Wednesday, March 24, 2021

21 Reds Nix Ties with NPA, 4 Killed in Clashes

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - 
Twenty-one members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and their supporters in different parts of Eastern Mindanao cut ties with the reds after experiencing hardship and betrayal under the armed struggle while four other communist terrorists were killed in separate incidents after launching offensives against the troops from March 12 to 22.

Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) Commander MGen. Greg T. Almerol made good on his vow to pursue high-value targets as two ranking members of the NPA were apprehended and one voluntarily surrendered to the troops in less than a month since he assumed the highest post of the Command.

The 88th Infantry Battalion (88IB) identified the apprehended communist terrorist leaders as Cecilia Acenas alias Leah, Finance Officer of the Regional Urban Committee, Northern Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and Mary Jane Villados alias Ging-Ging/Tanya, the Finance Officer of the Sub-Regional Committee-2, NCMRC while GF ALIP, Far South Mindanao Region Secretary Anelfa Camag Gemilo alias Nanay Tasing also surrendered to the troops of the 39th Infantry Battalion. EastMinCom troops apprehended a total of eight NPA members within the same period.

Among the most notable feats over the past week was the simultaneous surrender of 13 NPA members from the municipalities of San Luis, Esperanza, La Paz, and Talacogon in Agusan del Sur on March 15 as a result of the cooperation among different government agencies and 26IB.

The 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) also clashed with the NPA in Barangay San Rafael, Talakag, Bukidnon on March 20, 2021, which resulted in the death of two terrorists and the seizure of firearms.

The 72IB also captured three members of Guerrilla Front 53 identified as Leonardo Ejanel alias Gamay, Ryan Desalao, and Merlyn Benano Bentang while two other communist terrorists identified as Jhonrey Patosa alias Rex/Rey/Glenn, Jerome Andilao alias Buddy Boy were killed in separate clashes against 30IB and 58IB, respectively.

Meanwhile, EastMinCom Commander MGen. Almerol applauded the decisions made by the NPA members to finally surrender and reiterated the assurance of support from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

Many former rebels can already attest to the benefits that come with the decision to surrender peacefully but most importantly, nothing is as priceless as having a peace of mind that is free from any forms of violence and atrocities which they can only experience by abandoning the armed struggle,” MGen. Almerol said.

“I call on the remaining communist terrorist to surrender peacefully instead of continuously fighting for a useless cause and blind ideology that has already claimed many innocent lives. Follow the steps of your former comrades who are now enjoying a secure and peaceful lives with the help of the government,” MGen. Almerol said.

The EastMinCom Commander also thanked various government agencies especially the members of the different Regional Task Forces to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) for according the Command the support it needs to push for its agenda to protect the people and maintain peace in Eastern Mindanao.

MGen. Almerol also did not let the support of the communities go unnoticed as they have been equally instrumental to the success of the Command especially in actively reporting to the troops any suspicious activities of individuals in the mountains.

“The people have already spoken that they are already fed up of the NPA’s deceits, extortion activities, and violent ideology. Their support to the troops manifests their sincere intentions to get rid of the problems that the NPA has brought to their communities for more than five decades already,” MGen. Almerol remarked.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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