CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — The military commander in Southern Tagalog directed his troops on Sunday to remain vigilant despite the government’s unilateral ceasefire due to the prevailing Enhanced Community Quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The pronouncement came after the soldiers recorded three NPA ceasefire violations in the provinces of Rizal and Quezon over the past week.
According to Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division which has operational jurisdiction over Region 4A and MIMARO provinces, the first ceasefire violation happened at Brgy Puray of Rodriguez, Rizal on March 28 which was followed by two more at Quezon Province’s municipalities of Gumaca and Mulanay on March 31 and April 1, respectively.
All three ceasefire violations on the part of the communist terrorists resulted to armed encounters that claimed the lives of three NPAs and one soldier as well as the recovery of three firearms, explosives and voluminous terrorist documents with high intelligence value.
Maj General Burgos earlier expressed his disgust over the NPA’s terroristic plans saying that “such were unnecessary actions”, referring to the NPA terrorists’ offensive posturing and acts of coercing the people to give in to their extortion demands, “particularly at this time when our generation is facing the greatest challenge that we will ever face.”
He added that “such posturing on the part of the communist terrorists smacks of hypocrisy because it is not in accordance with what they are publicly saying that they care for our people’s well-being.”
Maj Gen Burgos emphasized that his soldiers are constitutionally mandated to act on reports coming from concerned citizens particularly if it involves imminent threat towards the community, even during these trying times brought about by the corona virus pandemic.
In the directive which he issued, he reminded his Community Support Program Teams to remain focused in their task of providing solid community defense to safeguard the people against extortion activities and harassment.
The document also called on the Commanders to ensure the safety of all camps by following established DOH protocols because “it is imperative to preserve the force by remaining fit and healthy to continuously support our government’s efforts during this crisis.”
Maj Gen Burgos said that the Army Station Hospital in Camp Capinpin still gives medical services to people from the community through “Tele Med” using available technology.
The official document’s final paragraph invoked the power of the Almighty to defeat COVID-19 as it encourage 2ID’s subordinate units to replicate the three-times-a-day prayer being broadcasted by loudspeakers inside camp and to adjacent communities.