Camp Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur-Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) under MGen Henry A. Robinson Jr PA has mobilized its manpower, equipment and transportation assets for the on-going Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations after the onslaught of typhoon Quinta in Bicol.
Disaster Response Operation (DRO) teams under 9th Infantry (Spear) Division were deployed in the entire region even before the storm lashed Bicol last night.
The teams assisted various Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (DRRMOs) in rescuing residents especially those who were raged by heavy flooding.
JTFB also provided transportation assets for a faster delivery of relief goods and services to the affected families while the rest of its manpower are conducting road clearing operations in typhoon-stricken areas.
Moreover, military personnel also assisted in the search and rescue operations for the reported 12 missing persons in Catanduanes province.
Air assets are also on standby for the rapid conduct of damage assessment and recoveries.
Even before the storm hits the Bicol Region, JTFB was in close coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) to ensure the safety of the Bicolanos and uphold a zero-casualty disaster policy.
The typhoon broke a pattern of encounters the Joint Task Force has been engaged with just the week preceding.
On the morning of October 17 in Bulan, Sorsogon another communist terrorist was killed after a 15-minute gunfight, as elements of 22nd Infantry Battalion (22IB) under Lt. Col. Henrito Managay conducted security operations upon receiving a tip-off from the residents of Barangay Taromata about the presence of armed group in the area.
Seeing that one of their comrades was killed, about 20 members of the New Peoples Army escaped leaving behind one caliber .45, one caliber .38, backpacks and terroristic propaganda materials.
However, at around 3PM of the same day, another armed clash broke out between the troops of 49th Infantry Battalion (49IB) and communist terrorists in Oas, Albay. The team was securing the Serbisyo Caravan in Barangay Mayag when they encountered undetermined number of CNTs in Barangay Tobgon.
During the firefight, communist terrorists detonated an anti-personnel mine killing one military personnel and wounding two others.
JTF Bicolandia strongly condemned CTG’s persistent use of anti-personnel mines which is a clear violation of Anti-Terrorism Law as well as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other Crimes Against Humanity.
Furthermore, Maj. Gen. Robinson emphasized that it was CTG’s desperate way of retaliating because since the deployment of 49IB from Mindanao to Albay, the unit was able to gain the support of the communities to the extent that various Barangays conducted rallies to publicly condemn the terrorist group and passed resolutions declaring the CTGs as persona non grata.
“Serbisyo Caravan is a multi-service caravan of all instrumentalities of the government and other civil society organizations offering free medical and dental services, census and birth registration, food packs distribution, registration of domesticated animals and distribution of seedlings and information drive about the different programs of national agencies”, Robinson explained.