CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – A total of 35 supporters composed of Milisyang Bayan, Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL), contacts, and couriers of SRSDG Southland under the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) withdraw their support from the communist terrorist groups (CTG) during the conduct of Peace Rally at Purok 7, Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on June 2, 2023.
The former CTG supporters conducted the said rally to express their sentiments and condemnation against the CTG as their eyes were opened and awakened to their deceit, lies, and manipulation.
The 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion led by Lt. Colonel Paulo F. Baylon, the Commanding Officer of 3SFBn, of the 401st Infantry “Unite N’ Fight” Brigade, under the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, together with the Local Government Unit of Prosperidad, under the leadership of Hon. Frederick Mark P. Mellana facilitated the Government On Wheels and Peace Process. Said activity was attended by the representative from the Provincial Department of the Interior and Local Government (PDILG), Revitalized-Police Sa Barangays (RPSB), and the Local Police of Prosperidad.
Colonel Francisco F Lorenzo Jr, Commander of 401Bde, said that the massive withdrawal of support was a result of the sustained Intensified Military Operations (IMO) and the successful implementation of Executive Order 70, also known as the “Whole of Nation” approach under the auspices of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Col Lorenzo Jr. expressed his gratitude to the former supporters for their withdrawal of support from the terrorist group as it marks a crucial milestone in the ongoing efforts of the government to heal the wounds of conflict and foster unity among the populace. Col Lorenzo Jr. also said that the activity showcases the tangible success and underscores the effectiveness of the NTF-ELCAC in creating an environment conducive to lasting peace, empowering individuals to leave behind the futile cause, and form trust among former rebels and government that served as the bedrock of sustainable peace and promotes unity across communities.
Meanwhile, 4ID Commander Major General Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II lauded the 3SFBn and 401Bde for the incessant peace-building efforts with the populace and the former CTG supporters for recognizing the futility and consequences of their former allegiance. He noted that this is a significant blow against the CTG which desperately attempting to recover massive loss of mass support after series of surrender of CTG key leaders and members in Agusan del Sur.
Further, MGen Cuerpo II said that the overwhelming surrender of CTG supporters highlights the growing confidence in the government and its commitment to attaining an inclusive and long-lasting peace for the people not only in Agusan Sur and the Caraga region but also towards a progressive nation.