Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – 41 members of Kasigudan Aywanan Takderan Binangon di Kabunyan Organization (KATABIKO), a mass base support group for Communist terrorists, surrendered to the 69th Infantry Battalion of the Joint Task Group (JTG) Defender under Joint Task Force (JTF) Kaugnay, on January 30, 2022, at Bunga National School, Barangay Bunga, Tadian, Mountain Province.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr. said that “the conduct of collaborated local peace initiatives by the security forces and the local government units in the area paved the way for the peaceful and voluntary surrender of the 41 Communist terrorist supporters.“
According to JTG Defender Commander Brig. Gen. Krishnamurti Mortela, the accomplishment of the 69th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Marcelo Valdez was made possible with the help and support of the local government units, partner agencies, and stakeholders who continue to fight with the government’s aim to end local communist armed conflict.
Brig. Gen. Mortela disclosed that “the Katabiko is a part of the Indigenous Sector that was victim of the lies and deceptions of Communist terrorist groups.”
“They were heavily manipulated by the terroristic spew of lies of the Communist terrorists,” the Brig. Gen. Mortela added.
Meanwhile, JTF Kaugnay Commander Maj. Gen. Andrew Costelo expressed his gratitude to the 41 former supporters of the CTG who returned to the folds of the law and chose the path of peace instead of violence.
“Your surrender manifests the genuine desire of each one of you to end the long-drawn armed conflict that the Communist terrorists had started. We will not let your efforts go to waste, the JTF Kaugnay will ensure that the diverse and rich culture of the Cordillerans will not be tainted anymore by terroristic threats of the CTG, “Maj. Gen. Costelo said.
“As our troops on the ground continue to find the approach of local peace engagements and community support programs effective, they continue to spark hope for us —your security forces that the remaining Communist terrorists and their supporters are growing tired and are now waking up from the deceits and lies of the CTGs, as more of their members and supporters yield to the government,” said Lt. Gen. Torres.
“Your security forces in the north will continue to gear towards a more peaceful approach in encouraging our brothers and sisters who are still under the claws of the CTGs to yield to the government and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). With peaceful discourse, we welcome you with open arms as you signify your intention of becoming productive citizens of our country,“ furthered Lt. Gen. Torres.