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CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The message of hope and peace has spread out to the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division Area of Operations (AOR) as Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) continue to lose its grasp to its mass base as more NPA members and supporters surrender to 4ID units from June 26-30, 2019.

The CARAGA and Northern Mindanao’s Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) and the full implementation of the Peace and Development Zones (PDZs) and Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) programs to address the root causes of insurgencies gave them hope for a better and peaceful future with their families.

In CARAGA Region, 94 Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) members from Barangays Ima and Mayag of Sison, Tolingin of Mainit and Tobongan of Surigao City all of Surigao del Norte voluntarily surrendered to the CSP teams of 30th IB under Lt. Col Alen Reymund C. Tomas purposely to denounce and dissociate themselves from the CNTs control and exploitation on June 27, 2019.

Meanwhile, Alyas Junix, 18, an NPA regular member of Platoon 8, WGF19, NEMRC and 19 Militia ng Bayan (MB) members from Brgy. Janipaan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur voluntarily surrendered to the troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Joey B Baybayan on June 30, 2019. @Junix brought with him one (1) M16A1 rifle with M203 grenade launcher while the supporters also surrendered 20 homemade shotguns.

According to @Junix, “Nisurender ko tungod gikapoy nako ug nakita nako ang daghang programa nga makatabang sa akoa nga mabuhing hapsay ug malinawon.” (I surrendered because I was tired and I saw the many programs that will be able to help me live a better and peaceful life.)

While in Northern Mindanao, a total of 24 NPA members and supporters composed of 10 NPA regulars, 10 MB and 4 Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) members from Sitio Lakbangan, Barangay Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental surrendered to the Community Support Program (CSP) teams of 58th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col Roy Anthony O Derillo last June 26, 2019.

According to the surrenderees, they grew tired of fighting and supporting the NPA terrorists who gave them nothing in return.

Also, Alyas Miko, an NPA regular from Brgy San Rafael, Talakag surrendered to the elements of 65IB and another 10 UGMO members from Sitio Buco, Barangay Banlag, Valencia City and Brgy Magsaysay, Quezon also surrendered to the elements of 88IB on June 28, 2019.

@Miko, 24, former NPA squad leader and a Higaonon said, “Nakita nako nga tinuod ang programa sa gobyerno, nakita nako ang maayong kaugmaon.” (I saw that the programs of the government are true, I saw a better future.)

It can be recalled that recently, CARAGA launched the Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) during the Joint Regional Development Council (RDC)-Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Full Councils Meeting at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Brgy Doongon, Butuan City last June 26, 2019, while Region 10 launched both the CAPDev program at Brgy. Iba, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon and the RTF-ELCAC during the Northern Mindanao Joint RDC-RPOC Full Councils Meeting at Kaamulan Open Theatre, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon last June 28, 2019. The launching of the two “super bodies” that will lead, synchronize and harmonize government efforts of combating and crushing the local insurgency in Regions 10 and CARAGA was a milestone especially in the implementation and operationalization of President Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) 70.

Maj Gen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of the 4th ID said, “The influx of surrenders will not be possible without the support of the different LGUs, LGAs and other stakeholders in Regions 13 and 10. With the recent launching of the RTF-ELCAC and the full implementation of the PDZ and CAPDev, we are expecting snowballs of surrenders from the NPA members and its supporters.”

“I enjoin everyone to continue performing their shared responsibility to address the root causes of insurgency and finally end the local communist armed conflict in our area. We will intensify our efforts to combat the CNTs armed groups through focused military operations backed with CSP for the conduct of sustained delivery of basic services and social development packages in Conflict Affected Areas and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas.” “Our convergence efforts are gaining significant results . Sustaining these will enable us to attain our common aspiration of lasting, inclusive and sustainable peace and development”, Gacal ended.

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