The Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) on Monday said reports about Chinese boats engaged in black sand mining in Aparri, Cagayan was most likely “fake news.”
In a statement, NOLCOM spokesperson Major Marco Magisa said based on the maritime surveillance platforms and human intelligence, “no Chinese boat engaged in black sand mining” was spotted in the areas mentioned in a “tweet.”
Magisa, however, did not disclose which tweet he was talking about.
“[M]aking us believe that such is fake news maliciously designed to serve as propaganda against NOLCOM considering the series of decisive blows and headways that our troops have recorded against the NPA terrorists that have pushed them on the verge of irrecoverable defeat,” he said.
Magisa said the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ NOLCOM has not received any report on the matter from its “vast intelligence network placed across all areas north of Metro Manila which are designed to gather information related to Internal Security as well as territorial defense missions.”
“[A]ll confirmed reports of territorial incursions are being actively addressed through overt measures such as aerial challenges until concerned foreign vessels or aircraft leave Philippine waters or airspace,” he said.
Magisa also said the “mother” being referred to in the “propaganda tweet” is a confirmed NPA terrorist who was apprehended by virtue of a warrant duly issued by a judge of the country’s court of law.
“Failure on the part of the security forces to implement such legal order is a betrayal of our constitutional mandate to serve our people and secure every inch of the Filipinos’ homeland,” he said.
Earlier, a certain @JoeyLedesma10 said residents in Cagayan and Aparri “expressed alarm over the large number of Chinese boats docking there to pick up black sand, while @TeamAFP focuses their strength on arresting mother activists with their babies.”
Last week, Amanda Lacaba Echanis, the daughter of slain National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant and Anakpawis chairman Randy Echanis, was arrested over alleged illegal possession of firearms in Baggao, Cagayan.
She went to jail with her one-month-old son, raising calls from various groups for their release.—Ma. Angelica Garcia/LDF, GMA News