CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – A total of six armed NPA Militia members surrendered to the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion in Brgy Balagon, Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay this week.
The surrenderor also yielded one homemade shot gun and three pistols.
“One of the surrenderor revealed that they were no longer satisfied with the promises and lies of the Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) in their community”, said Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, 44th Infantry Battalion Commander.
“Ang ilahang saad sa amoha nga tagaan mi ug maayong pamoyo ug protektahan kami sa mga abusado nga sundalo, apan nabali ang tanan, sila man hinuoy mga abusado. Ang among kunsumo sa bukid, sila man hinuoy nakapahimulos”, ingon ni alias Carol. (“They’ve promise us a peaceful life and protect us from the abusive soldiers, however it was the other way around. They (the CNT’s) were the abusive. They consumed our foods in the mountain,” said alias Carol).
“The snowball of surrender can be attributed to the convergence of efforts of the local government units, government agencies and other stakeholders through the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Region 9,” said Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade.
It can be recalled that the RTF-ELCAC IX was activated last May 24, 2019 at the headquarters of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division in Camp Sang-an, Labangan, Zamboanga de Sur in line with the EO 70 signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last December 4, 2018 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and institutionalizing the “Whole-of-Nation-Approach” in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.
Under the EO 70, the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) is just one of the social development packages which provides benefits and opportunities to former CNT member who returned to the folds of the government and embrace a peaceful life.
Meanwhile, Major General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops that led to the surrender of the six NPA Militia.
“Let us embrace our long lost brothers and sisters who have been victims of the lies and deceit of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) as they return and chose to lead a life away from violence,” Ancan said.
“Your Army together with all the government instrumentalities and stakeholders will continue to work together through the operationalization of EO 70 in order to defeat the CTG and to attain just and sustainable peace in Western Mindanao,” added Ancan.