14 NPA leaders abandoned movement in Q1: Eastmincom

By Rhoda Grace Saron

March 26, 2018, 7:47 pm

DAVAO CITY -- The Eastern Mindanao Command recorded 17 leaders of the New People's Army (NPA) who abandoned the communist movement while five were arrested by Army troops during the first quarter of the year.

The 17 leaders were among the 315 rebels who surrendered to the different units of the Eastmincom.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson for the EastMinCom, said the positions held by the top-ranked NPA surrenderers were Front Political Officer, Commander and Vice Commander of Armed Unit, Supply Officer, Deputy Front Secretary of a Regional Committee, to the highest position of being a Front Secretary.

Aside from the 315 surrenderers, Balagtey said 33 NPA members were also apprehended and captured during Law Enforcement Operations and Combat Operations including Leonida Guiao, the Finance Officer of the NPA in Mindanao.

So far, Eastmincom has accounted 421 surrenderers who were members of the Milisyang Bayan, 229 members of the Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad, and 2,216 members of the underground mass organization.

On the other hand, Balagtey reported that the different units under Eastmincom recovered 19 high powered firearms this week in addition to the 219 firearms already recorded by the command during the first quarter of 2018.

Balagtey said some of the 19 firearms were either surrendered by former rebels or recovered during the conduct of Combat and Law Enforcement Operations.

The firearms included six AK47 rifles, eight M16 rifles, three Garand rifles and two Caliber 45 pistols.

Lt. General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr, the Commander of Eastmincom, attributed the mass surrender and voluntary turnover of firearms to the extensive combat operations carried out by the different units and intensified community support programs and most importantly.

"We attribute this to the extensive security operations being conducted by our units to protect the communities," Madrigal said. (Rhoda Grace Saron/PNA)