Military resumes operations vs NPA as holiday Somo ends

THE 10TH Infantry Division has already resumed its military offensives against the New People’s Army after the temporary ceasefire during the Yuletide season.

 Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of 10th ID, said all ground units are ordered to pursue the communist guerrillas after the conclusion of the suspension of military operations (Somo). “Our soldiers will resume pro-active combat measures to protect vulnerable communities nationwide from armed threats and deception of the NPA,” Lamosao said.

“Our non-combat efforts on assisting other line government agencies on infrastructure development and community health engagements will continue,” he added.

Lamosao also said that some of the soldiers were deployed to help local government units in disaster mitigation, rescue and relief operations, particularly in communities hit by landslides and flash floods.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Noel S. Clement, the 10th ID commander, said they received reports from residents of Barangay Tubaon in Mati City regarding NPA presence in the community. Reportedly, the rebels chose Sitio Madian as the area to celebrate their anniversary.

“The NPAs forced the people to participate in their activities and to provide food for their group,” Clement said.”They also sent out extortion letters to the businessmen of Mati and Manay, demanding that they support the NPA anniversary.”

The division commander said they NPA continues to deceive the youth to become part of the red fighters.

Two of them were apprehended and are now in jail facing murder charges, illegal possession of FAs and explosives, he said. Clement added that one has just joined the NPA three days before his capture, while the other lasted 10 days.

“The NPAs destroyed the future of these young people in a matter of weeks as they will be in jail for the rest of their life. Their firearms have been recovered at the encounter site,” he said.

Prior to their anniversary, Clement said the NPA abducted a brother of a cafgu, a businessman from Barangay Tubaon, and attempted to capture another militiaman who was able to escape.

Brig/Gen. Reuben Basiao, the commander of 701st Infantry Brigade based in Mati City, said they try to respond immediately to any tip given by residents of NPA presence in their community. He also warned supporters of the NPA that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“To NPA members, you have the opportunity to surrender peacefully with your firearms,” Basiao said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the order last month declaring the NPA as a terrorist organization. This will have to be affirmed by the court, however, to be effective.

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