By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
Hundreds of families have reportedly been displaced after suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels reportedly entered Tuesday Sitio Kaluyapi in Barangay Langgawisan, Maragusan, Compostela Valley Province.
Reports disclosed the terrorists came from nearby Sitio Mandaopan in Barangay Bahi.
They took over the sitio at about 11 a.m., allegedly holding hostage community leaders as well as teachers and several select individuals, before asking others to evacuate the area.
About 6:30 p.m. of the same day, an estimated 150 individuals from the Sitios of Lumad, Maapdo, and Caloyapi all in Barangay Langgawisan were seen trooping to Barangay Coronobe’s covered court and school.
They allegedly fled their homes due to the presence of NPAs.
In response, the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Palmer M. Parungao has coordinated with the Local Government Unit of Maragusan and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of New Bataan under Lynne M. Dollolasa, in securing as well as feeding the displaced families.
Meanwhile, Lt. General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., head of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), condemned the NPA’s exploit, deeming it a “terroristic act” that only serves to add “misery to far flung communities.”
“We are taking the necessary action to restore normalcy in the area,” he added.