Farmers point location of anti-personnel mine in Agusan del Sur

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Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur— Concerned civilians, mostly farmers, reported to the 8th Special Forces “Dragoons” Company (8SFC), 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn), a Claymore-type improvised explosive device (IED) emplaced by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in their farmlands at Purok 7, barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur yesterday.

The Mabuhay CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Force Geographical Unit) Patrol Base under the 8SFC immediately composed a team to disable, recover and dispose the IED to prevent any damages from both the civilians and government troops.

The Municipality of Prosperidad, Mabuhay Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the farmers strongly condemned the terroristic act of the CNTs citing that they (NPAs) are the reason why there is a decrease of farm production in some of their areas.

“The NPAs are the reason why most of the farmers don’t attend to their farmlands anymore. We are worried because we might become victims if the IEDs explode anytime. The NPA terrorists severely disturb our farming activities because aside from planting IEDs they always ask for their share during harvests even if they did not work hard for it. The farmers get less than what they deserve, “said Jun (true name undisclosed).

The NPA terrorists and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are declared by the Philippine government as terrorist organizations in 2017 and declared by the U.S. State Department, European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy as a foreign terrorist group.

Meanwhile, the 3SFBn under the 401st Infantry “Unite and Fight” Brigade (401BDE) lauded the efforts of the citizens who acted promptly to prevent further damage to any potential targets of opportunities of the CNTs.

Colonel Allan D. Hambala INF (MNSA) PA, 401BDE Commander, said that this is the positive effect of the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. “The peoples’ support greatly hurts these terrorists because they have nowhere to run. This is the reason why they try so hard to discredit the EO 70, military’s presence and the construction of Patrol Bases in the conflict-affected communities. The masses, whom they can terrorize before, already found their genuine ally towards ending the NPAs’ atrocities through the EO 70,” Colonel Hambala, ended.