Saturday, April 9, 2011

503rd "Mining Security Force" Brigade punished anew; 7 soldiers of the 50th IB killed, 3 wounded, 2 helicopters damaged in 6 days of fighting in Tubo

503rd "Mining Security Force" Brigade punished anew;
7 soldiers of the 50th IB killed, 3 wounded,
2 helicopters damaged in 6 days of fighting in Tubo*

Ka Diego Wadagan
Agustin Begnalen Command, NPA-Abra
April 9, 2011

While 41st IB troops, Col. Danny Pabunan, 503rd Brigade CO, and Gov. Eustachio Bersamin were busy conducting civil-military operations, now called peace and development missions, in Lacub, 50th IB troops kept pouring into Tubo, since March 28, 2011. Obviously, the objectives of these were to sabotage the celebration of the 42nd Anniversary of the New People's Army. More than 300 soldiers of the 50th IB, under Col. Anquillano, began concentrating in Barangay Alangtin since March 28, 2011.

The NPA commemorated the 42nd Anniversary in Tubo in a better way: by launching a series of tactical offensives!

1. On March 29, the 42nd anniversary of the NPA, at 3:45pm in Mt. Layaban, Beew, Alangtin, Tubo, NPA guerillas secretly approached a platoon of the 50th IB , busy burning grass and sticks used by guerillas for makeshift structures. The NPA team fired upon the soldiers and killed 1 and injured another.

2. More 50th IB troops were deployed in Beew on March 30, 2011. At 3:15pm, March 31, still at Mt. Layaban, an NPA team harassed 50th IB troops, again killing a soldier and wounding another.

3. On April 1, 2011, NPA guerillas ambushed an enemy platoon near sitio Beew, as the enemies were moving toward an old and abandoned NPA camp. The firefight lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes, as the soldiers continuously fired mortars on NPA positions. Though superior in firepower, 5 soldiers were killed while 1 was wounded.

4. On April 2, 2011, at 9:20 am, 2 choppers attempted to land at Mt. Layaban, to evacuate casualties of the 50th IB. The NPA guerillas ambushed the choppers and hit both, causing the pilots to fly away for safety.

In the series of 4 firefights, the NPA guerillas maintained initiative. The 50th IB suffered a minimum of 7 KIA, 3 WIA, and 2 damaged helicopters. There were no casualties on the NPA side.

Where large-scale mining projects are to be implemented in Abra, the 503rd Brigade is present. In North Abra, the 41st IB is presently deployed in the municipalities of Baay-Licuan, Malibcong, and Tineg, and concentrates on Lacub, where the people are opposing the granting of exploration permit to Golden Lake Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of Philex Mining Corporation. And recently, the 50th IB was redeployed to BuDaBoSa (Bucloc, Daguioman, Boliney, Sallapadan) and the MaLuTu (Manabo, Luba, Tubo), concentrating on Tubo where 5 mining exploration permits are currently pending at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. Incidentally, Golden Lake Mining Corporation, where Miguel Antonio Pena holds top corporate positions, are both present in Lacub and Tubo, along with CANEX, a Canadian mining company being endorsed by the Tubo LGU.

Since 2008, Abra was declared by the Department of National Defense as priority area for the government's counter-insurgency program, because of mining interests in the province. Accordingly, the 503rd "Mining Security Force" Brigade repositioned its forces to the province. Under the defeated and discredited Oplan Bantay Laya 2, militarization was intensified in the entire province. And since then, human rights violations and violation of the collective rights of Tinggian tribes and communities committed by the AFP continued unabated.

Oplan Bantay Laya was repackaged by the Noynoy government as Oplan Bayanihan, and counter-insurgency was renamed into "internal peace and development operations" from "internal security operations." Accordingly, Special Operations Teams (SOTs) are now called Peace and Development Teams (PDTs). Still the dog brandishing a new collar and with a new master. Essentially the same fascist AFP serving the interests of big mining interests, in cahoots with bureaucrats in government, and mouthing seemingly new pro-people objectives.

The 50th IB was punished by NPA guerillas of the Agustin Begnalen Command for their servitude to large-scale mining interests, masquerading in peace and development missions. Oplan Bayanihan makes a mockery of the Filipino Bayanihan tradition, as the real intention of the AFP military campaign plan is to continue waging an all-out war against the people opposing development aggression and terrorism by big business interests and state forces. The NPA stands firm on the people's side and will frustrate Oplan Bayanihan.

Long live the 42nd Anniversary of the New People's Army!

Stop imposing large scale mining operation!

Frustrate and defeat Oplan Bayanihan!

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