Army engineers to start building roads in Andap Complex
Butuan City (14 October) -- As part of the government's Kalayaan sa Barangay Program, the 52nd Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army will start the construction of an all-weather road connecting Kilometer 5 of Barangay Diatagon, and Purok 5 of Barangay San Isidro, all of Lianga Municipality, Surigao del Sur. This project is part of a bigger road improvement program covering Post 1 up to Kilometer 16, Sitio Han-ayan, of Barangay Diatagon.
In line with this, the 36th Infantry Battalion, 4ID Philippine Army has begun securing the area to prevent the disruption of the project. The Barangay Council of San Isidro, Municipality of Lianga, has also requested for the establishment of a CAA Detachment in their community for purposes of securing government projects as well as for flushing the NPAs out of their barangay.
The efforts of the Philippine Army to address the problems of the community people have been criticized by several quarters and have even gone to the point of denouncing the presence of the military research team as an act of MILITARIZATION. The worst is that the Philippine Army has been accused of harassing the people in defense of so-called mining interests in the Andap complex.
Pressed for answers on this accusation, LTC DENNIS GODFREY GAMMAD (GSC) INF PA, Commanding Officer of the 36th Infantry Battalion, said that they are not in the Andap Complex to support mining. "With or without mining projects, the Philippine Army will be in the area to secure government projects, and to dismantle the guerilla bases of the CPP-NPA".
The Andap Complex in Surigao del Sur has been proven by the Philippine Army to be the base of operation of Front Committee 19A of the CPP-NPA. Records of several violent incidents and reports of surveillance missions indicate that the CPP-NPA has been using the Andap Complex as staging ground for their different activities in the province of Surigao and nearby province of Agusan del Sur.
"Today, all the efforts at denouncing the presence of government troops in the Andap Complex is nothing but a lame defense of the guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA. No explanation is plausible enough than the fact that the Andap Complex is a guerilla base," LTC GAMMAD concluded. (4ID Philippine Army) [top]