CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — A vice squad leader of the NPA’s Guerilla Front Cesar who is operating in Rizal and Bulacan surrendered to combined forces from the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division and Bulacan Police at San Jose Del Monte City on Friday.
The military identified the former rebel as alias Zion who used to hold key leadership position at Platoon 4A4’s Segunda Squad.
Colonel Alex Rillera, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, said that the surrender came after they shifted their campaign’s focus in Bulacan following the clearing of affected areas in Region 4A.
“The NPA’s act of turning over his 5.56mm Bushmaster Automatic Rifle with ammunition as he return to the folds of law is expected based on our campaign’s timeline since the NPAs are already running out of space due to our unrelenting focused military operations and aggressive civil-military operations that have eroded the mass base support which they used to enjoy”, said Col Rillera.
He added that additional forces will be deployed in the area to “increase our operational tempo and exploit our momentum so that the few remaining terrorists who will refuse to choose the path of peace will finally be decimated.”
Despite being part of Region 3, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan is under the operational jurisdiction of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division which primarily covers Southern Tagalog in order to address the NPAs use of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Metro Manila’s eastern boundary for their inter-regional mobility.
Most of Central Luzon is under the operational jurisdiction of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division, congratulated the security forces for the close coordination and collaboration between and among the PNP and the military.
“Our ability to transcend boundaries and blur our units’ identities in the name of defeating the enemies of the state is a positive indicator that we will be able to crush these terrorists and win the peace and prosperous lives that every Filipino citizen truly deserves”, added Maj Gen Burgos.
He ended his statement by assuring the people that “the surrender of alias Zion is a significant step towards the insulation of our nation’s seat of power from threats coming from the communist terrorists.”
Maj Gen Burgos, in his previous statements, has indicated that 2ID is on track in defeating the NPA terrorists in Southern Tagalog before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
Since the implementation of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP in 2017, 2ID has already facilitated the surrender of 565 NPA terrorists who turned over 114 firearms to the government.
2ID is the first military unit to activate a Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in January 2018 in compliance to President Duterte’s EO 70 which calls for a whole of nation approach in defeating the 52-year insurgency that has hampered the country’s growth and potentials.
The true identity of the former rebel is being withheld as part of the security protocol to protect surrenders from possible retaliatory actions from their former comrades.