Elements of the 80th Infantry Battalion recovered three firearms, five hand grenades and a rifle grenade during an intelligence operation at Sitio Batangasan, Brgy San Andres, Tanay, Rizal on 16 May 2019.
Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over CALABARZON, said that “this accomplishment is a product of our former rebel engagements” wherein those who surrendered “actively participate in the government’s campaign against the NPA terrorists”.
He added that “this innovative operational concept is part of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC) 4A’s operationalization of the whole-of-nation-approach concept in defeating insurgency in this part of the country”.
Lt Col Christopher Diaz, Commander of the 80th Infantry Battalion, reported that “the war materiel belong to the terrorists’ extortion group who were targeting the farms in the area and, for the longest time, have been threatening the people of Tanay”.
In a statement, Lt Col Diaz assured the public that “your soldiers are, and will always be, ready to respond to any NPA terroristic actions” while asking for the community’s continued support, cooperation and vigilance “since security is a shared responsibility”.
BGen Elias Escarcha, Acting Commander of 2nd Infantry Division, lauded the troops’ success against the enemies of the state.
“The fact that the NPA terrorists left these war materiel as they tried to leave the area in a hurry is a manifestation of the NPA’s prevailing fear upon the government’s military might and their diminished will to fight”, added BGen Escarcha.
He ended his statement by reiterating the “government’s call for localized peace talks so that our people may finally enjoy just and lasting peace as well as progress and development which we truly deserve”.
Relatedly, 21 former rebels who surrendered early this year received their cheques representing government grants under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP from Sec Eduardo Año of DILG during a ceremony at Camp Vicente Lim on May 17.
Since the 202nd Brigade’s maiden implementation of E-CLIP in Luzon and Visayas last August 14, 2018 wherein 13 former NPAs were formally welcomed to mainstream society by the SILG and Sec Delfin Lorenzana during a ceremony in Tanauan City, Batangas, a total of 108 surrenders with 63 firearms were already recorded by RTF ELCAC 4A.
Per the unit’s record, those enrolled have already received the immediate and livelihood assistance while some were either given employment in their areas or have been registered as beneficiaries of 4Ps.
These are on top of the more than Php670, 000.00 worth of housing, education, and health care benefits, among others, which the government is offering in its effort to unify the country and attain genuine, lasting peace.