Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Jan 13, 2022
Northern Luzon Command revealed on January 13, 2022, that a total of 130 Communist Terrorist Group members and supporters returned to the folds of the law since December 1, 2021.
According to the Acting Commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NoLCom) and the concurrent Commander of Joint Task Force Kaugnay, Maj. Gen. Andrew Costelo, the surrenders include 15 regular Communist terrorist members; 12 Milisya ng Bayan; 1 arrested personality; and 102 party members from the different NPA-affiliated mass organizations in Northern and Central Luzon
“In addition to the surrendered personalities, a total of 17 firearms and 3 Improvised Explosive devices were recovered since December last year,” said Maj. Gen. Costelo.
“As our soldiers on the ground deliver successive blows to the Communist terrorist groups in the region, it is only indicative of their already dwindling forces as more of their members realize the manipulative ploys of their leaders, and yield to the government,” Maj. Gen. Costelo added.
The most recent accomplishment of the NoLCom troopers is the withdrawal of support of 50 CTG Underground Mass Organization members to Joint Task Force Kaugnay’s 81st Infantry Battalion in Brgy Alfonso and Brgy Matue both in Gregorio del Pilar, Ilocos Sur in the morning of January 11, 2022.
“Following the surrender was the presentation of the former terror group mass base supporters to Hon. Alfonso Bailing, the Committee on Peace and Order in the municipality as he administered the Oath of Allegiance to the government and their formal dissociation from the Communist terrorist movement,” as reported by Lt. Col. Racii Alajandro Sotto, Commanding Officer of the 81IB.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Krishnamurti Mortela, Commander of 702nd Infantry Brigade which covers the area of Ilocos Sur, attributed the continuous withdrawal of support of CTG members and supporters from CPP-NPA-NDF to the effective joint operations of the AFP and PNP, complemented by the cooperation of the local populace, as well as the relentless conduct of the military’s Community Support Program (CSP).
“With the conduct of various community engagements geared towards addressing the needs of the people, the 81IB led by Lt. Col. Sotto focused on the issues that are being exploited by the communist terrorists to deceive the community folks of Ilocos, thus bridging the gap that was once created by the deceptions and lies of Communist terrorist groups,” said Brig. Gen.
Maj. Gen. Costelo expressed his optimism that the Communist insurgency is already on the brink of its extinction, and continues to encourage remaining Communist terrorists to lay down their arms and yield to the government.
“The growing number of surrenders manifest the exasperation of the members and supporters of the Communist terrorist groups of fighting for a false ideology that only threatens their safety as well as that of their families,” said Maj. Gen. Costelo.
Acting Commander NoLCom attributes the multitude of accomplishments of the command to its ground units and partner stakeholders for their unrelenting support to their campaign of ending local communist armed conflict, including its humanitarian mission in support of the victims of typhoon Odette in Visayas and Mindanao.
Maj. Gen. Costelo lauded the relentless efforts of the JTF Tala led by Maj. Gen Laurence Mina, JTF Karagatan led by Captain Francisco Tagamolila Jr, Tactical Operations Wing led by Brig. Gen. Araus Robert Musico, and the JTF Kaugnay for their dedication to their sworn duty in pursuit of lasting peace and development for our nation.
“Rest assured that your soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines will ensure that the people of Northern and Central Luzon will thrive in peace, and attain lasting prosperity,” said Maj. Gen. Costelo.