Monday, May 24, 2010

More troops deployed in Mindanao to fight insurgents

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 24, 2010) – The Philippine Army deployed more troops in the restive region of Mindanao to contain the growing communist insurgency and attacks on security forces and innocent civilians, a military spokesman said Monday.

Captain Emmanuel Garcia, of the 10th Infantry Division, said one battalion of soldiers arrived in Tagum City in Davao Oriental province over the weekend to augment thousands of troops fighting the New People’s Army rebels.

He said more soldiers from the Special Forces and Scout Ranger are expected to arrive in the coming weeks to help defeat the rebel group blamed for deadly attacks in recent weeks in the provinces of Davao and Compostela Valley, a stronghold of the New People’s Army which has been waging a secessionist war for many decades now.

“Davao region has been peaceful in the recent elections until peace is destroyed by the New People's Army in Maragusan massacre; abductions have been committed largely by this terror group. They have been planting bombs on the roads and bridges and recently they ambushed soldiers near a populated place in Toril (District) in Davao City which put the lives of civilians in great danger.”

“We cannot go on like this; we cannot let such despicable acts go on unpunished. The Armed Forces of the Philippines vowed to the clamor of the people to bring these terrorists to justice. It is therefore paramount that the people will be informed that additional troops will be deployed in the region to pursue the terrorists,” Garcia said.

He said just last week, three soldiers were killed in an ambush by rebels in the village of Barakatan in Davao City.

“The ambush showed the treachery and utter disregard of the New People’s Army to human lives, particularly civilians, who might have been hit by bullets as there are houses a few hundred meters away from the soldiers,” Garcia said.

He said at least a dozen people had been killed in rebel attacks the past six months in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

The New People’s Army is also holding three government soldiers Army Corporals Marcial Bawagan, Ariel Asumo, Eduardo Alcala and a militiaman Victor Pitogo who were taken prisoners in the town of Mawab in Compostela Valley on May 12. They are being investigated on charges of human rights violations and counter-revolutionary campaign. (Mindanao Examiner)

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