Army chief in CDO relieved

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MANILA, Philippines—The military leadership on Friday relieved Maj. Gen. Nestor Anonuevo as head of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division based in Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro in the aftermath of the ambush by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on the convoy of Gingoog City Mayor Ruthie Guingona whose two bodyguards were killed.

Brig. Gen. Ricardo Visaya replaced Anonuevo as officer in charge of the 4th ID which has jurisdiction over the entire Northern Mindanao and part of the Caraga region.

In a phone interview, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, however, did not categorically say that Anonuevo was relieved but instead said there was a “reshuffling of players to change our approach” in dealing with the challenges in the field.

Asked if the decision to replace Anonuevo was a result of the ambush on Mayor Guingona, Bautista replied:

“Like in a basketball game, we change our strategy. We are looking for an approach that can be effective. It’s not necessarily just because of a single incident… Analyzing the ongoing situation, we need a different approach.”

Gingoog Mayor Guingona, 78, a member of President Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP) and wife of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., suffered bullet wounds in the arms and feet. She was returning with a six-member escort from a town fiesta in Alatagan, Misamis Oriental, when they were ambushed by NPA rebels.

Gingoog City is in Misamis Oriental which is under the jurisdiction of the 4th ID.

Bautista said the decision to replace Anonuevo “went through a process.”

Asked where Anonuevo would be assigned next, Bautista said it would be up to the Army leadership.

Bautista and Anonuevo are both members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1981.

According to Bautista, the ambush on Mayor Guingona by communist insurgents was a “wake up call” for everyone to fight and end the decades-long armed struggle waged by the NPA.

In an interview, Bautista also said that an armed struggle was a “Jurassic methodology, which nobody in these modern times believe in anymore.”

“It is a wake-up call for all of us that we need to end the armed struggle… It’s about time that we get together as a nation to finally put an end to violence and to the armed struggle. That is not the solution to our problems,” Bautista told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

Bautista admitted he was upset over a photograph on the Inquirer’s front page on Wednesday showing supporters of the National Democratic Front (NDF) at a rally with a poster proclaiming that civil war is the answer to poverty (“Digmaan bayan sagot sa kahirapan”).

“Bayanihan and not civil war is my answer to that photograph because if there is civil war, then all the more we would be mired in poverty. That is the reality. More people will become poor because of war. Civil war is not the solution to our problems. The answer to our problems is for us to engage in Bayanihan. We should help each other,” Bautista said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Bautista noted that while communist insurgents claim to fight for the people, NPAs were harassing civilians even in poverty and calamity stricken areas.

“We should all work together because they are not only attacking our soldiers, even civilians are being ambushed. There are so many incidents already,” he said.

Bautista said that even before Guingona’s ambush, the NPA had owned up to the incident in La Castellana town in Negros Occidental last February where nine civilians where killed.

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  • Ramil Abalon

    if it is true that a pictures was shown by inquirer then inquirer violates promotion or inciting to sedition…thats not good …as a national broadsheet image…may that reporter needs to be fired out

    • wawa2172

      The editor should be responsible for pasting the picture at the inquirer, he or she could have deleted it. But somehow, the picture speaks a thousand words and I am sure the NPA cause for civil war will not be supported by the Filipino people. The picture also show the true color of the NPA as it wants the nation to be in civil war para mag hirap lalo ang ating bansa. Were better off now than be under the NPA kind of leadership. Mas marangya ang buhay natin na may democratic space rather than North Korean type of leadership.Walang pinag kaiba ang martial type of leadership sa NPA. Street parliamentarian wont have a chance to march or say things against the NPA leadership else AK-47 ang sasalubong sa sino mang mag tangka at alam ito ni Llamas. The true color of NPA is worst than the yellow one that we have now. Our leaders are elected by the people and NPA method sure will not involved the people but sila-sila lang. Those mask people on the street does not really know what they are fighting for, they are out of their mind or have no mind at all. Civil war will not do good for the country, worst it could lead our country to oblivinion, a life that the NPA wants us to have under their leadership.

      • Tigsik

        Weh? ‘Di nga? ;p

    • Loggnat

      That reporter is just doing his job so the people of the Philippines are reminded that there are seditious group in the country. The police and the military should investigate this group and prosecute them for sedition or at least inciting rebellion and anarchy. Sedition is an attack to the Constitution of the Philippines and the military is tasks to protect that Constitution.

  • John_Galt_II

    Anong armed struggle ang pinagsasasabi niyo? Ordinary criminals lang ang mga NPA!

    • diamond_digger

      Tama! Itong mga tinamaang lintek na NPAs na totoo lang sarili lang nila ang iniisip at niloloko’t nililinlang ang sambayanan sa kanilang idolohiyang baluktot. Kung hindi ba naman kayo mga bobo, sabihin ninyo kung anong kumonistang bansa pa ang umunlad. Alam ng lahat na wala. Itigil nyo na ang kalokohan nyo at isipin nyo ang pangkalahatang kabutihan para umasenso na tayong lahat.

      • John_Galt_II

        Dapat ubusin ni Palparan ang mga yan!

  • Pio Gante

    and palparan is still being blamed and hunted for doing his job. hehehe for the sissy and whiners, he’s a monster, but we must admit that we need more like him to get rid of the problem.

  • Tamarindwalk

    Relieving the military commander is not the answer. Dealing with the NPA and addressing the issues of the people of Mindanao, as the Guingonas have done, is the answer. Firing a general only will stoke more anger.

  • RomyLitz

    If only there were at least two generals that copycats Gen. Palparan, then this NPA will truly be a Jurasdic era. The AFP should continue the Palparan’s Methodology of fighting godless NPAs, that is, keep their philosophers and writers off the lecture lectern.

  • RomyLitz

    Palparan’s mode of approach to silence their leaders and ghost writers like a lamb should be re-opened from the archives. And this NPA issue will be like a Jurassic past.

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