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NPA strikes back with attacks in 3 provinces

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By Joseph Jubelag and Mike U. Crismundo

General Santos City – A few days after the military seized a vital camp and secured the surrender of 10 insurgents, the New People’s Army (NPA) went on the rebound and launched two major assaults on government targets in Sarangani, South Cotabato and Surigao del Sur.

In a press statement Ka Dencio Madrigal, spokesperson of the NPA-Far South Mindanao Region, said NPA rebels were able to disarm village officials and members of the civilian volunteers organization  in Kiamba, Sarangani and T’boli, South Cotabato who were active in the government’s counter-insurgency campaign.

He said NPA guerillas stormed the village of Maligang in Kiamba, Sarangani last September 27 where they were able to disarm the village chair of his firearms, including Garand rifle, 12-gauge shotgun and .380 caliber pistol.

The NPA also took responsibility for the disarming of a barangay secretary and CVO members in Barangay Tudok, T;boli, South Cotabato last September 27.

The NPA rebels stormed the houses of CVO leader Mario Palau and barangay secretary Imion Inggo  who yielded M-16, Garand and carbine rifles.

In Surigao del Sur, a Manobo tribe leader, and a member of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA) were abducted Thursday night by about 20 heavily Communist insurgents in Sitio Hayon, Barangay Libas Sud, San Miguel town, military and police report on Saturday said.

Capt. Francisco P. Garello Jr., Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion (36th IB), identified the abducted victims as Datu Saturnino Gallego of Manobo tribe and CAA Danny Rivas, assigned in Mam-on Patrol Base in Barangay Tubo-tubo, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.

The 36th CMO officer said the victims were abducted by the members of guerilla-Front Committee 19 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under certain “Ka Tuloy.”

Datu Gallego and Rivas were abducted at 10 p.m. on Thursday in their home at Sitio Hayon, Barangay Libas Sud, in San Miguel town of that same province.

Members of their family were shocked when the armed men barged into their house and snatched Datu and Rivas for no apparent reason, Garello said.

Mayor Dibu Tuan said the firearms seized by rebels are not owned by the local government but the victims’ personal service firearms.

He asked the military for the deployment of additional troops in the area.

Lt.Col, Benjamin Leander, 27th Infantry Battalion commander, said manhunt operations were launched against the NPA rebels who were targeting barangay officials of their personal firearms.

He the NPA was into disarming of village officials to compensate the firearms recovered by authorities from arrested NPA rebels and those turned over by rebel surenderees.

“The NPA  rebels are now targeting individuals who have personal firearms to replenish the firearms seized by government forces  from  arrested NPA rebels and surrenderees,” Leander said.

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