Valentin Palamine Regional Operations Command
New People’s Army, Far South Mindanao Region
Press statement | 5 November 2018
The AFP-Task Force Central is intensifying its military campaign in the West Daguma area in Sultan Kudarat province. Massive military operations were conducted by Marine units in the remote villages of Kalamansig and Palimbang towns in the past couple of months.
The military campaign is meant to “clean up” the area for the resumption of the logging operation of the D.M. Consunji Incorporated (DMCI). Consunji is keen in recommencing the operations that has been shelved for more than two years because of the people’s intense opposition and the NPA’s armed campaign against the DMCI. A spontaneous armed resistance of the Lumad masses is also persistent in defying the tyrant company.
Three armed encounters have occurred since the fascist campaign started in September. Previously, the NPA engaged the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 (MBLT-2) in two successive armed clashes that took place in Sangay village, Kalamansig town on September 16 and 17. It was later confirmed that 21 Marine soldiers were killed as a result of the incident.
On October 14, at around 9:00 in the morning, another armed encounter took place in Batangbagras village, Palimbang town. A NPA unit operating in the area set up an ambush against the forces of the 63rd Marine Company Reconnaissance Group ― Marine Brigade Special Unit who were on combat operations.
The NPA prevailed against the Marine’s company force in a 15-minute firefight that ensued without the support of explosives. The Red fighters retreated safely and unscathed while seven Marine combatants were killed in the firefight.
The bombardment set off thirty minutes after the NPA forces had left the encounter site. The shelling consequently hit their troops who remain in the area.
The AFP failed to carry out an immediate and fast rescue and retrieval of the casualties. According to witnesses, a total of 35 bodies were collected until the rescue operation was completed two weeks after the incident happen. Some corpses were already in the process of decaying when recovered.
The actual number of enemy casualties could be higher than the reported figures as spontaneous armed resistance of the masses continue to confront the fascist troops in different areas of Daguma.
The Dulangan-Manobos elated with the failure of the military campaign intended to protect Consunji’s businesses. They have consistently supported and participated in punitive actions against the DMCI and its fascist protectors so as to frustrate Consunji’s greed. In advancing the revolution, their land struggle have become more resilient and unyielding, and gradually earning significant victories.
Ka Dencio Madrigal