Thirty-seven New People’s Army fighters and 26 supporters surrendered to the different units of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) this past January alone, and the military claims that it only weakened the Communist guerrillas some more.
This was revealed during the briefing of Maj Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., EastMinCom commander, AFP Chief of Staff Benjamin Madrigal Jr. during the latter’s visit in Headquarters EMC in Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan on Feb. 5.
Santos accounted for 37 NPA regular members and 26 members of the Militiang Bayan from January 1- 31, 2019. They also brought with them 33 high-powered rifles and sidearms.
Soldiers figured in 20 different encounters, resulting in the death of nine rebels and the arrest of three more. They also seized 25 various firearms during the clearing operations.
During the briefing, Santos vowed to sustain the pressure against the the rebels, as he reechoed the directive to all units to sustain community-building efforts and harness the support of other government agencies through Executive Order 70 to address the socio-economic dimension of the insurgency.
“We shall take advantage of the operational gains of the command in building conflict-resilient communities,” he said.
“While we continue to eliminate the threat of armed conflict, we should walk an extra mile to prepare our communities in a post-conflict scenario to cut the cycle of insurgency in our area of responsibility,” he added.
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