RETURN TO GOVERNMENT. Zeth Melloria, 23, an information bureau staff of the Sub-Regional Command 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the New People’s Army yields to the 30th Infantry Battalion in Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on Friday (June 10, 2022). He follows the May 26 arrest of a fellow rebel under the same command. (Photo courtesy of 30IB)

BUTUAN CITY – A staff of the information bureau of the New People’s Army (NPA) Sub-Regional Command 16 (SRC-16) of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee surrendered to the 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) of the Philippine Army on Friday.

Zeth Melloria (alias Jessie), 23, a resident of Sitio Look, Barangay Dugsangon, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, brought volumes of subversive documents and articles when he presented himself to Lt. Col. Ryan Charles Callanta, 30IB commander, at the unit’s headquarters in Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

“He (Melloria) initially revealed that they were doing massive recovery efforts in their lost mass bases,” the 30IB said in a statement on Saturday.

The recovery efforts are concentrated along the outskirt villages in the cities of Butuan and Cabadbaran and some villages of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, particularly those along the boundary areas with Agusan del Norte, the 30IB added.

Callanta said the surrender of Melloria is a big blow to SRC-16 and the Guerrilla Front 16 that operates in the areas of Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte.

Melloria is the second staff member lost by SRC-16 this year after Eliamar Elecito Monter (alias Gab), a finance staff of SRC-16, was arrested in a joint police and military operation in Placer, Surigao del Norte on May 26.

Monter was arrested by virtue of arrest warrants for homicide, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple frustrated homicide issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 34 in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte.

“We call on the remaining active NPA members that their families are waiting for them,” Callanta said.

He said the 30IB will fully support those who will surrender through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-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 National Democratic Front was also formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)