CAMP SANG-ANG, Labangan, ZDS – Weeks after the province declared the communist group as ‘persona non grata, six members of Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) surrendered to Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur Friday, August 2, 2019,
According to Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, Battalion Commander of the 53rd IB, “The surrender of the six CNTs is a product of the fruitful information dissemination that encouraged them to return to folds of the law”.
“They were led by Ka Diego who operated in the hinterlands of Brgy. Lison Valley, this city and has been with the communist group for three years while the rest are at least 3 months”, said Patria
The six surrenderees also yielded four handguns and ammunitions.
The surrenderees were formally presented to Hon. Victor Yu, Governor, Zamboanga del Sur, Hon. Divina Grace Yu, Congresswoman 1st District, Hon. Leonardo Babasa, Congressman 2nd District and Board Member John Regala.
A pledged for the sincerity of their surrender was conducted in front of the local chief executives.
“Insurgency is one factor that deters the development of the province. We need peace. That is why I am happy to see them. Later they will realize that our government is looking after their welfare especially that the call of President Duterte is to eradicate insurgency,” Yu said.
Yu also emphasized that the government in coordination with other national agencies have laid down programs so these people can realize that we are stretching our hand for their common good.
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., Commander of 102nd Infantry (IGSOON) Brigade who operationally controlled the 53rd IB said that, “We are gaining grounds and our relentless military operation in the province pressured them to surrender”.
“With their surrender, we hoped that they can encouraged some of their comrades to follow their path for them to benefit the programs of the government”, Gaerlan added.
For his part, Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, lauded the troops and the local government for the successful surrender of the CNTs.
“The declaration of CTG as persona non-grata and the stern leadership of the RTF-ELCAC 9 and PTF-ELCAC of Zamboanga del Sur under Gov. Yu resulted into this successful fete,” Ancan added.
“Your Army together with all the government instrumentalities and stakeholders will continue to work together in order to defeat the CNTs and to attain just and sustainable peace in Western Mindanao,” added Ancan.