COPD troops pummeled in Agusan del Norte
Two soldiers were killed and four were wounded in a series of tactical offensives in May by guerrillas under the New People's Army Pulang Diwata Command in the mountainous areas of Agusan del Norte. There were no casualties on the NPA side.
May 25. A soldier of the 30th IB was wounded when a group of Red fighers harassed them in Barangay Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.
May 24. A team of guerrillas from Front 16 harassed a group of soldiers from the 30th IB along Gate 1 of Barangay Banayan, Kitcharao, at around 6 a.m. A soldier was hit in the leg.
At around 4 p.m. of the same day, another soldier from the same unit was killed by an NPA sniper.
May 20. An NPA unit from Front 21 ambushed an enemy column conductng Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD), the new monicker for RSOT operations under Oplan Bayanihan. The ambush was launched at around 10 p.m. in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Anticala, Butuan City, killing a soldier and wounding two others, including an officer of the 23rd IB.
Around eight platoons (or an equivalent of three to four companies) maintain a continued presence in different villages of Butuan City and the towns of Cabadbaran, Santiago, Tubay and Kitcharao.
A similar military operation launched in Surigao del Norte from October 2010 to January 2011 failed in its objective of bringing the revolutionary forces and masses in the area to their knees. The COPD operations in Agusan del Norte will suffer the same fate.
Meanwhile, a CAFGU element was killed when a team from the Saulo Lumadao Frnt of the Agustn Begnalen Command sniped the CAFGU/77th IB detachment in Sallapadan town in Abra at 5:15 a.m. The snipers positioned themselves some 250 meters from the detachment. The platoon of soldiers and CAFGU elements within the detachment panicked and aimlessly fired their rifles before scampering for safety. The NPA team safely withdrew at around 5:30 a.m.
The detachment is located beside the public elementary school of Barangay Sallapadan Barrio. The Parents-Teachers' Association had long been complaining about the detachment because of the dangers it poses to the pupils and the frequent rowdy behavior of the soldiers and paramilitary forces. The NPA purposely conducted the sniping operaion before the start of classes this June to avoid hitting any pupils and teachers.