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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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HomeDNX DefenseArmy in the north gets increased propaganda attacks from Communist terrorists after...

Army in the north gets increased propaganda attacks from Communist terrorists after foiling CPP rebirth try

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IN A NUTSHELL:

  • 79th IB’s Calaoagan says there were factual errors in reports claiming they tried to reach a settlement with the family
  • Data from the military and former CPP cadres indicate the self-styled Maoist rebel group could earn up 60 to 70 percent of its P200 million income from extortion activities
  • He pointed out that thi+e reports reveals two factual errors:
  • that they did not go to the home of the Caramihans; and
  • they did not meet with the Caramihan family alone but also with those of Jandy’s and Micheal’s as well.

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Communist terrorist propaganda operations have increasingly focused on the commander of the Army unit covering far and near northern towns and cities down to this highly-urbanized center after the 79th Infantry Battalion foiled revival attempts of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Escalante, a city two hours away from here.

As the acoustic war ramps up against Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Calaoagan, however, former ranking Communist cadres voiced fears that the apparent planned propaganda offensive on Calaoagan could also mean a shifting of recovery efforts elsewhere in the island by remnants of the five dismantled guerrilla fronts of the CPP.

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Calaoagan leads the 79th Infantry Battalion based in Sagay City, the maneuver unit of the 303rd Infantry Brigade tasked to dismantle the Northern Negros Front, the rebel unit that extorts at least 60 percent of the income of the terror group in the island.

Data from the military and former CPP cadres indicate the self-styled Maoist rebel group could earn up 60 to 70 percent of its P200 million income from extortion activities that it calls “revolutionary taxation” in northern Negros Occidental alone making it a seeming bread basket or rice granary for the fading underground group.

The latest propaganda offensive against Calaoagan since the series of gunbattles in northern Negros Occidental that ended in the mountain village of Pinapugasan involved family members of Jose Caramihan, one of the three slain rebels, who claimed that Calaoagan led attempts to reach a settlement as the sub regional office of the Commission on Human Rights was about to start a probe into the series of clashes.

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The reports over national news outfits quoted the daughter of Caramihan to have said that Calaoagan led a team of 79th IB troopers to their house in Pinapugasan where he reportedly gave an amount of money and some goods and even offered scholarships for her and her siblings.

Calaoagan told DNX there were glaring factual errors in the report (not on DNX) starting with the claim that they visited the Caramihan family at their house in Pinapugasan where the most intense firefight took place that led to Caramihan’s death and those of two others, alias Jandy and alias Micheal, took place.

He pointed out that this alone reveals two factual errors:

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  • that they did not go to the home of the Caramihans; and
  • they did not meet with the Caramihan family alone but also with those of Jandy’s and Micheal’s as well.

Calaoagan admitted they gave a certain sum of money and some grocery items meant as help but not, in any way, to reach a settlement with the family that continues to insist that their patriarch was not a rebel but a simple farmer.

“We were there to extend our sympathies and to send the message that the Philippine Army through the 79th IB are not their enemies,” Calaoagan said.

He added they also inquired about the status of education of Caramihan’s three children who have yet to finish school but this was not meant to be part of any settlement as claimed in the reports.

“We have nothing to settle; Joe Caramihan was a rebel and even our after battle report shows that,” he said, “but we did not engage his family in a debate nor tried to change their belief about Ka Joe.”

San Carlos Diocese Bishop Gerardo Alminaza had earlier described the use of an attack helicopter during the Pinapugasan gunbattles as “disproportionate,” a claim that reaped adverse reactions from a former Army general and a former ranking Communist cadre.

Former 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, retired general Innocencio Pasaporte said the use of the gunships was a necessity from a military point of view to decimate the enemy and to create a psychological effect that resistance is futile and that it is best to surrender.

Jeffrey Celiz, on the other hand, a former staff of the NPA’s National Operations Command, said Alminaza should “go back to kneeling and praying” as he is not an expert on military affairs.

Celiz also described Alminaza as a reliable ally of the CPP in terms of propaganda and urban operations.

The 79th IB’s intense military offensives, former Communists said, appears to have foiled a Third Rectification Movement in Negros island after it was found out that remnants of the other dismantled fronts also converged in northern Negros Occidental possibly to start rebuilding efforts for the CPP.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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