SEVEN members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) surrendered to the 36th Infantry Battalion based in Barangay Puyat, Carmen, Surigao del Sur, on Dec. 14, due to the lack of leadership and exhaustion from relentless focused military operations.
The military identified them as Jomar Opdina, Analyn Penig, Risky Perez Acevedo, Daniel Bihon Plaza, Jericho Cabadonga, Michael Plaza, and Gesriel Alimbuyong. The rebel returnees also surrendered one AR15 rifle, a .30 caliber Garand rifle, an M14 rifle, and two AK47 rifles.
Major Francisco Garello Jr., 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said the surrenderees were from Platoon 1 of the Guerilla Front 30 and Milisya ng Bayan operating in the municipalities of Lanuza, Cortes, Tago, Tandag City, and San Miguel, all of Surigao del Sur.
Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Viray, 36IB commanding officer, said the rebel returnees complained of lack of support from their leadership and the community, constant hunger, and anxiety from trying to evade the soldiers.
Meanwhile, 4ID commander Major General Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II lauded the 36IB and 901st Infantry Brigade for continuously reaching out to allow the remaining CTG members to return to the path of peace.
He also commended various stakeholders for rallying behind the army and supporting the government’s call for peace.
“The voluntary surrender of these CTG members only displays the effectiveness of collaborative counter-insurgency initiatives and the unwavering commitment to finally dismantle all networks of the few remaining and weakened CTG units in Caraga and Northern Mindanao,” Cuerpo said.
“Rest assured that the Diamond troopers will continue to help our long-lost brothers and sisters in bringing them back to mainstream society and live a normal life together with their families, especially since we are celebrating the Christmas season. Your decision to heed our call is the best Christmas gift you could give to your families,” he added.
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