Skip to main content

Militiamen build up in coal-rich village

KORONADAL CITY -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is training militiamen to thwart alleged growing infiltration of communist rebels in a far-flung village in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato that is rich in coal deposits.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexis Noel Bravo C. Bravo, chief of the Army's 27th Infantry Battalion, said more than two dozens of villagers have volunteered to become members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit.

"They want to join to fight the communist guerrillas now operating in [Barangay] Ned," he said, noting the New People's Army Front 73 has established a foothold in the area.

Bravo said the AFP has "token forces" in Ned, a government resettlement area, since they are more focused in the towns of Columbio in Sultan Kudarat and Magsaysay in Davao del Sur where communist presence is more intense.

Columbio forms part of the Tampakan copper-gold project of foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines Inc.

Bravo earlier classified the Tampakan project as "potentially highly at risk" from NPA attacks.

In Lake Sebu, San Miguel Energy Corp. has set up a base camp in Ned in a bid to extract massive coal deposits in the area.

Claiming increased NPA presence in the area, Bravo said in a separate statement that 27th IB troops recently captured a communist rebel there.

The rebel was identified as Marlon Donayre, 25, of Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

Donayre confessed that he belongs to the NPA Guerilla Front 73, according to the military statement. He was captured by 27th IB troops at Sitio Tasufao in Barangay Ned after he detached from his group to gather firewood.

Taken from his possession were a hand grenade and a rifle magazine with ammunition.
Bravo said the captured rebel was working to organize a mass base for communist rebels in the area.

The captured rebel's revelations on NPA activities in Barangay Ned coincided with the information provided by an alias Estoy, a former NPA Front 73 member who yielded to the 27th IB last February, Bravo said.

Charges of illegal possession of explosive and ammunition have been filed against Donayre at a court in this city, Bravo said.

The military official accused humans rights group Karapatan of having a link with the NPA after members of the former allegedly tried to help Donayre.

In March, the 27th IB and members of the Taboli Manubo S'daf Claimants Organization, which is opposing the coal mining project, met here to discuss the military presence in Barangay Ned.

Members of the tribal organization feared harassment from the military on account of the ongoing campaign against the NPA rebels in the area.

Tamasco said their members are not sympathizers of the communist rebels.

Bong S. Sarmiento | SunStar.Com.Ph | May 8, 2012 | Article Link


More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH

The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

Special Forces Assault Boat and the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation

Special Forces assault boats to beef up patrols in Davao Gulf
Special Forces assault boats will soon patrol Davao Gulf to detect and deter piracy and terrorist threats in southern waters.

Two of these boats were formally turned over by Special Forces Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey to Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Davao City on Tuesday, the EastMinCom said in a statement.

Madrigal said the boats will be “an additional capability in securing the municipal waters in the area of responsibility, particularly Davao Gulf, to preempt terrorists, piracy and other security threats from using the sea lanes in their terrorist and criminal acts. It can also be used for water search and rescue operations.”

The boats have counter/anti-terrorist capability and will be manned by Special Forces Riverine troopers.

The boats will be initially deployed with Joint Task Force Haribon which has the jurisdiction of Mega Davao, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.