On 13 July, the Joint Task Force Katagalugan (JTFK) thru Joint Task Group Kapayapaan sa Katagalugan (JTG KK) led by BGEN KIT TEOFILO grabbed the purported new HQ of Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC) in Mindoro Island by occupying the center of the Guerilla Base in Naswak, Monteclaro, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
Sorties of local and regional officials were flown inside the projected HQ of STRPC Regional Operation Command (ROC) formerly based in CALABARZON, in order to bring the government to the farthest Mangyan villages which has never been reached by the government except for the AFP in the past. The RTF ELCAC brought with them social workers, health workers, agriculturists, and govt technical people led by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), to asses the conditions of the isolated IPs through direct engagement and observations. All of these were done while complying to IATF protocols to prevent spread of COVID19.
In 2018 it was reported that the STRPC sought to recover their heavy losses in Mindoro island by moving their ROC and MRGU to the island, in the hope of reinforcing the bèleaguered CPP NPA command. They established a shadow government from amongst the isolated cluster of brgys of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, particularly Sn Jose, Rizal and Bongabong.
With this accomplishment, the AFP is pursuing the defeat of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG), The SOLCOM Commander LTGEN ANTONIO G PARLADE JR expressed that
“We cannot allow the CPP NPA to establish a new base anywhere in SOLCOM Area of Operations (AO). We cannot allow terrorists from CALABARZON to sow terror in the island again. Peaceloving Mangyans and Mindoreños dont deserve it. We nip this in the bud”.
It must be recalled that last June, a total of twelve Mangyan NPAs surrendered in brgy Manoot, Rizal Occidental Mindoro following the death of their leader Lorelaine Saligumba. Two of the FRs, who were minors, revealed that they were only asked to fetch water, some were to carry belongings of the NPAs but then were no longer allowed to return to their village for more than 2 years. They were kidnapped, and only because of the death of their leader and relentless government pressure, were they are able to escape. They were aged 15 and 16 when held by the CPP NPAs. Other FRs narrated how their farm animals, or their relatives were threatened to be killed, if they dont join the NPAs.
The AFP intends to hold on to the guerilla base and guerilla zone until the government is able to sustain genuine services and establish legitimate governance, free from CPP intimidation, in order to put a stop to further exploitation of our people by these terrorists.
Towards this goal, the Retooled Community Support Projects (RCSP) Teams this week utilized two helicopters towards Sitio Mantay, Monteclaro, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro with BGEN TEOFILO, COL DOMINGO, and LTC ARBOLADO. The group was joined by the following government agencies.
MAO, MEO, Manyan Affairs, MSWDO, and MPDO of San Jose, the PEO, PPDO, NCIP, and PNP.
The government agencies were there to have a meeting, interview and dialogue with the IP about future activities and about concerns on Security, Peace and Order and also about government assistance for their livelihood. Their place, used to be isolated and neglected by the government is now the center of government projects through ELCAC. The NPA took advantage of their isolation and was able build their guerilla base until government forces relentlessly took it back and now the whole government is actively assisting to provide not just physical security but, economic, cultural and food security as well.