13 NPA-affected barangays in Davao City under evaluation

THIRTEEN more barangays in the city are being evaluated by the military to determine the level of influence by the New People’s Army (NPA).

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at Davao City Police Office (DCPO)’s conference room, Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres, the commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said as of last year, 83 of the 182 barangays in the city have problems with the NPA.
Torres said their efforts are continuous, which will undergo several stages, to clear all the communities in Davao City of the NPA influence. After the deployment of troops to secure the barangays, the community support teams and the local government will then come in to provide basic services.
“An evaluation will be conducted then the last stage is the the validation and clearing,” Torres said.
On June 26, he said there will be an evaluation of 13 more barangays for clearing. They are under the operation control of the 3rd Infantry Battalion and 16th Infantry Battalion.
“Aside from linking the different programs of government and communities, our primary function also is on security,” he said,
The arrest of Elizalde Cañete alias Ka Jinggoy last month was a huge setback to the communist rebels operating in Davao City. Torres said the military will sustain its momentum to prevent the NPA from recovering.
The parameters in clearing a barangay include the dismantling of the political-military structure of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army, establishment of integrated defense force in the area, and the absence of recruitment.
He said they manage to achieve those three parameters which allowed them to push back the Pulang Bagani Command 1, which was headed by Ka Jinggoy, to the fringes.
“His neutralization (Jinggoy) is not really the reason the barangays are cleared but we started clearing the barangays establishing the system so that there will be no relapse,” he further said.
Just recently, three companies composed of 360 Cafgus graduated last June 12 and they will be deployed in the far-flung areas of the city where NPA presence is strong.
Last week, 36 barangays in Davao City and Davao del Norte were declared by the Area Clearing Validation Board as clear from the influence of the NPA.
The board is composed of officers from the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry Division, Davao City Police Office, Davao Del Norte Provincial Police Office, local government executives and barangay captains.
The 36 barangays are Alambre, Bangkas Heights, Bato, Bayabas, Eden, Marapangi, Mulig, Sirawan, and Tagurano of Toril; Riverside and Sirib of Calinan; Carmen, Tawan-tawan, and Baguio Proper of Baguio; Bantol, Buda, and Marilog Proper of Marilog; and, Angalan, Manambulan, New Carmen, and Tagakpan of Tugbok.
Meanwhile, the 15 barangays of Davao Del Norte are Buenavista, Consolacion, Katipunan, Katualan, Kauswagan, Kiotoy, Upper Licanan, Little Panay, Mabunao, Malativas, San Nicholas, San Roque, Sta Cruz, Tagpore and Waterfalls, all of Panabo City.

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