By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Farmers discovered a claymore-type improvised explosive device (IED) by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in their farmlands at Purok 7, barangay Mabuhay, in Prosperidad town in Agusan del Sur on Saturday, Nov. 17, and immediately reported it to the military for detonation.
“This will really inflict severe harm, even death, if it was not reported by the concerned villagers,” said 1st Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces (Arrowhead) Battalion (3rd SFBn).
The Mabuhay CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit) Patrol Base under the 8SFC immediately composed a team to disable, recover, and dispose of the IED.
Farmers blamed the CNTs for the decrease in farm production in some areas due to their terrorist activities.
“The NPAs are the reason why most of the farmers don’t attend to their farmlands anymore,” Punsalan said.
The 3rd SFBn under the 401st Infantry (Unite and Fight” Brigade lauded the efforts of the citizens who acted promptly.
Col. Allan D. Hambala, commanding officer of the 401st Brigade said that this is the positive effect of the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict. “The peoples’ support greatly hurts these terrorists because they have nowhere to run,” he said.
“This is the reason why they try so hard to discredit EO 70, the military’s presence, and the construction of patrol bases in the conflict-affected communities. The masses, whom they could terrorize before, already found their genuine ally in the military,” Hambala added.