Tuesday, February 4, 2020

15 NPA with 17 guns yield in AgSur

MACO, Davao de Oro - After around 15 days of focused military operations and dialogues, six regular New Peoples Army (NPA) members, and nine Militia ng Bayan (MB) members surrendered on Monday, February 3, in Lapaz town, Agusan del Sur.

The communist combatants submitted with them 17 high and low powered firearms, and other war materiels during their surrender to Lapaz Mayor Michael Lim.

Also present during the surrender were 1001st Infantry Brigade Deputy Brigade Commander, Colonel Glenn Jun Calambuhay, and 60th Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo Sarmiento.

According to reports, one of the surrenderers approached the municipal and army officials during the "Pulong-pulong" at Barangay Kasapa 2, Lapaz town at around 9:00AM, tipping them that he and his comrades wanted to lay down their arms.

Around an hour later, some 15 men came and surrendered, bringing with 10 Garand and homemade rifles, one shotgun, six pistols, and assorted magazines.

With such action, Brigade Commander, Colonel John Oberio of the 1001st Infantry Brigade stressed that the group will be processed and eventually, receive the cash benefits under Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

He said that skills enhancement and livelihood programs from government agencies will also be provided to the surrenderers in the implementation of Executive Order No 70 or utilizing the whole of government and whole of nation approach to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC).

During the interview, the surrenderers said that they are among the surviving elements of the last encounter in the area on January 26, 2020.

The military operations in the province of Agusan del Sur were triggered by an information from a concerned citizen last December 2019.

The information said that around 100 armed men started to converge at the hillside of the province, probably to celebrate the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26.

However, the army was curtailed to pursue the communist group back then due to the ceasefire implemented by the Republic of the Philippines last December 23, 2019, to January 7, 2020. It was just in the middle of January 2020 that the military started a focused military operation.

Brigade Commander Colonel Oberio appreciated the bold actions of the residents, which contributed to the significant development of peace and security in the municipality.

“This turn of events is a clear manifestation that the residents are already tired and exhausted of the intimidation and coercion conducted by the communist group,” Col. Oberio said.

He added that the army troops are still pursuing the remaining elements of the communist group on the ground.

“The 1001st brigade continues to execute its mandate to uplift the peace and security situation in our area while remaining relentless in our efforts to crash down this communist terrorist group up to its last member,” he said.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 1001st Infantry Brigade, PA

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