From Visayas, Mindanao, 70-MAN NPA CADRE SENT TO LUZON

LAOAG CITY, Oct. 30– “Ilocos Norte is 15-year-insurgency-free but let’s not be complacent. The threat is still possible. No (NPA) sighting is not zero-insurgency.”

Gov. Imee Marcos made the remarks during the quarterly joint meeting of the Ilocos Norte provincial peace and order council (POC) and provincial anti-drug abuse council (PADAC).

She said insurgency threat is still possible to happen here because Ilocos Norte is located in the middle of the provinces of Abra, Ilocos Sur, Cagayan and Cordillera where there were reports of recent encounter incidents between NPA guerillas and government forces.

Gov. Marcos was reacting to the alarming report of the Army authorities about the deployment of hardened New People’s Army cadre in Luzon coming from Mindanao and the Visayas.

Speaking at the joint POC-PADAC meeting here in Laoag, Army Major Amado Gutierrez, spokesman of the 81st Infantry Battalion in IIocos, reported no communist insurgency activities in Ilocos Norte during the first quarter of this year.

However, he revealed that about 70 members of New People’s Army cadre from the Visayas and Mindanao were sent to Luzon to strengthen their forces.

He said they have an evidence to prove that some 70 hardened NPA cadre members from the Visayas and Mindanao are now present in Luzon area.

A recovered video on the recent raid by NPA rebels at the police station in Malibcong, Abra showed that one of the raiders was a Visayan-speaking, a confirmation that the hardened NPA group is already operating in the area, Major Gutierrez added.

He explained that an earlier confiscated subversive document in Southern Tagalog region cited an order by the CPP-NPA national organizing committee directing the sending of cadre to Luzon on the belief that the NPAs in Luzon were more aggressive than those in the Visayas and Mindanao.

As counter security measures, he said they have appealed to the general public to report to the government authorities any suspicious insurgent activities in their respective areas.

The DepED authorities were also asked to teach and discourage the youths from joining any dissident group, the Army officer said.(TRI-MEDIA REPORT)