Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) chief (PNA File photo)
MANILA – The military’s Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., on Monday said military operations against communist terrorists and their allies in his area-of-jurisdiction will continue until all of them are forced to surrender.
“We will continue to dislocate the NPA Regional Operations Command and its maneuver elements until all of them are forced to surrender, as many havdone already,” he said in a statement forwarded to the Philippine News Agency.
As of date, Parlade said, two members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) “Special Operations Group” in Mindoro along with six members of the “Main Regional Guerilla Unit” (MRGU) in Laguna and Quezon have already surrendered.
He added that Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC)’s SRMA 4C Maria Caraig alias “Jethro” has been killed in recent military operations along with Dioscorro Celio alias “Thermo”, platoon leader of MRGU, along with two others.
“We will not allow the STRPC to be able to establish a new HQ (headquarters) in Mindoro, much less allow them to get away from the island to seek refuge elsewhere. The only way for them is to accept our offer for their peaceful return to the folds of the law,” he added.
Parlade said these people cannot just reintegrate with peaceful society as many of them are suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“One MRGU leader, a Fil-Am, recently died and was brought surreptitiously to a hospital in San Jose (Occidental Mindoro) and was extricated again by cunning efforts, using aliases after he died from Covid-19. He is a terrorist contrary to reports by GMA that he is an activist. This will be the subject of further investigation to determine the culpability of those who supported a terrorist member and those who violated IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) protocols on Covid-19 patients,” he added.
The Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict of Occidental Mindoro, he added, went to one of the most remote sitios of the province to bring services to the isolated Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Monte Claro, San Jose.
“Along with (Occidental Mindoro) Governor Eduardo Gadiano were Col. Jose Augusto Villareal, Commander of 203rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Lt. Col. Alexander Arbolado of the 4th Infantry Battalion, 2ID and the representatives of following NGAs (National Government Agencies): DSWD, NCIP, DA, PhilHealth, DILG, DOH, and PNP,” he added.
Also airlifted by the Tactical Operations Wing SolCom were representatives of respective provincial offices: OPA, PVET, PSWD, PHO, PEO, IPAO, PGO of SAMARICA (San Jose, Magsaysay, Rizal and Calintaan all of Occidental Mindoro).
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), he said, shall stay in the cluster of IP communities to properly listen to their concerns so that the government can sustain services through livelihood and economic programs which should be appropriate to their culture.
“It must be recalled that 11 IPs recently surrendered after the killing of CTG (Communist Terrorist Group) Lorrelaine Saligumba alias ‘Fara,” he said. “They revealed that IPs were being ‘hostaged’ by the NPAs to forcibly join them, initially to fetch water or carry their goods but will no longer be released for years.”
The victims, he added, are minors and this is not acceptable.
“I cannot allow this violation of the IHL (International Humanitarian Law) by the STRPC leadership who forced them to relocate in Mindoro Islands as more and more of their former mass bases have been won by the NTF ELCAC through good governance,” Parlade said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)