The surrender of nearly 1,000 members of the Kilusang Rebolusyonaryo sa Munisipalidad (KRM) from the towns of San Fernando and Kitaotao, Bukidnon will improve the security operation of the 10th Infantry Division.
Meanwhile, the 10th ID will further look into some shadow governments within the boundaries of Davao Region.
In an interview yesterday at the Tactical Operations Wing-Eastern Mindanao headquarters, Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., 10th ID commander, said the KRM works like a shadow government in the community.
“They have their own mayor, secretaries, and the underground mass organization, Milisyang Bayan,” Faustino said.
He said there were 10 regular members of the New People’s Army (NPA), 84 Milisyang Bayan, and almost 900 mass supporters who surrendered and pledged allegiance to the government last Aug. 7.
With the surrender, the world of the communist guerrillas just got smaller, he said.
In the bigger picture, the officer said the government can now come in and deliver basic services to the communities. Government agencies concerned on health, agricullture, labor, and agrarian reform can now addressed the issues of the underserved communities.
Faustino said the KRM in the seven barangays in Kitaotao and San Fernando was already established 16 years ago. The barangays are Calagangan, Cabuling, Dulyan, Matupi, Digongan, Panganan, and Kiolong.
San Fernando is located at the boundary of Davao del Norte, Davao City, and part of Kitaotao.
The KRM is the support system of the NPA to include the Milisyang Bayan (NPA spies and reinforcement). The MB members are also tasked with extorting money from businesses, individuals, plantations, and construction firms.
“Some of the members of underground mass organizations were mostly women, youth, farmers,” he said.
The division commander said the KRM was discovered only recently because the areas are geographically isolated.
In March this year, the 89th Infantry battalion took over jurisdiction of the four barangays of San Fernando and three barangays Kitaotao in Bukidnon, aside from Tapak and Colosas in Paquibato District; Carmen, as well as Braulio E. Dujali and Sto Tomas in Davao del Norte.
“Maybe it was not being prioritized because our concentration are near urban centers but the security situation is already improving,” he explained.
For now, the 10th Infantry Division is fighting NPA rebels belonging to the Guerrilla front 55 and Guerilla Front 53 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
The 10th Infantry divison covers the whole of Davao Region; South Cotabato; Sarangani; portion of Agusan del Sur; Lingig in Surigao del Sur; San Fernando, Kitaotao in Bukidnon; Arakan, Magpet, President Roxas and Atipas in North Cotabato; and Tulunan in Makilala, Sultan Kudarat.