Malita, Davao Occidental – It had been recalled that there was an influx of surrenderees to the 73rd Infantry Battalion. In the custodial debriefing conducted to the group, most of their reason why they surrender is due to hunger.
With the Focused Military Operation, the 73rd Infantry “Neutralizer” Battalion deployed its troops all over its area of responsibility which resulted in the obstruction of the food supply of the organization. They experienced scarcity in food supplies. They always craved for food as they wander in the mountains.
In this regards, the unit treated them in a restaurant to give them gratification in times where they are starving in the upland. “Nagkaon lang mi kasag ug camote sa bukid. Naghunahuna mi nga basig mamatay na mi sa kagutom. Sa among pagtalikod, gibati namo ang kalipay. Una nakong kaon gikan pag surrender nako lami kaau. Mapasalamaton kaayo mi sa kasundaluhan sa paghatag kanamo ug higayon.” @Toto joyfully shared. (We ate only porridge and camote in the mountain. We thought we’re going to die due to hunger. When we return to the folds of law, we are very happy. Its the first time we ate tasty food. We are very grateful to the army for giving us this rare opportunity)
In the statement of the 7IB Commander, Lt. Col. Ronaldo G Valdez said, “The satisfaction and joy in the eyes of our surrenderees is already an achievement on our part. We were able to let them smile again amidst the hardships they had with the communist terrorists.”