Thursday, November 20, 2014

8ID Troops Seized NPA Explosives in Samar

Catbalogan City – Government troops seized several Improvised Explosive Devices in the hinterlands of the Municipality of Basey, Samar in the afternoon of November 19, 2014.

According to the report of Lt Col Miguel E. Ceballos, Commanding Officer, 20th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, his troops were conducting security operations in the vicinity of Sitio, Bega, Barangay Mabini, Basey Samar when some residents tipped-off the presence of suspicious wires laid along the trail in the outskirt of the said barangay. According to the residents, they believe that these wires are part of several IEDs planted intentionally to inflict casualties to government troops operating in the area. Further, the civilians' safety is threatened as these will also destroy innocent lives and properties.

Guided by concerned residents in the locality, the soldiers went to the said area and were able to recover twenty (20) sets of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). As of this time, government troops continue to scour the area for possible presence of more IEDs in the area.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen Velarmino, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division extended his gratitude and thanks to the civilians who provided the information to that led to the successful recovery of said explosives. He further added that the action of the NPA is a clear manifestation that they violate the provisions stipulated under the Geneva Convention on the use of land mines in armed warfare. Velarmino further added that the 8ID under his leadership will stop at nothing in order to attain Peace and Development in Region VIII which is the dream of every SamareƱos in the region.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NPAs violet human rights anew

Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar –New People’s Army violated human rights anew when it abducted and killed a former New People’s Army at Brgy. Magdawat Pinabacdao, Samar on March 9, 2014.

 Based on the report from Lt Col William P. PeƱafiel Jr., the Commanding officer of the 52nd Infantry (CAFGU) Battalion based at Brgy, Caticugan, Sta Rita, Samar, Allan Rafales, called aka “Benny” a former rebel was forcibly taken by NPA insurgents around 9 a.m. on March 9, 2014. It was reported that aka “Benny” was participating in a Pintakasi or cockfighting event at Brgy, Magdawat when he was kidnapped. His lifeless body was found around 5p.m. of the same day.

 Aka “Benny” surrendered to the 52nd Infantry (CAFGU) Battalion on January 6, 2012, as he wanted to start a new life with his family. After receiving his benefits from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process of OPAPP, he was released from the custody of 52IB and went home to Sitio Canlobo, Pinabacdao, Samar purposely to cultivate a small lot as augmentation to support his family, until that fateful day when he was killed by the rebels.

 When members of his family were reached out, they confirmed that their father was forcibly taken and killed by the rebels, but they were not around when the crime happened. It was only relayed to them by their relatives. They added that, their father was vent on starting a new life, but it was cut short by the rebels when they killed him.

 The case of aka “Benny” is just one of the crimes against humanity that the NPA rebels have been doing for the past 45 years. They are saying that they are the defenders and protectors of the rights of the poor yet they are doing otherwise. How many more aka “Benny” will the rebels kill? How many more children will be orphaned because the NPAs do not want their fathers to lead a normal and peaceful life for their families?

 Maj Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: “For almost 45 years, many Filipinos have been victims of NPA operations. We enjoin everyone to condemn in strongest terms the violence and killings the rebels are perpetrating.

 “The use of armed struggle to attain political ends is not acceptable to the Filipino people and has no place in a civilized and democratic society. It is a thing of the past as it will only bring misery and poverty among our people. Let us then give peace a chance and not resort to violence to attain political ends as the NPA is advocating,” he added.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

87IB encounters NPA rebels, recovers one M16 and one NPA body count

Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar – 87IB troops encountered NPA rebels at Brgy Canlobo, Pinabacdao, Samar on March 20, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Based on the report of the 87th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based at Brgy Polangi, Calbiga,Samar, troops under the said unit were verifying an information provided by a concerned civilian about the presence of NPA rebels in their barangay when the troops were fired upon by rebels which triggered a 45 minutes fire fight.

The encounter resulted to the recovery one (1) M16 Armalite rifle from one (1) of the slain NPA rebels.  Scores of rebels were also wounded in the said encounter based from the traces of blood along their withdrawal routes and from the accounts of civilians who witnessed the rebels carrying their wounded comrades.

It was reported that the rebels were planning to stage an attack against government forces in connection of the upcoming 45th NPA anniversary on March 29 when troops were able to trace their location. Historically, the NPAs celebrate their anniversary by conducting crimes and atrocities against the Filipino people before, during or after their anniversary to portray an image of strength in order to intimidate and force the people to support their underground movement.

Maj Gen Jet B Velarmino, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: “I congratulate my men for thwarting the planned atrocities of the NPA rebels. On the other hand, I would like to extend the deepest sympathies of 8ID to the family of the NPA rebel that was killed. It is tragic that he took up arms against the Filipino nation when the Filipino people understand that only through peace can development and social justice be attained.”   

Communication staff of NPA region 8 spokesperson surrenders to 34IB

Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar –A member of the Communication staff of Santiago Salas, Spokesperson of NPA Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee surrendered to the 34th Infantry Battalion on March 19, 2014.

            A certain aka “Marivic”, a member of the communication staff of Salas surrendered to Lt Col Rodrigo Ilustrisimo, Commanding officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion.

            Based on the account narrated by aka “Marivic”, her reason for leaving the rebel movement was due to hardship of living a life that is always on the run.  In addition, she said that she was not taken cared of by the rebel organization when she suffered a serious illness. Further, adding to her decision to join the mainstream of the society were the programs of the government that benefit rebels like her who wish to surrender.

            Former rebels are entitled to avail of the AFP Guns for Peace Program, from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process’ Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP and the Local Social Integration Program of Local Government Units. The benefits from these programs are enough for a former rebel to start a new life.

            Based on the record of this headquarters, 24 NPA rebels already surrendered to 8ID from January 2014 to date. Six already received firearm’s remuneration under the AFP Guns for Peace Program, while the rest who have not yet received their benefits under the government programs enumerated are still processing their claims.

            Maj Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: “For more than 44 years since the founding of New People’s Army on March 29, 1969, the armed struggle the NPA waged has not solved any of our problems, rather it caused more.”
            “It is heartening that aka “Marivic” acknowledged the futility of staying inside the rebel movement and took advantage of the government's integration programs for former rebels. Her decision provides her an opportunity to return to her family and live a peaceful, normal and productive life,” he added.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

8th Infantry Division starts processing Candidate Soldier Course applications

Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City –The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army based in Catbalogan City is now accepting applications for the Candidate Soldier Course for the Calendar Year 2014.

Applicants may proceed to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of Personnel, OG1 and must bring along with them the original copy of the following documents: Birth Certificate from National Statistics Office with official receipt, Form 137 or Transcript of Records, Diploma (High School or College), one (1) 2x2 picture with name tag and valid identification cards.

“If you are 18-26 years of age, single, emotionally, physically and mentally fit, at least 5 feet in height (male), with no pending cases in court, have passed the AFP Aptitude Test and Battery (AFPTAB) examination with a strong desire to serve the country and have all the needed documents for processing, you are all welcome to apply for the Candidate Soldier Course and join the Philippine Army,” said Lt Col Noel A Vestuir, Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel, G1 of 8ID.

For further clarifications and inquiries, please feel free to contact the OG1, 8ID Hotline: 0999997174 (Smart) & 09173252363 (Globe).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

8ID Celebrates 24th Founding Anniversary

Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City –  The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army will celebrate its 24th Founding Anniversary on August 3, 2012 with the Theme: “Team 8ID: Kaakibat ng Mamamayan sa Bayanihan Tungo sa  Mapayapa at  Maunlad  na Bayan”. This year’s celebration will usher a new chapter to strengthen the Command’s security obligations and total commitment to the region’s progress and development through “Bayanihan”  projects.            
            LTGEN Ralph A. Villanueva AFP, Commander, Central Command, AFP will be the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Anniversary Celebration on August 3, 2012.
            Series of activities have been lined up leading to the actual day of the celebration. The week-long celebration kicked-off with the conduct of a Squad Challenge   from July 24 to 26, 2012. The different military stakes were participated-in by representative from the different line units of the Division. This will be followed by a 2-day Photo Static Display from July 27 to 28, 2012 that will highlight the different 8ID’s accomplishments through “Bayanihan” at the Provincial Capitol ground in Catbalogan City, Samar. A Badminton Tournament from July 29 to 31, 2012 will also be held at the Wellness Center of Camp Vicente Lukban.  One of the highlights of the affair will be the awarding of medals and presentation of plaques to outstanding unit, and deserving officers and men who excelled in all fields of operations. Other activities include the Raffle Bonanza, wherein the net proceeds will benefit the 8ID Kawal Foundation. Moreover, Stormtroopers Modern Dance Contest will be showcased as military personnel and their dependents can express their talents in dancing.
            Finally, this year’s anniversary celebration will highlight the heroic deeds of the men and women of the Stormtroopers division in attaining peace and development in Eastern Visayas Region.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

8ID trains PA recruits for peace an development is Samar

 Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, PA formally accepted 95 young recruits into the ranks of the Philippine Army as they took their oath of duty and service to the country in a simple opening ceremony of Candidate Soldier Course (CS) class 299-2012 on July 9, 2012 at the 8ID Headquarters in Catbalogan, City.

           The ceremony was graced by Colonel Virgilio M Espineli the Assistant Division Commander of 8ID, in the presence of the candidate soldiers’ families, Officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the command.  

            The CS training will be a 5-month course in which the Army trainees will be transformed into Peace and development advocates, and will assist the peace and development efforts of 8ID in line with the implementation of Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan in the area. Upon completion of the training, the trainees will be enlisted into the Philippine Army with the rank of Private.

           Colonel Espineli in his remarks challenged the trainors to train the new recruits to become good and professional soldiers. “I congratulate each and every one of you for volunteering to join this noble profession of arms and for successfully passing all the requirements and screening for the Candidate Soldier Course Class 299-2012”, Espineli said.

           The candidate soldiers came from the different provinces all over the country. 68% are from the Visayas while 7% and 20% are from Luzon and Mindanao respectively. The youngest trainee is 18 years old and the oldest is 24 years of age. For educational profile, the recruits are composed of one (1) registered nurse, one (1) license criminologist, 17 college graduates, 26 college level, 26 vocational graduates and 24 high school graduates with special skills.

            The training of the new recruits will be guided by the guidance issued by MGen Gerardo T Layug AFP, Commander 8ID, PA,  that every soldier will not only be trained to fight and defend the country, but more importantly to become human rights advocates and ardent catalyst of peace and development in the countryside.