Wednesday, March 2, 2022

One of oldest NPA Unit Collapse as 13 Members Capitulate

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) LtGen. Greg T. Almerol expressed the impending collapse of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in his area of responsibility after the remaining leadership of one of the oldest guerilla units in the country surrendered on February 26, 2022, at Purok San Miguel, Brgy Kidawa, Laak, Davao de Oro.

Thirteen (13) leaders and members of the Guerilla Front 3 (GF3), Sub-Regional Committee 4 (SRC4) of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), yielded to the troops of 1001st Infantry Brigade’s 60th Infantry Battalion (60IB), 25th Infantry Battalion (25IB) and intel units after the series of focused military operations directed by LtGen. Almerol since last year neutralized their top-ranking leaders and weakened their morale to continue fighting.

The surrenderees led by Renard Galos Catarata alias SM, GF3’s Commanding Officer, and Rico Ogong Kipitan alias Bryan, Vice Commanding Officer, and 11 others also brought along with 13 high-powered firearms composed of eight M16 rifles, two M653 rifles, an AK 47 rifle, a DPMS rifle, a Caliber 9mm Pistol, and war materiel composed of several magazines, various ammunition, and medical supplies.
Alias SM said they were forced to surrender since their food supplies and physical strength were exhausted due to the relentless military operations in the area.

"We have nowhere else to go, no food supplies coming in. The masses also refused to help us,” he said.
He further said that their members are experiencing low morale due to a series of setbacks suffered by SMRC.

"My members' morale is already low because every [guerilla] front suffered defeat. They are always crying. The SMRC has also lost excellent leaders who can guide us, that is why we decided to surrender - rather than die," he added.

It can be recalled that LtGen. Almerol previously assessed the possibility of a mass surrender and series of dismantling of the CTG’s units this year following the successive neutralization of CTG top-ranking leaders.

As of the end of 2021, the EastMinCom Commander also reported that it is only confronting 10 out of 31 CTG Guerrilla Fronts in his area since 2018. Five of these are under the SMRC.

“With the surrender of the 13 personalities, we consider the GF3 as dismantled. This means that only nine Guerilla Fronts remain in our area, with most of them already weakened and are set for dismantling” LtGen. Almerol said.

“The GF3 is the second most important unit of the CTG, which covers the areas of Davao de Oro and Agusan del Sur. It has a historical value and provides high revenue to their terrorist movement through extortion activities. With its collapse, the CTG will also be strangulated from gaining resources which will lead to its eventual disintegration,” he added.

On the other hand, a member of the Milisya ng Bayan (MB) and a regular CTG member surrendered to the troops on separate occasions, bringing along two M16 rifles with a magazine, ammunitions, and an Anti-Personnel Mine (APM).

They were identified as Nikko Cabactulan Lewa alias Bonwang who surrendered to the 402nd Brigade’s 16th Infantry Battalion (IB) on February 26, and Ronelo Calihog Jr. alias Botron who surrendered on the following day to the troops of the 901st Brigade’s 36th IB.

Prior to this, troops of 1002nd Bde’s 39th IB also recovered three high-powered firearms composed of an M16A1 rifle, a Bushmaster rifle, and an M4 rifle together with seven APMs, APM paraphernalia, and subversive documents after the former rebels revealed the location of two arms caches belonging to the dismantled GF Alip at Sitio Lacobe, Brgy. Malabuan, Makilala, North Cotabato on February 25, 2022.

Another CTG members yielded to 39th IB identified in their aliases as Maymay, Jerson, Ramram, and Jegjeg, surrendered on February 24. They also brought along a Bushmaster rifle, a Garand rifle, and an improvised M79 Grenade Launcher.

LtGen. Almerol bared that the CTG’s overwhelming decrease in manpower due to the intensified focus military operations launched by EastMinCom has pushed their members to hide their firearms in caches, which will eventually be discovered by troops as former rebels disclose their location.

“The series of capitulations have left the CTG with more firearms but few members. This forces them to bury or hide their excess firearms that will, later on, be revealed by their former members,” he shared.

Meanwhile, the EastMinCom Commander reiterated his call to the remaining leaders and members of the CTG to surrender, emulating the right decision of their comrades who capitulated peacefully, before it’s too late.

“To the remaining CTG out there come and lay down your arms. The government’s door is always open to accept and help you to start a new life with your family through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. However, if you refuse to heed our call, we will not think twice in using our force to neutralize you for the greater good of the Filipino people who desire nothing but peace,” he also warned.###

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

No comments:

Post a Comment