Latest Stories

NPA stepping up attacks to regain lost strongholds in northern Mindanao

By , and Eldie Aguirre


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The New People’s Army is attempting to retake Sitio (sub-village) Lantad, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, as can be seen in its Sunday’s attack on a military detachment there, according to the Philippine Army.

Four government troops were killed in the attack, the military said.

Captain Christian Uy, spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division, said the rebels struck because they also “wanted to disrupt the Army’s operational gains that gained public support.”

Aside from killing four government troops, the rebels also injured three others during an attack on a patrol base in the same sitio, a part of the Kibanban village. Lantad is about 15 kilometers uphill from the national highway of Balingasag.

At the height of the communist insurgency, Lantad served as one of the NPA’s strongholds in northern Mindanao and fell under the command of the NPA’s Front 4B.

It was considered by the military as no man’s land for years but in the 1990s, the NPA was pushed out of the area.

In 2010, the road to Lantad was finally made accessible to the public and subsequently, government services were delivered to its residents, many of whom were either rebels or NPA supporters.

With the road opened, the rebels yielded en masse and started tending their farms and planted peanuts, coffee and bananas.

They also banded and formed the Lantad Multipurpose Cooperative and put up a peanut processing plant through the help of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Some 150 houses were also given electricity through a government-sponsored solar power system. A water system had been put up as well.

“This incident will not hinder government forces from protecting communities from the NPA atrocities,” Uy said.

He said the Lantad incident was only one of the NPA’s recent efforts at regaining lost territories.

Uy said this month alone, the NPA already launched six attacks on soldiers securing former rebel strongholds in Northern Mindanao.

“Most of the skirmishes took place in Agusan del Norte and Sur and in Surigao del Sur,” he said.

“The NPA is resorting to threat and intimidation to regain/recover lost ground brought about by their atrocities and abuses,” Brigadier General Ricardo Visaya, Commander of the 4th ID, said.

But Visaya said the cooperation extended by civilians proved that the NPA had permanently lost its footing in these villages.

“The success of these encounters was made possible by the information valiantly given by peace-loving concerned citizens,” he said.

“They (villagers) already have enough sufferings,” Visaya added.

In Digos City, Lieutenant Colonel Norman Zuniega, the commander of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion said the military would not have to intervene as much in securing the city as the local government had shown it was capable of guarding the people against the NPA.

Zuniega said the military also managed to drive away communist rebels from their strongholds there.

“There are no more armed groups lurking in the remote villages of the city since the communist rebels vacated the area,” Zuniega said.

Zuniega said he had recommended the handover of the Internal Security Effort (ISE) to the local government of Digos starting September 26.

A memorandum of agreement on peace and security will also be signed between the military and city officials by then, according to Zuniega.

Zuniega said some local officials were apprehensive about the military’s pullout but he told them the military would immediately respond to calls for help in the future.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Armed conflict , communist rebellion , Insurgency , Military , NPA , rebellion

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace