EastMinCom Milestones Making Headway Towards Peace and Development in Eastern Mindanao
NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under the leadership of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol has solidified its mark in Eastern Mindanao by pushing for peace and development through its crackdown on terrorism that led to the dismantling of six Guerrilla Fronts (GFs), one Regional Guerilla Unit, and the neutralization of 21 high-ranking communist terrorists this year in just a matter of eight months.
Since LtGen. Almerol took the helm of EastMinCom on March 8, 2021, he went straight to work and called for the fast-tracking of the clearing of focus areas and the ramping up of focused military operations, which resulted to the dismantling of six guerrilla units identified as GF 4A, GF 88, GF North, GF South, GF 68A, GF 55, and a Regional Guerrilla Unit – Pulang Bagani Command.
With no letup on intensified operations, LtGen. Almerol is eyeing for the dismantling of an additional six more guerrilla fronts and a regional guerilla unit before the year ends, leaving seven guerilla fronts left for dismantling in 2022. The EastMinCom Commander, through the support of the populace, the local government units, and his troops, expressed optimism that he will be able to achieve the goal as the communist terrorist group had already suffered major blows in the recent focused military operations launched by the Command’s Joint Task Forces.
Through the Command’s relentless pressure through combat operations in affected communities and intensified stakeholder engagements/partnership, it was able to neutralize a total of 21 Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) leaders including Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, Commander and spokesperson of the National Operations Command and also of National Democratic Front (NDF) in Mindanao; Arian Jane Ochate Ramos alias Marikit, Secretary of Guerilla Front 55, Sub-Regional Command 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Command; Pedro Arnado, Chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Regional Committee; Danny Huit alias Bosyong, Secreteary of GF North; Khim Agad Mapoy alias Patrick, Secretary of GF4A Sub-regional Committee 3, NCMRC; Ramil Banawan alias Migs/Kim, Secretary of GF Malayag; Adelaida Magpatok alias Gwen/Emyang /Kudaw/Robby, Former Secretary of FSMR, NDF consultant, and CPP-NPA-NDF Central Committee Member; Jocy Villaruel Papasin alias Domai, Front Secretary of Guerrilla Front 18, Sub-Regional Committee 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee; and Billy Berana Jr. alias Borjack/Simeon, Secretary of Guerrilla Front Alip, Regional Operations Command, Regional Sentro de Grabidad, Far South Mindanao Region.
The neutralization of these top-ranking communist terrorists has also led into a snowball of surrenders of its members that are operating in Eastern Mindanao. “The neutralization of these top CTG leaders is deemed a major setback to the CTG and has provided a deterrent factor that will discourage its remaining members to carry out their plans and harm the people,” LtGen. Almerol said.
Within the same time frame, a total of 412 high-powered firearms and 105 low-powered firearms were also captured by the troops from the communist terrorists in Eastern Mindanao through combat and surrender. On top of these, it had also seized a total of 65 anti-personnel mines and discovered 149 enemy lairs; hence, diminishing the CTG’s firepower.
These accomplishments were considered significant in quelling the half-a-century-old communist insurgency as they brought down the strength of the communist terrorists and also led other CTG members to surrender peacefully.
“These accomplishments would not be possible without the support of our hardworking troops and the collaboration of our stakeholders in the goal to put an end to the communist armed conflict in Eastern Mindanao and the entire Philippines. I urge everyone to continue to be on board so that we can completely eradicate communist terrorism by 2022,” LtGen. Almerol said.
Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol reiterated his call on the remaining CTG members and leaders to embrace a peaceful resolution of the armed conflict by accepting the government’s offer through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
LtGen. Almerol also assured the public that EastMinCom will continue to do its best in addressing the challenges of insurgency by maximizing the best practices and lessons learned from actual experiences in its operations and exploiting every opportunity to shape the operational environment to the Command’s advantage.