Army troops fail to establish detachment in Aguid-Fidelisan area

Residents of two villages in northern Sagada rejected the plan of the 50th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army to establish detachments in their communities.

The soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant Brian Arcincilla, arrived in Barangay Fidelisan on April 10 and bared their plans to set up camp at the “dap-ay,” … and at the village primary school, both located in the center of the community.

The soldiers said they were there to secure the community following a clash with the New People’s Army at Bandong Hill, which lies on the border of Sagada and Bontoc town, major parts of which are located within Pidlisan and Barangay Aguid. [source]

Previously, government troops supposedly attacked an NPA camp in the vicinity of the two villages, but ended up with two dead and two others wounded on their way back in Dalican, Bontoc.

Fidelisan residents, led by their barangay captain, Jojo Briones, told the troops to set up their detachment outside the community, reminding them that Sagada and its villages have been declared a zone of peace within which no armed military or rebel presence is allowed. [source]

The soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant Brian Arcincilla, tried to stay, but left after the issue was raised with 50th IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sibayan.

The soldiers went to Aguid and stayed at the gymnasium until Saturday.

Sibayan, in a phone interview, said he agreed to pull out his men, who had come from Abra province, when Sagada Mayor Eduardo Latawan Jr. informed him of the villagers’ opposition.

The two communities where the military planned to set camp are within a greater area eyed for geothermal energy and mining activities.

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