A HIGH-RANKING CPP-NPA terrorist (CNT) leader and his nine members surrendered to the 23rd Infantry Battalion under the 402nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, in Barangay Bancasi, Butuan City, on Monday, April 24.
The military identified him Lino Atipan Namatidong alias Dahon, the commanding officer of Headquarters Force (HQF) Neo.
Major Francisco Garello Jr., the 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said those who joined him in laying down their arms included his wife, Reyna Nanganlag Namatidong, regional staff for education and propaganda; Nestor Panhayan Namatidong; Ronie Namatidong Polistico; Lyka Namulanta Lagaolao; Besto Tumanan; Gay-gaya Tumanan; Ronald Abalang Dungogan; Angleo Lomakin Pal-ot, and Jerry Pinatubas Inantag.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey P. Balingao, 23IB commanding officer, disclosed that the surrenderees belonged to the Headquarters Force NEO, Regional Sentro De Gravidad COMPAQ, and Sub-Regional Committee 1 (SRC1), under the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
Accordingly, the surenderees also yielded ten high-powered and low-powered firearms composed of two M16 Rifles, three Shotguns, an AK47 rifle, two M203 grenade launchers, a Carbine rifle, Garand rifle.
Balingao also said that the CTG couple, considered high-value individuals, revealed that low morale, no sense of direction, and exhaustion made them give up their fight.
Meanwhile, BGen. Adonis Ariel G. Orio, commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, said the fall of the HQF Neo leadership, a once stronghold, has confirmed the imminent downfall of CTG’s NCMRC and resulted in the disarray of the NPA in Northern Mindanao region.
He said the surrender was a manifestation of the effective collaboration between the Army and its civilian partners under the Task Force ELCAC.
“Our convergence of efforts under the whole-of-nation approach has continuously reaped results. We shall further strengthen our partnership with LGUs and LGAs to put more pressure on the CTG, for them to continue disintegrating with the lack of support from the masses, and the leadership vacuum continues. With all these successes, we are more determined to end this fight for the benefit and progress of our people,” Orio added.
In their statement, the 4ID is committed to securing sustained peace and development in its AOR.
“Thus, we appeal to the remaining CTG members to abandon the senseless fighting and the violence it espouses to advance their lost cause,” it added.
” The government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program awaits those who wish to live in peace and seek better opportunities to start a normal life with their families,” it further said.
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