FOUR MEMBERS of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the soldiers of the 30th Infantry Battalion following a series of military operations in Surigao del Norte on Jan. 16 to 17.
Meanwhile, various firearms and subversive documents were recovered.
The military identified them as alias Beboy/Ervin and two minors, both 17, who were all members of Guerilla Front (GF) 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) who surrendered to the soldiers in Barangay Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on Jan. 16.
Another rebel, identified as alias Rex/Abby, surrendered to the troops of 8IB under the 403rd Infantry Brigade in Bukidnon on the same day.
According to the military, Pepito was the team leader of Team Baking, Squad 1, Platoon Dario, one of the remnants of the dismantled GF89, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC2), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), which was absorbed by the headquarters Force Neo (HQF-NEO) of the Regional Sentro De Gravidad Compaq (RSDG COMPAQ).
Following an encounter from troops of 901st Bde’s 30IB seized an AK47 rifle, 11 magazines with ammunition, a rifle grenade, five 40mm ammunition, two sets of anti-personnel mines, and six backpacks with personal belongings from the CTG’s Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16C1 and 16C2, both under the GF16, SRC Northland, NEMRC in Barangay Motorpool, Tubod, Surigao del Norte on Jan. 16.
On the same day, combined troops of the 403Bde’s 8th Infantry Battalion and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion also seized an M16A1 rifle, a modified R4 rifle, eight backpacks, eight ponchos, four sacks of rice, and three backpacks of assorted food supplies after an encounter with rebels under the RSDG Compaq, NCMRC in Sitio Nahawan, Barangay Busdi in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
In a separate incident, combined forces of 1003rd Brigade’s 27IB, 56IB, 89IB, 3IB, and intelligence units recovered three M16 rifles, an M653 rifle, an M203 grenade Launcher, nine magazines, and five 40mm ammunition from the remnants of Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit of SRC5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee. The cache of firearms was found in Sitio Palisan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on Jan. 17.
Almerol lambasted the communist rebels for their continued recruitment of child soldiers, which is a blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law. He added that they will coordinate with the Social Welfare and Development Office for the safety of the minors.
The commander also said that EastMinCom’s intensified combat operations are in response to the bulk of information that was shared by former rebels and concerned citizens to the troops.
“This accomplishment is part of our ramped-up initiatives against the CTG in order to meet the goal of ending the local communist armed conflict by 2022,” he added.
He said the surrenderees told the soldiers that more rebels are planning to surrender due to hunger, lack of leadership, and successive defeats.
“These former rebels revealed their bitter and unfair experience in the hands of their CTG leaders. It made them surrender and decide to return to the folds of the law,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EastMinCom commander once again urged the remaining rebels to come forward and lay down their arms and avail of the government’s assistance being offered to them.
“Now is the time to make peace with the government and embrace its offer of a comfortable life through the Enhanced Comprehensive Integration Program (ECLIP),” Almerol further said.
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