Army foils NPA’s plan to disrupt May 9 polls
By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay
A tip-off from concerned citizens stopped members of the New People’s Army (NPA) from disrupting the conduct of peaceful election on May 9 at Sitio Lilibdon, Brgy. Maogog, Jovellar, Albay.
In a press statement, Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) Chief Maj. John Paul Belleza said that Barangay Maogog residents reported that they saw five suspicious-looking men at around 5:00 AM near the vicinity of the barangay’s polling places.
49th Infantry Battalion (Good Samaritans) commander Col. Benjamin Tapnio immediately coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and mapped out a plan to stop any form of violence or election-rigging from happening.
He dispatched government troops at the said place which resulted in a firefight that lasted for eight minutes. After the smokes have cleared, responding government troops were able to seize one M16 rifle, one Cal. 45, ammunitions, communications paraphernalia, other terroristic materials and personal belongings of the rebels.
To ensure that the community will be spared from terror and fear and freely participate during the May 9 local and national elections, 902nd (Fight and Serve) Commander, Col. Edmundo Peralta, deployed several soldiers to keep an eye on the polling precinct.
Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) Director BGen. Mario Reyes said that they fully support the army’s fight against terrorism.
Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) and 9th Infantry (Spear) Division commander MGen. Alex Luna said that the cooperation between them and the PNP has strengthened the government’s campaign in slowly changing the landscape of the community’s support – from being NPA sympathizers to government allies.
“Ang pangyayaring ito ay patotoo lamang sa mas pinatibay na pakikipag-ugnayan at suporta ng komunidad laban sa CTG, gayundin sa mas pinalakas na seguridad ng gobyerno ngayong Halalan 2022. Sa ating mga botante, mas maging masiyasat tayo sa pagbabantay sa ating kalayaan sa pagboto, wag nating hayaan na mangibabaw ang pananakot ng mga teroristang NPA, lagi pong nakahanda ang tropa ng gobyerno na kayo’y protektahan maging ang proseso ng National and Local Election 2022,” Luna said. (With reports from 9ID/DPAO/MJPBelleza-PIA5/Camarines Sur)