AMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – On its relentless campaign to end local communist armed conflict, a community in Agusan del Norte that declared the New People’s Army as Persona Non-Grata (PNG) has greatly contributed to the efforts of the 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion of this Division stationed in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte in the successful recovery of one 50 caliber heavy machine gun and one M203 grenade launcher on Sunday, December 1, 2019.

The recovery of the two high powered firearms is a result of the joint efforts made by the Matatag troopers, former rebels, and the concerned civilian populace in the area who are sick and tired of the CPP-NPA Terrorist deception.

Successive combat operations launched by said battalion to track down the remaining CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in the hinterland of Agusan del Norte were made easy since the local populace is giving information on the CNT movements and hideouts. Aside from this, the support from the former rebels also led to the recovery of armed cache from the previous CNT hideouts in the hinterland of Barangay Bangonay, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte around 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

Alyas Jerome, 23 yrs old, former CO of NPA said, “I am fulfilling my oath of allegiance to the government and I am doing this in order to repay the good services I received. The high powered firearms we recovered are definitely a great loss to them (NPA).

Notably, the local folks of Barangay Bangonay declared the NPA and its legal front organization as Persona Non-Grata through a barangay resolution no. 26 series of 2019, last October 21, 2019. On that same day, the municipality of Jabonga declared the same group through a municipal resolution no. 18-79 series of 2019. Said declaration is evidenced by the shift of mass base support to the government resulting in the recovery of these high powered firearms.

Meanwhile, MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, Commander of 4ID said, “I commend the people of Barangay Bangonay and the troops of 29IB for their accomplishment. Your joint effort shows your dedication and sincerity in eradicating insurgency in your locality. The recovery of these high powered firearms will definitely weaken their capability to threaten the peace loving community of Agusan del Norte.”

“This recent accomplishment is a typical example of convergence, worthy to be emulated, I urge the Local Government Units and the stakeholders in Regions 10 and Caraga to continue your bold steps in addressing peace and development concerns, together we will end the local communist armed conflict in the region.” Gacal ended