Monday, April 11, 2022

NPA's foothold in Eastern Mindanao narrows as arms cache discovery, surrender of CTG forces continue

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - The Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under LtGen. Greg T. Almerol recorded anew series of arms caches discovered and other accomplishments in the first week of April as the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG), particularly the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) continues to lose footholds in its influenced areas due to the relentless focused military operations (FMO) of EastMinCom to fully curb the remaining CTG strongholds before June 2022.

LtGen. Almerol reported that two arms caches composed of nine high-powered firearms were discovered by the troops in separate incidents in the different parts of Davao de Oro through the aid of former rebels and the synergy of the government’s security forces.

A tip-off from a former CTG member who surrendered to the troops of 701st Brigade’s 66th Infantry Battalion (IB) on April 4 resulted in the discovery of an arms cache containing an AK47 Rifle, an M653 Rifle, and ammunition buried at Purok Rambutan, Brgy Tupaz, Maragusan, Davao De Oro on April 7.

This was followed by the recovery of an M60 Machine gun, a K3 Light machine gun, an M203 Grenade Launcher, four M16 Rifles, and an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) after former rebels revealed their location to the joint security forces of 25IB, 28IB, Davao de Oro Provincial Police Office (DDOPPO) at Sitio Mission, Brgy. Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on April 8.

Meanwhile, 15 members of CTG including four Milisya ng Bayan (MB) members surrendered the troops of EastMinCom following the series of setbacks of their former units.

Ten of the said personalities identified as alias Jomar, Rustom, and Justin, all MB members, and alias Mamiloy, Onyok, Trisha, Toryo, Mars, Marvin, and Dante, all CTG regulars who are parts of the remnants of Sub-Regional Guerrilla Unit (SRGU), Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC5) and Regional Headquarters (RHQ) of SMRC yielded to troops of 1003rd Brigade’s 89IB and 56IB respectively on April 3 and 8 in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

This was followed by the surrender of five CTG regulars and an MB member in Davao de Oro to the troops of the 1001st Brigade and 701st Brigade respectively on April 4, 5, and 8.

They were identified as alias Jisie, Eljen, Wanwan, Dencio, all members of Guerilla Front 2 (GF2), SMRC, alias Gib/Dagul, Political Guide of RHQ, SMRC, and alias Andoy, an MB member of GF53, SRC3, SMRC based in North Cotabato.

The other three CTG personalities identified as alias Bernon/Dose, Gorio, and Yanyan, all members of the GF3, SRC, SMRC surrendered to the troops of the 1001st Brigade's 60IB at Sitio Bagtok, Brgy. Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte on April 5.

In total, the surrenderees brought along 12 different high-powered firearms composed of two AK47 Rifles, two M16 rifles, an M16A1 rifle, an AR Galil Rifle, a homemade Sniper Rifle with bipod, an M14 Rifle, a homemade KG9 Rifle, a Garand Rifle, a homemade Shotgun, a Cal .45 pistol, including magazines, assorted medical paraphernalia, and war materiel.

LtGen. Almerol recounted that both the GF2 and GF3 were already considered dismantled after the neutralization of their top-ranking leaders and the exodus of their mass members this year, through the series of FMOs of the Command that resulted in the dwindling of their forces.

In another incident, EastMinCom troops successfully seized an R4A3 Rifle with magazine and ammunition, a Rifle grenade (RG), and medical paraphernalia from the CTG following an encounter between the troops of 1001st Brigade and CTG’s Regional Operational Command (ROC) and RHQ of SMRC at Sitio Pongpong, Brgy. Andap, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on April 8.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol assessed that the series of accomplishments of the Command against the SMRC provides a clear image of their losing end. He also said that the growing number of neutralized CTG members is a manifestation of the strong cooperation of the populace in ending the local communist armed conflict.

"Their days are counted. With no letup in our intensified combat operations, coupled with the strong support from the Local Government Units and the populace, we are optimistic that we can achieve our goal to put an end to the communist armed conflict in Eastern Mindanao before our deadline,” LtGen. Almerol expressed.

The EastMinCom Commander also lauded the troops for the series of accomplishments saying that "these are crucial to the attainment of EastMinCom’s campaign for peace and development in Eastern Mindanao."

He also commended the active participation of the people of the Davao Region who gave timely and vital information on the presence of the armed group and the help of former rebels who pinpointed the location of arms caches.

It is only a matter of time before we could fully see the impact of lasting peace and development in this part of the country. With your unwavering passion and strong determination to pursue the remaining CTG, our vision of an insurgency-free country is now closer to its realization,” LtGen. Almerol said.

LtGen. Almerol further reiterated his call to the remnants of the CTG to peacefully surrender and avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“More of your former comrades are now surrendering to live peaceful lives. As long as you are still alive, grab this chance to join them by surrendering to our government. We assure you that you will be well-provided with unwavering assistance through the E-CLIP,” the EastMinCom Commander said.

On the other hand, the business industry and private individuals of the Davao Region expressed their gratitude and applauded the leadership of the LtGen. Almerol for the neutralization of CTG and his effort to put an end to the local communist armed conflict, which is significant to the business sector.###

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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