3rd Special Forces troops hit in NPA ambush in Laak, ComVal are combat reinforcements, not DENR escorts

Ka Boyet Makatindog
Davao-Agusan Command, Front 34, NPA-Southern Mindanao
08 June 2011

10th ID spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza tries to take the discerning public and the media for a ride by falsely claiming that the 3rd Special Forces troops hit in the NPA ambush Tuesday, June 7, were part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) anti-illegal logging task force. He is lying and obviously, he needs to find more plausible excuses to keep his spin job.

At 6 am yesterday, elements of the 9th Special Forces Company under the 3rd SFBn-Special Operations Command of the Philippine Army sustained six casualties (two killed and four wounded) in an ambush staged by the Red fighters of the Davao-Agusan Command of the NPA-Southern Mindanao in Barangay Belmonte, Laak in Compostela Valley Province.

The 3rd SF soldiers onboard a KM 450 AFP truck were not part of any DENR anti-logging task force but were actually additional reinforcements responding to an NPA harassment action the previous day in Kilometer 16, Barangay Datu Dabaw in Laak. In fact, Tuesday's NPA tactical offensive took place amid a relentless offensive combat operations unleashed by the 10th ID-AFP for 10 straight days now in Laak particularly in Barangays Enakayan, Mabuhay, Belmonte, Andap, Ampawid, Milale, New Bethlehem and Datu Dabaw.

Lt. Col. Paniza's insinuation following the recent ambush that the NPA is protecting illegal logging is a pathetic excuse that finds no resonance with the public. Clearly, Lt. Col. Paniza's job is to lie and also to be silent -- in this case, about the big time loggers in Laak who are active and former members of the Philippine National Police-Davao del Norte and Laak politicians widely known as the "Big 4." Backed-up by an AFP general, the Big 4 is amply protected and tolerated by the PNP and the AFP. Logging trucks of the Big 4 loaded with freshly cut logs routinely pass in full view of 10th ID detachments within the vicinity of the 9th SF Coy headquarters, and in front of the 60th IB HQ in Dona Andrea, Asuncion in Davao del Norte.

As the revolutionary forces intensify armed resistance, bumbling mouthpieces such as Lt. Col. Paniza utilize all the lies they can muster to perpetuate the biggest lie of all -- that these massive combat operations under Oplan Bayanihan are for peace and development.