Violence escalates

NPA ramps up abduction, attacks since Feb. 1: army
SEVEN persons were already abducted by the New People’s Army (NPA) under the area of responsibility of the 10th Infantry Division since the ceasefire was lifted.

The division operates in Davao Region,  parts of Sarangani, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur.

A militiaman was the latest abducted by the rebels in Purok Upper Waywayan, Barangay Don Mariano, Lupon, Davao Oriental around 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

Around 30 NPAs abducted Cafgu member Rene C. Doller, assigned to the 1st Platoon, 4th CAAC, DOR Ligadan Detachment of Sitio Ligadan, Barangay Don Enriques  Lopez, Mati City  last Tuesday.

Doller was driving his red XRM motorcycle, which was also burned by perpetrators.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, told reporters yesterday in the AFP-PNP press conference held at the Royal Mandaya hotel, that three soldiers from 39th IB, including one cafgu, were abducted by rebels.

Four civilians, including the barangay chieftain of Pangya, Trento, Agusan del Sur, were also abducted by the rebels this month

Also on Tuesday, 80 commuters and drivers were held for about an hour by the members of Guerilla Front 18 of the New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Upper Wayawayan, Barangay Don Mariano, Lupon Davao Oriental around 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday.

Capt. Andrew Linao, the civil-military operation (CMO) officer of 701st infantry Brigade, told TIMES that the rebel group stopped motorcycles passing through their checkpoint along Maragusan road heading toward Mati City.

The checkpoint was manned by around 40 armed men, according to witnesses. The victims were brought to a nearby chapel.

Inside, they were allegedly forced to listen to a lecture on the unilateral ceasefire and how government troops continue to commit violations to international human rights law. Accordingly, President Duterte also failed to fulfill his promise to release all 400 political detainees.

The lecture was conducted by an alias Bukawi. After about an hour, they were released.

Linao said they immediately sent troops to the area after receiving the report. The armed men were no longer around.

Rebels surrender

In other news, three NPAs surrendered to the 60th Infantry Battalion, bringing with them high-powered rifles.

Batchar identified them as alias Alas, 29, team leader of GF 71; alias Aldrin, 26; alias Omar, 46, both members of Pulang bagani Command 4.

The NPAs revealed that hardship and starvation forced them to surrender.

Meanwhile, the 10th ID said 28 rebels were already killed in a joint AFP-PNP operations; eight captured and another eight surrendered in Alabel,Sarangani.

A total of 18 NPAs also surrendered in the different battalions of 10th ID. Twelve high-powered firearms and 14 improvised bombsa were recovered at different clash sites.

They have also recorded around nine encounters, most recent of which happened in Barangay New Visayas, Lupon and Lambog, Manay Davao Oriental and Laak, Compostela Valley and Datal Anggas, Alabel, Saranggani province.