NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), under the leadership of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol continues to strike the dwindling forces of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in its joint operational area this September 2023.
In the latest development, combined troops of 36th Infantry Battalion (IB) and 901st Infantry Brigade (Bde) under Joint Task Force (JTF) Diamond captured six high-powered firearms and various war materiel during a skirmish against the elements of the Regional Headquarters (RHQ) and Platoon 1, Guerilla Front (GF) 30, both under the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) at Barangay Maitum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on September 19.
The captured war materials consist of an M16 Rifle, a Bushmaster Rifle, a Stag A5 VLTOR Rifle, an M653 Rifle, two R4 Rifles, two anti-personnel mines (APMs), four Bandoliers, two Handheld Commercial Radios, electrical wires, and 30 backpacks containing assorted supplies and personal belongings.
Before this, 36IB troops captured an M16 Rifle, an M14 Rifle, and other war materiel after an armed clash against the elements of Platoon Apitong, SRSDG Westland, NEMRC at Sitio Bakakaan, Barangay Bagyang, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur on September 5.
This was followed by the death of a certain Dexter Maca alias Jeric, member of Platoon 1, GF30, NEMRC, and the capture of an M16A1 Bushmaster Rifle during an encounter with 901Bde troops at Barangay Maticdum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on September 11.
On the same day, 88IB troops under 403Bde captured an AK47 Rifle, an M1 Garand Rifle, and assorted medical paraphernalia following a skirmish against the Sub-Regional Sentro De Gravidad (SRSDG) Peddler, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) at Sitio Miaray, Barangay Mandahican, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.
In another incident, six CNTs under the Sandatahang Yunit Pamproganda (SYP) 21C, GF21, SRC Westland, NEMRC also surrendered to 29IB troops and police forces in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte, bringing along two AR15 Rifles, an AK47 Rifle, an M4 Carbine Rifle, and an M14 Rifle, still on September 11.
Likewise, on September 12, two regular CNTs and a Milisya ng Bayan (MB) member surrendered to the troops under the 402Bde, respectively in Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Norte. The regular CNTs who were members of the Regional Operations Command (ROC), NCMRC also yielded an M14 Rifle, and an Ingram Pistol to the 58IB, while the MB member under the GF21, NEMRC brought along two M16 Rifles and an AK47 Rifle to the 23IB.
In the JTF Agila area, seven CNTs formerly operating in Bukidnon yielded with three M16 Rifles to the troops of 56IB and 1003Bde after experiencing hardships in the armed group and the longing to return to their community at Sitio Central Baugan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on September 16.
The surrenderers were identified by their aliases as Fernando Poe, Rustom, Sarmontiano, Agata, Rica, Adolfo, and Andrew E., all members of the SRSDG Peddler, SRC2, NCMRC, which operates outside the border of Davao Region, particularly in Bukidnon.
Based on EastMinCom’s records, it has already neutralized 337 CNTs, composed of 298 who surrendered, eight captured, and 31 killed; captured 355 firearms with 268 high-powered and 87 low-powered; and seized 61 APMs from January 2023 to date.
Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol lauded the troops of JTFs Agila and Diamond, especially the local government units, for their unrelenting collaborative efforts that resulted in recent accomplishments. He also commended the former rebels for their decision to return to the folds of the law and reiterated his call to active CTG remnants to follow suit.
“The end of the CTG in Eastern Mindanao is now inevitable as the strong collaboration between our troops and stakeholders continues to crumble their forces. Thus, we reiterate our call on the active CNTs to surrender and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) benefits so they can restart their lives before it is too late,” he said.
The EastMinCom Commander also vowed to sustain the peaceful situation in the Davao Region and prevent CTG resurgence while they are finishing the fight in other parts of Eastern Mindanao.
“As we pursue the deteriorating forces of the CTG in Regions 10 and 13, we are also relentless in conducting sustainment operations to prevent the re-entry of communist terrorists in Davao Region. Rest assured that we are on track in defeating the CTG in our joint operational area this year,” LtGen. Almerol expressed.
He likewise encouraged the people of Eastern Mindanao to continue supporting the government forces by upholding the Culture of Security, especially as the country celebrates the National Peace Consciousness Month with the theme, “Ang Kapayapaan ay Responsibilidad ng Bawat Mamamayan,” this September 2023.