Philippines: Military says rebels targeting peace and development units
The Philippine Army headquarters has issued memos to Peace and Development Teams deployed nationwide to be on the lookout. As the military describes what is new tactic by rebels going after social programs thier units do in rural areas affected by the insurgency.
The Military news replease goes on to describe the acts as, "Another desperate move from the New People’s Army in Capiz province was seen early morning today as they attempted to harass a Peace and Development Teams (PDT) of the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) deployed in Barangays Acuña of Tapaz town 3 a.m. while another PDT team (61IB) engaged in a 5 minutes firefight in Barangay Aglinab 3:20 a.m." the statement says in a e-mailed news release.
"The PDTs, in a more or less 15 minutes firefight, held their position after receiving bursts of fire from the rebels and was able to retaliate prompting security forces to conduct pursuit operations against the perpetrators." the report goes on to say that, "The PDT team in the 3:20 a.m. encounter acted on reports from civilians on an enemy presence conducting extortion activities."
IED's recovered from ambush site:
Troops recovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) 6 a.m. as they scoured the area near the encounter site in Barangay Acuña.
“The PDTs, an evolution from the Infantry Squad which is comprised of more or less ten soldiers, are deployed in conflict affected areas and has greatly contributed in bringing the right information to the people. It is the Army’s cutting edge in continually reducing insurgency,” said Colonel Arnold Quiapo, Commander of the Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade.
“It is this reason that the PDTs are continually on the alert. NPA groups are surely being hurt by their (PDTs) presence in communities,” added Quiapo.
On April 12, the unexpected meeting engagement in Tapaz, Capiz between a PDT of the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) of only about nine soldiers and the New People’s Army (NPA) led to the discovery two camps used as Regional headquarters of the Komiteng Rehiyon Panay (KR-P), the NPA command which controls the NPA in a few places in the island of Panay.
Troops under the 61IB figured in the firefight with the NPA about 7:25 am at Barangay Nayawan, Tapaz, Capiz who, together with the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, were suppose to undergo “Pulong-pulong” (dialogue) with the populace for an information drive on the government’s various programs particularly on the rights of indigenous people.
Military to continue and increae civil affairs projects in rural areas:
Even as threats are reported versus the civil affiars teams, the Philippine military says it will increase the effort. To bring services to affected places in the over 40 year old insurgency.
In the nearby province of Samar – A Free Medical & Dental Mission was conducted in Jiabong, Samar on May 12 2012 by the local government and cause oriented groups in Samar in coordination with Army troops.
Elements of the 801st Brigade, 8th Infantry Division (8ID), Philippine Army in collaboration with the Saint Camellus Hospital of Calbayog City and Local Government of Jiabong, Samar delivered a free medical consultation, dental extraction as part of the peace and development efforts in Samar.
The activity is also aligned with the “whole of Nation” approach of AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan. BGen Gerardo T Layug AFP, the Commanding General of the 8ID Stormtroopers division said “the ‘whole of nation’ approach seeks to bring about a concerted effort among stakeholders to address the root causes of insurgency.
"We acknowledge that a purely military solution is not the answer to insurgency, we have to join hands with the local governments and all stakeholders to intensify peace and development efforts in the area.”
Hon Jocelyn Gabieta de Jesus, Municipal Mayor of Jiabong expressed her gratitude to the group for their efforts in bringing the services to her constituents.
"The success of the activities is a example of cooperation, collaborative efforts and commitment of all stakeholders in bringing the services to our people that exemplifies the true spirit of Bayanihan." the Philippine Army statement went on to say adding that.
"The Philippine Army together with the local government of Jiabong and other stakeholders, enjoins other organizations to advocate convergence of effort to help uplift the lives of our fellow Filipino people especially those in the remote areas."
At the end of the activity, a medical mission a total of 440 residents benefiting from the said activity, what further benifited was people are starting to see the soldiers and bringing services to them - that for many often are unavialable in rural areas.
Tags: Samar , Capiz , Winning The Peace , AFP , TeamAFP , Armed Forces Of The Phili ,
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