Tuesday, May 17, 2022

EastMinCom troops scores anew against CTG remnants, recover war materiel

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under the supervision of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol has recorded a series of neutralization of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) members and recovery of firearms as troops conducting focused military operations continue to engage its remnants in Caraga and Davao Regions.

Recent to this was the overrunning of a CTG hideout as troops of the 901st Brigade's 30th Infantry Battalion (IB) responded to information from concerned locals regarding the extortion activities of an armed group believed to be members of Guerilla Front (GF) 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) at Sitio Botoon, Brgy. Pungtod, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte on May 15.

The said skirmish forced the terrorists to flee leaving behind an AR15 rifle, a detached M203 Grenade Launcher, 50 rounds of various ammunition, detonating cord for an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), personal belongings, and food supplies.

This was followed by the capturing of a CTG member identified as alias Jomari and the discovery of an arms cache after a CTG personality who was also captured a week ago cooperated and revealed their location to the combined forces of 701st Brigade's 67IB and Davao Oriental Police Provincial Office (DOPPO) on May 12.

The arms cache, unearthed at Brgy. Upper Simulao, Boston, Davao Oriental, was composed of an M16 rifle, an RPG-2 Grenade Launcher, a Carbine rifle, an M1 Garand rifle, a USAS-12 Shotgun, a KG-9 Submachine Gun, and an Anti-Personnel Mine (APM).

Alias Jomari revealed that he was the leader of the Baking Squad under the Regional Operational Command/Regional Headquarters (ROC/RHQ) of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) but went to lie low due to knee injuries, which made him incapable of prolonged walking.

LtGen. Almerol said that the humane treatment of troops toward captured CTG personalities led them to trust and cooperate with government forces by providing high-value information and pinpointing the location of arms caches.

On the same day, two CTG members yielded to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion following a series of armed encounters in the hinterlands of Sitio Panucmoan, Brgy. Diatagon, Surigao del Sur.

The surrenderers identified as Jessica Q. Agustin, Medical Staff of Sub-Regional Sentro de Grabidad Southland, NEMRC, and Romel O. Damarillos, member of the same CTG unit, also brought along an M1 Carbine rifle and a Caliber .38 snub-nosed revolver.

The said personalities also revealed that they decided to surrender due to the deception and abuses of their comrades to poor farmers, which are against the ideals that enticed them to join the CTG.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol lauded the troops for their unceasing operations, which prompted the CTG to withdraw from communities and led their members to yield. He also said that the series of military operations prevented the CTG from recovering their former mass bases.

"The CTG's series of defeats is a strong indication that they are at the point of their losing end, especially in Eastern Mindanao. It also manifests that they can no longer revive their former mass bases as security forces could easily engage them through the information provided from the concerned civilians," he said.

"Be assured that our campaign against the terrorist group is coming to fruition. Let us not rest and continue to dedicate our service until we finally defeat the CTG and attain lasting peace and development in this part of the country," he added.

The EastMinCom Commander also pleaded to the families of remaining CTG members to convince their relatives to surrender and live peaceful lives while enjoying the government's programs such as the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

"We urge the families of those CTG members who are still active in the terrorist movement. Help us convince them to lay down their arms so they can regain normal lives and enjoy their freedom with you, or else they might come back home inside a casket," LtGen. Almerol said.###

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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