Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – Five members of the communist terrorist group yielded to the troops under the Joint Task Force Central on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command said the former rebels submitted themselves to the troops at Headquarters, 57th Infantry Battalion, Edwards Camp, Barangay Mirab, Upi, Maguindanao.
Surrendered personalities handed over their firearms including one 5.56mm rifle, one cal. 30 M1 Garand rifle, and three 12-gauge Shotguns. They also disclosed the locations of arms caches at Mt. Tred in Barangay Bual, Isulan and Barangay Chua, Bagumbayan, both of Sultan Kudarat. Recovered in the arms cache were two 5.56mm M16 rifles, one 7.62mm M60 general-purpose machine gun, and assorted magazines and ammunition.
57IB Commander, Lt. Col. Jonathan Pondanera subsequently presented the former rebels and their surrendered firearms to Joint Task Force Central Commander, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy. Lt. Col. Pondanera revealed that the ex-communist terrorists were members of the Sub-Regional Committee Daguma of the Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.
In his message, Maj. Gen. Uy said that the decision of the former rebels to return to the folds of the law brought joy not only to their family but to the municipality of Lebak as well. “Rest assured that the 6th Infantry Division together with the local government of Lebak will continue to support you as you reintegrate into mainstream society,” he added.
The presentation was witnessed by Col. Michael Santos, Commander of the 603rd Infantry Brigade and Lebak Mayor Frederick Celestial. Col. Santos expressed his admiration for the former terrorists who finally decided to abandon their armed struggle. “They made the brightest and life-changing decision not only for themselves but also for their families and most of all for their fellow Filipinos,” Col. Santos stated.
During the initial debriefing, the former terrorists said that they experienced a lot of hardships due to the limited food supply and the continuous combat operations of the military. These compelled them to surrender.
Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. attributed this success to the unified efforts of the military troops, the local government unit, and the community.
Since January 2022, a total of 62 CTG members yielded to the government forces in the central part of Mindanao.