Saturday, January 29, 2022

Top NPA leaders yield, high-powered firearms captured as EastMinCom continues intensified military ops

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - A top leader of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in Sarangani and five of his high-ranking followers voluntarily yield to the combined troops of the 10th Infantry Division’s 1002nd Brigade (1002Bde), 73rd Infantry Battalion (73IB), 6th Infantry Division, and intel units at Sitio Lebe, Brgy. Kablacan, Maasim, Sarangani Province on January 19, 2022.

The surrenderers were identified as Remydio Sambilad alias Yoyong/Boyaks, Member of the CTG's Far South Mindanao Region (FSMR) Executive Committee (EXECOM), Vice Commanding Officer of the Regional Operational Command, and Secretary of the defunct Guerrilla Front (GF) Tala; Benny EspaƱola alias Ay-ar, also a member of FSMR's EXECOM and former Deputy Secretary; Mary Jane Pason alias Nicole, party wife of Sambilad and former Medical Officer; Revelyn Pason alias Jinky, mother of alias Nicole and former Finance Officer; and Meylen Laugo Tangan alias April and Jesabel Shangga Tango alias Baby Colot, Medical Officers of GF MUSA, FSMR.

They also handed over two AK-47 rifles, two M203 Grenade Launchers, and an M79 Grenade Launcher to government troops.

On a separate occasion, six high-powered firearms were recovered by the troops of the 4th Infantry Division's 901st Brigade, 29th Infantry Battalion together with the Philippine National Police, following the intensified combat operations in the hinterlands of Sitio Ancili, Brgy Puting Bato, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte on January 25, 2022.

The said operations were launched through the directive of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, the Commander of EastMinCom to fast-track the dissolution of the CTG in Eastern Mindanao.

The seized firearms were composed of two AK-47 rifles, an EMTAN rifle, an M16 rifle, an M653 rifle, and an M203 Grenade Launcher, while seven magazines with ammunition for AK-47, nine 40mm Grenade Launcher ammunitions, Bandolier, a Nokia cellular phone, assorted food supplies, and other personal belongings with subversive documents were also recovered.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol welcomed the decision of Sambilad and his members to surrender peacefully to finally attain genuine peace in the country.

He also said that the series of operations launched by the EastMinCom is in response to the information shared by the former CTG members to the troops on the whereabouts of their former comrades.

“The information shared by the surrenderees increased our capacity to locate other members of the CTG and conduct intensive operations to drive them away from communities. We attribute this to the growing trust of some NPA members in the government, not only because of our programs for their former comrades but also the delivery of basic services to the people living in far-flung areas,” LtGen. Almerol said.

The EastMinCom Commander also pointed out that the series of surrenders of the CTG's top-ranking personalities and encounters with their elements are manifestations of their crumbling leadership and the fall of their former mass bases, which served as pillars of their operations.

“From this vantage point, it is apparent that the CTG has a nil chance of winning this war now that their former mass bases have already rejected them while their high-ranking leaders are either dead or are already allies of the government," he said.

LtGen. Almerol also reiterated his invitation to remaining CTG leaders and members to "lay down their arms as the government's door is always open for those who wanted to embrace a new life," assuring that they will get all assistance they need through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).###

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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