Caraga PNP on heightened red alert status for possible NPA rebels attack on mines, vital facilities

by Ben Serrano

December 28, 2010

            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - Caraga Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal yesterday ordered all police units in five provinces comprising sixty nine municipalities and three cities of Caraga region to remain on-guard and maintain heighten state of readiness to respond to hostile actions by domestic threat groups

            In a press statement furnished to PNA, RAFAL clarified that suspension of Police Operations or SOPO and SOMO or Suspension of Military Operations shall not cover normal law enforcement operations and shall be without prejudice to actions aimed at protecting the people and the communities, as well as the PNP troops and vital installations against insurgents/terrorist attacks that may take place during the SOPO/SOMO period.

            Starting 12:01 a.m of December 16, 2010 until 12:00 midnight of January 3, 2011, all pólice units in Caraga región were directed to refrain from initiating offensive police operations against New People’s Army in observance of the traditional yuletide ceasefire with the local communist movement

            The yuletide ceasefire was officially agreed between Chairman of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Peace Panel Alexander Padilla and NDF Chairman Luis Jalandoni.

            However, Rafal claimed the entire PNP organization was alarmed over Mindanao NPA spokesman and leader Jorge Madlos’ pronouncement during NPA’s 42ndFounding Anniversary held in farming village of Sitio Pog-on, Barangay Sto Nino, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur last December 26 that the rebels will step up attacks despite looming peace talks. 

            Rafal said that aside from targeting government forces, the rebels also threatened to step up attacks against mining companies, accusing them of environmental degradation and exploiting workers.

            Rafal also criticized the NPA rebels in brandishing their M16 assault rifles and other weapons at the farming village during said celebration amidst Christmas ceasefire. 

            Rafal claimed in the PNP press statement that such actions from the communist rebels only proved that the NPA's obvious motive is to destabilize the government by spoiling the economic opportunities in the Caraga region and the country as a whole.  

“The trademark of the rebels is sowing terror and doing atrocities, but still the Philippine National Police together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the region are on the top of the situation”, Rafal said. 

Rafal added that while the government and other organizations are doing good projects and activities, the CPP/NPA would like to be remembered for terror and atrocities. 

“This belies claim of the CPP/NPA that they are pro-people and for peace”, Rafal concluded. 

Earlier, Armed Forces of the Philippines or the AFP accused New People’s Army of increasing its revolutionary taxes the communist rebels imposed or collecting from mining and logging firms in Caraga region. 

With the onslaught of mining activities in the region, Caraga has been touted lately as mining capital of the Philippines if not in the whole of Asia following approval of about 83 (eighty three) large scale mining permits otherwise known as Mineral Production Sharing Agreement of MPSA. 

Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences (MGB) Regional Director Alilio Ensomo of Caraga Region claimed that out of 83 approved MPSA holders in the region about 26 were inactive or their MPSA approved lands idle not operational or no mining activities or development at all.

“This do not include more than one hundred small scale mining permits approved in the entire Caraga Region whose control and supervision falls under respective local government units or LGUs although the administrative function still falls under MGB”, Alilio said. 

Aside from being Asia’s mining capital, Caraga region is also home of most logging firms whether small-scale or band saw operators to medium and large-scale logging activities operating in the country thus it earned the Timber Corridor of Mindanao if not in the entire country. (PNA/Ben Serrano)