Author: AC of S for CMO OG7

A Christmas picture of a Santa Claus is an obese man with an over-sized red robe, overgrown beard, and a heavy knapsack on his back, but what if the real Santa Claus wears green with heavy boots instead?

These Santa Claus did more than just give gifts but hope. They are soldiers-the valiant 42nd Infantry- Tagapagtanggol Battalion who carried food and water for the typhoon victims on foot in Brgy. Canupong, Gutalac,Zamboanga del Norte. They braved through the treacherous roads of mud and dirt just to get to the victims last December 23.

According to the weather news by Rappler, Vinta (international name Tembin) made its landfall in Davao Oriental last Friday, December 22 by 1:45am. The tropical depression was reported to have maximum winds of 60 km/h and gustiness of up to 90km/h. It placed Southern Palawan, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboang Sibugay in Signal Number 1.

PAGA-ASA reported that it left the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Christmas eve, December 24.

The aftermath of the typhoon left many people to clean up the mess after the flooding. But with the undying Filipino resilience, these soldiers risked through perilous slopes to bring supplies in Brgy. Canupong.

Though Christmas may look different now and the air may seem a little bit colder, these soldiers are bringing home that despite the storm, people could still celebrate Christmas. These soldiers are models of hope and redemption, the silver lining after the rain.

These Santa Claus soldiers risked their safety, set aside their Christmas preparations, and interrupted their holiday to make sure that typhoon victims could still celebrate Christmas with full stomachs even if they are not in their homes.

Heroism like this just goes to show that the stereotypical Santa Claus is not always red because Santa Claus could be a soldier too.

A Story by Mizzy Chinggay

Photo credit to Capt. Macario of 42 Infantry Battalion

42nd Infantry Battalion’s Mother unit is the 9th Infantry “SPEAR” Division based in Bicol Region. With the battalions deployment in Mindanao, 1st Infantry “TAbAK” Division took command of the unit.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Rudy Libre Niadas, aka Marlon, a rebel returnee, receives an early Christmas gift from the Local Government Unit of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province Wednesday.

The sixty five thousand pesos (Php 65,000.00) worth of paycheck that Rudy received is part of the benefits of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) that the government offers to rebel returnees.

Rudy surrendered last July 1 this year to the troops of 44 Infantry “Agile and Stable” Battalion at boundaries of Brgys Dampalan and Lourdes all of Pagadian City.

Governor Wilter Y Palma of Zamboanga Sibugay Province, together with Vice Gov. Eldwin M. Alibutdan, Brig. General  Jacinto R. Bareng, 102nd Brigade Commander, and Lt. Col. Jonathan P. Obena, 44th IB Battalion Commander, handed the paycheck to Rudy at the Provincial Capitol.

“The 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division in partnership with the Local Governments Units in our area of operation is serious in implementing the CLIP for the rebel returnees who want to return to the folds of the law.” Said Brig. General Roseller G. Murillo, 1st Infantry Division Commander.

“We hope that more rebels will surrender this yuletide season so that they could spend the and celebrate  it with their love ones.” He added.

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The Facebook page Hukbo.com reports: For offering “the greatest sacrifice of giving his life to a fellow comrade,” an Army Scout Ranger officer is set to be posthumously conferred the prestigious Medal of Valor – the nation’s highest military honor – during the anniversary ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Read more at:

https://web.facebook.com/Hukbodotcom/photos/a.542895196046818.1073741828.

542627636073574/550869218582749/?type=3&theater

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KUTA MAJOR CESAR L SANG-AN, Pulacan, ZDS – One NPA member  voluntarily surrendered to the government troops of 44th Infantry (AGILE “N” STABLE) Battalion, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division 3:00 p.m. Sunday.

Benson Niadas, alias Rey, a medic of MRGU, Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, brought along his M16 rifle during his surrender.

Based on his revelations, aka REY was involved in the recent encounter of 53rd Infantry Battalion in Bgry Gasa Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur on 8 and 10 December 2017 respectively where one NPA was killed and six high powered firearms were recovered by government forces.

Accordingly, Rey was convinced by his relative, also a surenderee from 44IB, to return to the folds of law and to avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government. The government forces’ sincerity in protecting the rebel returnees, helped in convincing him to surrender.

He also stressed that he is tired of hiding, experienced hunger and hardships and dissatisfied of the communist terrorist ideology and policies.

Rey also mentioned that some of his comrades are planning to surrender just to be with their families this yuletide season.

The 102nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army under the leadership of Brig. General Jacinto R Bareng has intensified efforts against communist terrorist through combat operations and information disseminations with the support of all local chief executives and other stakeholders so that those who wanted to return and surrender can avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.

“The surrender and revelation of Benson Niadas is a proof that there are more NPA members who are tired and wanted to live normal and peaceful lives.” Said Brig. General Roseller G Murillo, 1st Infantry Division Commander.

“The Tabak troopers will assist surrenderees so that they can avail the benefits of the CLIP.” He added.

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KUTA MAJOR CESAR L SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  nce – The troops of 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion and Communist Terrorists clashed again today, 4:00 p.m. at Sitio Baka, Brgy Gasa, Lakewood, Zamboanga del sur.

The troops were on pursuit operation due to the recent encounter that transpired on Friday where one communist terrorist was killed.

The troops recovered one M-60 Machine Gun, one M-16 assault rifle, IEDs and subversive documents in a one hour and five minutes firefight.

Pursuit operation is conducted against the escaping rebels.

Once again, Brig. General Roseller G. Murillo AFP, Commander 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division, lauded the accomplishment of the troops.

“Continue the focused military operations against the NPA to stop them from their extortion activities to the populace and to bring back peace and stability in the area.” He added.XXX

 

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KUTA MAJOR CESAR L SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The troops of 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion clashed with the Communist Terrorists at Vicinity Mount Ganaan, Brgy Gasa, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur on December 8, 2017 at 11:10 in the morning

The encounter happened when the troops patrolled in the said barangay due to an information tipped by a concerned resident that the NPAs were extorting money and foodstuff from the locals.

The two-hours firefight resulted into one (1) terrorist killed and numerous wounded due to bloodstains in their withdrawal route. While three (3) were wounded from government side.

The troops recovered: three (3) high powered firearms (1-M16, 1-M14, M203 grenade launcher), four (4) rifle grenades; two (2) Motorola radio, assorted magazines, medical and dental kits; one (1) NPA flag and subversive documents.

“The government troops under 102nd Brigade will continue its collaboration and dialogues with the local government units in order to maintain peace and order situation within the area of operation”, said Brigadier General Jacinto R Bareng AFP, Brigade Commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade, 1ID, PA.

Meanwhile, Brig. General Roseller G. Murillo AFP lauded the accomplishment of the troops.

“Continue the focused military operations against the NPA to stop them from their extortion activities to the populace and to bring back peace and stability in the area.” Said BGen Murillo.XXX

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KUTA SANG-AN, LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur– Two (2) NPA rebels surrendered  to Headquarters 53rd Infantry Battalion, Camp Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga Del Sur on December 6, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

The rebels bring along with them their firearms and ammunitions to  Lt Col. Virgilio C Hamos JR the Battalion Commander of 53IB.

The two high-powered firearms were the following: one M14 and one AK47 rifle.

Based on the interview conducted, the two rebels relented due to physical hardships, dissatisfaction on their organization’s policy and realized the futility of fighting with the government forces.

They are currently under the custody of 53rd IB for proper documentation and disposition prior turn-over to the concerned government agencies for the facilitation of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), a program for the former rebels which include social welfare, livelihood, and health.

According to Brig. General Roseller G. Murrillo, 1st Infantry Division Commander, “This is a manifestation that the NPA organization is losing their ground.”

“Rest assured that the benefits will be facilitated by the CLIP committe for them to start and live a normal life they desire.” He added

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army reaffirms its commitment to respect, protect and promote human rights as it joined the nation in commemorating the National Human Rights Consciousness Week and the 69th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the theme: “STAND UP FOR SOMEONE’S RIGHTS TODAY”  on Monday, December 4, 2017.

The National Human Rights Consciousness Week is celebrated pursuant to Republic Act 9201 of 2003 that declares December 04-10 as National Human Rights Consciousness Week to bring awareness to the people of their basic needs and fundamental human rights.

During the flag raising ceremony, Colonel Benjamin G Batara Jr GSC (INF) PA, Chief of Staff, led the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Command in reading the “Panunumpa sa Karapatang Pantao”.

Brig.General Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, PA read the remarks of General Rey Leonardo B Guerrero AFP, Chief of Staff AFP in commemoration  of the 2017 National Human Rights Consciousness Week emphasizing that, being a soldier and government employees, it is our duty to protect and promote human rights of every Filipino people no matter what their religion, tribe, gender or status in the community.

“That is why your Armed Forces of the Philippines is continuously reminding the importance of implementing and promoting Human Rights. We ensure that all our operations are made without breaking any law that within its scope ”, he added.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army officially opened the Candidate Soldier Course Classes 506, 507, 518, 519, and 520-2017 today, December 4, 2017 at the Division Grandstand.

The 754 Candidate Soldier qualified applicants where 70 females included  will undergo sixteen (16) weeks of training at the 1st Division Training School (1DTS) and 6th Division Training School respectively.

CSC Class 506-2017 will be trained by Major Rodolfo L Lamban Jr (INF) PA, with eleven (11) training models; CSC Class 507-2017 will be trained by Captain Frances S Belarmino (INF) PA with eleven (11) training models; CSC Class 518-2017 with three (3) training models; CSC Class 519-2017 will be trained by Captain June Mark P Matugas (INF) PA with fifteen (15) training models and CSC Class 520-2017 will be trained by First Lieutenant Leve Jolly S Bulawan (INF) PA with fifteen (15) training models.

In his message as the keynote speaker, Brigadier General Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, said, “I hope that all of the 754-strong candidate soldiers will be able to finish their training course.  The objective of this training is for you to have the strength and discipline befitting a soldier, and transform you into fighters that can defend the country” he added.

He ended on the reminder that as future soldiers, from thereon, they must always bear in mind that everything they do is for God, the Filipino people, and our country.

 

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