(First of a Series)
A case of double-whammy hit the communist terrorist groups operating in the Bicol area within 72 hours of each other.
In Sitio Angas, Barangay Otavi, Bulan town in Sorsogon province last June 27, an arms cache comprising of ten M16 rifles and 85 boxes of assorted ammunitions were seized by the joint forces of 31st Infantry Battalion and Philippine National Police.
In Labo, Camarines Norte two days after in June 29, a massive number of explosives composed of 761 TNT tubes and 400 meters detonating cords were captured by elements of 96th Infantry Battalion in collaboration with the Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office.
The capture of these instruments of war were made possible by information given to authorities by concerned citizens, a continuing manifestation of the waning public support of local communities for the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
Joint Task Force Bicolandia under Army Major General Henry Robinson said had it not been for information shared by local citizens and the timely response of law enforcement forces, these stockpile for the assembly of mines and improvised explosive devices and the high-powered arms and munitions would have been used to inflict violent death and destruction to government forces and civilians.
General Robinson took the occasion to remind peace-loving Bicolanos to press on with the fight in the furtherance of peace and development in the region.
This reversal of fortune was indeed a welcome development because last June 24, communist terrorists ambushed police personnel returning to their base camp after conducting peace and community safety operations in Barangay San Isidro, Jovellar, Albay, thereby killing a cop and wounding three others.
Prior to that, a roadside explosion from an anti-personnel mine also transpired in Barangay Bagacay, Mobo, Masbate damaging a community medical ambulance, harming its driver and one passenger, while soldiers from Fort Magsaysay bound for Zamboanga City were also targeted for bombing in Barangay Casini, Irosin, Sorsogon.
“These kinds of atrocities only show how cruel these communist terrorists are,” BGen Robinson said.
The bombing incident, he said, is a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRHIL) and RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.
Robinson added, “The growing support of the Bicolanos blowing the whistle against insurgency on one hand, and the increasing number of CPP-NPAs who have joined our Balik-Loob Program are conspiring to reduce the ranks of the enemies of the state leaving them no choice but to leave their armaments behind.
“Nakahanda tayo sa anumang laban ngunit nakahanda rin tayong tulungan ang mga miyembro ng NPA na nais magbagong buhay”.
The Joint Task Force Bicolandia assures the public that the security forces in Bicol will persistently intensify its security operations in the entire Region to protect the Bicolanos and deter the CPP-NPA from launching another terror act.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old former NPA child warrior who recently surrendered to the military, also led soldiers to an arms cache in Antipolo City yielding one M653 rifle, one M16 rifle and one M14 rifle with magazines and plenty of ammunition.
What is becoming more and more apparent is that the communist terrorist group now has more arms than men.
Balik-Loob on record
Since nobody is crowing about it, let me attribute this substantial attrition in the ranks of the communist terrorists, to the success of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
12,329 former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF have surrendered from July 2016 to March 2020.
Cooperative Development Authority — 1,592 have been trained in cooperative governance, management training, product making and marketing and linkages with other government agencies.
Department of Interior and Local Government – 1,291 farmer recipients received financial assistance worth P86,522,198 with 812 firearms remunerated.
National Housing Authority – 770 Certificates of Entitlement in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Region 11 and 12. Thirty-four (34) farmer recipients from Davao Oriental were awarded housing units in Tagum City. Two hundred forty (240) houses of farmer recipients are in the process of repair or renovation.
Landbank of the Philippines – Seven (7) farmers were given loan assistance of P100,000 each.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority – 4,728 students trained in vocational livelihood.
Department of Labor and Employment – 852 received assistance from DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program and 819 benefitted from the TUPAD Workers Program.
Department of Social Welfare and Development – 9,245 provided with various benefits including Psychosocial services.
Department of Agrarian Reform – Some 25 farmer recipients awarded Certificate of Land Allocation and assisted with identification of lands for distribution.
Department of Trade and Industry – 446 farmer recipients of DTI livelihood seeding program, entrepreneurial seminars and other skills training.
Liars can figure but figures can’t lie.
Franchise hearing becomes party-list hotspot
This is why the legal fronts of the communist terrorist groups are already in a frenzy climbing walls. Even Sister Mary John Mananzan has been working overtime because Kabataan Partylist Sarah Elago has taken five to the john.
Albay congressman Edcel Lagman has avoided the limelight to move Alliance of Concerned Teachers rep Frances Castro to the front even forgetting her good manners and right conduct when she rudely interrupted Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta during the hearings for the franchise application of ABS-CBN.
Castro is best remembered for being charged together with former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo and 16 others child abuse, kidnapping, and failure to return a minor she claimed they were rescuing from an alternative learning center in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Her mugshot is still fresh in my mind.
Another party-list rep Lito Atienza of Buhay has abandoned his usual prolife stand to lobby for ABS-CBN, a known coddler of the so-called progressive Makabayan bloc in mainstream media.
Atienza said, after seven hearings the House should now consider putting the issue to a vote as the issues raised against the network have been discussed exhaustively, he said with government agencies saying ABS-CBN had committed no violations of its franchise or the law.
The former mayor of Manila is of course just trying to end the carnage that has resulted with numerous issues and evidences that has push the network’s reputation and integrity to the dustbin of history.
For instance, a week after he said Atienza’s pleadings, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd blasted the claim of the network’s lawyers and officials who were claiming the Labor department found the network compliant with labor laws.
“The facts bear us out. Our labor inspectors found violations of laws and standards by ABS-CBN. And on account of those findings, the company took steps to correct those violations,” DOLE said in a statement.
“It is therefore patently misleading to attribute to us the claim that ABS-CBN is a compliant company.
“In fact, there are 67 pending cases against the company in the NLRC and the various courts,” it added, referring to the National Labor Relations Commission.
Earlier, the labor secretary also confirmed that ABS-CBN does not have 11,000 employees, confirming the more or less 4,000 level that the Bureau of Internal Revenue has submitted to Congress.
Today as we speak, even the franchise of SkyCable and channels connected with ABC-CBN’s TVPlus, have been subjected to a cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunication Commission, after receiving a tongue-lashing from House Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin Remulla, Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta (of Sagip party-list) and Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Michael Defensor
For the beleaguered network, it seems the worst is yet to come.