DAVAO CITY – Six rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA), bringing with them 14 firearms, surrendered to different military units in Davao del Norte and Bukidnon on December 10, 12, and 13, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) said Wednesday.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, commander of the Eastmincom, said the surrenderers were identified as Todong Balite Manlologpis alias Borjack, commanding officer of Platoon Andoy, and Magno Colot Maas alias Richard, squad leader of Segunda, Platun Andoy, both from the Sub-Regional Guerrilla Unit (SRGU);
Kimkim Balite alias Tambutso, squad leader of Platoon Basil and Hazel Samson alias Kat, logistics officer of SRGU, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SRC5, SMRC); and
Alambo Coguit Balamban alias Jeric of Abe, Squad 1 and Janjan Ahing Ganansya alias Jekjek of Baking, Squad 2 from the Loader Platoon, both from SRC 2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
Manlologpis and Maas surrendered to the troops of the 1003rd Brigade’s 56th Infantry Battalion (IB) and 27IB at Sitio Bagang, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on December 13.
They disclosed the location of an arms cache in the same area, leading the troops to recover eight high-powered firearms – four M16 rifles, a Bushmaster M16 rifle, a Colt M653 rifle, and two M14 rifles.
While Tambutso and Samson surrendered to the 89IB and gave up an M16 rifle in Barangay Bulalang, San Fernando, Bukidnon on December 12.
“The 56th IB and 89th IB also recovered three firearms composed of a Bushmaster M16 rifle, a CZ 858 Tactical-4V rifle, and an M1 Carbine rifle from SRGU, SRC5, SMRC at Sitio Sinegawan, Barangay Sto. Domingo, San Fernando, Bukidnon through information disclosed by a former rebel,” Almerol added.
Balamban and Ganansya, on the other hand, surrendered to 60IB at Camp Morgia, Barangay Doña Andrea, Asuncion, Davao del Norte on December 10 and gave up their firearms composed of an M16 rifle and a caliber .45 pistol to the 1001st Brigade’s 60th IB at Camp Morgia, Barangay Doña Andrea, Asuncion, Davao del Norte on December 10.
‘As good as dismantled’
Almerol said the 1003rd Brigade has reported that due to the success of their operations in the past five months, it has brought down the strength of SRC5, SMRC, and Platoon Bagsik from 80 NPA members to only nine active members as of press time.
He said the figures were divulged by former rebel Arian Jane Ramos alias Marikit, the former secretary of Guerrilla Front 55.
“With this remaining number of their members, the SRGU, SRC5 of SMRC is as good as dismantled. It is impossible for them to continue to operate with only a few men,” Almerol said.
He noted that the surrenderers have made the right decision to yield peacefully instead of continuing to resist government forces, which only brings pain, suffering, and death.
“Do not let this Christmas season pass without making the decision to surrender because surely, in 2022, the military will only become more relentless in its pursuit of peace and development as part of the goal to end the local communist armed conflict next year,” Almerol added.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) - NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)