CAA/77th IB in Sallapadan, punished by NPA-Abra

Diego Wadagan
Saulo Lumadao Front, Agustin Begnalen Command (NPA-Abra
May 27, 2011

Before daybreak on May 27, 2011, a team of NPA snipers from the Saulo Lumadao Front-Agustin Begnalen Command (SLF-ABC), approached the CAFGU/77th IB detachment in Sallapadan Barrio, Sallapadan, Abra. At 5:15, at a distance of about 250 meters, the NPA team fired the first volley of shots and instantly killed CAA Dakoyog Bringgas, from Labaan, Bucloc, Abra. A platoon of soldiers and CAFGUs inside the detachment aimlessly fired back, and scampered for safety. The NPA team withdrew safely at 5:30am.

The CAFGU/77th IB detachment is located beside the elementary school in Barangay Sallapadan Barrio, and was the subject of protests from the local Parents-Teacher’s Association (PTA). Not only is the detachment a safety problem for the teachers and children, the rowdy CAFGU and soldiers is also a disturbance. The NPA attack on the detachment was undertaken before the opening of classes in June, in consideration of the children and teachers’ safety. The CAFGU detachment was built in the area during the discredited and defeated Oplan Bantay Laya. Now, under the new AFP Internal Security Operations called Oplan Bayanihan, the AFP is again justifying their presence in the area by building school buildings. If the Aquino Government is sincere in providing education to the Filipino youth, they should unconditionally build calssrooms, provide adequate salaries, trainings and benefits for the teachers, and ensure the overall welfare of the children and youth. School buildings should be built by civilian agencies or contractors, and should not be part of the government propaganda in line with the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan.

Majority of CAFGUs in the BuDaBoSa (Bucloc, Daguioman, Biloney, Sallapadan) municipalities are former or currently members of the bandit Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) under the criminal Mailed Molina. More CAFGUs from Bucloc were recruited by Molina to act as company security forces of large scale mining companies, just as the entire 503rd Brigade acts as the largest mining security force in Abra. To date, the entire 50th IB is now deployed in Central and South Abra, from its original deployment in the boundary areas of Ilocos Sur, Benguet, Abra and Mt. Province. There are numerous mining permit applications in these areas: 7 in Boliney, 6 in Tubo, 5 each in Daguioman and Bucloc, 1-3 applications each for Sallapadan, Manabo, Luba, Bangued, Pidigan, San Quintin, San Isidro, Bucay, Lagayan, Villavisiosa and Penaruba.

The CAFGUs also serve as local guides in combat operations of the 50th IB, and helps in the systematic harassment of individuals and communities opposing large-scale mining and militarization of Abra province.