Thursday, November 5, 2020

Former MB turned full-time NPA member surrenders to Government Troops, Reveals Firearms and other war materials

LUPON, Davao Oriental
- A former New People's Army (NPA) Militia that was later on recruited as a full-time NPA member voluntarily surrenders to the troops of 28th Infantry (KAMAGONG) Battalion under the leadership of Ltc Alexander D Banatao last November 1, 2020.

Alias Junjun (not his true name) voluntarily surrendered to the intel operatives of 28IB after finding a slim opportunity to escape and separate himself from the NPA terrorist group somewhere in the hinterlands of Brgy Marayag of Lupon Town.

After a diligent interview with alias Junjun, he revealed the location of two arms caches allegedly belonging to the Weakened Guerilla Front 18 of the New People's Army.

Immediately thereafter, Ltc Banatao, ordered a retrieval operation that led to the recovery of 22 long steel magazines, 10 short steel magazines, live ammunitions of several calibers, four (4) units of Motorola handheld radio chargers, handcuffs, and two (2) bandoliers at Sitio Sigang, Brgy Maragatas of Lupon.

In a separate incident, the 28IB troopers were also able to recover one (1) M4 Rifle with one (1) M203 grenade launcher attached somewhere in Sitio Banhawan, Brgy Marayag still in the town of Lupon.

In a follow-up interview, alias Junjun said that he surrendered to the government after hearing from his family that they now felt the sincerity of the government in providing services and programs to their community. He also expressed his frustrations and bad experiences within the armed group that includes hunger, lack of sleep, and feeling of uncertainty. 

"Puro kaguol ug kagutom ra ang akong nasinati ddto sa armado. Unsaon makatabang sa katawhan nga kulang man gane ang pagkaon ug mag sige pa ug tago sa sundalo. Kani ang tinuod na gobyerno (referring to the Philippine Government), naay ikahatag nga serbisyo ug programa sa katawhan. Dili lang puro pasalig," he added.

Ltc Banatao lauded the extensive efforts of the troops in conducting a diligent interview that led to the recovery of firearms and other war materials. He also expressed gratitude to alias Junjun for his cooperation and sincerity in helping the government as he returns to the folds of the law.

"Little by little, the NPA terrorists are losing their mass bases and supporters as well as their members as the communities are now feeling the presence and sincerity of the government in providing services and programs, especially to far-flung areas. With the implementation of PRRD's Executive Order (EO) 70 and the conduct of the Community Support Program of the Army, the communities in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) are now being prioritized after decades of being left out," says Ltc Banatao.

On the other hand, Mr. Ednar Dayanghirang, the Focal Person of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) congratulated the troops of 28IB for this accomplishment.

"On behalf of Davao Oriental Provincial Task Force ELCAC chaired by Gov Nelson L Dayanghirang, we would like to congratulate former NPA Mr. Diego Mandabon Jr., alias JunJun, of Sitio Sigang, Barangay Maragatas, Lupon, Davao Oriental. He correctly made the right decision to surrender and join the government's serious efforts to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the Philippines. Diego, 21 years old now was a CPP NPA NDF youth organizer for 5 years. We also thank his father Diego Mandabon Sr for the prodding and convincing his son. EO70 ELCAC of PRRD, Gov Nelson Dayanghirang, and the town of Lupon Mayor Erlinda Lim is indeed doing wonders for peace and development," Mr. Dayanghirang added.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 28th Infantry Battalion, Joint Task Force Agila, PA

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