THREE communist NPA terrorists brought along five firearms when they surrendered to the 58th and 23rd infantry battalions, under the operational control of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, and Agusan del Norte, on Sept. 12.

The military identified the rebel returnees as Jhony Omandam Gapol and Emerita Aporbo Lor, both members of the Regional Office Command of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC). They turned over an M14 rifle and 9mm pistol to the 58IB.

On the same day, Randy Malinao Butao, a member of Guerilla Front 21, yielded two M16 rifles and an AK47 rifle to the 23IB. 

According to the former rebels, they are now experiencing organizational collapse and leadership crisis after the death of their top leader, Dionesio “Muling” Micabalo, the Regional Secretary of NCMRC.

The rebel returnees told soldiers that they longed for their families, which prompted them to surrender. In addition, they also noticed demoralization among the ranks due to hardships and the intensified military operations.

These former rebels are now under the custody of the 23IB and 58IB for proper documentation and debriefing. Eventually, they would be enrolled in the Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Captain NiƱo Benjamin Benjamin, the civil-military operations officer of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, said they remained committed to their target to finish the remnants of the Communist Terrorist Group by the end of this year.

“The 402Bde under Brigadier General Adonis Ariel G Orio has been persistent in the conduct of Intensified Military Operations, supported by the stakeholder engagements through Civil-Military Operations, and the constant monitoring of Intelligence Operations in its area of responsibility.

“This resulted in a series of encounters, tightening CTG’s effort and freedom, hence, leaving them with no other decision but to surrender, or be neutralized,” Benjamin said.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Adonis Ariel G. Orio lauded the soldiers for continuing to eliminate the threats in their areas of responsibility.

“We are overwhelmed that these CTGs are reducing with only less than squad size remaining members. These victories are highly attributed to the Whole of the Nation Approach as exemplified by our strong collaborations with the stakeholders and other government forces in putting an end to insurgency in Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental.”

Moreover,  the brigade commander stressed his message to the remaining CNTs to surrender peacefully and create a new life in the folds of the government. 

“You have your option, it is either you surrender peacefully and enjoy the freedom in this country or you will continue with your hardships and struggles by committing terrorism and violent extremism until your last breath,” he said.

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Source: Mindanao Times (