AFP defies own SOMO with continued troops deployment, hamletting in Southern Mindanao

Simon Santiago
Political Director, NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command
December 22, 2014

Reports from the field reveal the duplicity of the US Aquino regime’s one-month Suspension of Military Operations and Suspension and Police Operations. Prior to the start of its own supposed SOMO and SOPO on December 18 and up to this day, combat forces under the Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP continue to occupy and operate the following towns and provinces in Southern Mindanao and boundary provinces:


  • Davao City –Mapula, Lumiad, Paquibato Proper and Malabog in Paquibato district; Dominga in Calinan district; Marilog; Salaysay and Tambobong in Baguio district
  • Compostela Valley- Kingking, Napnapan, Tibagon and Las Arenas in Pantukan town; Panamin and Anitapan in Mabini town; Nuevo, Nueva, Andili and Sta. Monica in Mawab town; Cabandianan and Mainit in Nabunturan town; Palok, Mahayahay, Parasanun and Tandik in Maragusan town; Tagibo in Mati city; Kauswagan and Maputi in Banaybanay town;  San Isidro, New Visayas, Don Mariano, Maragatas, Kalapagan and Marayag in Lupon town; Lapu-lapu and San Jose in San Isidro town; Casoon in Monkayo; Montevista; Sangab, New Visayas, Lapulapu, Teresa, Masara, Mainit, Panuraon, Elizalde and Malamudaw in Maco; Ngan in Compostela town, Manurigao in New Bataan town
  • Davao Oriental- Tigbawan, Binondo and Mahan-ub in Baganga town; Taytayan, Malibago, Bangas, Mainit in Cateel town; Catihan in Boston town
  • North Cotabato- Panaca, Linabo, Kinarum, Bangkal, Amabel, Noa, Binay, Bagumbayan, Balete, Basak, Mahungkog, Manitbesa, Mamaling and Bongulanon in Magpet town
  • Agusan del Sur area- towns of Dona Josefa, Veruela, Sabud and Kauswagan in Loreto town; Salvacion and New Visayas in Trento town

The continued troops deployment, build-up and hamletting in these areas belie the claim made by the US-Aquino regime in declaring a ceasefire during the traditional Christmas season. The presence of the troops in these areas does not appear to be risk-free, undisruptive or inoffensive, but comprises actual offensive manoeuvres within and in the periphery of guerrilla territories. Their blatant occupation of civilian areas while supposedly in suspended military operations is highly provocative and increases the risk of armed engagements with the Red fighters amid civilian-populated areas.

For instance, in Barangay Catihan, Boston town, 14 soldiers belonging to the 67th IBPA occupy the multipurpose gym, houses, and videoke bars, while they intensify intelligence activities. The Bravo Company of that same unit stay in civilian houses in sitio Bangas, Brgy. Mainit, Cateel. They mingle with residents and do some activities with them like catching fish and other edibles accompanied by teenagers and children.

Last December 19, the same unit led by a certain Lt. Jorda arrived along with 30 other soldiers in sitio Balod, Malibago, Cateel at around 5 am in the morning. They surveyed the areas and occupied the village center. The same unit consisting of 35 troops also arrived in Tigbawan, Brgy. Binondo in Baganga town; seven troops arrived in Brgy. Pantuyan and Sobrecarey while 12 more soldiers arrived in Caraga town.

The continued operation of Special Operations Team or peace and development teams violates and makes a mockery of the US-Aquino regime’s own version of ceasefire.  AFP troops who are operating in civilian areas either underhandedly or blatantly are on offensive combat operations and, except for those who are inside their detachments and outposts, shall be treated as legitimate targets by the NPA.

The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command remains on active defensive mode as it abides with the CPP’s designated truce on December 24 until December 26 and from December 31 to January 1, and during the papal visit on January 15-19, 2015.The continued provocation and deception made by the AFP troops while pretending to be on SOMO and SOPO, make it even more imperative for the Red fighters to launch tactical offensives against these fascist troops anytime and anywhere while firmly adhering to the letter and spirit of the CPP’s ceasefire declaration.