NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – A series of focused military operations continue following the directive of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, to finally curb the diminishing forces of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in Eastern Mindanao, four CTG members surrendered anew while various firearms and subversive documents were recovered by the troops from January 16 to 17.
Three CTG members identified as Angel Iligan alias Beboy/Ervin including two minors both 17 years old, who are all members of Guerilla Front (GF) 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) voluntarily yielded to the troops of 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) in Brgy. Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on January 16.
They were followed by a CTG personality identified as Isagani Lina Pepito Alias Rex/Abby, who surrendered to the troops of 8IB under the 403rd Brigade (403Bde) in Bukidnon on the same day.
Pepito is the Team Leader of Team Baking, Squad 1, Platoon Dario, one of the remnants of the dismantled GF89, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC2), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) which was absorbed by Headquarters Force Neo (HQF-NEO) of the Regional Sentro De Gravidad Compaq (RSDG COMPAQ).
Following an encounter from troops of 901st Bde’s 30IB seized an AK47 rifle, 11 magazines with ammunition, a rifle grenade, five 40mm ammunition, two sets of anti-personnel mines, and six backpacks with personal belongings from the CTG’s Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 16C1 and 16C2, both under the GF16, SRC Northland, NEMRC in Brgy Motorpool, Tubod, Surigao del Norte on January 16.
On the same day, combined troops of 403Bde’s 8IB and 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion were also able to seize an M16A1 rifle, a Modified R4 rifle, eight backpacks, eight ponchos, four sacks of rice, and three backpacks of assorted food supplies after an encounter with a CTG under the RSDG Compaq, NCMRC at Sitio Nahawan, Brgy. Busdi in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
In a separate incident, combined forces of 1003rd Brigade’s 27IB, 56IB, 89IB, 3IB, and intelligence units successfully recovered five high-powered firearms and another war materiel from the remnants of Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit of SRC5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee composed of three M16 rifles, an M653 rifle, an M203 Grenade Launcher, nine magazines and five 40mm ammunitions after former rebels disclosed their location at Sitio Palisan, Brgy Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on January 17, 2022.
LtGen. Almerol lambasted the CTG for its continued recruitment of minors to be used in its terroristic activities, which is a blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law. He added that troops will coordinate with the Social Welfare and Development Office to ensure that the minors will be taken care of.
The Commander also said that EastMinCom’s continued conduct of intensified combat operations is in response to the bulk of information that was shared by former rebels and concerned citizens to the troops.
“This accomplishment is part of our ramped-up initiatives against the CTG in order to meet the goal of ending the local communist armed conflict by 2022,” he added.
He likewise bared that the demoralization brought about by hunger, lack of leadership, and successive defeats of the CTG in Eastern Mindanao, made its members realize that they are fighting an unwinnable revolution.
“These former rebels revealed their bitter and unfair experience in the hands of their CTG leaders. It made them surrender and decide to return to the folds of the law,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EastMinCom Commander once again urged the remaining CTG members to come forward and lay down their arms, embrace a new life, and avail the government’s assistance being offered to them.
“Now is the time to make peace with the government and embrace its offer of a comfortable life through the Enhanced Comprehensive Integration Program (ECLIP),” LtGen. Almerol expressed.