdrew. At 1130AM the Malaybalay City PNP and PNP SOCO (Scene of Crime Operations) travelled to the outlying area to recover the man's body and to do a cursory crime scene investigation. Travelling in 2 vehicles the SOCO van followed closely behind the PNP SUV and had just crossed into Sitio Tamugawi, Purok #3, Barangay Mapayag and were at the foot of Bundok Kitanglad (Mt.Kitanglad) when an IED detonated, followed by a barrage of rifle grenades. 2 PNP and 1 civilian employee of SOCO were killed instantly:

1) PO1 Ronel Bayta

2) PO1 Jimmy Napil Jr

3) Rodel Dangop (SOCO)

5 PNP were wounded with 1 of them dying during treatment: PO1 Xerxes Von Palasol. The NPA captured 1 M16 and 3 9MM pistols.

March 09, 2011 in Sitio Tagaytay, Barangay Mipingi, Nabunturan, ComVal Province, a firefight left 1 guerilla dead. On March 11 a detachment from the 101 DRCOY (Division Recon Company, in this case the 10ID's) under 1LT.Godofredo A.Despojo recovered the guerilla's cadaver and had just entered Sitio Tanawan, Barangay Malinswon, Mawab when an IED detonated followed by a 15 minute firefight with Front 33. Though the NPA is claiming it killed 3 AFP in that ambush. In reality they only killed 1, 1LT. Despojo, the detachment CO. In addition there were 12 AFP wounded.

On March 11, 2011 in Barangays Danuman and Nueva Gracia in Loreto, Agusan del Sur Province Front 34 launched 2 simultaneous assaults on those barangay's respective CAA posts.

That same day, March 11, I Sitio Kilometer #19, Barangay Del Monte, Veruela, Agusan del Sur Province, Front 3 attacked. Bagani Long Range Platoon post, and not long after a Bagani Long Range Platoon post in Barangay Sinubong.

On March 12, 2011. In Sitio Tibungco, Barangay San Jose, Montevista, ComVal Province, a truck carrying a detachment from the 25IB was strafed by M1/ fire without casualties.

That same day, March 12, 2011 in Barangay Pinamuno, San Isidro, Davao del Norte Peovince, Front 35 (Danilo Villacorta Command) was engaged by the 60IB resulting in 1 AFP killed, 4 wounded.

March 13, 2011 in Barangay Lataban, New Corella, Davao del Norte Province, an NCO (Non Commisioned Officer, aka Corporal or Sergeant) from the 3rd Special Forces (Airborne) Battalion was wounded by a sniper.

On March 15, 2011 in Sitio Bagtok, Barangay San Vicente, Montevista, ComVal Province, an NPA snper killed 1 soldier from the 25IB.

On Saturday afternoon, March 19, 2011 a young woman approached the jeepney stand ("jeepneys" are a low cost form of public transport) at Davao City's Gaisano Mall. Searching for 2 passenger vans to charter for a family wedding that evening, she finally found 2 drivers with Mitsubishi L3000 vans who agreed to do so for a cost of 4,500 Pesos per van (95 US each), with a down payment of 2,500 each (55 US each). Counting out the money the woman assured the drivers that 2 guides would be along straight away to direct the vans to her family's residence. Within the hour 2 young men did indeed show up and so the vans departed to the municipality of Panabo City in Davao del Norte Province to pick up the family members. Arriving in Panabo, just outside the Davao City limits the drivers were told to proceed to an outlying barangay. Driving down an unpaved road they were forced to stop as 20 well armed guerillas in military fatigues and bonnets (baclavas) blocked their way. Quickly getting in both vans and brusquely directed the terrified drivers to drive to an outlying Panabo City Municipal PNP Station in Barangay Maduwaw.

Entering the PNP Compound the officer guarding the front door (they stupidly don't employ guards on the perimeter or even its main gate) waved to the new arrivals, apparently believing them to be AFP soldiers despite regional directives warning all security forces NOT to allow anyone entry without prior notification and confirmation of identity owing to a rash of military and PNP impersonations by the NPA. PBC1 utilises this ruses every 3 or 4 months and indeed, the new arrivals were PBC1. The friendly guard, PO3 Narciso Pakiwag continued his smiling and waving but a more alert PNP officer on the 2nd floor wasn't fooled at all and immediately shouted to alert his mates. Ideally the NPA would have gained entry to the building so as to capture its weaponry, uniforms and intelligence but the station went into defencive mode so the guerillas threw a hand grenade into the doorway and opened up with 2 M16s killing PO3 Pakiwag immediately. A CVO (Civilian Volunteer Officer, a form of Civilian Active Auxiliary attached to municipal PNP) soldier, Raymond Minoza, was killed as well in that initial fusillade. The other 13 Officers all withdrew to the 2nd floor, where the armoury and nerve centre are and an intence fire fight broke out, only subsiding 30 minutes later when the guerillas received notification that reinforcements were en route.

Jumping in both vans the guerillas, habing only captured 1 M16 sped out of the compound but hadn't gone very far, less than 400 meters when 1 of the vans got bogged down, the NPA having failed to plan for inclement weather and its effect on unpaved roads. Piling into the 2nd, now dangerously overloaded van, they made it over the border of Davao City, into Lasang District when the 2nd van skidded into an irrigation canal. Leaving behind 1 critically wounded guerilla, 41 year old Eliseo Mariano of Barangay Longaog, Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte Province. Mariano was taken into custody by units scouring the Davao City border 3 days later, March 22. Critically wounded in the right thigh and right hand he had been abandoned by the NPA, near death from. Loss of blood and dehydration.After initial treatment he quickly showed improvement and so was fit for torture, I mean "interrogation."Under "interrogation" he provided 4 full names of squadmates, including the leader of the Panabo attack, Lucio"Ka Bungot"Bustamente.

This week the 13 surviving PNP received Medals of Valour, which just goes to show you how worthless the ribbon is. The highest award in the Philippine security services it is akin to the American "Medal of Honor." WR men simply repelled 22 guerillas who ALWAYS withdraw when faced with nominal resistance (it is part and parcel of NPA tactical doctrine) and so they get the HIGHEST ribbon? PO3 Pakiwag also received the ribbon. Post humously of course, along with a promotion to SPO1. The 2 PNP wounded in the assault, including the station shift CO (Commanding Officer) also received ribbons for having been wounded in action.

March 20, 2011 in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur Province, the 29IB uncovered a Front 19A cache containing 2 M1s, 2 M16s and vital repairs in addition to ammo.

On March 21, 2011 in Barangay Casoon, Monkayo, ComVal Province, the 5th Scout Rangers Company under 1LT.Mark Steve Cimini engahed Front 3 under "Ka Ondo" in a running firefight, wounding 2 NPA and 1 AFP.

That same day, March 21, 2011 on the borders of Barangay Colon Sabac, Matanao, Davao del Sur Provinceand Barangay Sinapulan, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat Province was the site of a fierce firefight as 6th Scout Rangers under 1LT.Romeo Ferdinand Bautista were suprised by an encounter with Front 72 as the AFP scoured the sector prepping it for PDT deployment.

Also on March 21, 2011 in Sitio Tagtaytay, Barangay Mipangi, ComVal Province, 101 DRCOY under 1LT.Herold Ambrocio engaged NPA, killing 1 guerilla and captured his M16.

March 23, 2011 in Sitio Gureim, Barangay Sibulan, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Province, 39IB detachment under Sgt.Ranie Fuentes ambushed via IED killing 2 PFCs;

1) PFC.Salva

2) PFC.Centina

Originally the AFP was telling the world that the detachment was PDT but finally relented and admitted that it was a combat detachment that was trying to soften up the environs FOR PDT.

That same day, March 23, 2011 an SCAA. Garrison in Lianga, Surigao del Sur was attacked but managed to repell the NPA after a 10 minute firefight.

March 24, 2011, at Sanglay Wood Processing Plant in Barangay Amparo, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte Province, 50 NPA attacked the plant perimeter targetting the Blue Security (private security, not SCAA), disarming 3 guards employed by "Al Nino Security Agency." After capturing the guards' 2 shotguns and 1 9MM pistol.

On that same day, March 24, 2011, in Barangay Sibulan, Santa Cruz, Daval del Sur Province, a detachment from the 101 DRC (Division Recon Company, 10ID) was clearing a sector ahead of PDT deployment when a primed IED buried in the dirt road detonated killing 1 of the soldiers.

March 25, 2011 in Barangay Datal Biao, Tampakan, South Cotabati Province, a 5 vehicle convoy of tandem dumptrucks owned by LVE Construction was ambushed via IED. In the ensuing firefight 1 driver and 2 labourers riding in his lorry (truck) were killed:

1) Oscar Panisana (Driver)

2) Romel Vega

3) Nelson Parasan

On that same day, March 25, 2011, in Barangay Suaon, Kapalong, Davao del Norte Province, the 60IB on patrol saw a lone guerilla priming a roadside IED and immediately engaged, killing the guerilla and recovering 2 IEDs. A small NPA detachment that hadn't been sighted opened fire upon the AFP but withdrew after.

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