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PIA Press Release

Army's 8ID-19IB surpasses goals by 56% with support of LGUs, residents

Tacloban City (July 17) -- The 19th Infantry Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division has surpassed its operational target goal by 56% because of the overwhelming cooperation and support being given by the people themselves, the local government units, and other government and non-government sectors in the provinces of Leyte and Biliran.

Second Lt. Glenn Mangohon, acting information officer of the 19th IB based at Barangay Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte disclosed that the accomplishment is also due to the unit's remarkable application of the triad concept which is highlighted by the fusion and interplay of tactical, intelligence, and civil-military operations in its area of responsibility, covering the provinces of Leyte (including the City of Ormoc), and Biliran Island.

As a result of the sustained special operations throughout the area of operations, the unit was able to organize and train 88 Bantay Bayan Organizations (BBO) in 88 barangays which are currently serving as community passive defense forces, providing early warning against NPA re-incursion, 2Lt Mangohon said. These BBOs also provide information support for the massive information drives in the different municipalities and barangays, as well as for symposia in different schools and sectoral groups in the area.

The 19th Infantry Battalion (19IB) continues to win over the remaining NPA forces and supporters of the North Leyte Front (NLF) and South Leyte Front (SLF), both of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

In less than one (1) year since 01 September 2007, the battalion was able to apprehend fifteen (15) leaders and members of the Mount Amandewin Command (MAC) and Evelyn Dublin Command (EDC), the armed components of the said fronts respectively, and was able to negotiate and made possible the surrender of nine (9) others. The battalion likewise recovered fourteen (14) high powered firearms and 127 low powered firearms during the same period.

Moreover, a little less than two thousand members of the MAC mass base organizations, mostly belonging to the leftist Kahugpungang Mag-uuma sa San Isidro (KAMAS) and Samahang Mag-uuma sa Calubian (SAMACA), returned to the folds of the law and formally pledged allegiance to the duly constituted government of the Republic of the Philippines after the massive information operations launched by 19IB in the 3rd District of Leyte in the later part of 2007.

The latest effort done by the 19IB in cooperation with the local government unit of Kananga, Leyte, through its local chief executive Mayor Elmer Codilla, resulted to the surrender of Jay Putoy @ Teting and Alex Agunos who, thereafter, convinced his other comrade Lito Alcoseba @ Guti together with two (2) others to also surrender.

During the rites, Mayor Codilla gave financial assistance to the surrenderees as part of his administration's rebel returnees sustainment program.

In his testimony in front of the local media, LGUs, and military officials headed by BGen Arthur Tabaquero who incidentally was in the area during his surrender, "Guti" cried for repentance being victimized by the NPA. He stayed in the left group for five years as he was promised a better life, but in that five years his life was instead miserable. Learning the life now of Alex Agonos who lives freely after his surrender and seeing him that he was not tortured nor punished by the military as being injected to their minds by their NPA masters, "Guti" decided to surrender also. He was one of the rebels who raided the PNP station in Albuera, Leyte on January 2006, and the NPA who ambushed the Alpha Company Service Vehicle in Villaba Leyte, resulting to the killing of a certain Cpl Ramirez and severely wounding 2 other enlisted personnel. (PIA 8) [top]

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